Disregarding all exaggeration, I do have quite a complex personality. So complex in fact that it often comes across that I have ten. (Ah, the curse of being a Gemini.) Sometimes, I can be a total extrovert- the social butterfly that dances in the middle of the classroom when there’s been an ‘accidental’ amount of caffeine consumption. On the other hand, the introvert shows its face- the quiet girl that’s calculating everyones next moves and analysing the whole world. It’s the latter that can cause problems.
There is certainly nothing wrong with being an introvert, in fact it has many perks such as the ability to notice things others may never pick up on. However, it can mean that if one is not careful, the introverted can be taken advantage of. An assumption is made, that if you are quiet then you can’t stand up for yourself because what introvert would speak out? There is this unspoken notion that they will think you will just sit there and take every verbal punch as if it is sweet medicine… perhaps that is, unfortunately, exactly what happens.
I completely understand the reason why someone would take that unfair behaviour. Introverts are just naturally conflict-averse with a strong desire to keep the waters at bay and maintain a peaceful environment. Despite this, the fear of offending someone or standing out from the crowd isn’t always as bad as it is perceived in your head.
Standing up for your values is an essential life skill. By asserting yourself, you are actively taking charge of your life and more importantly staying true to your beliefs. It is so underrated that the act of speaking out can make a huge change in the world. It is this final conviction that gives me the inner strength to stand up for my values- this and the realisation that I will regret more of what I don’t say than if I speak up.
Here’s how I learnt to stand up for myself and the values and beliefs I hold dear:
Who are you?
It seems like an obvious step but it is one that many miss out. It is vital that you know exactly who you are and the values you hold dear. It could very well be that the reason you struggle to stand up for yourself is that you aren’t actually clear on what your values and beliefs actually are. This results in a dose of self-doubt. Look inside yourself and find what makes you tick. Take note on how you react to different events the news reports, what comments others make that cause an unsettling feeling to bubble in your stomach. It can take a lot of self-reflection to understand what you truly hold dear, however, working on this everyday can result in you becoming confident in yourself and your values.
Develop authentic confidence
Once you have a deep and solid understanding on where your values lie, it’s time to work on developing a strong sense of self-worth and becoming confident in who you are (Warts and all). I deeply understand that this is easier said than done, however, achieving a good level of self-love will result in easily finding the courage to stand up and speak out.
Start by paying attention to your self-perception. The moment I achieved the incredible confidence I have now, was the same moment I truly believed and understood that the perception of myself is far more important than anyone else’s. Tuning in to your inner dialogue is a great way beginning point. When you have a moment of self-doubt or lack of confidence, write down the exact though you had in that moment. What did you say to yourself. Do this for at least a week, then take a day off before reading over everything you written down. This can really shed some light on how negative you are being towards yourself. From here you can start to eliminate these thoughts and replace them with good thoughts full of positive energy about yourself.
Doing activities that make you feel empowered can teach both your body and mind to chose strength over passivity. Taking up a yoga class and connecting to the inner depths of your soul can give you a sense of constant peace. This can result in a decreased desire to constantly ensure your environments are peaceful and thus, you no longer feel the need to be quiet to avoid uncomfortable situations. For you are already at peace with yourself. In contrast, an activity such as kickboxing can leave you feeling stronger and self-empowered, giving you the perfect balance of confidence and respect for yourself and others, to speak out and stand up for your beliefs in an assertive yet humble manor.
Take note that you never have to accept what you deem is not ok. You should always be proud of what you believe in and speak up with conviction. However, remember that it is also ok to change your values. The most fulfilling life is one full of change for humans should be ever-evolving and constantly moving forward. We are in a constant change, learning each day, meeting new places, visiting new places. Thus, it is inevitable that we grow and transform as our values will as well. (That is if we are open to change and new lessons) Whatever your values may be, maintain your truth. Stay honest with yourself and never fear to be the only one standing on the other side of the fence.
How do you stand up for your values?
Heels: Sam Edelman Zoe High Heel Ankle Boots (✕)
Hat: Paperboy Hat