What does it mean to be influential and inspirational? Well, let’s start by taking the root word of these two words (yes, my English degree nerdiness is stepping to the plate here).Let’s start with the word influence. According to Merriam-Webster.com, influence is described as both a noun and a verb. These definitions stood out the most to me:
1 : the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways : SWAY
2a : the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
2: to have an effect on the condition or development
Now, let's move on to inspiration. Root word: inspire. Definitions, (per Merriam-Webster.com):
1a: to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on
1b: to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on
I absolutely love when others use their influence well, and Jaclyn uses her influence to its greatest capacity. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for this special blog post.
Jaclyn Bacon is a functional medicine specialist. To Jaclyn, being an inspirational and influential woman means to be a woman of integrity and to show up in a way that serves the world in an authentic way by using their gifts, honing in on them, and doing so unapologetically.
The first woman to inspire Jaclyn was her grandmother. A mother of five, Jaclyn’s grandmother always found a way to give back to the community. Jacklyn fondly remembers her grandmother’s home as being a home that all of the children in the neighborhood frequented and how her grandmother was active in the church. In addition to this, Jaclyn’s grandmother had a heart of giving back. She ran a women’s center where she raised over one million dollars, in a small town, for women in need who were experiencing difficulties taking care of their children, by giving them food, diapers, and other necessities, as well as counseling the mothers.
Jaclyn admits that she does not see herself as being influential; however, she says that we all have the capacity to be influential by being present and letting people feel seen, heard, and known. Jaclyn also states that putting yourself out there and being brave makes one influential.
While Jaclyn is present on social media, she states that she has seasons where she can zone in product content on what she’s doing and not get into the comparison game; however, she admits that there are times where it is a bit more difficult and the comparison game happens. Jaclyn states that even though she reminds herself that what is on social media is a highlight reel, it still can be skewed because that is what one sees. One practice that has helped Jaclyn is to have a gap before going on Instagram. At this moment, she asks herself, “why am I even going on the app? Out of boredom? Entertainment? Product content? Sharing with/family friends?”
Jaclyn says that being aware of the reason she is engaging with the app has been the most helpful.
A piece of advice Jaclyn would give her younger self is to hone in on her self-awareness. Jaclyn says that knowing her needs has been one of her biggest areas of growth. Jaclyn advises that knowing your needs will help you show up in the world more fulfilled. She states that going from a place of people-pleasing and setting high expectations for herself to letting things go and meeting her own needs first has helped her. Prioritizing what matters in life is another piece of advice Jaclyn would give her younger self. Realizing what really matters and what is “fluff” has helped Jaclyn place her needs first, in addition to self care and lots of grace for herself!