The Angry Changemaker

The problem isn’t in feeling anger, the problem is in being angry.

I talk to my coachees and students a lot about making sure our anger as changemakers isn’t running the show.

When some folks hear this, they unfortunately take that to mean they “shouldn’t” feel anger.

Well, I’m here to say, HELL NO to that!

Actually, anger is a very natural emotion to have when you’re a changemaker.

Think about it… You’re intimately aware of the injustices, suffering, and impending destruction in the world, yet the population at large seems completely apathetic or in denial and the institutions that need changing feel impenetrable.

It’s enough to make me fantasize about the day I’m old enough to get away with standing on a street corner and yelling at passersby about idling their car or wearing fur.

It’s important for you to understand that there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with feeling anger.

In fact, anger can be a valuable gauge to alert you to when your needs aren’t being met or something is just plain not alright.

Anger can also signal when boundaries need to be put into place or it can point to what needs healing.

Best of all… anger’s intense energy can be transformed into passion and momentum. 

The trouble doesn’t lie in feeling anger, it’s what you do with that anger that counts.

Why acting out on your anger can be dangerous

When we act out of unexamined anger, this knee-jerk reaction often ends up harming others or ourselves.

Anger can also be destructive when you let it define you. Being an angry person will likely drive away those you’re trying to influence and damage the mission you care so much about.

And as motivating as anger can feel, it eventually leads to alienation and burnout.

But then, holding it in can create a whole other world of probs

Some similarly disastrous scenarios also happen when you try to deny, push down, or smile the anger away…

  1. You start projecting those denied emotions onto the rest of the world (disastrous for the relationships in your life).
  2. The anger finally BLOWS one day (disastrous for public safety).
  3. Constantly shutting down that one emotion eventually results in a shutdown of all your emotions (disastrous to your soul).

The sweet spot with anger

The trick is to find safe spaces and ways to express and process that very natural anger on a regular basis. Tools like writing, intense movement, music, and vocal expression can help transform anger from something potentially harmful into expansive, open-hearted action.

You can learn several techniques for working constructively with anger and other intense emotions in video 3 of my FREE mini course Power Tools for Changemakers: Prevent Burnout & Become more Impactful, Joyful, & Resilient.

I’ll take you through techniques like the toxic fling, mind dump, cathartic movement techniques, and a release meditation. You can just sign-up quickly and get access to all 5 modules right away.

Wishing you, Dear One, the wisdom you can glean from anger and the peace of not being defined by it.

Hugs, Kimberl

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Hello Compassionate Go-Getter!

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I’m Kimberly and I’m a coach for changemakers. 

I help leaders, activists, healers, and mission-driven entrepreneurs who want to make a bigger difference in the world do the transformative inner work and build the high performance habits and strategies to make them unstoppable.

I’m also a passionate world citizen & a director with Animal Justice & Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank.

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