The three words that motivate me more than anything else are: “Can’t, never, and won’t.” If I hear those words come out of the mouth of someone in my life, you better believe you’ll see me find a way. That trait can be frustrating to some and admirable to others. Either way, it’s who I am and it has given me the fight to overcome anything.
Changing the culture is not for the faint of heart. It isn’t something that happens by accident and it goes against the grain by requiring grit, authenticity, and a solid community to be successful. Often times, the highly motivated have this overwhelming desire to get their hands dirty. To grab a megaphone and do whatever it takes to be heard. For those of us who are also creative and motivated, it’s almost impossible to shake a vision once we have locked in. We become impatient and quickly blaze a passionate trail that might receive a response at first, but it is completely unsustainable unless we are truly stable. The movement we believe we are pioneering in our community is actually just a pathway to burnout and personal destruction unless we truly know ourselves.
The one thing you must know in order to change the culture is yourself. That may sound boring or cliche, but what people are looking for is not a bomb mission statement, they are looking for authenticity. We live in a world filled with facades and no vulnerability. To change the culture, you must captivate the heart of the culture you are speaking to, that means you must dig deep and connect with who you really are. Granted, we are always growing, but you will never really develop your belief system and love yourself if you wander about to whatever interests you with no reason why. That takes time, slowing down, being intentional, and having intimate relationships with others. Scary, right? But embracing who we are also free’s our relationships, as well as our work, from the need for validation.
“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” Erik Erikson
The reason why it is so important to know, believe, and love yourself is that those are the things you fall back on when life gets hard; when the unexpected happens and things don’t work out. Not having a solid foundation as a person is like building your house on a sink hole. One day, it will all come caving in. Looking within can be ugly, but so is dealing with a collapsed home. I would much rather deal with myself privately than see the fruit of my dysfunction displayed for all the world to see.
In a world filled with ideals and roles, it can be hard to sift out what is really you. The best advice I can give is to explore. Find what makes you feel the most alive and you. The things that make you smile and so excited you can’t hold it in. This might mean you do things you wouldn’t normally do. They can be fun or challenging things but think of it almost as dating yourself! Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Maybe even consider taking some assessments like a Strengths Finder, Meyers-Briggs, or DISC. Then meet with a life coach to talk about your results and pull out the gold in you.
You’ll never know if you have what it takes to change the culture if you don’t even know who you are. No one can change the culture like you.
Lexie is a graduate and guest trainer of Elevate. She received a BA in Psychology from Lee University and currently resides in Nashville, TN as an active member of The Belonging Co. Church and Marketing Coordinator at Dave Ramsey Solutions.