- the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

(synonyms: effect, impact)

It is not often that I walk into a room and six hours later, after many laughs, hugs, tears and cheers; walk out feeling energized, invigorated, and completely feeling influenced.

I recently attended a Women Who Influence luncheon; this year marked the 4th year for this amazing event and I can’t help ask myself, why did it take me four years to attend?

The day brings together over 200 women to network, and learn from an amazing array of speakers, speakers who share their individual stories of hardships, and successes. One of my greatest takeaways from the day, and one that I want to share with you is the ripple effect.

One of the speakers, Helen Vanderburg made reference to the ripple effect of influence: small changes that make big impacts, similar to a drop of water in a pool of water, the one drop causes a ripple effect. This analogy resonated so deeply with me because often I get caught up in what I call the ‘fear of the masses’. Fear of the masses is the fear of not resonating or not being liked or understood by all. Case in point: my delinquency from blogging. Many of my dear followers have reached out and asked why I have not been blogging as much this year, worried that there was something wrong with me. I can’t even lie and say that I’ve been too busy, (because I have not been); or that I have had nothing to blog about (because I have); the truth is I have been letting my ‘fear of the masses’ take over my purpose for why I even started blogging in the first place.

I started blogging because I wanted to influence others, whether that meant challenging people, encouraging others not to be so hard on oneself, or simply providing a giggle or two to lighten up someone’s day. I told myself initially that I would not worry about what others thought about my writing, I would continue to do so because I wanted to make an impact and I wanted to influence. Over time, and despite great feedback that I received, I let my fear of the masses set in and I convinced myself that no one would miss the blogs. Attending this luncheon gave me the kick in the butt to realize that I was being completely ridiculous and needed to stop thinking about the masses, but rather focus on the individuals, the ‘drops of water’ so to speak.

All of us have the ability to influence others around us, we may not know it when it happens, and we may never see the tangible effects of our influence, but it happens and it happens all the time. Whether it’s an action we take, or something we say, there are always people around us that are listening and watching and growing from what we are doing or saying. The great thing about the ripple effect is that even if its just one person that we influence, that one person will then go on to influence another person and so on and so on.

I walked away from the luncheon feeling empowered to continue on my journey striving to help others, whether that be one person at a time or multiple people at once. I need not to worry about the masses, just believe in my purpose and myself.

I hope that in after reading this blog, I have inspired you to pick up on something that maybe you have put on the back burner, or to continue down a path that you have started something great on. Know that you are unique in this world, and that you have the power to change our world for the better through sharing your greatness, to influence someone else, one person at a time, ‘one drop of water at a time’.

Lina Miranda

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