As you're shifting from being self-centered to putting others first, you may be tempted to change others.
Early in my life and career, I though that helping people meant trying to change them. So I made that my goal. I wanted to share messages that would take people to a higher place in their lives. I gave lots of advice. I was young and idealistic. I didn't yet understand that people don't change because you want them to. They change because they want to. And it happens only when they're ready to.
If we want to help others, then we must first help ourselves. If we want to change the world, then we must change. People can't be agents of change unless they've gone through positive change themselves. I knew I had to fix my insides before I fixed my outsides. In other words, I had to make some changes in myself before I could expect to create change in others. I could not give what I did not have. If I want to see others transformed, I had to be transformed. I had to do the hard work myself.
If we change, and put others' needs before our own, you make the transition from teacher to leader. And that is how you make an impact; as a friend; as someone who had been in the trenches; who had been where they are.
Global Teen Challenge, organization that helps kids get off of drugs, is a great example of using personal transformation to help others. Their organization's success rate is 70%, while other organizations doing the same thing is closer to 18%. The reason for this staggering difference is that the individuals who do all the teaching were former drug addicts. They don't bring in people who have studied the issue, or educators. There's incredible change that happens in someone's life when the person who's trying to help them out of the ditch had to get out of the ditch him or herself.
There's an amazing amount of hope, motivation, and credibility when someone has been there, done that, and gone on to become successful. If they haven't been there, there's no common ground or credibility. If they've overcome the challenge and are on higher ground, they can invite others to 'come up to where I'm standing.'
Change yourself to change the world.