Last week I talked about the Courage to Be You about being able to show your heart honestly and openly, about being the purple tree in a see of green. Today I’d like to talk about the difference between standing for something and defending something.
A few years ago I did the Momentum Trainings and the trainers put a lot of pressure on us about how we had to support our team mates, we had to stand for them, to never give up. I’ve always struggled with that because I believed that at some point people need to be responsible for their own stuff. I’m willing to do everything I can to support them, but if they persist in their own stuff, then maybe it’s better to just let them deal with their stuff and focus on myself. When I said that in momentum, I remember the lead trainer saying I was selfish and that I should never give up on people. I kept defending myself and trying to prove that I wasn’t giving up; she kept pushing, I kept defending…and this went on for maybe 10-15min.
As she kept pushing me and I kept defending, I got to this moment of peace when I said: Listen, I’m not saying no to them, I’m saying yes to myself. She started smiling and she just said: that’s more like it.
It was the first time I got the difference between defending something and standing for something. Up until then I was defending things, trying to prove that the decisions I was making were the correct ones, but in that moment, I got it that it wasn’t about defending, it was about being crystal clear about my decision, putting my fears aside and just standing for myself. I realized that we always know what the right decision is, but all this back and forth is usually us being afraid and looking for outside validation. We have to be tactful and nice, we have to be aware of other people’s feelings, but we never have to say no to ourselves just because of other people’s damages and insecurities.
When you’re clear about your decisions, there’s not need to prove or defend them, you don’t need to be right, or make other people wrong, you just are…whole, complete, and perfect in that moment. You will always grow, always be better, but in that moment, the moment when you realize it’s ok to say yes to yourself, you are perfect and no one can take that away unless you let them.
Sometimes when you stand for what you believe instead of defending it, people will be mad, because as long as you defend it, it means they have a chance to change your mind, they have a chance to control the outcome in their favor and draw all the benefits from that, but when you stand for it, you’re already in the moment of knowing, that moment when random considerations won’t sway you away from your goal. The good people, the strong people that you want to surround yourself with will look at you in awe and will value you for who you are and what you stand for.
Standing for something is empowering, while defending strips away your power and your energy and gives it to the other person. When you start defending, you’re saying that maybe there is a doubt, maybe you need to convince yourself, maybe you’re just too afraid allow yourself to be who you are. Standing for something had no doubt in it, standing is about believing in yourself without a shadow of a doubt – not believing the facts, the stories, and everything that leave room for interpretation, but just believing in yourself.