Stand Up For What You Believe In
Recently, I had an opportunity to do a radio interview which was meant to be on the topic of my books, my inspiration as an author, future vision for the book series etc. The radio station was in a particular state of Australia where a substantial amount of my books were for sale in four different outlets. Several days before the interview I received a call from the host and a list of questions were sent via email. After reading the questions and speaking with the host I realised the questions were a personal attack on my beliefs. The host was accusing me of writing books that exclude boys, take back feminism years, on my choice to homeschool and on and on! The host made assumptions about my books without even reading them and about me after reading a small amount of information and allowed her personal opinions to tailor the questions. (Go to my previous blogs at https://www.tessas.com.au/blog to read and see what I believe on these topics) I had the choice to proceed with the interview which would have boosted sales in those outlets and proceed with an interview where the host was not in favor of my books and not portrayed me for who I am or cancel the interview, forgo promoting my books and in doing so, take a stand for what I believe. I chose to not proceed as I’m not here to appease people for the money, but do what is right for my books and what they represent. One day you will have the opportunity to stand up for what you believe in. Will you compromise for the money, to get exposure, popularity, recognition etc.
Some people consider taking a stand for what you believe in to be one of the most important values as a leader and in life in general. Yet others choose to be silent and no one really knows who they are and what they stand for, as they agree with everyone about everything to gain popularity, money, an advantage for their own purposes and generally go through life never being their own person. I’m always wary of those kind of people as you never really know where you stand with them as they chop and change what they say and who they are, to suit other people and organisations. My great Nanna always used to say “Watch out for the turncoats!” I didn’t understand then but I do now – she was saying watch out for the kind of people who pretend to be for you, say one thing and do another.
I would rather retain my self-respect and gain other peoples’ respect in standing up for what I believe than be known for standing for nothing. When you don’t stand for anything you are saying you stand for everything. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and I would rather take a stand for what I believe rather than live in fear of exercising mine to lose popularity, money and friends. When I used to work in a particular office I saw some behavior that I thought was very unprofessional, yet everyone seemed to be in agreement with it as they weren’t saying anything. So at the next staff meeting comprising of about 30 people I had a choice, do I speak up about what was happening or not? If I did I could lose popularity, be an outcast in the office and lose favor with the boss. I chose to speak up. The results were awesome! The boss and managers agreed that the behavior was to stop, other people came to me afterwards thanking me for standing up as they were too fearful to do it and even the manager congratulated me on my choice to take a stand. The other people who weren’t happy about the decision or with me and left the company not so long after that meeting! I had a new found respect within the office and in time was actually promoted.
Letting go of your fears about what people think of you can be very challenging. Usually what you are thinking is a lot worse in your head than it actually is or will be. The night before that staff meeting I didn’t get much sleep as I knew I had made the decision to take a stand and was fearful of the outcome. Of course you can stay in your comfort zone and play it safe, hiding what you truly believe, however I think the pain of not taking a stand at all is worse than speaking out. There is always a strong possibility that not everyone will agree of course and that is completely normal, we’re not robots. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we can’t get along, work together or be friends.
Unfortunately the more you compromise what you believe in the more of a negative effect it can have on your life. It’s definitely not a good habit to get into. It can be a very freeing and exciting thing to stand up for what you believe in! Take courage and know you’re definitely not the first person to do it and you could even do a search about who in history has taken a stand for what they believe. It may be just the thing to give you that extra confidence when it comes time for you to do it.