Someone's said that there's a novel inside every human. I believe there's also an activist within all of us. You may not know it yet, but one day your world may be shaken and your passion awakened to the extent that you want to take action to protect something you believe in.
This happened to me very recently when the Finnish chemical agency gave a prospecting permit to a mining research company on my beloved Lake Saimaa in the area where my family comes from and where I spend all my summers. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but a prospecting permit is basically the first step a firm must take if it is thinking of opening a mine.
I got shaken to the core. My inner Viking was awakened, and she was fierce! Over my dead body would there be a mine on Lake Saimaa, one of the purest fresh water systems in the world.
I sprung into immediate action. I called other land owners, I hired an environmental lawyer, I started drafting a press release, I opened a Facebook group. Within days my campaign was up. I had set up a professional communications team with other people sharing my passion, I had volunteers running our social media accounts and my 'Saimaa Ilman Kaivoksia' Facebook group was booming. Within days we reached 10,000 members and now, six weeks later the group is at 20,000 members.
I had clearly hit a nerve and people wanted to listen. We landed massive articles in all national and regional newspapers, we were in the main TV news, and I got an audience to see the minister of agriculture. My campaign was flying!
Our aim is to ensure changes to the Finnish mining law so that fresh water systems and protected nature reserves would become no-go areas for mining companies in the future.
I want to share with you my lessons about activism and why you should not wait for something drastic to happen before you awaken your inner activist.
Not everyone has to take such an active role and take to the streets, but when you connect with something you are passionate about you feel instantly alive. You can see that your work matters and that you can change things. The Universe conspires with you to make things happen faster than you ever thought possible and people seem to appear out of nowhere to help you. You feel powerful beyond measure and find freedom as you no longer conform to staying silent.
How to awaken your inner activist
What is the world you believe in?
Last week we wrote about 'how to create a world you believe in'. Too often we feel helpless in the face of the challenges of the world, but actually we have much more power than we think and we can actively change things. Make a statement, write down the kind of world you would like to be part of. Then find ways to start taking steps to make it happen.
We can all make a difference when we are aware of the things going around us. Are we buying our clothes and food from responsible suppliers? Are we acting with kindness towards others? Are we standing up for inequalities in our own communities and circles?
stick to your values
The fastest way to start living your purpose is to get clear on your values, and then start showing up to them. This is what we do regularly at DrivenWoman as we believe that you can only change things if you are aware of what you want and what matters to you the most. Too many people tend to think that purpose is something out there and it's easier to keep chasing a dream than to start sticking to your values.
When we start standing behind what we believe in we inevitably have to have difficult conversations or say no to other people's agendas and that can be difficult. But if we are serious about finding purpose in our lives then it's time to awaken your inner activist and getting clear on your values.
let go of shame
Especially women are afraid of other people's reactions to the things we say or do. This is no wonder as for hundreds of years we have had to conform to other people's expectations in order to survive and stay alive. Many feel ashamed to show up and share their true ideas and values.
When you awaken your inner activist you will have to let go of shame. Not everyone will like what you do and what you say. You must remember that your purpose is non-negotiable and the world needs your contribution. When I started my campaign many well-meaning middle aged men went into great lengths trying to 'stop me from doing anything stupid'. A habit from an old era where men felt responsible for keeping women 'safe'.
have an opinion
You don't have to start a movement or chain yourself into a tree, awaken your inner activist by having an opinion. Your inner activist will greatly enjoy a simple but opinionated conversation with someone. Get to know your activist by sharing your opinion publicly.
join like minded people
The fear of having your values and opinions exposed is greatly reduced when you join like-minded people. DrivenWoman is a social platform where everyone is on a road to awakening their inner activist on some level. Even if you are starting your own company you can use some of that inner fire power to super charge your journey to success. And when you surround yourself with women who'll believe in you and support you it's much easier to gain the self confidence and start showing up to your 'bigger life'.
By Miisa Mink
DrivenWoman is a social platform connecting women who want to achieve their goals and dreams. Thousands of women around the world have joined our program and are achieving their life goals supported by one another. Join our FREE community the Doers Tribe.