Do you stand up for what you believe in? Today, this is my subject and it is an important one to me.
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
One of the most prominent African-American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr, said, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” While you might think that this a little harsh or drastic, taking action to stand up for what you believe in is considered by many to be one of the most important values as a leader, in business and in life in general. We mainly see people standing up for what they believe in rights movements, or politics, or by people with important causes that they believe strongly in.
Yet in many quarters of society, we see people who silence their opinions and lose their authenticity in an attempt to be liked by everyone or to appease both sides of an ideological divide. Some get muted by those with louder voices, or are repressed in a wide number of ways.
The same thing happens in the business world. In an effort to build relationships and secure an internal support base, leaders can lose sight of who they are and what they stand for.
At the heart of my own hypnotherapy college and business is an ethic, and an ethos and an ideology that I hope shines through. A number of years ago, I became increasingly disillusioned about the hypnotherapy field. I encountered so many companies and individuals who I believed promoted the field of hypnotherapy in such a way that the field was being held back. I encountered a great many people who I believed to be lacking in ethics and professionalism. I saw repeated perpetuation of myth and misconception. I still see many training companies who make no effort to develop the field, who are primarily looking to make money regardless of the cost to the long-term health of the hypnotherapy field.
I decided to speak up and to speak out. It was uncomfortable and frightening at first and I have had more than my fair share of snipes and dissenting perspectives from those shrouded in the sycophantic communities who refuse to allow questions to be asked about what they do and how they do it. As time has gone on however, I feel increasingly more vindicated about looking to champion the evidence base and science for the field of hypnotherapy, about questioning myths and misconceptions and dated notions that get proliferated by many working in this field.
The field of hypnotherapy is not exactly like that of politics (though it can feel like it on occasion!!) or a rights movement, but I felt strongly enough to put my head above the parapet, to adopt a stance which at times feels very unpopular, but was ultimately rewarding, sat well along my values and was a major cause I felt strongly about. Today, I derive more rewards as a result, but it was not always that way. It was something that became important to me and I wanted to write about the subject here on the blog with the aim of encouraging more people to stand up for what they believe in. If you want to read more of the articles that I have written over the years whereby I am standing up for what I believe in the field of hypnotherapy, read this little lot:
a) My Top Ten Important Articles I Recommend All Hypnotherapists Read Today!
b) The Hypnosis Geek Manifesto.
It is a liberating expression of free will:
When you stand up for what you believe in, you are your own person. You are in charge of what you do. You get to decide what you want and what you like.
If someone close to you cannot respect your free will, then maybe they are not worth being close to. You and only you can decide who you are, and what you do. You get to stop being a blind follower, and you get to be a full expression of yourself.
Do not willingly give up your personal freedom by simply being a faceless body in the crowd. Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing by yourself. Because even if you are standing alone, you’ll know for a fact that it was your choice. It is a right that we all have and is such a shame not to fully exercise it.
Losing your identity:
In recent times, running your own business (for example) has become tough for many due to the economic climate. Many entrepreneurs understand and recognise the challenge. The more people you come into contact with, the more egos and expectations or differing opinions and positions there are to manage.
There’s a fine line between doing what is right for the business and trying to appease people that you come into contact with. It is similar in a wide variety of other situations and scenarios in life.
It is in times like these where standing up for your beliefs and making tough and uncomfortable decisions can make a massive positive difference.
There will be days where you will question your own decision making and wonder if you ever made good decisions or were you just lucky to get away with things. Self-doubt and insecurities strike all of us on some occasions. It is when we doubt or worry about fitting in that we need to stand up more strongly than ever for what we truly believe, and not wither.
On occasions, people think that in order to be influential or successful, they need to be someone other than themselves and align their views with those they want to impress and forge relationships with. Or they seek protection of being part of a crowd who all agree with each other.
Consequently, they lose their own identity, which can do enormous damage to their confidence and sense of self-worth. Ultimately, it leaves a dent in your life, or you become a shadow of who you truly are. I wrote about finding your true self here: Why You Need to Discover Your True Self – And How To Do So.
Think about this:
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” – Henry Ford
What is the best way to deal with such emotions? Stand for what you believe in and admit that you made a mistake.
Despite it being a commercial success that advanced my career greatly, I wrote a book that superseded my original commercially successful one – because it was flawed and based upon a flawed model of hypnosis that I did not believe in and had no science to support it. Yet it was popular and it made me popular. When I started writing, publicly questioning that model in my original book, people argued, complained, resisted and it created a fair few issues for me.
We have seen time and again on how the victims become the villains for not having the right influence on their side or just turning a blind eye to avoid confrontation or to appease people in power. I did not want that for myself or for my work.
Don’t look the other way. Never shy away from a tackle! Stand your ground and believe in yourself. Here are a couple of articles to help you with that:
a) Believe in Yourself!
b) How To Believe In You – 9 and a bit Ways To Advance Self-Belief.
c) 6 Ways to Overcome Self-doubt.
d) Using Self-Hypnosis To Boost Confidence.
Be authentic and stand up for your beliefs:
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”– Winston Churchill.
When it comes to wanting to make a difference or yourself or have a great business that people will connect with, stand up for something. Otherwise, people may start questioning your intent, as this puts them in a very difficult situation where they find it hard to gauge what the motivation behind your action is.
This makes progress almost impossible. Over time, you lose respect and power.
In contrast, good leadership (of a business or of your own life, for example) is evident when a person is authentic and stands behind their values, has a clear personal stance and behaves consistently according to it.
When this happens, it is far easier to connect with and build a long-lasting relationship. This is because you know what you will get when you collaborate and engage with them. There are no surprises.
How to stand up for what you believe, some steps you can take today:
1. Practice taking actions that support what you believe in, even if you feel fearful of doing so.
Practice learning how to act with courage, having c ourage doesn’t mean you are fearless, it means you act anyway because you know it’s important. Do not let fear inhibit you standing up for what you believe in.
You can often find courage by remembering your cause and who will be helped by it; think of the difference you are making.
2. Have conviction in your beliefs, but not blind faith.
It’s ok to develop a feeling of certainty in your beliefs. Make sure you know both sides of the issue though. When you’re researching your topic, do not just read what confirms your position to be true (read about confirmation bias and other cognitive biases here). Seek to know the other side and get fully informed. It is really difficult to take a stand, and stand up for what you believe if you don’t really understand the other side or opposing perspective.
Understand where the opposition come from and you can debate instead of argue. Look for research and scientific facts that inform you rather than just opinions from supporters of a position. Here is a great article to help with that: Critical Thinking: Its Importance and Ways to Improve It
Standing up for what you believe may make you a target. It is easier to deter a bully of any kind if you have conviction and are fully informed on your position.
3. Speak up and speak out. You need to find your voice.
When something bothers you or detrimentally effects what you stand for, then stand up and take your stance. Know that you have the power to change things going on around you by speaking up. Breathe deep, believe in yourself and your cause, and speak up.
Remember, if you remain silent, if you do not adopt your position, people may think you agree with the very issue you want to stand up against, or the problem at hand. Inaction, remaining silent in the face of the issue will speak volumes to others.
Be composed. Be calm and stick to the facts without getting personal whenever possible. How you make your point is important and will effect the responses you get. If you go into a rage, other people tend to just hear that rage, it speaks louder than your message.
Join a group, write a blog or record a podcast, express yourself, there are so many ways to make your stand these days.
So, when was the last time you stepped up and protected the fragile or the vulnerable such as an injured animal, hurt child, the elderly, or a homeless person? Your beliefs can feel the same. If you get used to standing up for those who would benefit from your help, the better you’ll get at standing up for what you believe in too.
When was the last time you stepped forward and stood strong in your beliefs despite opposition?
· What do I stand for
· What are my values?
· Do I know what drives my behaviour and actions?
· Are my words and actions aligned?
· Am I consistent in how I operate?
Working through these questions will give you real answers to your own position about being someone who is authentic and being an effective leader of your own life. Keep your values and beliefs to hand, I use an app, but you could use flash cards or a notebook and remind yourself of the core values you seek to extol in your varying roles in life.
Most importantly, you will start standing for something so that you don’t fall for everything. If you do not have a cause or a professional stance like my own that I have been illustrating this article with, then think about standing up for what you feel is right in the world. Anything can help.
In this world that is so terribly turbulent, and even violent and with many humans looking away from so many of the indignities, cruelty and inhumane actions, it is up to each of us to take a stand. Speak up for others. Speak up for kindness and goodness.
We must stand united in creating a world filled with acceptance, love, kindness and respect for differences so that we leave a legacy that our children and grandchildren will be proud of and most importantly that we lead a life that we can feel proud of for ourselves too.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.