How to Take a Stand in Your Life

Taking a stand in your life is the thing of Hollywood movies.

The little guy stumbles into a huge injustice, and decides to take a stand, taking on impossible odds and somehow winning.

It makes for a cool story, but sometimes, you really do need to take a stand in your life.

  • When your life isn't going the way you want it to
  • When something matters to you more than the complexities that come with it
  • When you can't afford to keep doing what you've been doing
  • When you're in a place where you can't be who you are
  • Where the cost of not taking action turns you into someone you don't recognise or like

When life tests you or demands something deeper from you, these are good times to take a stand in your life. Here's how.

1. Wake yourself up

What if today wasn’t just another day where you do your stuff, just like you normally would?

What if today was special?

I’d suggest that it is, but of course we all go about our lives as we normally do and rarely see it as anything other than our “regular old life“.

We find that groove and slip into it so easily. Rinse and repeat. And it's easy to lose sight of what really matters, what we wanted to do, or who we always wanted to be.


Do it right now. Literally. Get out of your seat and stand up.

Take the decision that there’s nothing random, wandering or indifferent about today.

You're here, against all the odds. It's your life, and you have agency over it.

Take the chance to declare what matters, whether to yourself, to a loved one or to the whole damn world.

2. Assert your intention

What matters to you might be your family, a friend, a community, a cause, a creative endeavour, the difference you want to make or any one of a thousand other things.

When you remind yourself of what matters to you, you can assert your intention to honour it, express it, or demonstrate it.

Taking a stand in your life is deciding that you won’t let any more time go by without taking a damn chance for something that feels true.

Don’t overthink it. Don’t sweat it. Don’t think it needs to be a certain size or a certain way. That’s all bullshit.

There's simplicity and power in aligning your intention behind what matters to you.

3. Do something

Knowing what matters and asserting your intention is all well and good, but those things are nothing without doing something.

Taking a stand in your life needs more than having a good intention, it requires that you get out into the world and follow it up with action.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking this needs to be huge or world changing. It doesn't. Not everyone needs to be a Greta Thunberg or a Martin Luther King, so put those expectations or stories to one side.

All that matters is that you follow up your intention and engage.

Do one thing today that honours, expresses or demonstrates what matters to you. Plan one thing tomorrow that allows you to get involved in what matters. Take one step this week that will make you feel like you've contributed, or been true to yourself.

That's enough. That's plenty. That's amazing.

When you take a stand in your life...

What's the alternative to taking a stand in your life?

Letting life happen to you? Busying yourself with all the things that don't matter. Going through you life day by day, just calling it in?

Sounds grim, right?

You’re here for a reason – because you have a life and you get to take part.

And you’re tangibly enough to begin, right now.

Taking a stand is really about participating fully in your own life, without the pressure for it, or you, to be a certain way.

What does that look like for you?

  • I fixed my life goal but I have too much distraction .I don’t know how to start my life goal how remove the distraction In my mind and in my personal life ?

  • I’ve decided to take a stand with having no more contact with my mother (at least for the foreseeable future). It’s a huge decision – & one I’ve been afraid of making for a long time (guilt, etc) – but, I’m trying to create a positive future, & having contact with her isn’t healthy for me (hard to stay ‘up’ when someone continually puts you down). The fact that I’m able to make this decision means I’ve gotten to the point where I value myself, & want a brighter vision for my future – one not encumbered by thoughts that are emotionally (or energetically) chaining me to my past – i.e. it comes from a place of self-worth :).
    As for taking a stand in my life re purpose – … I’m working on figuring that out 🙂

    • Brave. Not an easy choice by any means; and you always get to make new choices based on what matters to you.

      Love that self-worth you mention – what’s a way you can keep that with you?

      • Affirmations, I suppose? (as trite or banal as that might sound). I’ve been reading about neuroplasticity – & I obviously need to create new ‘tracks’ or patterns in my brain. I feel like I’m in the process of un-covering myself – digging out from years of negative self-talk (from my family that I then internalized & took as true). Meditation, journalling, practicing self-care, and constant reinforcement that I deserve – am worthy of – love, happiness, abundance, prosperity, etc. I suppose an effective tool would be creating a meditation, or visualizing, on how I want to feel. 🙂

        • I’m no fan of affirmations really – they put me in mind of someone standing in front of the mirror saying “In every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”. Gah.

          The part of affirmations that does work, in my opinion, is the practice part. The repetition of the things that matter is what creates meaningful change, and the practices of meditation, journalling, self-care and gentle self-awareness are some amazing ways to make that happen.

          Sounds like you’re doing great 🙂

  • Hmm, taking a stand in my life right now means continually hitting the publish button on my blog to get my ideas out into the world… You should see all the half finished posts piled up in my drafts folder! 🙂 I’ve been too careful, and its taken all the fun out of my writing. Time to mix it up! I completed two yesterday. More to come!

    • Woot! Go Ang! I always tend to err on the side of caution too, so I hear you, and balls to that. If I can help you to bounce things around just let me know 🙂

  • Moving to a city as large as London and living is a sea of people I don’t know, its been way too easy to think that I’m in this alone. I’m done pretending I don’t see the person I’m passing in the hall. And maybe if I wasn’t busy staring at my blackberry, I’d see the person who could really use the bus seat more than me. I might not know the people I pass by every day but we really are all in this together and a smile, or an excuse me please might remind us all of that. At least it wouldn’t hurt to try 🙂

    • As an Englishman, I share your pain. I love being in the US precisely because people are more open and warm to one-another (at least, that’s my experience). I’m guilty of closing down to others when I’m in the UK, so this is a great reminder for me too. More power to you Brooke!

  • Starting with local contacts and then spread out from there. It’s also something that may interest my brother so I’m going to talk to him and see if he will come on board with me.

    • Sounds pretty damn good to me Alana. I like the conversation thing – often people carry an intention around in their heads, but getting it out into the world (and finding support) can really make it real.

  • While walking around Portland it hit me what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s a big project that will involve travel across the U.S. and to be honest-it scares me. Doing this means leaving my family for a few days every month or two. It means really diving in and going with my passion to create something much bigger than myself and my life.
    For me, taking a stand means following through, ignoring my fears and doubts, knowing that my husband and kids can handle me being away sometimes and they will be ok. It’s very easy for me to say to myself “ok, great idea, pursue it in a few years”. I can’t do that again.

    • Scary right?! I think you hit on something important. You can’t take a stand in your life unless it means getting involved in something much bigger than yourself and your life. What’s an easy way to begin?

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