I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer, but have you noticed that it’s kind of felt like the sky’s falling lately? With what seems like the constant drumming of daily disasters – both man-made and natural, many people are feeling a bit overwhelmed – including me. And it’s in this climate where the fear of insignificance can creep into our daily activities, hijacking our best laid plans and leaving us too paralyzed to act; this fear that no matter how hard we work, we won’t ever make a real difference; this fear that all the positive impact we’ve had today could be eradicated tomorrow, so what’s the point?

As we look to the future, we see a world that is more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. In this future, challenges can seem insurmountable and burnout happens due to relentless work to the exclusion of all other activities. The fear of insignificance plays a major role in harboring our inabilities to get anything done, and the fear of not having an impact because so much is out of our control can keep us from doing the things that matter most. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

First and foremost, let’s get one thing straight, there’s a lot in life we just can’t change. Take for example, this big, bad, beautiful world of ours.  Yep; that’s one of those things that we probably can’t change. It’s nice and inspirational to think one person could actually change the world, but some things are just bigger than all of us. However, we can definitely make a difference in the world around us. And the best place to start to make a difference is within ourselves. Try following these five leadership practices:

  1. Building Awareness by understanding who we are.
  2. Realizing Potential by investing in our future.
  3. Developing Relationships by building trust.
  4. Taking Action by leading with courage.
  5. Practicing Reflection by pausing to learn.

At InnerWill, we believe in the power of each of these practices and have witnessed countless individuals who have committed to overcome their fears, tackle problems, and achieve greater levels of satisfaction, resilience, and impact. When we say leadership is a choice, we mean the choice to develop our capacity to lead ourselves authentically, fulfill our purpose, and inspire others to do the same. It’s in this place that insignificance turns into significance, where we can make a difference and have a lasting positive impact on our world and those around us.

So the next time you see that fear of insignificance approaching, politely set it aside. Remember your values, have courage, and don’t feel guilt over what you have no control over. And let’s remember to help one another see the positive changes that we are effecting every day.


Betsey Fortlouis

Betsey Fortlouis

Betsey has dedicated over 15 years of her career to driving awareness, support, and funding to nonprofits of all sizes. She is passionate about relationship building and believes that scalability and sustainability are at the center of an organization’s success. As our Director of Development and Partnerships, she is responsible for building partnerships and fostering connections with individuals, foundations, and corporations to advance InnerWill’s mission.

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