By Nicole Tinkham
How many times have you sat back and kept your mouth shut even if you didn’t believe in what was being said/done? We don’t blame you because it’s so much easier to keep your own ideas to yourself. You don’t risk getting put down, feeling judged, or becoming an outcast. But what if that one idea you have can change everything for the better? You shouldn’t keep that to yourself! Here’s why you need to start standing up for what you believe in and how to do it.
Let’s start with the why.
1. It builds your respect.
This goes two ways. Sticking up for what you believe in builds your self- respect because you’re following through with your values. Going against what you believe in just because it’s more convenient is less than admirable. Standing your ground also gains respect from others, even if they view things differently than you. Just having the guts to stand up for yourself shows what kind of person you are. You aren’t a pushover. You are strong and independent.
2. You will gain confidence.
At first, standing up for your beliefs isn’t the easiest task. You may be doubting yourself, you may be hesitant, and your words might not come out just right (like the perfectly prepared speech you have in your head). But the more you do it, the better you’ll get and the more confidence you’ll gain. You’ll be more willing to step out of your comfort zone in uncomfortable situations.
3. It helps you discover who you are.
When you just go along with what others say, you’re letting them take control over a piece of your life. You’re allowing them to dictate how you should do or say something, even how you should think. This may sound drastic but every little thing that you sit back on impacts your life. By standing up for what you believe in, you’re expressing who you are and what you want out of life. Even if your ideas don’t change a thing, you are still putting your real, unique self out there. The more you do it, the more YOU will come out.
Now let’s talk about how you can implement these things in your life.
1. Figure out what you actually believe in.
Before you stand up for what you believe in, you have to know what it is that you believe in! It sounds simple enough but when we sit back and let others take over, we sometimes forget or lose sight of who we really are. When you have a quiet moment to yourself, think about the following questions.
• What is important to me?
• What am I passionate about?
• What motivates me?
• What are my core values?
2. Let go of your fears about what people think of you.
This is a tough one. When standing up for yourself, you have got to let go of your fears of what people think about you. Whatever you’re thinking is often way worse in your head. It always is. Remember that people are more concerned with things going on their own life than to sit there and judge yours. As we mentioned before, it takes practice but with time you will get better at it and you’ll feel better about doing it.
3. Don’t doubt yourself.
Sometimes when you stand up for yourself, there will be people who try to change your mind or put you down. Always keep your beliefs in mind. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to hear others out and listen to their point of view. But that doesn’t mean you have to change what you believe in.
4. Keep doing it.
There are so many ways in which you can stand up for what you believe in so don’t stop after one thing. Voice your opinion (in a positive way) when the timing feels right and you’ll get better every time you do it. When we mention to be positive, we mean don’t speak your opinion just to put someone else down. Hear them out and let them know your ideas as well.
We know that staying in your cozy little shell doing your own thing is comfortable but you have the power to change things for the better when you allow yourself to break out of your comfort zone and stand up for what you believe in. You’ll build respect for yourself, gain confidence, and discover who you really are. It may not be easy at first but it’s really quite simple to do. Start by finding out what your beliefs are, let go of your fears, quit doubting yourself, and keep practicing. You can do this!