This simple trick will help you inspire yourself, and others.

Pete Cohen recently interviewed me for his new book on leaders as inspirators and I was reminded of what a key role we each play in each other’s lives

Not all of us think inspiring others is important nor do we know how to do it. We default to our negative bias and let loose with uninvited critical feedback, thinking we’re motivating or even grounding them.

I admit to watching The Rap Game series and in any episode you can see first-hand how easy it is for some of the parents to put their kid down or yell insults when they have a hard time in the battles. It makes me curious about who will take the prize. I know for a fact that it is much easier to do your best when your parents, friends or colleagues are supportive and encouraging. But this is reality TV after all.

Those who end up in the success pool in any industry or competitive sport, often credit the people who encouraged them (not necessarily their parents) and boosted their drive to achieve. It might have been a coach who drilled them but also treated them with respect, or a teacher who asked about a project and then encouraged and supported them.

Inspiration can also come in a more indirect form, by sharing your story with someone (the good and the bad parts — I’m looking at you, Instagram) and showing them how persistence and belief helps when the going gets tough.

You have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day — whether it is through your online interactions, or the people you encounter. Everybody needs encouragement and feedback

My friend Will and I often talk about what makes for an inspired co-worker and how you can help them see the value in doing their best. The trick is finding that balance between inspiration, accountability, and constructive feedback. When you are given a pass for things you didn’t do well, you don’t learn or grow. The same holds true when you give yourself a pass for not doing your best work. You are your #1 inspirator.

Keeping yourself motivated easily makes the difference between goal setting and goal getting. Here we are in the third week of January. How are you doing on those goals? Inspire yourself by reflecting on what you have done, so you can keep yourself focused. And if you’ve been neglecting those goals of yours, don’t spend time feeling bad about it. Just come back to them, allow them to welcome you, and see how you might help yourself stay on track in the future. We all stray sometimes.

Inspiration is contagious. So inspire yourself, and then spread that inspirator magic to those around you. You have no idea where that touch of praise or encouragement will take them. Change starts with one person — YOU.

*Don’t forget, I still want to know what your pain points are when it comes to goal getting. Fill out this quick 2-minute survey to receive a free electronic copy of my latest book, and be entered into a draw to win a Creative Genius Bundle worth over $300!