A group of women sitting in a circle giving a group high-five

Do You Desire to Inspire? 10 Ways to Inspire the People Around You

by Eharmony Editorial Team - March 16, 2009

Do you want to positively impact the lives of others? The best thing you can do is to focus on some fundamental "principles of character" -- and here's 10 ways to do just that!

Do you want to positively impact the lives of others? If you truly desire to inspire the people around you, the best thing you can do is to focus on some fundamental “principles of character” and make them part of your daily life. More than where you work, or how much money you make, or how you look, the way you carry yourself and interact with others will impact how much inspiration they draw from being around you.

Here are some ways you can inspire others to reach beyond themselves and live lives that are more meaningful and successful.

Inspire others by expecting the most of them.
Most of us will rise to the expectations of the people who believe in us. Find reasons to believe in the people around you, and communicate your high expectations. Encourage them and let them know that you have faith that they will achieve what they set out to do.

Inspire others by challenging them.
While you are communicating your faith in the people around you, help them raise the bar as well. Challenge them to go beyond what’s easy and comfortable. Encourage them to try new things and confront new obstacles they haven’t faced before. Doing so will make them stronger and increase their faith in themselves.

Inspire others by caring about them.
Expectations and challenges won’t matter much unless you are also authentically caring about the people you’re hoping to inspire. Focus on what’s best for them. Then show them that you care by the way you treat them and interact with them.

Inspire others by taking a stand for what you believe in.
In order for other people to follow you, they have to know that your convictions inspire you to stand for something. One of the best ways to help other live meaningful, significant, lives, is to set an example by living that kind of a life yourself.

Inspire others by having the courage to change course.
Even as you stay true to what you believe in, be sure to remain flexible. A true leader doesn’t hold rigidly to a path he or she has chosen in the past when that path turns out to be the wrong one. Be willing to consider alternatives and explore new options when they present themselves.

Inspire others by being vulnerable.
Be honest about who you are and your own shortcomings and failures. People are much more apt to follow and be inspired by someone who is a real human being, than by someone who seems too good to be true. Talk about the struggles you’ve overcome, and demonstrate that it really is possible to remain strong and resilient in the face of difficult times.

Inspire others by practicing integrity.
Refuse to be a spin doctor. Speak the truth, even if it’s not what someone wants to hear. And avoid gossip and easy attacks on unpopular people. Rise above petty politics and be someone people count on to do the right thing.

Inspire others by sharing the credit.
Recognize the people around you for what they’ve done, and for their successes. Even when you are largely responsible for a particular victory, there’s no reason not to spread the wealth as far as credit and recognition are concerned. A leader who shares a success is someone other people will want to follow and even emulate.

Inspire others by sharing your influences.
Talk about the people who have inspired you. Quote from books you’ve found meaningful, and tell stories of the people who have impacted your life. The more people hear about others who have achieved meaning and success, the more likely they will be to believe that they can do so themselves.

Inspire others by listening to them.
When you listen to the people around you, you show them that they matter, and that their ideas are worth hearing. Plus, you’ll better understand what they care about, and what their goals are, and you’ll know better how to motivate and inspire them.