Our world often seems overshadowed by negativity, and it’s easy to lose hope. But it is during these times that our role as individuals becomes even more crucial. Each of us has the power to make positive changes that enrich our lives and create a better world. This power is waiting to be harnessed and set into motion. Do you want to learn how to do it?
If you are reading this, chances are you are awake and aware enough to want a better world. So you ask, how to be the positive change you want to see in the world?
Change, as challenging as it may be, holds the key to unlocking a life of growth, fulfillment, and happiness. Change is not an overnight process but a gradual journey toward the positive transformation you desire. By understanding the difficulties that change presents, we gain the power to overcome them. There are a few things you need to do and a few things you need to overcome. Let’s talk about the obstacles first.
Learning To Make Positive Changes
We know change is necessary for personal growth and improvement, yet it often seems elusive and difficult to achieve. So, why is the change process so hard? Well, we face seven common obstacles on this journey. But these obstacles also create growth opportunities. So let’s talk about them upfront.
The Seven Reasons We Fail To Make Changes
Failure is a part of the success process, and we learn many of the most important lessons by trial and error. However, the culture does not recognize the value of missing the mark. The value and importance of success are emphasized in school and work. Yet, we learn the most from not getting what we aim for. So, failure becomes a roadblock when we should embrace and celebrate it. (1)
1. Lack of Time. The first of the seven reasons we fail to make positive changes is that we think we don’t have the time. We don’t really lack time. We procrastinate and fail to prioritize and plan. It’s hard to argue convincingly that you don’t have five minutes a day that you could spare for something important. So use your smartphone and set a reminder.
“If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities.” — Tim Ferriss
2. Not Enough Money. I’m not Bill Gates, and I don’t have the kind of money that will make a difference. But guess what? If you only send one dollar each month, it will produce a difference. Finding legitimate people who can funnel your dollar to the right cause is easy.
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3. The Comfort Zone. One of the hidden hurdles of change lies in our inherent nature to seek comfort and security. The third of the seven reasons we fail is the invisible routines we live by. We are creatures of habit. We find solace in the familiarity of routines and patterns. When you make a positive change in your life, you often encounter these habitual patterns. Stepping outside these comfort zones can be daunting. Unfamiliar territory poses potential risks and uncertainties. But acknowledging this resistance empowers us to challenge it. So making change becomes a conscious choice for personal betterment.
4. Don’t Want to Make a Long-Term Commitment. Not a problem. Learn to budget your time and resources. One minute and one dollar. Is that too much, or are you afraid it won’t make a difference? Guess what? It will make a difference. You can learn how to be the positive change you want to see in the world. And you can accomplish great things by doing small things.
5. It Makes Others Uncomfortable. So, don’t advertise your efforts to people that don’t support your mission and vision. You are making good karma, and you will feel good about it. The real issue is that people always give negative feedback about wasting time and money. Embarking on a journey of change becomes far more manageable when surrounded by a supportive network. The absence of encouragement and validation from family, friends, or mentors can make change feel isolating.
Building a support system of like-minded individuals who understand your mindset is essential. Seek out communities, clubs, or online groups that align with your goals. That way, you’ll find that change becomes a collective effort rather than a solitary struggle.
6. We Anticipate Failure. It’s not a matter of self-confidence or desire. Rather, it’s the fear of failure. Facing our fears is often necessary to make a positive change in your life. It’s scary to put yourself out there. The good news is once you do it, you’ll likely love it and make it a part of your life mission. Every non-profit has its way of helping its volunteers get acclimated. They don’t want you to fail, either. Everyone is on your side.
Failure is an integral part of the change process, yet our fear is what holds us back. The prospect of stumbling, falling, or not achieving immediate success can be discouraging. However, understanding that failure is a stepping stone to growth is paramount. A mindset that views failure as a learning experience provides motivation to persist and bounce back stronger.
7. Too Many Good Causes To Choose From. So, don’t pick just one; spread your love around. Rotate your time, money, and efforts. Most people do this to find their niche. Once you start, you’ll find one cause that speaks to you. You’ll find one mission and vision you can get behind, and it will feel “good” and “right.”
It’s easy; use your imagination to think of the simple things you can do now. You can get involved simply by recycling the plastic to bring home. You can avoid buying stuff packaged in styrofoam and plastic. Just doing the small things makes a big difference. Again, you’ll be making good karma.
Of the seven reasons we fail to act, this one causes frustration. We are motivated but overwhelmed with where to place our energy and resources.
How to Be The Positive Change You Want To See
1. Pick a Cause. You probably see that many things need attention if you are aware and awake. We have global climate change issues, the ongoing COVID pandemic, and blatant political corruption. There are so many things that need attention it’s hard to decide where to put our efforts.
The first thing you should do is sit down and search your heart. Write a list of the top five issues you feel the world needs to address. Then rank them from the most important to the least.
Now list the time and other resources you can devote to these causes. Allocate your resources. Here are some things to consider. Be mindful of the laws surrounding the cause you choose. For example, if you want to help the homeless, some cities have ordinances against giving food to them. Crazy as it seems, you can end up in jail for trying to help others.
2. Get Started. You have your list of priorities. Start small, but begin. Take the lowest priority number 5 on the list, and do something. Send them $5.00 or something. You’ll feel better once you start because you have improved the world. Starting is the hardest part. Now you are learning how to be the positive change you want to see.
Now move up your list from number 4 to number 1. Allocate most of your time and resources to your number one cause. However, don’t forget that even small contributions are a huge help.
No matter the time or financial resources, stay within your allocated budget. Giving too much can cause you to burn out. Overcommitment and overreaching are common problems that lead to failure.
Burnout is one of the main reasons people leave organizations with social and environmental missions. Sometimes it feels like you aren’t getting meaningful results, which can be frustrating. One way to overcome burnout is to focus on how your work is helping to make a positive change in your life.
So, keep your eyes on every achievement, no matter how small. Celebrate how your work makes you feel about yourself. You may not see the results, but your work doesn’t go unnoticed by the world’s collective consciousness. There are people who you don’t know who are cheering your efforts.
“Celebrate small victories often. Mourn failures quickly. Do what’s necessary without fanfare.” — Chris Brogan
Make A Positive Change in Your Life!
3. Embrace Your Inner Optimist. Yes, you have one living inside, and now you need to wake them up. The first step towards being a positive force is cultivating optimism within yourself. No one can or should do this for you. Don’t rely on others to create an optimistic, positive environment.
Embrace a mindset that sees possibilities rather than limitations. Shift your focus to solutions instead of problems. Surround yourself with positive influences, and practice gratitude. It’s essential to reframe challenges as opportunities for growth. By radiating optimism, you can inspire others to adopt a similar mindset and create a ripple effect of positivity. You can see how a positive change in your life affects others.
4. Practice Empathy and Compassion. Empathy is the cornerstone of positivity. Take the time to understand the perspective of others. Practice ways to extend kindness to those around you. You can support others in their journey by showing empathy and compassion. It creates an inclusive that encourages others to hear your ideas. Remember, the smallest acts of kindness can have the most significant impact. So make it a part of your daily routine.
5. Be a Change Agent in Your Community. Change begins at home, or more precisely, within your community. Get out there! Engage in local initiatives. Participate in community service, or volunteer for causes close to your heart. By taking action and leading by example, you can inspire others to get involved too. Remember, together, even the smallest changes can transform the world around you.
6. Inspire Through Your Actions. Words carry power, but actions speak even louder. Your actions can inspire those around you to believe in a better world. Take responsibility for your own choices. Adopt sustainable practices, promote inclusion, and stand up against injustice. Live your life as an embodiment of the positive change you want to see, and watch as others follow suit.
7. Share Your Journey. Finally, spreading positivity involves sharing your experiences and lessons with others. Engage on social media to share your journey toward becoming the change you want to see in the world. Your story may resonate with someone else, motivating them to embark on their own transformative path. Never underestimate the power of telling your life story. How you have handled your struggles can be the inspiration others need to hear.
How to Be The Positive Change You Want to See in the World
Start your journey today. Becoming a change agent is not a one-time task but a lifelong commitment. You can make an impact. Follow the formula, embrace optimism, empathy, and compassion, and take action.
Remember, as you make positive changes, you inspire and ignite change; all it takes is a willingness to become the best version of yourself. So, let your light shine and be the catalyst for a brighter, more positive world. It all begins as you make a positive change in your life.
(1) A Celebration of Failure, National Library of Medicine.