30 minutes

Goal or purpose:

  • To help people become aware of their fear boundaries and to think of ways of being supported over them.
  • To enable individuals and groups to identify their strengths, capacities and potential in order to be more effective. This activity is good for personal and group empowerment and for campaign planning.


Prepare a 'could do if....' table on flip chart paper, with four columns; 'Activity', 'Could do easily', 'Could never do', 'Could do if...'. You will also need a marker pen for each person.

How it's done/facilitator's notes:

Ask the group to call out different actions people take for social change, and write them as a brainstorm on a piece of flipchart paper. Let the group know you're looking for a wide range – you may need to invite more/less radical examples, or suggest some yourself to ensure there are actions the group might find extreme or challenging. When you have 20 to 30 actions, work with the group to list 15 to 20 of them in the table, making sure there is a range from relatively easy to very challenging.

Invite people to consider their responses to each action and work in pairs to share these with their partner, completing these sentences: 'I could do that' or 'I couldn't do that' or 'I could do that if...'. Encourage participants to work through the list quickly – it's their immediate responses that are important.

Now invite everyone to come to the chart and put a dot in the column appropriate to them. Use marker pens to ensure the dots are large enough to be seen from the back of the room.

When everyone has worked through the list, bring the group together and ask:

  • What do you notice about the list?
  • Where are there clusters of dots? What does that say about the group?
  • Where are there no dots or only one or two? What does that say to you? Is there capacity within the group to do an action like this?
  • Let's hear about some of the 'ifs'. What have you said that would enable you to do some of these actions?