March 3, 2007.
"Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward."
In a world where we are constantly evaluated by what we do and what we think, taking a stand for what we believe in can be quite risky. After all, it is always far easier to sit back and just go with the flow, allowing others to do the thinking and doing for us.
By playing it safe, never really taking a stand for much of anything at all, we rarely if ever rock the boat. And we rarely if ever make much of a mark either. Trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd may look to be the easy way out, but looks can be deceiving.
"Stand upright, speak thy thoughts; declare the truth thou hast, that all may share. Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: they only live who dare."
Taking a stand for what you believe is right, regardless of what others say or think, is one of the toughest challenges you'll ever face. It's never easy to take a stand, especially when your stand may rub others the wrong way. Standing up for what you believe can prove to be daunting to say the least, even downright difficult.
There may be no tougher test on earth than to take a position and then defend it with all of your heart and soul. Like it or not, most folks cling fast to the herd, going with whatever the current craze may be at the time. There's no doubt about it, going along with the crowd makes it easy to get along with those around us. But there is a much more important question we need to ask ourselves: is getting along getting us where we need to go?
"Don't back down just to keep the peace. Standing up for your beliefs builds self-confidence and self-esteem."
Playing it cool and being trendy involves little risk on the outside. But deep down inside, where it really counts, just going along can cause significant anxiety and conflict. When the present fad goes against everything you stand for, everything you deeply believe in, what do you do? Do you stand up and take a stand - or do you cave in and cast your values to the wind?
Drawing a line in the sand, clearly delineating what you stand for and even more importantly, what you will not stand for, places you squarely in the crosshairs of potential criticism and rebuke. And getting raked over the coals is something some people want to avoid at all costs - even if it costs them a chance at the life they've dreamed of living.
"The good I stand on is my truth and honesty."
You do know what you stand for, don't you? Of course you do. All of those special beliefs you hold near and dear to your heart, the core values and principles that you deeply believe in, make you who you are - and what you're to become. These principles comprise your very foundation, a sacred code of conduct that must be honored at all costs, even if you may fall out of favor from time to time.
Taking a stand means standing for something special, something you strongly believe in. And taking a stand sometimes requires that you stand alone - by yourself, for yourself. Not always a comfortable stance, but then again, so what?
Sometimes you have to rock the boat, knock over a few tables or even flip over an apple cart or two to get where you want to go in life. And that requires bucking the system and going against the grain on occasion. Hey, the only way you can assure yourself a lifetime of self-contentment and satisfaction is to just be true to yourself 24/7. When you finally stop following the crowd and start doing it your way, your actions will tell the rest of the world what you already know: that you stand for something extra special - something truly worth standing for.
The Bottom Line: When you choose to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, you're a sure-fire bet to stand out as well.
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