By: Darryl Bellamy Jr.
Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you should speak up, do something, but you push it off to someone else, ignore it, or remain silent?
As someone who tried to avoid confrontation at ALL costs, this was me. I’m still working through it, but I’ve improved a lot over the past few years because the more I’ve challenged myself, the easier it gets. As leaders, if we don’t speak up and challenge others, who will? I can’t tell you how often I touch my fearless band and then say what needs to be said. Below is a courageous message from a student who pushed through their fear and challenged those around them.
“This weekend was pretty rough for me. I’m really shy like I said before. But my roommates were just interested in drinking and smoking and doing drugs in the room. They weren’t supposed to, and I wasn’t comfortable with it. I was struggling to come up with the courage to say something to them. But then I remembered what you told me during our last conversation. And I said something. They ended up getting defensive and started threatening me. So, security moved me to another room. But I was proud of myself because I normally wouldn’t have said anything.”
We all find ourselves in situations where we should speak up, but shy away for whatever reason it may be. For you, it could be in your life, campus organization, or even family members during those holidays. This message is a reminder for us all to push past that discomfort and always choose our values and what we know is right. This story inspires because this student pushed past comfort to stand for what they believed was the RIGHT thing to do. It was hard, but the decision was made on values and NOT fear.
Here are three tips to think about when challenging others and pushing through fear:
Think Values First – When you are clear about what you value and what you will or will not support in your space, it makes it easier to challenge those who impede on those values.
Think Legacy – Remembering how you want to be remembered for and what legacy you want to leave on your campus helps you to remember that it’s bigger than you. It’s not about you. By challenging others and pushing through your fears, others coming behind you will benefit from your courage.
Think This Gets Easier – It will be uncomfortable at first, but I promise you, that the more you push out of your comfort zone, the easier it gets. I’ve found it to be 100% true, so take small steps at first, and you’ll be amazed at where you end up.
Wishing you much discomfort and love on your fearless journey.