Stop Staying Small

  • February 8 2018

How to avoid the asshole trap and become the visionary you were meant to be

This post is part of the series on Lessons Learned in Achieving Your Vision

We can learn a lot from Neville

Remember Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter? He went from shy and nerdy to avenging hero: demolishing a bridge full of death eaters, retrieving the sword of Godric Gryffindor and destroying the horcrux snake Nagini. But most importantly, he built Dumbledore’s Army.

True power, the kind that moves people, is about building relationships. I cannot stress this enough. When you share your personal story and inspire action in another person, you are building a relationship with them.

Philanthropy can be a hustle. In our current time, a lot of non-profits focus on scavenging dollars. But working toward social good is most effective when our desire to do good shines through, we recognize the value in others, and invite them to join our team.

The process is simple, but never easy

There is a formula, and here is how it works: You have a vision. Write it all down and get as clear as possible as to what that looks like. Here are some tips on holding the space for your vision.

You aspire to success, which is the realization of your vision. Your talents are the vehicle, your vision is the destination. Other people are your path.

It helps to stand behind an issue. When I was speaking in front of thousands of people about my experience as a gay veteran, I felt very exposed. But I could stand behind the broader movement for gay rights, and know that I would be helping young service members like myself gain acceptance and be judged on their merits.

Sharing your personal story is incredibly effective. It activates the empathy of your audience, and is inherently authentic. Being vulnerable enough to let your true self be seen will resonate with them because people care less about what you think and more about how you feel.

Cultivate a high emotional intelligence. This involves putting yourself in the shoes of others. Ask yourself, Who am I speaking to? Why should they help me? Sure, you have a compelling story and we all want more truth and justice in the world, but what are you offering them? Catharsis? Transformation? Meaning? An opportunity to make their lives better?

Once you figure out what motivates the people you interact with, you will become infinitely more effective.

This requires getting curious!

Relationship-building is a challenging, yet additive process

When you change someone from a passive observer to a fierce advocate, the real magic happens. Because your voice is amplified. The only thing people in power respond to is power. And power is having dozens, hundreds, thousands, and millions of people who support you. That’s all it is.

This process is a long haul, however. Congressman Rick Larsen represents the 2nd district in Washington state. When I was involved in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal effort, he was my representative and he sat on the powerful House Armed Services Committee. When I first contacted his office, he wouldn’t commit to taking a stand in support of repeal. I wanted him to become a cosponsor of the legislation that had recently been introduced into the House of Representatives.

What did I do? I knew I needed to become relentless. I organized letter writing campaigns to his office. I wrote letters to the editor of the local paper calling him out. I showed up to his town halls and campaign events and spoke up. I organized an in-district meeting with him and a retired Admiral, Colonel, and other activists involved in the movement. I had to get strategic.

And you know what? Within months I was on a first name basis with his staff. They offered me a job campaigning for Rick (I declined, wanting to focus on the issue and remain impartial). Within a year his office called me personally to tell me that he was signing on as a cosponsor of the repeal legislation.

He advocated for us in Congress. He was in a powerful position, and magnified our voices.

In 2011 Congress repealed the law, and I was invited to watch President Obama sign the repeal bill. I was milling around the floor and suddenly I saw Rick. He surprised me with a big hug and took a picture with me and Colonel Grethe Cammemeyer, who had helped me get Representative Larsen to “yes”.

We convinced him to fight with us and for us by sharing our stories and holding him accountable. The process brought us closer through shared purpose.

Avoid the asshole trap!

Unlike being driven entirely by a meaningful vision, the asshole is driven by ego. I’ve seen this happen in activism many times. While you still have the potential to realize success and promote your personal brand, so long as your ego is driving, it’s working against you.

It’s even possible to ultimately achieve your vision, but the path is littered with people you used and alienated along the way. This is to say nothing of the enemies you’ve made, who will stand against you and try and thwart your efforts.

Once you need help, doors will close. People who were attracted by your success, fame or money will abandon you once these run out. If they were only putting up with you to begin with, what do you have to offer them now?

Even in the world of social justice, I’ve seen the damage done by ego. I participated in one project where some members of the team created drama, oozed toxic attitudes, and exhibited contempt for others who were working toward the same goal.

Such behavior demeans your allies and compromises your mission. Tell your ego to take a hike.

Staying small

The recording in your head will try to convince you that you are not enough. Don’t listen. Do something. Every single time that voice speaks up, counter the negativity by taking action, any action. Sometimes an ego boost is necessary. Talk to one of your mentors, collaborators or fans. Sometimes you need self-care. Address your own needs or you will be useless in serving the needs of others

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We all need it, especially navigating the new and wondrous world of online activism.

Be fierce with your vision! You must develop resilience around the people who will try to discourage you or tear you down. Keep your allies, and those who nourish you, close.

Whatever you do, don’t give up! We really are counting on you to be big, be bold, and bring your vision to life. We will all be better for it.

Check out more Lessons Learned in Achieving Your Vision:

Holding the Space for your Vision

Talking to People

  1. Pingback: collaborations fue

  2. Pingback: ما هي افضل الكليات الخاصه في مصر

  3. Pingback: meritking

  4. Pingback: ASEA Brown Boveri

  5. Pingback: grandpashabet

  6. Pingback: Political science journals

  7. Pingback: madridbet

  8. Pingback: meritking

  9. Pingback: meritking

  10. Pingback: Alumni network

  11. Pingback: Community engagement

  12. Pingback: meritking

  13. Pingback: meritking

  14. Pingback:

  15. Pingback: grandpashabet

  16. Pingback:

  17. Pingback:

  18. Pingback:

  19. Pingback: meritking

  20. Pingback: - film online

  21. Pingback: - Movie Watch

  22. Pingback: meritking giriş

  23. Pingback: madridbet

  24. Pingback:

  25. Pingback:

  26. Pingback:

  27. Pingback: ipsychologos

  28. Pingback: porn

  29. Pingback: Äèçàéí ÷åëîâåêà

  30. Pingback: 2023

  31. Pingback:

  32. Pingback: vsovezdeisrazu

  33. Pingback:

  34. Pingback: batmanapollo psychologist

  35. Pingback: - psychologist

  36. Pingback: batmanapollo

  37. Pingback: kinokrad

  38. Pingback: 123movies

  39. Pingback: xnxx

  40. Pingback: 9xflix

  41. Pingback: x

  42. Pingback:

  43. Pingback: mangalib

  44. Pingback: madridbet

  45. Pingback: fuck google

  46. Pingback: okey oyna

  47. Pingback: fuvk google

  48. Pingback: sikiş

  49. Pingback: fuck google

  50. Pingback:

  51. Pingback:

  52. Pingback: meritking

  53. Pingback: meritking

  54. Pingback: madridbet

  55. Pingback:

  56. Pingback:

  57. Pingback: tqmFEB3B

  58. Pingback: klondayk2022

  59. Pingback:

  60. Pingback: uluro-ado

  61. Pingback: rusnewsweek

  62. Pingback: 24hours-news

  63. Pingback: icf

  64. Pingback: www

  65. Pingback: bep5w0Df

  66. Pingback: Grandpashabet

  67. Pingback:

  68. Pingback:

  69. Pingback:

  70. Pingback:

  71. Pingback:

  72. Pingback:

  73. Pingback:

  74. Pingback:

  75. Pingback: 1703

  76. Pingback:

  77. Pingback:

  78. Pingback: sitestats01

  79. Pingback:

  80. Pingback: grandpashabet

  81. Pingback: generic propecia buy online

  82. Pingback: propecia generic buy online

  83. Pingback: site 2023

  84. Pingback: brutv

  85. Pingback:

  86. Pingback:

  87. Pingback: meritking

  88. Pingback:

  89. Pingback: news ukraine

  90. Pingback:

  91. Pingback:

  92. Pingback:

  93. Pingback: zamazingo1

  94. Pingback:

  95. Pingback:

  96. Pingback:

  97. Pingback:

  98. Pingback: madridbet

  99. Pingback:

  100. Pingback:

  101. Pingback: 3DGofO7

  102. Pingback: 3SoTS32

  103. Pingback: 000-1

  104. Pingback:

  105. Pingback:

  106. Pingback:

  107. Pingback: video-2

  108. Pingback: 3qAIwwN

  109. Pingback:

  110. Pingback:

  111. Pingback: programma peredach na segodnya

  112. Pingback: film onlinee

  113. Pingback: lalochesia

  114. Pingback: meriking

  115. Pingback: psy 3CtwvjS

  116. Pingback: TwnE4zl6

  117. Pingback: Dim Drakona 2022

  118. Pingback: pornoizle}

  119. Pingback: Usik Dzhoshua 2 2022

  120. Pingback: A片

  121. Pingback: psikholog moskva

  122. Pingback: ìûøëåíèå

  123. Pingback: aOuSjapt

  124. Pingback: JGXldbkj

  125. Pingback: Dom drakona

  126. Pingback: sY5am

  127. Pingback:

  128. Pingback: rodnoe-kino-ru

  129. Pingback:

  130. Pingback: is there a generic cialis available?

  131. Pingback: smotret-polnyj-film-smotret-v-khoroshem-kachestve

  132. Pingback: liusia-8-seriiaonlain

  133. Pingback: cialis over counter at walmart

  134. Pingback: film

  135. Pingback: generic name for cialis

  136. Pingback: video

  137. Pingback:

  138. Pingback: web

  139. Pingback: mir dikogo zapada 4 sezon 4 seriya

  140. Pingback: stromectol 6 mg dosage

  141. Pingback: gidonline

  142. Pingback: movies

  143. Pingback: revatio

  144. Pingback: Ukraine-war

  145. Pingback: stats

  146. Pingback: viagra

  147. Pingback: site

  148. Pingback: stromectol 6mg tablets

  149. Pingback: The Latest Ukraine News

  150. Pingback: Ukraine news – live

  151. Pingback: Ukraine

  152. Pingback: War in Ukraine

  153. Pingback: bucha killings

  154. Pingback:

  155. Pingback:

  156. Pingback: stromectol for sale for humans

  157. Pingback: chelovek soznaniye mozg

  158. Pingback: psy

  159. Pingback:

  160. Pingback: ivermectin studies

  161. Pingback: stromectol prescription

  162. Pingback: Link

  163. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  164. Pingback:

  165. Pingback: 1platter

  166. Pingback:

  167. Pingback: Psikholog

  168. Pingback: buy liquid ivermectin

  169. Pingback:

  170. Pingback: hd-tor-2022

  171. Pingback: film-tor-2022

  172. Pingback: tor-lyubov-i-grom

  173. Pingback: 01211

  174. Pingback: 3NOZC44

  175. Pingback: 3Hk12Bl

  176. Pingback: chelovek-iz-90-h

  177. Pingback:

  178. Pingback: Øêàëà òîíîâ

  179. Pingback: SHKALA TONOV

  180. Pingback:

  181. Pingback:

  182. Pingback: D6tuzANh

  183. Pingback: qQ8KZZE6

  184. Pingback: DPTPtNqS

  185. Pingback: bahis siteleri

  186. Pingback: ivermectin near me

  187. Pingback: uels ukrain

  188. Pingback: psy online

  189. Pingback: slovar po psihoanalizu laplansh

  190. Pingback: moskva psiholog online

  191. Pingback: projectio

  192. Pingback: psy-

  193. Pingback: stromectol ivermectin buy

  194. Pingback: use of ivermectin

  195. Pingback: cialis online pharmacy

  196. Pingback: ivermectin cream cost

  197. Pingback: cialis otc

  198. Pingback: topical ivermectin cost

  199. Pingback: child porn

  200. Pingback: stromectol 3mg cost

  201. Pingback: buy liquid ivermectin

  202. Pingback: fda ivermectin

  203. Pingback: best price for cialis 20mg/day walmart

  204. Pingback: ivermectine vente libre

  205. Pingback: eurocasino

  206. Pingback: eurocasino

  207. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  208. Pingback: ivermectin generic

  209. Pingback: ivermectin 3mg dose

  210. Pingback: what is ivermectin used to treat

  211. Pingback: ivermectin 90 mg

  212. Pingback: luckyland slot

  213. Pingback: madridbet

  214. Pingback: ivermectin for dogs

  215. Pingback: tadalafil online india

  216. Pingback: ivermectin 3 mg

  217. Pingback: stromectol tab price

  218. Pingback: stromectol order online

  219. Pingback: eurocasino

  220. Pingback: eurocasino

  221. Pingback: ivermectin 3

  222. Pingback: tadalafil citrate

  223. Pingback: covid ivermectin

  224. Pingback: lasix pills for sale

  225. Pingback: website

  226. Pingback: meritking

  227. Pingback: meritking

  228. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  229. Pingback: ivermectin 6mg

  230. Pingback: stromectol where to buy

  231. Pingback: stromectol 3mg

  232. Pingback: order ivermectin 12mg

  233. Pingback: celebrex mi

  234. Pingback: buy ivermectin 3mg otc

  235. Pingback: ivermectin cost canada

  236. Pingback: stromectol online

  237. Pingback: injection augmentin

  238. Pingback: drug augmentin

  239. Pingback: cefdinir resistance

  240. Pingback: ivermectin use in humans

  241. Pingback: buy ivermectin for sale

  242. Pingback: generic form of cialis

  243. Pingback: ciprofloxacin treatment

  244. Pingback: buy tadalafil online

  245. Pingback: keflex useage

  246. Pingback: ivermectin 0.1 uk

  247. Pingback: stromectol covid 19

  248. Pingback: ivermectin 6mg online

  249. Pingback: mexico ivermectin

  250. Pingback: stromectol price in india

  251. Pingback: online ivermectin

  252. Pingback: online casino real money free

  253. Pingback: prescription cialis uk

  254. Pingback: stromectol dosage scabies

  255. Pingback: clindamycin mechanism

  256. Pingback: buy tadalafil online

  257. Pingback: rx pharmacy generic viagra

  258. Pingback: cialis goodrx

  259. Pingback: cialis pills for men

  260. Pingback: ivermectina oral

  261. Pingback: casino games online for money

  262. Pingback: ivermectin 50ml

  263. Pingback: ivermectin 500ml

  264. Pingback: borgata rewards

  265. Pingback: cialis coupon

  266. Pingback: cialis tadalafil tablets

  267. Pingback: trcasino

  268. Pingback: viagra uten resept

  269. Pingback: free online casino real money

  270. Pingback: cialis online pharmacy

  271. Pingback: buy generic viagra in india

  272. Pingback: side effects for prednisone

  273. Pingback: meritrroyalbet

  274. Pingback: purchasing ivermectin

  275. Pingback: child porn

  276. Pingback: what is cialis

  277. Pingback: cialis bula

  278. Pingback: 2reductions

  279. Pingback: 2respond

  280. Pingback: 2cracking

  281. Pingback: 1artery

  282. Pingback: 2constraints

  283. Pingback: how to get cialis prescription

  284. Pingback: molnupirivir

  285. Pingback: cost of cialis prescription

  286. Pingback: buying prednisone online

  287. Pingback: prednisone 20mg 4 days

  288. Pingback: where to buy cialis

  289. Pingback: online generic cialis canada

  290. Pingback: cialis goodrx

  291. Pingback: how to buy sildenafil pills

  292. Pingback: purchase sildenafil pills

  293. Pingback: history of ivermectin

  294. Pingback: cialis prescription

  295. Pingback: viagra or cialis

  296. Pingback: best tadalafil

  297. Pingback: sildenafil citrate tablets

  298. Pingback: tadalafil generic

  299. Pingback: best buy cialis online

  300. Pingback: generic cialis pills on line

  301. Pingback: tadalafil prix

  302. Pingback: stromectol 0 5 mg

  303. Pingback: where to order generic viagra

  304. Pingback: can i buy cialis in mexico

  305. Pingback: generic viagra without subscription

  306. Pingback: ivermectin prescription

  307. Pingback: cialis without a doctor prescription

  308. Pingback: generic for cialis

  309. Pingback: ivermectin 90 mg

  310. Pingback: provigil cephalon buy

  311. Pingback: provigil online europe

  312. Pingback: cheap cialis

  313. Pingback: canadian generic tadalafil online

  314. Pingback: cost of cialis without prescription

  315. Pingback: buy prednisone pills

  316. Pingback: cialis with dapoxetine

  317. Pingback: tadalafil cialis

  318. Pingback: stromectol price

  319. Pingback: ivermectin coronavirus

  320. Pingback: ivermectin 0.08%

  321. Pingback: buy ivermectin canada

  322. Pingback: defeat the mandate dc

  323. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  324. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  325. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  326. Pingback: flccc ivermectin

  327. Pingback: flccc ivermectin

  328. Pingback: tombala siteleri

  329. Pingback: tombala siteleri

  330. Pingback: tombala siteleri

  331. Pingback: cheap ventolin generic usa

  332. Pingback: trcasino

  333. Pingback: ivermectin nz

  334. Pingback: stromectol south africa

  335. Pingback: viagra sans ordonnance au quebec

  336. Pingback: generic viagra india

  337. Pingback: cialis tubs

  338. Pingback: generic ivermectin for humans

  339. Pingback: best albuterol

  340. Pingback: elexusbet

  341. Pingback: trcasino

  342. Pingback: eurocasino

  343. Pingback: buy ivermectin

  344. Pingback: madridbet

  345. Pingback: elexusbet

  346. Pingback: sildenafil 50 mg tablet buy online

  347. Pingback: eurocasino

  348. Pingback: viagra manufacturer

  349. Pingback: madribet

  350. Pingback: meritroyalbet

  351. Pingback: meritking

  352. Pingback: meritking

  353. Pingback: canadian pharmacy cialis 5mg

  354. Pingback: sildenafil citrate - 100 pills 100mg

  355. Pingback: viagra pills

  356. Pingback: live online casino for us players

  357. Pingback: minocycline 100 mg pills online

  358. Pingback: zithromax over the counter walgreens

  359. Pingback: ivermectin 6 mg online

  360. Pingback: can you buy sildenafil otc

  361. Pingback: generic tadalafil online 20mg buy

  362. Pingback: where to get male viagra over the counter

  363. Pingback: stromectol 12mg for sale online

  364. Pingback: over the counter hydroxychloroquine for sale

  365. Pingback: cialis prescription online canada

  366. Pingback: online doctors prescriptions for pain

  367. Pingback: over the counter sildenafil

  368. Pingback: original viagra

  369. Pingback: dosage for ivermectin

  370. Pingback: stromectol dosage for lice

  371. Pingback: what is clomiphene

  372. Pingback: stromectol msd

  373. Pingback: ivermectin price in bangladesh

  374. Pingback: buying ed pills online

  375. Pingback: ivermectin generic name

  376. Pingback: hydroxychloroquine dosage

  377. Pingback: where can i buy a viagra

  378. Pingback: ivermectin half life humans

  379. Pingback: ivermectin uses

  380. Pingback: all about stromectol

  381. Pingback: cuanto sale el viagra en la argentina

  382. Pingback: cialis en ligne

  383. Pingback: how to take cialis pills

  384. Pingback: deltasone 20mg near me

  385. Pingback: cialis sale philippines

  386. Pingback: ivermectin 12 mg 5 cc

  387. Pingback: stromectol 6 for sale

  388. Pingback: ivermectin 12 mg dosage

  389. Pingback: stromectol e coli

  390. Pingback: where is priligy available

  391. Pingback: pharmacy ivermectil

  392. Pingback: hydroxychloroquine stock market

  393. Pingback: hydroxychloroquine for sale over the counter

  394. Pingback: houston doctor hydroxychloroquine

  395. Pingback: hydroxychloroquine prescribing information

  396. Pingback: Woke Up!

Leave a Comment


Become a better citizen today! You’ll be the first to get tips, guides to activism, and collaborative features that connect you with passionate folks in your local area.


Making Change

Learn how to become an effective activist by Converting, Collaborating and…

Braving the Wilderness: Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil

The dangerous dismissal of truth in favor of emotional appeal…

Talking to People

Sharing your sacred vision with the world is necessary, but…

Holding the Space

Do you have a dream, and want to change the…