Make a Difference With an Activism Opportunity Perfect for You

Terri Lyon
3 min readMay 12, 2022


Because you care about your cause, you want to make a difference.

In the previous three steps of the Activism Path you

All your previous work on the five-step Activism Path pays off here in step four. You combine what you’ve learned about yourself to find the perfect activism opportunity.

An Activism Scenario

Monique helps her mother care for her brother, who has a diagnosis of depression. It is hard to meet his needs, but so rewarding when she helps them improve. Because of her experiences, she’s interested in assisting caregivers, but she doesn’t know precisely how.

So she picks one opportunity from a list and tries it. After a day spent trying to raise funds for an upcoming rally at the statehouse, she knows that this isn’t her cup of tea. It doesn’t fit her skills. The work isn’t motivating, and it doesn’t impact caregivers directly.

A Better Scenario

Monique knows herself well, but she let the number of possible opportunities overwhelm her. Instead of trying techniques to narrow her options, she simply picked one at random.

Monique works as a bookkeeper, and in her spare time she likes to sing and give friends creative manicures. These are specific gifts that she can match to her passion for helping caregivers.

She spends some time trying to combine her gifts with her passion. Her best skill is singing, so she ponders how she can use that to help caregivers. She jots down some ideas.

  • Have an open mike fundraising concert.
  • Make a playlist of relaxing songs for caregivers to use when times get challenging.
  • Singing lessons for caregivers.
  • Giving singing lessons to those with the diagnosis to allow caregivers time off.

Monique knows the idea of giving caregivers time off by providing singing lessons is perfect for her.

Tips for Choosing the Right Activism Opportunity

If you have completed the first three steps of the Activism Path, you are well on your way to finding the right activism opportunity to make a difference for your cause. And you can do that with activism you love.

With this work under your belt, you are

  • prepared to talk about how you can best contribute to an organization,
  • ready to match your personal motivation to your activism work,
  • and empowered to have a conversation about the perfect options for you and the organization.

My book, The What’s On Your Sign? Workbook has templates for

  • brainstorming activism options
  • ranking your activism opportunities to determine the best fit
  • talking with organizations and other activists to find out your perfect match.
  • negotiating what work you wish to do

For example, if you are skilled in teaching, you can ensure that you are using your talents to their fullest. Don’t get stuck making phone calls when you want to teach others about your cause and how they can make a difference.

One of my favorite techniques for generating ideas is using intersections. With your solid understanding of your talents, motivation, and cause, this brainstorming technique provides ways for you to make a difference.

Make a Difference

In step four of the Activism Path, you will find activism opportunities perfect for you. Match your best skills, personal motivation, and the techniques that excite you. And you’ll be ready to make a difference.

Want to quickly deepen your skills and knowledge in mental health activism? I’m excited to partner with Walden’s School of Lifelong Learning to offer a new micro-course called Making a Difference with Mental Health Activism.



Terri Lyon

The Activist For Activists. Author. Teacher. Psychologist. Animal Lover.