A Testimonial For Creating Change

By Richard A. Yancy

Change can be defined in many ways, and the word change is often used in light of positive transformation. However, the word change does not only identify a positive outcome, change can have a negative or positive impact on any situation. In every aspect of life we are constantly experiencing change, and the only way not to feel the effects of change is to be frozen in time and exist only in that moment. Nevertheless, we do not have the power to stop time, but we do have the power to provoke meaningful change. Whether it is intentional change or not, there will be change, and we are all impacted by the good or bad effects it has on our lives.

I attended the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference for Equality, Creating Change held in Atlanta Jan. 23-27. The conference inspired a deep passion for growth through intentional living, by using proven tools and steps to create positive and lasting results. The conference hosted many affirming and nurturing workshops, centered on having pride in your sexual identity, your race and your religious beliefs. The Creating Change conference fostered healthy conversation in a free from judgment space, to nurture the environment of self-expression; that opened the door for birthing new inspirations. There were many messages of affirmation along the way that rekindled excitement for learning and knowledge, giving me the tools to identify my strengths and helping me to identify and alter the things that could be holding me back from success.

There was a core theme in the Creating Change conference that held everything together: it was the revelation of self-responsibility for creating change. When we are intentional about empowering ourselves, change comes in the form of meaningful relationships, a healthy life, an affirming organization, or a loving community. We all have the responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest accountability for our actions. This may sound strange to some, but we are also accountable for not taking actions as well. We all have a perspective on things that are holding us back from greatness. Most people spend their time hiding from change and fighting to stay in their comfort-zone, but a comfort-zone is another word for fear or the willingness to sustain mediocrity. Regardless of the excuses you have given yourself to remain in your comfort-zone, you are still cheating change; by changing every good opportunity for personal growth into a default failure. That's right, how many of your potential successes have you turned into failures? Here is a question for you: are you viewing and assessing every opportunity in your every daily life with the power to create positive change? If the answer is yes, you should have successes that are measurable. If the answer is maybe, it's more than likely you have past opportunities for cheating change.

To create change in yourself, you have to be intentional about growth. Start by creating a positive image of yourself; and don't be hesitant about hyping that image up to the magnificent role of king or queen, or even the master of the universe. But reminder, a good character reflects a loving nature, kindness, gentleness and fairness among many more great attributes. Inside each of us is an identity that we continually affirm to ourselves through our thoughts.

And here is the truth; we have control over molding our character; and to create a better you there needs to be positive affirmations of yourself on a daily basis. It is time to empower your sexual identity, your family life, the community you live in, and the organizations you work for, because if not, you will never reach your full potential. Growth will come after you first acknowledge your accountability to create opportunities and start creating change.

Richard A. Yancy is the executive assistant at KICK The Agency for LGBT African Americans.

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