Get a backbone: Stand up for yourself

We all know someone who has no problem standing up for themselves or others. Outspoken and a tad bit aggressive, they swoop down like a caped crusader rightfully defending those who have been wronged and never backing down when things get rough. With a twinkle of sunlight reflecting off their pearly whites, evil doers bow down before them, overwhelmed and disgraced, retreating to the den they slinked out of.

While we may admire these people and look up to them, more often than not we have a difficult time emulating their boundless enthusiasm and spine of steel. Not everyone possesses the confidence and ability to display such superhero characteristics. Luckily there is good news for those who don’t; superheroes aren’t born, they’re made and you can learn to be one too!

It can sometimes be hard to stand up for what you believe in, especially when you’re the only one who’s willing to stand up. There are many places this can happen; at work when you disagree with the way something is being done, at home when you and the significant other don’t see eye-to-eye, or even passing someone on the street who is being bullied. That initial gut reaction you get to any of these situations is there to tell you that you’re supposed to stand up for what you believe in because it’s the right thing to do.

Executing this task is sometimes difficult and can potentially be social suicide. Your take on things might not be the most popular opinion and your reputation is at stake, both at work and with your friends. It’s often much easier and far more tempting to compromise your values for the sake of society’s approval than risk being ostracized and shunned. Humans are social creatures and have an innate need to belong to a community and therefore avoid disruption, sometimes at the cost of themselves or others.

Individuals value different things and while one person may believe in truth, peace, acceptance, equality and honesty, another person may place importance on money, power and influence. The rank and importance we place on our values determines the decisions and actions we make. Unfortunately, when we compromise our values our emotional and mental well-being takes a beating. Continued abuse can cause irreparable damage and coming back from it can be difficult.

So just when you might think that the popular decision is the best way to go, take a moment to read over why you should get in touch with your inner superhero. Who knows, you just might surprise yourself and everyone around you.

1. Build your self-confidence and independence. Standing up for your beliefs and values usually means standing out from the crowd. By this choice alone, you gain the self-confidence that allows you to build even more confidence. You do not need someone else’s opinions to form your own because you have your own voice and can rely on that to steer you in the right direction. You are independent of any influence that will eventually come your way.

2. Respect. Your choice of standing up despite the pitfalls will earn you respect from those who think the same way you do and they will respect you for the measures you take to fight for your beliefs. These days, it’s quite difficult to find someone who’s willing to be brave through the politics of choice just to get their point through. Once they see what you are willing to take a stand for, you will find that people will come out of the woodwork and support you in your quest.

3. Integrity. Having an unshakable moral righteousness and unmovable principles makes you a woman of integrity. These days it is fairly easy to find dishonest people whose lives are they way they are at the expense of others. People with integrity have become a rarity and it is something to be proud of. Choose to be the example by which you lead others.

4. Inspiration. Nothing will happen without inspiration. Advocacies, humanitarian organizations, volunteer groups, and all other big things began with an inspiration. If you have an idea for something don’t be afraid to make the necessary moves to implement it. There are undoubtedly people out there waiting for what you have to offer
and there is no telling what amazing things will come about as a result

5. Identity. A firm set of principles, values, and moral righteousness define who you are.
People will treat you not only with respect but also with appreciation and awe at the mere fact that you are able to stand firm despite rough winds. Your voice, your opinions, and your beliefs are uniquely you. You become a leader instead of a follower.

In times of moral chaos, politics and money can easily sway people. However, no amount of power or money will be able to move a person with a strong backbone of principles. It may be for rights, the environment, animals, the truth or any other cause near and dear to your heart. So dust off your cape, place one hand on your hip, the other in the air and take a stand with your shiny new backbone!

Do you stand up for what you believe in?