It takes a lot of character to stand for what you believe in. It's easier to bend and please other people than it is to have a voice. If you always agree with everyone, then you'll never upset anyone.
But what's the point in having a voice if you can't use it? What opinions do you have? What would you like to say that you don't?
Standing for something means having your say and allowing your thoughts to be heard—right or wrong. Most people don't like the idea of standing for something. Most people are worried about being wrong. Most people are scared of the consequences.
But if you believe you're right, who cares if you're wrong? Standing for something isn't about being stubborn, it's about having a voice.
Look at standing for something as having strong opinions weakly held. Be passionate and forward with how you think, but be ready to change your mind when new information resonates with you. Ask questions and listen deeply to the opinions of others. If someone convinces you of their point or their belief, then adopt it.
Standing for something isn't about being spartan in your beliefs. It's about being willing to use your voice for what you believe in. If your beliefs change, then use your voice to stand for your new beliefs.
Imagine you were vegan for 10 years.
Conflicting evidence suggests that being vegan no longer serves your health goals. What do you do? You either stand by your belief because the information you've received doesn't serve you, or you make a change because it does.
If change is right for you, then change., but don't feel as if you need to change for the sake of changing. If you now know that what you're doing doesn't serve you, don't be scared to remove it from your life, even if at one point you were overtly passionate about it.
Your opinions will change as you learn and grow. Welcome to the real world.
But if you adopt the strong opinions weakly held mindset, then you'll always be on the hunt for new information. You won't be rigid. Instead, you'll be innately curious when you meet other passionate individuals like yourself.
When you're surrounded by people with strong opinions weakly held, you'll learn a lot, because when people stand for something, they become adept at communicating a message. They've done their research, they've done their homework and they're ready for an intense discussion. Why? Because they stand for what they believe in.
Do you agree with them? Then revel in how much knowledge you're exchanging. Do you disagree with them? Then listen deeply and see if you're able to change their mind, or be changed by theirs.
A Lesson for Future Champions
If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything.
You don't need to be the person that pleases everyone.
Moving from challenger to champion requires you to upset a few people along the way. At the same time, the journey will teach you a lot. The person who started the journey won't be the same person that moves through the journey. At every stage, you'll be learning. At every stage, you'll be growing.
Your thoughts and opinions will change.
That's why strong opinions weakly held is the perfect analogy for standing for something. Be passionate and fight for your beliefs, but don't be scared to change those beliefs when they no longer serve you. Your actions will always upset someone, but what's important is to take actions that serve you and your goals.
That means you'll need to use your voice, and you'll need to stand for something.