Reviews & Profiles
Succeeding: Stand up for something you believe
Posted Tuesday, January 15 2013 at 00:00
It’s disturbing to see someone say one thing and the following day say or do something totally different. It’s also very refreshing to see someone who is willing to stick their neck out at the risk of being rejected or excommunicated. Those are the typical heroes. Those are the kinds of people that are admired. We respect their guts. Their integrity.
Here is the deal. Even when I do not agree with someone over something, I always love it when I know where they stand and they are willing to defend it. I honour that. And it’s also good to know that someone is standing up for something. It shows inner strength and consistency. Those who cannot define where they stand are defined as being lukewarm. Neither warm, nor cold.
Truth is, when you stand up for something, some people will like you and some won’t. That’s the way it is. So, you have to be comfortable with the idea that “Some will, some won’t and that’s okay”. But it has to be your choice. Not someone else’s.
No one should attempt to manipulate or use you. The first test is, do you believe in it? Is it your idea? Are you willing to defend it even at the risk of being hated? If it passes all those tests, then, it’s your idea which is worth defending and standing up for. But remember, you must have a spine of steel. Why is it important to stand up for something?
One, you will be defined and people will get to know you. Secondly, you will be able to have like-minded people around you. Those who have the same values like you will come along to partner with you or defend you. But people can’t do those things unless they know where you stand. You will be respected in the process.
Being respected doesn’t mean that people automatically agree with you. No, it simply means they honour your courage to stand up for something.
Challenge is, sometimes you might feel like you don’t want to offend some people’s feelings. It could be because your parents and relatives believed in something totally different and as such, you don’t want to annoy them. A cultural stance that is of the opposite view.
Whereas we ought to consider, respect and honour, all those potentially opposite ways of thinking and influences, at the end of the day, it’s your life. Live it in a way that honours your spirit, your soul, your conscience and values.
Respect and honour others. And remember to respect and honour yourself too. It means standing up to be counted when the heat is on. It means speaking up when all the odds are against you. In the end, it’s better than living in regret for having never stood up for something.
Ethan is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant.