Creating social change is not a ‘step by step’ process, it is more like a rollercoaster of ups and downs! Throughout the years I have seen commonalities, so I decided to capture these into a list. I have pondered what to keep and discard, with the result outlined below for your pondering.
Step 1: Acceptance — accept where things are right now, especially around emotive topics; the old saying “It is what it is …” comes to mind, followed by my saying, “But not where it will stay!”
Step 2: Fall in love with the problem before deciding on a solution. Get into the detail, the good, the bad and the ugly. The time spent here will fuel your ‘why’ and equip you for the hurdles you will face and possible naysayers.
Step 3: Knowledge — understand why things are the way they are right now. Look at the bigger picture, gather information from other jurisdictions, research, findings etc. Understand related and interconnected areas.
Step 4: Link in before you branch out — understand the current ecosystem; Who is your opposition? What is their stance? Who is already working & doing good in this space? Who shares your views, your vision, your passion? Can you do more together? Who would you like to be in your value network?
Step 5: Look at the solution from all aspects — move out of your driver’s seat and understand how the solution looks, effects, impacts and benefits everyone connected to the problem.
Step 6: Clearly define your why, values & worth — if you are not clear on who you are, you cannot be clear about who the right people are to have in your value network. The more clarity you have in these three areas, the greater it positively impacts your decision-making, which significantly affects your progress.
Step 7: Know your worth — in my opinion, this is so important I am putting it in twice. Know your value and what you have to offer, and never settle for anything less than what you deserve. Never doubt your worth in your work, the change you seek to make and the impact you strive to achieve!
Step 8: Manage your money — you cannot change the world if you cannot balance your personal and business books!
Step 9: Tame your mind — I have yet to meet a person in this area who does not have a thousand ideas, thoughts, to-do lists etc., swimming around in their heads. It’s what makes us who we are, but it can also prevent progress and, in some cases, impact your health. Learn to slow the mind and tame the thoughts; there are a million different ways to do this, and most of you never will, but I felt it was essential to keep it on my list.
Step 10: Follow a plan — know the direction you are going, know why and see the action you have to take to get you there. Be mindful of distractions that take you off-plan, and make sure if you do go off-plan, it is for the right reasons.
Step 11: Stay Fluid — perhaps a contradiction to step 10, but be open to possibilities & opportunities.
Step 12: Impact — Change makers strive to have an impact; consciously impact your world first, then set out to have an impact for the greater good. Your world starts with you, family, friends, community within which you live. Be mindful that the positive impact you strive to achieve in the greater world, is not having a negative impact on your world, your world should always take precedence.
Image Credit: Ian Schneider on Unsplash
by Pauline Gannon – Co-Founder & Director of Impact at Social Impact Ireland