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Okay, here’s the deal. Every time you interact with someone, you have a choice to be a positive influence or a negative influence. You can leave them feeling better or worse than they did before interacting with you. You get to CHOOSE how you’ll impact another person.

Before understanding this – that YOU have a choice to be a positive or negative influence, you probably just go with the flow of the world. And let’s face it, turn on the news or scan through your newsfeed and most of what’s there is negative. Do you want to be another negative influence on someone or would you rather be more positive?

Chances are, others will remember you more favorably if you’re a POSITIVE influence.

We all have people in our lives we’re challenged to appreciate. People who maybe make it difficult to stay positive, even just hearing their name. Here’s an example.

I was talking to someone in a group of women yesterday and it turned out we have a mutual acquaintance. Pretty common, right? This person, though, is someone I’m challenged to love. So as we’re talking about this person, I feel my face fall. And I start thinking, “How do I handle this? What influence do I want to create?”

The person I was talking to starts to share her not so great experiences with this other person. I knew I had to make a choice. Do I dive in and say, “Yeah, she’s tough…here’s what she’s done to me, etc.”? I wanted to make the person I was talking with feel comfortable, not cut off. Let’s face it when someone cuts you off or comes out and says, “Don’t gossip” you feel bad…you feel worse for talking to them.

I did not want to be that person…but I also did NOT want to indulge in gossip. Gossip is so TEMPTING and it’s a little fun, right? You get a release from it. Gossip can feel validating.

Right before this conversation, I’d made a list of core values. One of the items on it was LIFT and EMPOWER women. As I’m talking and about to dive into gossip, I realize that core value cannot coexist with gossip.

It’s a struggle. One, I’ll always be working to do better with. Although my conversation was a “win.” I know they won’t all be wins.

I tell you this so you’ll know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We ALL struggle with doing the right thing; with speaking and acting with integrity. We can sharpen and help each other to think about our INFLUENCE and how we’re using it. Does it match with our INTENTION and values? Let those steer you when you feel yourself going off course.

Let’s be open and honest with each other for the empowerment of ALL.