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5 Reasons to Stand up for Your Beliefs

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Many times we’re faced with situations that can cause us to consider compromising our values.  Maybe you have been offered a job with a company you don’t respect…but you really need the job.  Maybe your beliefs are in the minority…but you don’t want to become an outcast as a result.  Or, maybe you disagree with your boss’s business practices…but are too shy or too afraid to rock the boat to stand-up for what you really think or believe. When confronted with these situations, it is sometimes difficult to stick to your guns or stand your ground.

Unfortunately, the more we compromise our values, the more of a negative impact it has on our mental wellbeing. And, the more we compromise our values, the more we continue to do so. You could say it becomes an insidious cycle. On the other hand, when we stand up for what we believe in, the benefits can have a tremendously positive impact:

  1. It Builds Self-Confidence: When others dictate what we should think, feel and do, it eats away at our self-confidence. We begin to distrust our own instincts and lose the ability to decipher what we really believe versus what everyone wants us to believe. Although it may be difficult at first, the more we stand-up for ourselves, the more we build our self-confidence. It takes guts to express an unpopular viewpoint…it takes guts to say no when it is so much easier to say yes…and it takes guts to risk losing a job, friends or opportunities because someone won’t like our opinion. However, the more you tap into your “guts,” the easier it gets, and the more confident you’ll become.
  2. It Helps you Develop a Strong Sense of Self: If we bow to others and their opinions, and do things their way, whether right or not, we start to lose our own identity and start to forget for what we truly stand. Further, the less you allow yourself to think freely and develop your own belief system, the more you become a follower without your own direction. On the other hand, the more authentic you are to your needs and viewpoints, the more you will understand your sense of self.
  3. It Develops Self-Respect: Would you respect someone who went against their own values because it was convenient or because it was more popular? Probably not. And, with good reason.  Wishy washiness is far from admirable, or for that matter, respectable.  Yet, if you encounter someone with a less popular opinion who stands their ground (assuming the opinion or belief is founded in ethical principles), you would most likely have great respect for them.  Same goes for the way you perceive yourself. The more you stand up for your beliefs, the more self-respect you will develop. If you continually give in to what others want and compromise your own values in the process, you are going to lose respect for yourself.
  4. It Builds Integrity: In a time when so many individuals are dishonest, do things to better themselves at the expense of others, expose their personal lives for a chance to be famous and do what feels good in the moment without thinking about the consequences, integrity is a characteristic that is especially unique.  Doing the right thing or standing up for your beliefs may not be easy, but when you do, you know that you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself. You’ll know that you did the right thing and that you had integrity.
  5. It Helps You be Independent: As much as we like to believe that a hero or heroine will swoop-in to defend our honor, it is extremely rare. There are two things to consider here: First, if YOU don’t stand up for yourself or your beliefs, then how can you expect others to? And second, the person who you should ALWAYS be able to count on to stand up for you – no matter what – is you. What this means is that the more you stand-up for your beliefs, the less you will rely on others to validate them. You’ll reinforce your independence and ability to stand on your own two feet without anyone else to support you.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes or give into what was easier once in awhile, but learning from those mistakes and standing for what we believe in the vast majority of time is what is most important.

Do you believe in yourself?  How has it helped you to reach your goals and be successful?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Mind-Body Tagged with: , , , , ,
  • TMJ

    Brett!

    This has to be one of your most powerful peices. What a gift. I really enjoyed this message, it spoke to my SOUL. This article is very timely for me, because I have a toxic girlfriend in my life that other friends have stepped away from without any real explanation to her. Me being true to me is stepping up and give her some brutal honesty about her meangirl actions. Many of these topics were relavent 10 years ago in our 20s, but now I see her as a single parent trying to relive her harmful past. This article just confirms the fact that I need to address her before we (she and 2 other friends) take a vacation and if this message my message is not well received then I have made up my mind to not go. Thanks for this one!

    • Brett

      TMJ – So glad you enjoyed! Sometimes we aren’t always true to our beliefs…and when we aren’t…we end up feeling not very good about ourselves or our decisions. There is something very rewarding about honoring oneself and believing in one’s belief system and values. Good luck!

  • jennifer

    This article came at the exact moment i needed it. I have been standing up with courage and conviction even though I have so many people in my life trying everything and anything to take that away from me by berating, lying and belittling me. I was throwing in the towel tonight until i was blessed to have come upon this article. I have been hiding from reality for almost two months knowing my expiration date is approaching to face the fight of my life. What has happened to people? When I see someone doing the right thing I over compliment maybe in a little shock by it sometimes. It’s right from wrong, we all learned since small children. It should be easy and expected, including pointing out when others are wronged as well. I am being tested to the limit for some reason having to defend myself and others consistintly for eight months straight. This is the hardest time of my life and hopefully I will have some impact on others through it all. Thanks to this post because I have fallen hard and needed to be helped back up.

  • Lea Beckma

    This message is diffenetly a wake up call for me. I need to work on standing up for myself so i can be on my own. :)

  • TBuck

    @Jennifer – Your paragraph above says more about you, and your morals, strengths and ethics, than you might imagine. I hope you made it through your hard times…….I’m facing things on my own right now, though they’ve been brewing within me for several years. It comes natural to you, but those that we are involved with every day don’t have a clue…..Good luck…….

  • Reverend Joey

    The problem with me is, every time I stand up for myself, I either get laughed at, or somehow punished for standing up for myself, instead of allowing someone to force their beliefs down my throat.

    • Brett

      It may be time to find new people to spend time with. You should surround yourself with those who appreciate your individuality, even if it may not be there way of thinking. Good luck and don’t stop believing in yourself.

  • Afran

    ive read millions of these self help articles but this is the one that I’ve been subconsciously searching for. I was always looking for ways to stand up for myself, and when i tried to implement them, they felt hollow, and after a while i just figured “whats the point..i still feel unhappy.” but that was because i didn’t understand WHY it was so important, i had no idea sharing my ideals and standing my ground could have such a mental impact. just reading this makes me feel like i can change my life forever.

    Thank you soo much!

    • Brett

      Afran,
      Thank you so much! I’m glad you feel that this it was helpful!

  • Pingback: Standing Up For Your Beliefs | Mommy Musings

  • Anonymous

    This is a wonderful and much-needed article, thank you! My question is, when you are placed in that kind of “testing” situation and you must act under pressure, how do you stand up for what you believe under those circumstances? For example, I do not believe that a strange man should be hugging, etc a strange woman, since they are neither husband-wife nor family. It’s simply a belief that I hold but I find it much easier to write about it here than to actually adhere to it (especially in the society we live in). So for example if I am placed in such a situation I may simply let it go and compromise my beliefs, only to feel horrible later. How does one build that self-confidence and ability to express one’s belief no matter what situation he is in?

    • brettblumenthal

      That is a great question. I think that the key is communication. Taking your example: I’m a hugger, and I will hug people after I just meet them. It is my nature. However, if a man were to tell me that it is against their religion or beliefs, I’d respect that. People won’t understand your beliefs unless you communicate them. And, the more you practice communicating them, the easier it will be. You will start to feel more confident, especially if you get a positive, respectful and/or sympathetic response when you do. The only person who can stay true to your beliefs is you. No one can do it for you.