Did you know there’s an art to standing up for yourself?
Successfully learning and applying this life skill, doesn’t have to be stressful, nor does it have to create conflict or be done in an aggressive manner. Rather it is a matter-of-fact way of calmly ensuring that those around you respect your worth and your boundaries, and that you also honour your self-worth and your boundaries.
But why should you stand up for yourself?
Well, it’s important for those around you to know where your boundaries lie so they can respect and honour them, otherwise you’ll end up feeling walked over, taken advantage of, disrespected.
You can’t expect those around you, even loved ones, to telepathically understand where you stand, how you feel about certain things, how they should treat you unless you tell them. And standing up for yourself is a calm, authoritative and loving way to do just that.
It’s all well and good inviting you to better stand up for yourself, however, if you’re a sensitive soul or, indeed, an empath, it’ll be something that’s easier said than done because you’re probably so used to placing the needs of others before yourself. However, as you can read here, standing up for yourself isn’t about being mean, it’s about being honourable to yourself and those around you.
So why do so many people struggle to stand up for themselves?
Well, there can be a whole variety of reasons why.
More often than not, it’s something that you can link back to childhood. Perhaps your parents were strict and you had house rules you had to follow or face the consequences. Or perhaps you were taught not to speak back to others, especially adults. Or perhaps you lived under the shadow of “children should be seen and not heard” adage. All of these examples, and more besides, may have meant you were (and still are) less inclined to use your voice, to speak up.
Or perhaps you grew up with low self-esteem because your voice wasn’t heard or what you had to say wasn’t taken seriously by those around you.
Or perhaps you have a fear of confrontation, like me. I grew up in a household where there were no arguments. You might think that sounds like a dream childhood, but it left me unable to put my point of view across and has created a crippling fear of confrontation for me.
The thing is by not standing up for yourself, you’re teaching those around you to not show you the respect you deserve because you’re not telling them where your boundaries lie. You’re basically telling them, “I have no self-worth and no boundaries, treat me as you wish.” And that’s not okay.
When you start standing up for yourself and speaking up for yourself, naturally you’ll feel nervous and anxious. However, through time and with practice, you’ll also see positive changes in yourself: your confidence will grow, you’ll feel happier with your life, your relationships will improve, and life, in general, will just be better.
So how do you stand up and speak up for yourself?
The first piece of advice I can give you may seem too obvious. But if I don’t mention it, chances are you won’t consider it. After all, if you’re reading this, standing up for yourself is probably something that will feel alien to you.