Standing up for what we believe in – whether it’s for our own benefit or others’ – doesn’t always come easy, especially when we don’t know where or how to start. Perhaps, fear is holding us back, or we feel like we won’t make a difference despite our efforts.
However, speaking up and standing up for the things that matter to us is an important cause. By standing up for what you believe in, you make sure you get the happiness you deserve. Believe it or not, but this can make the world a better place.
In case you need a little push, this article will give you some inspiration to advocate for what is right.
- Examples of what happens when you stand up for what you believe in
- The benefits of speaking up
- 4 Important ingredients for successfully standing up for what you believe in
- How to stand up for what you believe in
- Wrapping Up
This article is part of a much bigger guide on learning how to become happy that I’m sure is the biggest freely available guide on the internet right now. This article contains some great tips, but you’ll find a lot more actionable tips in the section Happiness Tips!
Examples of what happens when you stand up for what you believe in
In the age of social media, expressing ourselves has never been easier and more accessible than before. With just a few taps, we can have a say on just about any topic under the sun, for all the world to see.
But more than random blabbers on the internet, today’s generation have used their social media platforms to advocate for causes that they believe in. The #MeToo movement, for example, sparked a revolution among women who have experienced different forms of sexual harassment and hadn’t found the courage to speak up until then.
This study extracted Twitter posts using the said hashtag and found that, aside from telling their harassment stories, these victims also expressed how these experiences affected them. This led to more and more people forming opinions, discussing their views, and engaging in social activism.
Aside from finding kindred spirits, speaking up on social media also gives millennials a sense of power according to this study. Finding support and empowerment pushes people to express their authentic selves on social media. This results in something that everyone always hopes to achieve: to belong and to be accepted.
The benefits of speaking up
When you say no, go against the grain, or challenge the norm based on what you truly believe in, you may face rejection or retaliation. Of course, these might sound like unfavorable consequences especially when you’re fighting for something that doesn’t follow the conventional way.
However, when you’re in the right and you eventually pluck the courage to speak up, it can harbor rewarding results. You may:
- Get out of an unjust situation
- Get what you truly deserve (since you deserve to be happy)
- Give voice to the oppressed
- Bring people together
- Make a real difference in your community
It’d be a shame to not speak up despite having an opinion that deserves to be heard.
4 Important ingredients for successfully standing up for what you believe in
Whether you’re joining a social movement or simply asking for a raise at work, it’s important to take action when you get the urge to be heard and create change. But it’s not always a walk in the park to take the first step, so it’s crucial that you possess certain qualities to push for what you believe in.
Here are some values that can arm you in your crusade:
Logic – While our feelings may be the fuel that sparks our advocacies, being logical helps for you to be taken seriously. Data, numbers, and facts will surely strengthen your cause.
Empathy –You may believe that you’re on the right side of things, but you must not forget to hear others out and put yourself in their shoes. This will allow you to see things from their perspective and give you the chance to strengthen your argument.
Courage – Fighting for a cause isn’t for the faint of heart. You must be able to muster up the courage to face obstacles and consequences that may come your way.
Humility – When we’re standing up for what we believe in, it’s easy to get aggressive and arrogant. But, we must try our best to be calm and humble in order to earn respect and get our point across.
How to stand up for what you believe in
As we delve further, here are some tangible steps that you can take to be heard and give voice to others as well.
1. Stay true to your values
Having strong foundations in the form of your personal values is the first requirement when you want to speak up. It’s easy to get swayed when you put yourself out there and face disapproving views.
So, holding on to your principles is key to making a difference that counts. The other tips here will help you trust yourself and be confident when the going gets tough.
2. Keep yourself informed
If you’ve ever been on Twitter and happened to click on a trending topic with a political nature, you may have seen various opinions being thrown out there. And, if one is not careful about expressing their views, they may easily be called out for spewing uninformed opinions.
This is why we should make an effort to educate ourselves on issues that we care about or intend on speaking about. The more informed you are, the more confident you can be in taking a side or making a stand. You are also less susceptible to disrespect, hostility, and rejection if you have all the facts straightened out.
It’s important to not just look for information that supports your opinion. It’s arguably even more important to explore the counter-arguments. Why would someone disagree with what you believe in? When you’re properly informed about all the angles, you’ll be better able to stand up for yourself without being silenced by the opposition.
Once you’ve figured out where you stand on a certain issue and done your research, it’s time to express your views and begin your journey to being heard.
For me, I’ve found my passion in mental health awareness. So when I felt that I’ve equipped myself with the right mindset and enough knowledge, I’ve started expressing my thoughts about the importance of nurturing our mental wellbeing.
Whether it’s on my personal social media platforms or through my work as a professional writer, I make it to a point that I’m sharing what I know and how I feel about mental health to advocate for a cause that’s close to my heart.
4. Engage in conversations
Once you’ve released your thoughts in the great vastness of the internet, be prepared to engage in conversations. Some people who disagree may troll you, but make sure to pick your battles. Only join conversations where you can widen your perspective, educate yourself, and maintain respect for each other.
Aside from online matters, having person-to-person dialogues is also important. For example, you believe that you deserve a promotion at work. Make sure that you converse with key stakeholders such as your supervisor, the department head, and your HR officer. You have to be ready to make your case in order to achieve the results that you want.
5. Take action
If you want to take it a step further, getting involved on a bigger scale will help you advance your cause. You may opt to join an organization or even create your own union. Aside from simply expressing your views, you can also participate in protests, spearhead a beach clean-up drive, collect signatures for a petition, or reach out to your local government.
This takes serious dedication and commitment, but it will surely reap more rewards and lead you to make a difference not just for yourself but for a larger cause where more people can benefit.
In fact, taking action like this can have beneficial side effects on your mental health. For example, volunteering for something you believe in can make you happier. So whether you want to fight climate change by picking up litter, or you want to advocate equality around the world, you may be interested in actually joining others in your pursuits.
Standing up for what we believe in comes with a lot of challenges. But, if we stay true to our words and actions, then we’ll soon arrive at our desired outcome and even change other people’s lives for the better. If you’re thinking about speaking up and sparking change, this is the sign that you’ve been waiting for.
You got this!
Now it’s your turn? What’s your best tip on standing up for yourself? Want to share a story of how you made your voice be heard? I’d love to read it in the comments below!
Writer and counseling psychology student. Firm believer of validating one’s feelings, prioritizing the inner-self, and finding happiness in a plate of chicken curry.