Look around. You’ll find lots of things or situations that need to change. But most of the time, if you are like most people, you feel powerless to do anything about any of it.
Stop feeling like you are powerless! You have the power to make a difference.
In fact, you have a ton of power to create change, and you can do so anytime you choose.
Do You Feel Disempowered?
I was talking to somebody just the other day about the current political situation in the United States and feeling like it’s impossible to make a difference. We shared that we had both signed petitions, sent money to organizations, voted, and done just about anything we could think of that would have a positive impact.
But, to a great extent, we both felt disempowered.
In fact, all of us have way more power than we think we do.
You Have the Power to Author Change
I work with a lot of writers, and I’m always talking to them about what I call “authoring change. Here’s the truth of the matter: Anyone can author change.
You don’t have to be a writer to author change, nor do you have to write a book. You can author change in your own life, in other people’s lives, in your community, in an organization, or in any number of other places.
Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler authored change with a speech.
Emma Gonzalez authored change without saying any words at all.
You can author change with a smile, a book, a new work policy, a blog post, a more compassionate way of dealing with your children, or an email to a friend. You can do it by loving and by forgiving.
You Make a Difference Every Day
When you feel disempowered, when you feel like there’s nothing you can do to make a difference, realize you make a difference all the time—or you can if you choose.
You can make your difference feeding the homeless or donating your time at the animal shelter. Maybe you volunteer for your local senator or congressman or the ACLU or Planned Parenthood.
And there are other ways to make a difference—even a small difference.
Let’s say you are at the grocery store. You come to the counter to pay for your items. Instead of looking at your phone while someone rings up your groceries, you look directly at that person and begin a conversation. You listen and honestly get who they are and what they are going through.
And you say something to that person that makes a difference in his or life—possibly “I appreciate the job you do for me. If it weren’t for you, I couldn’t pay for these groceries and take them home to feed my family. You make a difference.”
If you don’t think that would entirely change the way that person feels about his job and himself, you are wrong.
You could do that. You have that power.
If you’re a parent, you have that power to be a good role model for and to teach and mentor your children. The difference you make with your kids will stick with them their entire lives. That’s power.
You can change how someone feels with just a smile. That’s power.
And you can change your life in an instant. Try changing your attitude from pessimistic to optimistic. Try walking every evening rather than sitting in front of a computer all day and then in front of the television all night. Decide to eat a different diet or get a new job.
You aren’t disempowered. You aren’t exercising your choice to do something differently. And you aren’t taking action on that decision.
You Possess Personal Power
You may feel like you have little power over some of the more significant things happening in the world, but you do have personal power. You can affect change in your own life. And even one small difference can have a ripple effect and cause a change in the lives of those around you.
Begin using that power in ways that make a difference—whether you smile at a stranger, inspire your hairstylist, motivate or support a friend, give a speech to a class of students, or suggest a process change to your boss. Exercise your personal power in ways that make you feel empowered—and that result in a difference in your life, first, and in the world around you, second.
And don’t forget that you have the power to affect the lives of other people beyond those with whom you have direct contact. You can make a difference that reaches around the world with a Facebook Live or Youtube video, for example. Or you could make a difference with a book, podcast, article, or blog post.
The Many Ways You Can Affect Change
If you are struggling with this idea or you want to be sure you take action toward making your difference right away, try this journal exercise. Write down all the different ways you could make a difference. The list could include speaking, teaching, writing, changing your interactions with people, writing a book, starting a blog, publishing an article in the local newspaper, creating a podcast, role modeling healthy eating or exercise behavior, or mentoring disadvantaged children. Brainstorm! Come up with at least 10 to 15 options.
Then choose one option from your list, and take action this week.
Do something that gives you the sense that you can make a difference. Even better, make a difference. Create change with your actions.
Then, stop feeling disempowered. You are not disempowered unless you allow yourself to be. Stop allowing others to take away your power. Even better, realize that you give away your power, and that’s a choice.
Choose to take back your power. Choose to feel empowered, and use that power to create positive and meaningful change.
Leave me a comment below, and tell me how you regain and use your personal power.
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