The people I admire most in life are those brave enough to step up and speak their truth. People like Maya Angelou, Seth Godin, Caitlin Moran, Russell Brand, Oprah and Jamie Oliver. Even when I am not in full agreement with their opinion I still admire their conviction and courage to stand up for their beliefs, so long as their view on life does not incite violence, oppression or injustice.
Too many of us spend our life searching for our voice but then seem far too quick to surrender it if someone dares to question us or we are asked to defend it. The minute any dissonance appears we step back and disappear.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than on social media where people openly share their views, opinions and likes, only to retract them swiftly if too many people disagree or question them. Why is this?
This lack of personal conviction and/or willingness to stand up and be counted is also endemic in our political system and in my opinion, is one of the reasons Nigel Farage is liked and grabbing the airtime. Love him or hate him he is not afraid to state and own his views and similar to Maggie Thatcher is not ‘for turning’ regardless of the abuse directed at him – deserved or not.
I find sheep-like behaviour depressing. I am more than happy to follow a leader if he/she has earned my respect, inspires me and has something to say that I can believe in, but, too many people stay small and insignificant for fear of not being liked or being seen as too demanding or radical.
This kind of thinking is limiting and lame and has to go. In the words of the great Marianne Williamson
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’
So my message today is simple. Stand up and be heard, do not be afraid to speak your truth, own it and surrender it for no one! Your voice is unique, peerless and present. Use it or lose it!