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How Do We Make Change Happen?

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

If you haven’t seen the Story of Change video I invite you to check it out.  While it breaks down what needs to happen in order for us to impact the earth – namely action – it looks at it from different levels…personal, national, global…

There are so many things that I liked about the message that was portrayed starting with “be the change” is the place to begin but not the place to stop.  Think about it, have you ever tried to model change for others hoping they would catch on?  How did that work for you?  When I had tried it I was frustrated and not effective.  By examining the movements of Gandhi, anti-apartheid, US civil rights, and environmental victories of the 1970s, Annie Leonard noticed that change involves three things:

1.     Sharing big ideas on how things can be better

2.     Sharing the work with others

3.     Taking action

If you’re focused on the change you need or want to see in your life right now coaching works the same way.  First you’re partnering with a professional to share your big idea on how your life, your career, or even your relationships can be better.  While you’re doing the work the coach is there to support you and hold you accountable to the agenda for change you create.  The coach is also there to ask you questions designed to deepen your awareness of where you are and where you’re going.  The bottom line with coaching, as opposed to counseling, is that you’re thinking about, planning, or engaged in action that will move your life forward.

In an ecopsychology forum the Story of Change was followed up by a quote from an unknown monk in 1100AD that noted that he began his life’s journey wanting to change the world and ultimately realized, as an old man, that he could have achieved his goal by starting with himself, which would have impact his family, which would have influence his town, which could have been a model for the nation, that could then have led to changing the world.   This echoes the message of the Epilogue in The Fifth Agreement where don Miguel Ruiz and don Jose Ruiz with Janet Mills asks you to help them change the world.

What drew me to the study of ecopsychology in 2009 was the recognition that we as humans are not alone.  We are part of an interrelated whole where the health of one part affects the health of the other.  Change happens the same way.  Just as others have noted how change in yourself and lead to change in the world, the Story of Stuff organization offers an interesting survey where you can both see that what you feel called to do matters and can affect change, but you can also take the quiz to find out what kind of changemaker you are whether that means being an:

ResisterNetworker NurturerInvestigator

  • Investigator
  • Communicator
  • Builder
  • Resister
  • Nurturer
  • Networker

Whether you take the short survey or not, what kind of changemaker are you?  When and how did you first come to this realization?


The Fifth Agreement

The Story of Change

Which Changemaker Personality Are You?


Photo by Oxana Melis on Unsplash

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