In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal a lesson from the exposure of another abusive public figure – finding the courage to speak up and stand up for yourself.
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Here we go again: another powerful and extremely successful person in Hollywood who was abusive and got away with it for years because no one had the courage to speak up and stand up.
But there is a lesson in this for all of us; there is a powerful lesson for you and your relationships – romantic, social, and professional.
Scott Rudin, one of the most celebrated and powerful producers in Hollywood and Broadway is bad. He is abusive towards the people that work for him or around him, and he has been that way for decades.
Everyone who worked with him and almost everyone in the industry knew – actors, assistants, writers.
Nobody did a thing.
They chose to remain silent and impotent because they were motivated by self-interest or fear – by self-preservation or self-aggrandizement.
“I want to say how much I respect and applaud the people that have spoken up about their experience working with Scott Rudin. It takes an enormous amount of courage and strength to stand up and state your truth.” – Hugh Jackman
Jackman correctly identifies that “It takes courage and strength to stand up and state your truth” but where was his? (Rudin was producing the Music Man with Jackman as the star.) After the story broke about Rudin, suddenly actors, writers and others spoke out and shared their story of abuse under his hands.
The lesson that applies to relationships and all areas of your life
When you refuse to speak up and stand up the abuse continues.
When you do and say nothing, nothing changes.
When you know something is wrong and you choose to do nothing, you are allowing it to occur. You are enabling the bad behavior.
This principle applies to every one of your relationships. If you do nothing and say nothing, then your partner, husband or colleague continues to act badly because you failed to set the limits or boundaries.
How many mothers know that their husband or boyfriend is treating their children badly? How many mothers are aware that the husband or boyfriend is abusing the children, and yet they ignore it? How many people know that the company is doing something illegal but ignore it?
Without the courage to speak up and stand up, more people are harmed.
What about you?
What are you choosing to ignore in order to keep the peace or avoid conflict?
When you look deeper, your motivations are probably self-preservation and self-interest – perhaps you believe you have more to gain by saying and doing nothing than speaking up. That is what all the people who worked for and profited off Scott Rudin did.
However, if your partner or friend is doing something bad, hurtful and harmful, the longer you allow it to continue, the longer the other person continues to behave that same way. Remember, you teach others how to treat you – by what you choose to accept.
And if someone in your life treats you badly or worse, treats you abusively, and you do nothing, you do not speak up or stand up, then you are enhancing and reinforcing the mental program which keeps you submissive, fearful, and dependent upon him or her.
The longer you maintain the status quo and ignore the bad, the weaker and more fearful you become, while the other person continues to become stronger and further dominates and controls you. That is what happened with the people working with Rudin.
What You Need To Speak Up and Stand Up
You need courage to be willing to speak up and stand up to someone to let them know what you will and won’t accept. Courage simply means acting in spite of the fear. You cannot wait until you don’t have any fear because the longer you wait the more the fear grows and overpowers you. Courage is required to stand up to someone who has more power than you; someone who dominates you.
Strength is the choice to act knowing it won’t be comfortable or easy. Yes, you are taking the choice of losing something. The people around Rudin might have lost their job, but what would they have gained? Self-respect, integrity, self-efficacy, resiliency and hope. You become hopeless and helpless when you take no action other than to allow someone to be toxic towards you.
Remember, it is your choice to speak up and stand up – do you want to live on your knees or die on your feet? The longer you live on your knees, the more your spirit is broken, the less you like yourself and eventually, depending on the level of harm, if it is abusive, you will become enmeshed with the abuser or narcissist – perhaps even developing a traumatic bond.
Compassion refers to the choice to consider the way that you will deliver the message. You can stand up and speak up for yourself without seeking revenge or setting out to harm the other person. You can speak your truth with compassion, cognizant of the other person while still taking care of your needs.
4. Support – It Is not your fault when you are lacking the courage to speak up and stand up for yourself
The critical factor here is the level of harm or bad treatment that your partner, husband or colleague does or has done to you. The more serious and the longer it has lasted, the harder it is for you to have the courage to speak up and stand up; the harder it is to break free. And if you experienced abuse or other traumas growing up, then you will need additional support.
Support refers to people who will stand with you, encourage you, be strong for you and assist you or even corroborate your story or, people who will give you fresh perspectives and hope.
The other form of critical support comes from healing old traumas and learned fears and helplessness. If you would like help professional help to heal the past, overcome fears, traumas, guilt, shame or to resolve your issues, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.