I was talking to a friend last week who had been invited to a happy hour with a bunch of fabulous women - the only problem was, she didn't know any of them (and I couldn't make it).
She said she was thinking of skipping - her social anxiety was getting the best of her and it was just easier to stay in.
I told her this: "You should go. If you're too scared to attend a happy hour filled with nice women, there's going to be a lot of other scarier things coming your way. Think of your attending as a small act of defiance in a way - doing something that scares you or takes you out of your comfort zone. It's preparation for all the other stuff we'll need to do."
She went. She had a good time. She did something that was scary to her and it turned out it wasn't that scary or hard. And she felt stronger afterwards, knowing she could do something like that again.
There's not really a huge lesson to be learned here, other than this: if you're too scared to pick up the phone to call your senator because you've never done something like that before, it's more important than ever that you take a deep breath and do that now. If you want to go to a protest but you've never been to a protest because it's overwhelming and you're not sure what to do, that means you need to go. If you've never told that family member how their hurtful words about your politics cut you, say it out loud to them today.
Not one of us can do one single thing that will affect a lot of stuff, but a ton of small actions and small acts of defiance and small acts of courage - even if they don't seem like on the face of things that they matter - they add up.
Do the small things that scare you now, so you can be braver to do other things that matter tomorrow.