10 Steps to Empower You to Stand Up for Your Beliefs!
“Be cognizant of the power that you alone possess and become influential in your own right by voicing your conviction.”
– Trey Boyer
This is a very interesting time in our society as there is a social undertone of division that criticizes those who stand up for their beliefs and convictions. However, you are most powerful when you do not seek or need approval for what you believe! There are 10 steps that you can take to empower yourself and give yourself a crystal-clear road map to follow in standing up your beliefs!
KNOW WHAT YOU STAND FOR!
This is so important because if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. One factor that history will teach you is that given time, history will always repeat itself. When you study the annals of civilizations before us, even dating back to Rome, you will find that societies most often self-destruct. What do you think of when I state “The land of the free, the home of the brave where there is abundant opportunity, freedom of speech, limited government, and a democratic society that is the leader of the free world”. Of course, I am describing the United States, but just pause for a moment and compare how we are living today compared to just a few decades ago. We as a nation have become the most obese country in the world, our national debt is at historic levels, social media platforms are censoring so called free speech, and we have started to pay other countries to remove our trash for us because of our over-indulgence. These are just a few of the societal ideals in which your belief systems can be challenged and you have the opportunity to speak up.
Let me share an absolutely brilliant story of a young woman who has definitely chosen to not simply be an observer, but she has instead chosen to become an advocate. Greta Thunberg is from Sweden and though only 19 years of age, her voice has been heard throughout the world for years now as an environmental activist for climate change mitigation. Her activism began at the age 15 when she started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading School Strike for Climate. She gained notice for her youth and straightforward speaking both in public and to political leaders in assemblies where she openly criticized world leaders for their failure to take what she considered sufficient action to address the climate crisis. As a result, students have taken to her message and are holding protests around the globe to influence world leaders to begin taking strong and swift action before it is too late. Greta knows what she stands for and has become a part of the narrative to bring change.
THE POWER OF ONE!
When you begin to peel back the layers of how any movement, social reform, or different way of thinking is first born, often it is through a singular voice seeking to spark change. It is commonplace to believe that your singular voice is irrelevant, and you could never make a difference anyway. After all, what could you possibly do or say that could have an impact in other’s lives and make a difference in society at large? A better question is, “If not you then who?”. Take a moment and picture in your mind a tiny pebble being cast out into a calm body of water. The pebble lands on the water and a ripple effect occurs that disperses the water all around it. A very similar effect occurs when you speak out and make your opinion known. It causes others to take notice and causes a disruption of sorts that demands that they take notice. This is the power of one and you must never underestimate the influence that you alone possess. That is pretty weighty, but the responsibility that you must accept is in equal proportion to that which you have been given. You may be asking yourself, “What you have been given?” You have been given a platform in this world that is unique only to you towards certain convictions that need to be made known, you have been given a voice for others to hear, and you have a message inside of you that can give others their voice and the confidence to speak out.
BECOME INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR OWN RIGHT BY EXPRESSING YOUR CONVICTIONS!
Consider that every time you choose to remain silent for your convictions, you have in essence given up part of yourself and for what? Fear of criticism, fear of being rejected, fear of having others jeer you, or perhaps it is simply getting out of your comfort zone. Know for certain that most often the only regrets you will have in life are the times that you were given the opportunity to do something meaningful and you chose instead to sit it out and/or stay silent. Therefore, become absolutely determined that you will not allow a moment of weakness to define you, but instead choose to garner all of your strength and step up. The sheer volume of influence that you possess can be transcendent and can have such a far-reaching effect that it cannot even be measured. So, instead of worrying about all that could go wrong, get excited about all that could go right. In the process, with that mentality you will win over hearts and minds, advocates and opposition, and naysayers and fans alike.
REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE TO ANSWER FOR YOURSELF!
Every time you say no to something that it is not worthy of your beliefs you are in fact saying yes to something that is. Let me give you an illustration (Which is also a personal example of standing up for my beliefs!) You are at a sporting event and the national anthem begins to play. You suddenly notice that there are throngs of people around you who have remained seated. Now here is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. You can either choose to fit in and say yes to this type of behavior and choose to remain seated, or you can say no and stand proudly for the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for this country and show respect for your nation.
This is just one illustration, and I could give you countless others, but the point is that every time you say no to something, and you stand up for what you believe, you are going to be able to say yes to something that aligns perfectly with your beliefs. Now that is what is most significant in that you understand at the end of each day, you must answer to yourself.
DO NOT EASILY BE SWAYED!
If there is one factor in living a successful life, know for certain that you are the ultimate decision maker in your life. You will never be able to please all the people all of the time and that should never even be an option on the table. So, block out the noise and simply be accountable to yourself. In doing so, you will take an immense amount of pressure off yourself, you will be healthier, you will rest better, and ultimately you will be happy. Do not fall into the trap of believing that your happiness is tied to pleasing others because ultimately you must please yourself. You are the standard bearer in your life and living up to your standards is the pinnacle of achievement. So, do not be easily swayed because you do not have to be all things to all people, you simply need to be held accountable to yourself.
DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO CONFORM!
Easier said than done, absolutely. However, take a moment and look back on a choice you made in your life that worked out to be less than stellar. More than likely, it occurred because you didn’t want to stand out and it was much easier to just give in and conform. There is not now, nor will there ever be a situation where you should base your decision on taking the easy way out. Believe me when I tell you that you are smarter than you think, braver than you believe, and more successful than you have yet imagined and it all hinges on you believing in yourself and becoming a successful self-thinker.
There has never been a time throughout history where the very core of our national beliefs and customs have been challenged like they are at present. Let me give you an example. Saying the pledge of allegiance to begin a school day has been a custom that several decades ago would have never been questioned until now. However, the very fabric of who we are as a country is now being gradually eroded and the question is where does it end? The answer is to be alert and realize that you don’t have to just settle for what is happening, but instead choose to put yourself out there and voice your opinion. Based on the example I just gave, you could attend school board meetings, PTA conferences and lead a support group of parents that are willing to stand up for their children. Realize that erosion of any kind is slow and gradual, and you must keep a vigilant eye out for change that you do not condone.
BE WISE WITH WHOM YOU CHOOSE TO ASSOCIATE!
Think of it this way, you can have the best of intentions, in regard to those with whom you choose to associate, but ultimately you are going to be influenced. There will never come a time in your life when you should let your guard down and not be aware of who you have let into your world. And here is why, just like quick-sand, a less than stellar individual will pull you down to their level. A great example is putting on white gloves to work in your flowerbed. Your gloves are going to get dirty every time. Look at it this way, dirty gloves are expected but there is no such thing as glovied dirt. Therefore, select wise people to be in your circle that have much to offer you and can serve to empower you as a person. The end result is that you will be enriched beyond compare because you have chosen to be wise in regard to those with whom you have chosen to associate.
KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS!
It is later now than it has ever been before. So, thinking that standing up for your beliefs can wait for tomorrow is not a valid argument. Understand that some things don’t need more prayer and planning, they just require that you take action and quit procrastinating. Become ultra-inspired that today is the day you will break through with no excuses and no apologies for your beliefs and you will speak out. It is so important that you realize that action speaks much louder than simply thinking about what you could’ve, should’ve, or might have done or been.
YOU HAVE THE FINAL SAY!
First of all, other people are entitled to have their own opinion. That doesn’t mean that you must like it or agree with it, but just to be clear, they have that right. Secondly, for the most part, individuals can openly express their opinions in the United States. That is without question an incredible freedom, but with that freedom comes responsibility. What I mean by that is free speech can create a healthy dialogue to openly debate different points of views, but it also has the potential to become disparaging and ugly. Let me give you an example, the United States government. A word that is often used in politics is bipartisan which means that opposing viewpoints are taken into consideration. However, if there is one factor that history has shown us is that all too often, different points of views clash and party lines are drawn. Here is my point, do not take on the mindset that having your opinion and voicing it is in any way must be negative. You can respectfully disagree and always walk away from an opposing conversation with your dignity and your beliefs still intact. The takeaway is that at the end of the day, you have the final say!
Remember this -Know what you stand for because if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Secondly, be cognizant of the power that you alone possess and become influential in your own right by voicing your convictions. All the while realizing that you are going to have to own your beliefs and stand your ground in order to not become easily swayed or feel the need to conform. This is going to require that you stay alert to an ever-changing world and choose those with whom you associate wisely in order to empower and enrich your platform. Lastly, be aware of what time it is in order to not deceive yourself by putting off until tomorrow what you could have achieved yesterday and know one thing for certain, you have the final say!