Why Fierce Kindness Matters and How We Change the World!

Confident Woman wearing blue sweater with crossed arms on blue background

In this article we look at why Fierce Kindness is so important if we want to make a difference in our world! We also look at how self-acceptance and kindness are relevant not only to our personal growth—but for making positive societal change. Journaling prompts are also included to explore these ideas more deeply!

As I get older, I’m becoming increasingly spiritual. Inner peace is an important goal for me, which brings with it a focus on non-judgement, self-acceptance and kindness. My religion these days, is kindness.

But what has become equally important is courage, determination and perseverance. Together, these form Fierce Kindness.

And it’s important because I see many things wrong with our world: the way we treat ourselves—and each other; how corporations and those in power behave; what’s happening to our planet and the natural world.

This is not the world I want to live in.

I will NOT live in this world.

What about you?

While I may be a very small cog in the larger scheme of things, I’m determined to do what I can.

From a young age when I saw people behaving badly, I wanted (needed) to understand why. I would ask myself “What would make someone do that?”. And then I would think about it until I came up with some possibilities. I might not know the real reason, but once I had a few ideas, I could relax.

As I got older, I sought answers to things like:

  • Why do some homeless people say they choose to live on the streets, when it’s clearly so cold, dangerous and difficult?
  • Why do politicians say one thing, and do another?
  • Why do big organizations make decisions that cause harm to our environment, their employees and even their customers?

All of this bothered me. And if there is one phrase from my childhood that I repeated over and over it was this:

“It doesn’t have to be this way”

Because it doesn’t.

I was called naive. Adults told me it was, “Just the way things are”, that “It can’t be changed” and, “It’s always been like this—we can’t change the system”.

But I disagree. Strongly.

Of course if people believe nothing can be changed, they won’t do anything—and there will be no change. So that bit’s true!

But at any point, any one of us can stop. We can observe/think/reflect. Our individual beliefs, actions and behaviours can influence—and change—things.

We have more power than we realise

And when we group ourselves together, the possibilities are endless!

We need resilience and hope and a spirit that can carry us through the doubt and fear. We need to believe that we can effect change if we want to live and love with our whole hearts. Brené Brown

But it’s easier to do nothing

We all see the way people limit, discriminate and harm the planet, ourselves, and each other. We know it’s going on—and it hurts. And because we don’t believe we can change things, we disconnect and try not to think about it too much.

We think we’ve managed to get away from our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, but really they’re still there niggling away at us.

The challenge, of course, is that when we stuff things down and try to ignore them, we’re denying our reality. And this denial means we don’t get to the heart of things. And this means we can’t soothe and take care of ourselves in healthy ways.

Instead, we distract ourselves. We spend endless hours scrolling through news and social media feeds, follow ‘influencers’ and binge-watch the latest television shows. It’s why we’re addicted to our phones and why people distract themselves with eating, exercising, complaining, buying more stuff, work—and many more less societally acceptable addictions and habits.

And of course, big business wants this. It’s quite clever really: distraction (and pleasure) is so much better than feeling powerlessness and emotional pain… Corporations makes money from us when we’re unhappy and looking for a quick fix—watching, clicking, buying…

But change IS possible…

The system we live in was created by humans. Which means it can be undone by humans—with enough support, political will, money, energy.

And Fierce Kindness can help. Being both Fierce and Kind is what is needed to make a difference, IF enough of us begin to change.

I’m not saying it’s easy.

Just that if we see a problem in our society or community, we all have power to make (at least some) difference or change.

And if we were ALL to start doing something. If we all begin to think bigger and bigger—and bigger. What could be possible then?

Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. Muhammad Ali

So where do we start?

We start with awareness: we need to know what bothers us and how we (truly) feel about things.

And this allows us to change our own responses and behaviour. To do something instead of ignoring, stuffing down our feelings and wishing things were different.

There are 3 easy ways to get started

Even whilst it may only be within your family, or amongst your friends or peers at work, each of us can:

  1. Become aware of our own challenges and prejudices. We can acknowledge—and then be gentle and forgiving with ourselves.
  2. Work to be kinder with ourselves—and others. Just doing this models how to be kind for others, which begins to make the world a better place.
  3. Be more courageous. We can speak up or take action to fix the things we see that are wrong.

These 3 things alone are a wonderful start in doing what we can to make our world a better place.

But here’s a surprising key to it all: first you need to love and accept you!

Some questions for you:

  • What enables us to be brave and act differently to the rest of the world? To stand up to a bully?
  • What enables us to make those difficult, moral or ethical choices?
  • And what gives us joy, happiness and inner peace?

The answer is surprising: loving and accepting ourselves—as we are. Not for who we wish to be, but who we are right now. You must connect with, and then be the amazing, awesome person that is YOU.

Because this gives us clarity—and unstoppable inner strength.

And you must stop judging yourself!

Judging ourselves makes us feel bad and wrong. Every time we judge ourselves, we’re maintaining neural pathways of self-criticism and non-acceptance.

So if you want to change the world, know that it starts right here with you: you must learn to love and accept yourself—no matter what!

Because this clarity and self-acceptance gives you access to your deepest and most authentic self. And when you’re connected to your authentic self, you won’t shy away from what you truly think and feel about things. You’ll know exactly what matters most to you. And you’ll know what’s right and wrong in our world with a searing clarity.

And everything else flows from there.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed that’s all who ever have. Margaret Mead

So where does Fierce Kindness fit in?

Consider that Kindness is simply love that can be applied no matter who—or what.

Remember that Fierce adds courage, strength, determination or perseverance—as needed.

So Fierce Kindness is about seeing the truth, what’s needed, and kindly and courageously doing what you can to make that happen—whether within yourself, your community, the planet or with the people around you.

Essentially, Fierce Kindness is a way of being that will change how you show up in the world. And as you take more action and step into courage and compassion as a way of being, as you learn to be kind to yourself and others, you make the world a better place. Plus you’re role modelling for everyone around you.

It really doesn’t have to be this way!

Pondering and Journaling Prompts Hand with Butterflies
  1. What matters most to you in life? Make a list of your top 10 priorities.
  2. Next create 4 columns on a piece of paper and make a list of all the things that bother you. What doesn’t have to be this way:
    1. In or about the world right now.
    2. In your community.
    3. At work (or your main occupation).
    4. In your family (or chosen family).
  3. Consider how you could be kinder to yourself.
    1. Start by making two lists:
      • What parts of you do you like and accept?
      • Which parts of you do you dislike or are working on accepting?
    2. Now write out how your life would be—how you would feel different, what you would do differently—if you just accepted everything about yourself.
      IMPORTANT: This isn’t saying you won’t try to improve yourself, just that you don’t judge yourself for the person you already are!
    3. Describe what it would take to fully accept yourself, to unconditionally love yourself as you are.
    4. Make a list of where being kinder to yourself would make you stronger, better, give you more energy or motivation or benefit those you love in your life.
  4. If you tapped into your inner strength and courage, what could you change in your world, community, workplace, family or your own life? Make a list.
  5. Finally, what ONE action will you take as a result of all this learning?

Unleash your inner strength and join the movement to help create a kinder, more compassionate world!

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

You are unique—and wonderful. You are strong and capable. You are lovable. And you are enough.

And if, like me, you don’t like what you see in the world around you, remember you can do something about it.

I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept. Angela Davis

It may be as small a thing as being kind to someone or yourself. It may mean speaking up or taking action. And it may mean doing something big.

But whatever it is, if you want the world to change, you must start with yourself. You must

  1. Learn to accept and be kind to yourself—so that you’re clear, strong and confident.
  2. Choose Fierce Kindness (courage and compassion) as a way of being in the world—so that you become part of the solution.

Unconditional self-acceptance fuels us, and Fierce Kindness emboldens and strengthens us, giving us the motivation, confidence and clarity to get out there and do something.

This is how you begin to make a difference…

…And eventually become someone who changes our world.

Change the world. Start with you!

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Image of Confident woman in blue sweater against blue background by Kraken Images

4 Comments

  1. Virginia

    This post is very meaningful and you offered spot on suggestions for thinking and doing. Already shared it on LinkedIn and will now forward to some friends. Thanks for putting into clear ‘nuggets’ some of my thoughts and concerns. Enjoy your vacation. You might like to gift yourself with them more often!

    Reply
    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Thank-you Virginia—on all counts. And yes, more vacations needed for sure. Covid and a needy puppy have made it challenging, but a break was sorely needed, and I don’t want it to go so long again!!! Fierce Kindness!!! Emma-Louise xxx

      Reply
    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Hi Daragh, so glad you found this helpful. I love to make things practical and doable! Warmly, Emma-Louise

      Reply

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