Speaking Up

Confident individuals speaking up for positive change and empowerment

Speaking Up

Expressing yourself can be tough, even for someone like me. If you knew me as a kid, you might think, “Dan, seriously? You never had trouble speaking your mind.” Well, you could be right, or it might seem that way.

The real deal is that speaking up is a skill you can pick up. There was a time when I was scared to openly talk about my love for God and Jesus. I was afraid that my beliefs would lead to judgment and cause others to lose faith in me.

But guess what? Something unexpected happened. When I took a stand and talked about what I believed in, some people stopped following me. On the flip side, others started communicating with me even more.

I understand that some of you may be busy contemplating the statement in which I mentioned that some individuals ceased to follow me. But let’s keep going. Those who pretend not to know me because I stood up for my beliefs? Honestly, they were not contributing anything meaningful to my life in the first place. Honestly, they were not adding any real value to my life in the first place. Honestly, they weren’t bringing any real value to my life in the first place.

Another thing I did was speak on stage. Now, if you knew me as a kid, you might say, “Dan, you’ve always been comfortable in front of people.”

You know what? My brother might playfully joke that I love being in the spotlight. Just kidding, Rusty (well, kind of, lol). But here’s the truth: I love being in front of people and sharing my message, but only when it’s real and something I genuinely believe in.

I’ve been fortunate to speak on stages where many country performers have performed in Reno, NV, in front of large groups—more than 500 people. I’ve spoken in Spokane, Washington, at the city auditorium and also in front of small churches and youth groups.

No matter if it’s a big or small stage or how many people are there, I still get nervous before I begin. Honestly, the toughest “stage” lately was behind the podium at our small local church. There were less than 10 people in the audience, but I still struggled to feel at ease, even though I did it two weeks in a row and had my message all planned out.

Here’s the key to getting on stage and in front of others:

Just go for it.

When the pastor asks you to stand in for a few weeks while he takes a break, say yes. When an old friend calls and asks you to give a toast at their birthday or wedding, say yes. When your high school teacher wants you to say a few words for the class reunion, say yes. You get the point—if you want to do something, just say yes.

The hardest part of taking action is that initial step. Once you take that one, the following steps seem to flow naturally. If you want your voice to be heard, speak up.

Don’t hush up when others are speaking out. Stand up and speak your mind. Do you know what happens next? People start listening! It’s truly incredible.

Now, let me tell you about a few of the fears I tackle every time I speak.

  1. So, what if I mess up? Big deal! If you say something wrong and later figure out the right answer, own up to it. Swallow your pride and admit your mistake to everyone. And you know what? Those who saw you handle it with grace will respect what you say even more.
  2. I’m not the best at speaking in front of people. Moses felt the same way when God asked him to talk to Pharaoh in Egypt. He said, “God, I’m not good with words.” But you know what? If Moses could help free the Israelites after years of slavery, you can get your message across too.
  3. Perhaps no one cares about what I have to say. Well, you could be right, but who cares? Stop worrying about what others think, and just do it. It doesn’t matter if people have opinions about you not speaking up, because what truly matters is what you think. Do it for yourself.
  4. I can’t do it; people will think I’m dumb. Perhaps you know the saying, “Speaking and removing all doubt is worse than being thought a fool.”  Well, that’s not true. I’ll borrow words from a cool country song: “If you never stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything.” Don’t stress about what others think; in the end, their opinion doesn’t matter.

Okay, I’ve finished sharing my thoughts, and now I hope you can find your soapbox. Be bold, climb up there, and share your message without fear.

Thanks for sticking with me through this. If you want to know more about my faith, check out www.GodFirstLifeNext.org for our weekly devotionals.

Stay safe out there, and let the world hear your thoughts—unless you disagree with me. Just kidding, lol.

Enhance your faith-led leadership journey with God First Life Next. Explore empowering insights at “Encouraging Self-Empowerment: Inner Dialogue” Let faith guide your leadership. Click for purposeful living at GodFirstLifeNext.org.

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