In 1913 Mahatma Gandhi authored a passage for an Indian journal from which we get the famous quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” For ambitious, hard-working women like us, this is not just a saying, it’s a way of life. As we succeed and make our mark, it’s essential to remember that change starts within us. 

Let’s explore practical strategies that will empower us to become a catalyst for change.

Recognize Our Power

First and foremost, understand we are powerful. Every decision we make, every interaction we have, carries weight. Recognize and own it. We need to step up and take responsibility not only for our own growth but also for the change we can bring in our surroundings.

I know what you’re thinking, “I cannot be responsible for one more thing!” I totally get that. What I’m talking about is being intentional about bringing change in strategic ways.

Action Tip: Regularly take stock of our achievements, however small they might seem. List them, talk about them, and let them fuel our future endeavors. It’s easy to lose sight of how powerful we are. Reminding ourselves is a good first step to being the change.

Be Our Authentic Self

For change to be meaningful, it must be genuine. Authenticity starts with us being true to our values and showing up as our real selves. Our unique perspective is an asset, not a liability.

Action Tip: Set aside time each week for self-reflection. Identify the values most important to us and assess if our actions aligns with these values. Much of the time when we feel angst it is because our values are not being honored. Figuring this out is a huge step toward being the change.

Build a Support Network

No woman is an island. We need to cultivate relationships with mentors, sponsors, and peers who support and uplift us. Our network can provide advice, open doors to opportunities, and advocate for us when necessary.

Action Tip: Identify at least one mentor and set regular check-ins with them. Additionally, engage in networking groups specifically for women. Being inspired by others brings much needed energy and motivation. This can fuel us being the change.

Communicate with Confidence

Our ideas are valuable, but they can only bring change if they are heard. Practice communicating assertively and clearly. Prepare, practice, and then speak up in meetings, during conversations with higher-ups, and across teams. The number one thing my clients say is they gained massive confidence through our coaching sessions. Hire a coach, if you need some help with this.

Action Tip: Before an important meeting or conversation, write down your main points and practice them out loud. This prep work can do wonders for confidence and clarity. Confidence and clarity sets us up for being the change.

Advocate for Others

As we rise, commit to lifting others. We need to use our position to advocate for female colleagues and those whose voices are less heard.

Action Tip: Offer to mentor a less experienced colleague or recommend them for opportunities when possible. This is part of bringing the change.

Challenge the Status Quo

If something feels wrong, or we see room for improvement, speak up. Ask questions, propose alternatives, and don’t be afraid to be the person who challenges “the way things have always been done.” After all as Jim Rohn reminds us, “if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

Action Tip: Start small. Identify one process or policy at your workplace that you believe could be improved and propose a thoughtful alternative. What a great way to be the change.

Take Care of Your Wellbeing

Change is hard work, and it requires us to be at your best. This is impossible if we are burnt out or constantly stressed. Making our health – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – a priority is an absolute necessity.

Action Tip: Schedule regular self-care time weekly, whether that’s a workout, a hobby, or simply time to relax and read a book. We can only be the change when we are operating from a full cup.

Change is more than just a buzzword—it’s an action, and often, a challenge. We are already poised to be a powerful force for change. Remember every step, no matter how small, brings us closer to making a significant, positive impact.

Be the change. Lead the change. Inspire the change.