How to be Internally vs Externally Influenced

The topic of being internally vs externally influenced comes up often in my conversations with people who are increasingly interested in personal development, personal growth and self-leadership these days.

Sometimes, it comes masqueraded as we don’t always realise that this is what we are dealing with. Other times it may come across a choice that we may need to make in order to pursue something. So, what does being internally vs externally influenced mean?

The Concept of Internal vs External Influence

I first came across this internal vs external influence concept some years ago as I was reading (or should I say listening) to one of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books. He is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He wrote more than 40 books, 21 of them New York Times bestsellers. A favourite of mine is The Power of Intention

External Influence

Being externally influenced can be simply defined as being easily impacted by our environment, other people, family, organisations, communities etc. Essentially, it’s everything we get conditioned by or allow ourselves to be impacted by that is external to ourselves.

I tell a story in this live video to illustrate a real life incident that I was involved in today.


Internal Influence

By now, I’m sure you’ve guessed what being internally influenced means. It is the exact opposite to the externally influenced scenario. An internally influenced person simply consults his/herself first when faced with any situation before seeking an answer from the external world. Do check out the story I use to illustrate this in the video above. I reference to a doctor and his patient. You’ll have a good laugh with that one!


The Verdict – Internally vs Externally Influenced

Increasingly, research and thought leaders in the field of leadership stress the importance of self-leadership, self mastery, authenticity and leading from the inside out. Being more internally influenced contributes greatly to these all important traits we need to cultivate in ourselves and then take it externally to impact our external world and be better self and people leaders.

Caution: This by no means advocates that we don’t ask for help. Rather, we look internally to see how far we can get in solving issues by ourselves. It helps us to understand ourselves better and ask for the right kind and level of support needed for greater success!


Maggie Sarfo is a passionate author, speaker, advisor and mentor for inspirational business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to explode growth revenue or access their highest potential. This blog is her playground, where she explores the topics of business growth, personal growth and peak performance. Learn more about her programmes.

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