Tag Archives: belief

Standing up for what you believe

There comes a time when we have to decide which path to take.  To act on a decision that is based on your values or conscience.  Do you stand firm or step aside?  An opportunity to make your stand known or to back off when the critical time comes.  Whether in the workplace or in life, there will be times when we need to act not just with words but with deed.  What is your stand?

In the workplace, all companies would have rules, processes, compliance policies and so on.  In practice, there are situations where decisions are not clear-cut or grey due to pressure to succeed or pressure to follow the decision of higher authority which might be bending or breaking the rules.  What do you do?  When you know that something is wrong, what is your response?  Do you stand up against it?  Do you ignore it?  Do you compromise and accept that its part and parcel of corporate life?  Just like anything in life, once we compromise or accept a situation, the line is drawn and the stand is known by others.

When was the last time you stood up for what you believed in?  Under what situation would you make your stand?  The reason why most do not stand up for what they believe is due to fear.  Fear of the repercussions.  Have you considered the repercussions of not standing up to fear?  What do you lose when you give in to fear?  Do you gain anything by living on the parameters of fear?

If we shift the thought process from fearing what we will lose to what we will gain from standing up for what you believe, what would that look like?.  I have no doubt that if each of us submitted to every fear that we have, we would not have accomplished much.  When we stand up to fear, we will find that it will strengthen our resolve, commitment and perseverance.  All qualities that we will need to go through life.

Let’s explore what some of the positives for standing up for what you believe:

  • Living out your values and principles.  It is easy to say that we value integrity, honesty etc.  It is another to act it out.  It takes the next level of courage to take action especially in the face of opposition.
  • Values and actions are aligned.  When our values and actions are aligned, we are balanced, clear on our identity and are respected by others.  No one respects anyone whose words and actions are misaligned.
  • Develop a principled centered character.  The decisions and actions that you take are based on your guiding principles and beliefs.  It will be consistent and predictable.  There is no confusion on the reasons behind your decision and action.  People around you will trust you based on your consistent decisions and actions.
  • Courage in action.  It takes courage to make a stand that might not be popular or goes against the majority.  Taking your stand is for you.  Compromise is for others.  There are times when compromise is required but not when it affects your values or belief system.
  • Confident and being comfortable in your own shoes.  You know who you are and what your response is to tough situations.  You will only know where you stand when you stand up for it.
  • Sleep well at night.

Every decision and action we take shows you the stand you are making.  Not doing something is a stand just as much as doing something.  Letting others fight your fight only works for so long.  Make your stand, for your character depends on it.  It might also inspire someone else.

Each of us creates a ripple effect on those around us.  Stand up and tall for what you believe.

Underlying belief holding you back?

The question that is most often asked during a coaching session is “What is holding you back?”.  What is the barrier to change and to move forward?  The most frequent answer is Fear.  It’s either fear of failure or fear of success.  To unpack fear, the next question is “What is the cause of this fear?”  This will lead to the unpacking of the underlying beliefs that each individual possesses.

For example, I would like to establish a new habit and routine for a healthier lifestyle, I know that I need to eat better and exercise.  What is holding me back from doing what is seemingly 2 very easy things?  To eat better would entail substituting a Big Mac with Grass-fed beef salad and to exercise would just require me to walk/run for 30 mins a day.  I am sure that I can make those adjustments.  The underlying beliefs that are holding me back would be “comfort zone”, “laziness”, “not an athlete” and so on.  These negative underlying beliefs would effectively stop what my rationale mind would think as beneficial to “it’s too much work and hard.”  On the flip side, there are positive underlying beliefs that I can start to establish, for example “no pain no gain”.  This underlying belief basically says to you that you can do it and everything good comes from hard work and pain.

Where do these underlying beliefs come from?  They are certainly an accumulation of our past experiences and our value system.   By knowing and being self aware of your underlying beliefs, you are able to then decide what changes you might need to make.

For example, I have an underlying belief of “no pain no gain”.  I will work hard at work, push through the hours, take on more commitments than time permits, pile on the stress and so on.  After all, no pain no gain, right?  All underlying belief can serve you well or taken to the extreme can have a negative impact.  To be able to discern the impact of an underlying belief, I need to be self-aware of the limits of its usefulness and know when to stop.

Ask yourself:

  • What beliefs are helping you to move forward?
  • What beliefs are holding you back?
  • When is a certain belief useful and when does it become not useful?
  • What are the signs that an underlying belief needs to be changed?
  • What steps can you take to create a new belief?

Underlying beliefs determines your actions and decisions hence taking a step back to know what they are can be useful to help you to move forward.