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Each of us can be a changemaker – yes, even you


By Niamh Ennis
17th Oct 2022
Each of us can be a changemaker – yes, even you

Prepare yourself for an understatement but the world around us is constantly changing.

Each time we think we have witnessed the worst, something new appears to knock it off its perch. The reality is, that we should now simply accept that we don’t just live in interesting times but we live in ever-changing ones also. Ironically, the one constant in our lives, these last few years, happens to be change itself and it shows no signs of abating.

While you might be aware in your own life of where the change is needed and even where it’s currently happening, it’s worth noting that a trend is also emerging that suggests that contributing to change is something ‘other people do’ and perhaps not always relevant to those of you just getting on with your ‘ordinary’ lives.

Is this you? Are you abdicating your responsibility on the basis of ‘what difference can little old me really make?’. For a myriad of reasons, you don’t believe it should involve you. Perhaps, you don’t feel what you have to say or do matters, or that you don’t see yourself as being able to impact on anything outside of your own world? Or maybe, when you think of changemakers you think of activists or lobbyists, this gives you the permission to leave this important and necessary work to others. Respectfully, if you have ever thought this, or even if you think it now, you are wrong.

We each have within us, the potential to be incredible changemakers- in our homes, our families, our places of work, our friendship groups, our networks, our communities, our countries and the wider society. All you need to possess is a desire to improve things around you and be willing to contribute to this in a way that feels right for you.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A CHANGEMAKER?

A changemaker is someone with the skills and confidence to lead change in their home, school or community. They are social innovators who are willing to take creative action to solve a social problem. They are the person that who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen.

Simply put, changemaking is transforming the world around you however big or small your actions are. Every movement started in the mind of one person who had the courage and vision for it to become a reality and the chances are that their behaviour served to inspire others to get involved resulting in the birth of a movement. Being a changemaker means you are being the kind of person who ultimately inspires others to do something differently and see things from a new perspective. It means you essentially becoming the change you want to see happen.

Other words often used to describe a changemaker include innovator, trailblazer, pioneer or groundbreaker and will usually involve empathy, thoughtfulness, creativity, taking action and collaborative leadership.

THE POWER OF THE FEMININE

The future, I believe, is feminine power. Amidst all the change around you, it’s becoming abundantly clear that what is emerging is a strong feminine presence which you, as women, are embodying. You have had enough of the patriarchal ways and quietly now are making moves to implement change and become more visible. You don’t need to go out and burn your bra to prove this, you don’t need to come out angry fighting or being aggressive, you just need to connect with what it is you want, what you expect and what you know you deserve; for yourself and for all women. You believe that you deserve to have your voice heard, you deserve to receive equal pay, your medical stories are no longer being hidden or ignored (see the menopausal revolution for proof of how this can work) all because you are speaking up – you are changemakers – changing your future and the future of all women to come.

IT’S TIME

So, please, no more wondering if any of this applies to you; if you are reading this asking where could you start to play your part then let me put the following questions to you.

What is it you want to see happen?
What is it you believe in but feel it is not being recognised?
What is it that matters to you now and for your future?
What injustice do you witness put do nothing about?
Who do you believe in and who do you see needs help?

Start small with something that feels achievable but important. Try to remember that none of this needs to be on a global or even national scale. Look around you and see what’s happening in front of you… it could be learning of your local council’s plans to remove some trees in your locality and you know that on so many levels this is wrong; it might begin with you observing how many animals in your local rescue need help and deciding you want to do something about it. It could be noting some very obvious abuses to the climate that are happening around you and wanting to play your part. It could be watching someone in your work place being treated unfairly and choosing to speak up for them. It could be you deciding to share your own personal life experiences so that others will feel less alone and offer them hope. (Disclaimer: The latter might be how I create change in my world!)

I invite you to consider all of those habits and activities that you see right in front of you every day but that you don’t imagine you are in a position to help. Ask yourself honestly, if this is true, or is this you simply avoiding judgement or failure? Can you see that if you create a ripple by doing something, anything, that it can translate into something quite impactful down the line?

CHANGE STARTS INSIDE YOU

Because of the work that I do as a Change and Transformation Coach, you won’t be surprised to hear that I believe that each and every one of us has the power to change. This potential is something that we will need to connect with if we are going to affect change in order to create an impact. But this piece might surprise you; I believe that all lasting change must begin inside of you.

If you are not prepared to go inward, to create space in order to get greater clarity on what it is you truly want and desire; if you try to skip the piece where you question and answer what matters most to you right now; if you don’t review how you are showing up in the world and in your own relationships as well as being honest about how others are showing up for you; and if you don’t strive to connect with something greater than yourself – then the change you make will be temporary, lack meaning and most likely not be what you even wanted for yourself in the first place.

When you look at those who appear to welcome change into their lives with ease, notice just how they do it and be prepared to witness so many of the actions listed above. When you commit internally to change, you make external change possible. It’s not about you doing things differently it’s about you being and thinking about things differently which will allow things to land in a way they haven’t before.

It’s time for you to step up, to acknowledge that you have a part to play in this work, to accept that you are here on earth at this time for a reason and while you don’t need to know just what that is, you do need to play your part. If you’re still unsure whether this is for you, or not, then let me share the very quote that convinced me that I needed to step up and it was this… ‘if you feel that you don’t fit into this world, it’s because you’re here to create a better one.’

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading change and transformation coach and author of Get Unstuck. Through her private practice, writings, programmes, workshops and podcast, Niamh has inspired, activated and helped thousands of people to make significant changes in their lives. She is an accredited Personal, Leadership and Executive Coach and the Lead Coach in the IMAGE Business Club. Follow her on Instagram @1niamhennisGet Unstuck is available for pre-order now and released on November 11.