Change Starts from Within

Chris Cade

The Call Beyond
15 Jan 2020

Across all eras, cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions, the greatest sages and leaders have all agreed on one Universal principle: Change starts from within. There are many reasons for this, and we’ll explore several.

The least of these is that we cannot control others. We can only control ourselves. When we try to control others, we are pushing against the current of life. We are trying to mold the world into how we feel it should ideally be. Yet with 8 billion people on the planet, how can any of us presume to individually know what is best for another person? We can’t. No more than we can expect others to know what is best for us. This is one reason why so many people who try to “change the world” end up frustrated or angry.

Sure, some of them make a difference. Some make a huge difference. Those who make the biggest difference are coming from a solid foundation within themselves. Generally, they aren’t fighting out with anger towards an unjust world. They aren’t trying to conquer the world. In a way, they’re trying to conquer themselves and the world is changed as a consequence of who they become in that process.

That leads into another challenge we often face. Many people who want to change the world do so out of a sense of lack. There’s a part of them that feels deficient or lacking and they don’t want to feel that experience. Instead, they subconsciously hope that if they can get everybody else in the world to change and be like them, then they won’t have to feel their own deficiencies. The quiet hope is that by projecting all of their attention and energy outwards towards others, they won’t have any energy to focus attention inwardly at their feelings of shame, inadequacy, futility, or helplessness. Nobody wants to feel those difficult and sometimes painful emotions, yet they miss the hypocrisy inherent when they try to get others to change those experiences when they are unwilling to do it for themselves.

When thinking about emerging victorious in life, it’s also important to understand the nature of change... Change is rarely revolutionary. The “large leaps” in consciousness are extremely rare. More often than not, they are preceded by many small steps. Hundreds. Thousands. Maybe millions. All small steps leading towards a particular outcome. Those small steps start from within. When we try to only change the outer world, we’re skipping those small steps. We’re trying to get other people to “do the work” for us.

The thing to understand is this: When we reach a roadblock or challenge, something that “knocks us back,” it will knock us back to our highest and strongest foundation that we’ve developed. We can either be a slave to this universal law, or we can leverage it to our advantage.

If you are going for the “big jump,” you are creating a big space in which you can be knocked back. If you’re trying to change the world without changing yourself first, then the result of getting knocked back can actually throw you off course completely.

If your inner foundation isn’t solid, you might even be unable to continue forward. This is because there was no foundation to fall back on. No grounding. You just have a giant canyon between where you are and the last solid step you took. On the other hand, If you’ve taken small incremental steps, and specifically created an inner foundation, then challenges don’t have as far to knock you back. You get metaphorically knocked back by a few feet instead of several miles. At worst, you might have to step back over a crack or large hole, though fortunately not a canyon. Each small inner step creates that solid foundation from which you can launch into the next small step. Most people believe that the biggest changes happen because of what you do. This is one of the biggest limiting beliefs that cause us to act out in the world when we want things to be changed.

This is where people often start, and it’s...Backwards. While it’s true we usually need to take action to impact others, the biggest changes happen in the world because of who you are. They happen because of the Presence you bring to the world. People can sense your energy, intention, and internal state. This energy you put out significantly affects how people will respond to you. If you really get this, if you live it, then it’s possible to inspire change in the world without doing anything other than being yourself. (That’s not to say action doesn’t matter. It does. It’s just inherently limited.) For example, when you are angry and forceful, when you are frustrated and trying to force the world to change, people can feel that. If not consciously, deep down they know it. This activates their inner defence mechanisms. They become defensive because anger and hostility are present. They want to avoid the unconscious threat they are perceiving, and so they will actually create resistance against whatever changes you’re trying to get them to make. This makes it very difficult to change the world.

On the other hand, if you’ve done the inner work to create a space of peace, calm, and compassion within yourself, people also sense that. They understand that when you make recommendations or seek to change the world, you’re coming from a place of compassion and positive intentions. They can sense that what you want is for the best of everybody, including others, and including them specifically. This helps people open up and be receptive to the changes you want to bring forth in the world because they feel safe.

To put it in a different perspective, when change is focused purely on the outside world, most often that’s coming from a place of selfishness. Selfishness is based on feelings of lack, fear, and insecurity. On the other hand, when you come from a place of inner stillness and connection, when you change within yourself the aspects of the world you don’t like, you’re coming from a place of selflessness, confidence, and safety. You’re sending a message to the world that there is enough and you’re going to step into life courageously. From that place, you can be an example for others. You can be a literal model that they learn from and seek to become like.

And, above all else, you’re putting out into the world the energy you want to receive back: Love, support, compassion, and wishes for us all to co-create a better world. Not just for yourself, but for everyone. And when everybody is on board with change, it makes the successes that much sweeter... :)

Be the miracle you want to see in the world.

Received in an e-mail dated 2 December 2019. Reproduced by permission.
Chris reaches hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in over 150 countries.
Chris Cade can be reached on