What to Do When You Feel Powerless

There’s a lot of change happening all around us, and it can be easy to sit back and feel powerless to change the situation. However, we are not powerless. We all have a voice. Everyone has a network and a sphere of influence with which they can join forces. It can feel like you’re powerless as a single individual. However, if we look around, we can see that is not the case. We usually think of the famous individuals throughout history who took a stand, wrote a piece of literature, made a speech, or contributed to a cause that led to greater awareness and meaningful changes in public opinion or legislature.

However, there are living, breathing, everyday people who are making a difference in real-time.

We can all learn from them. Here’s what you can do if you find yourself feeling powerless:

Transcend your environment. If you let events happening around you control your thinking, you will be pushed around by the winds of the world instead of powered by your own motor. You can decide how you will respond in times of change. Will you walk around depressed and angry, complaining to anyone who will listen? Or will you get involved? Gaining knowledge about what the problems are, who has the power to change them, and ways to get involved are more powerful than complaining. What breaks your heart the most? Sustainability and environmentalism? Marginalized individuals? Animal welfare? Learn how you can transcend your environment by focusing on the causes that matter to you.

Create positive outcomes. Take action to offset the negative forces around you. Get involved in your local community and find a way to contribute. Even if you are short on time, there are many ways to support a cause. It could be as simple as signing a petition on change.org, Tweeting key influencers, or writing letters to your congressional representatives.

If you have more time, you can volunteer for an organization that supports your cause. Or, you could offer your skillset and expertise free of charge to any individuals who are suffering. What are you good at, and how can you give that away? You can even decide to get involved in your local government. Positive outcomes achieved by individuals across the country make a big impact.

Generate small acts of kindness. No matter how much or how little time you have, everyone can combat negativity through small acts of kindness. While we hear this a lot, it’s true that real people can make change by practicing compassion and kindness. You can do this right from where you’re sitting -- in the office, at home with your children, at the grocery store, at the airport or the post office--wherever you are interacting with other human beings.

Being positive means not looking the other way. It means making direct eye contact with what is wrong and putting out your hand to help change the situation.

Spreading positivity doesn’t mean you’re ignoring what is wrong in the world. It means you are choosing to respond with a force that is more powerful than negativity--love. Choose to be a loving voice in a conversation that matters to you. Look for ways to merge your passions with the needs of society.

I would love to hear what you’re already doing or plan to do to transcend your environment and create positive outcomes. Comment below and share your story.