This can be a tough question. What does it even mean to stand for something?
It means to know what beliefs you have deep inside and no matter the consequences, adversities or cynical opinions you may encounter, you stay true to those beliefs. It means that your actions follow what you value most.
It may be easy to list what you believe in. At your very core, you may have strong beliefs of equality for all, to help those in need, compassion, courage, honesty, loyalty, education, serving others, being good stewards of our land, appreciating our lives, etc. What isn't always easy is to stand for what you believe in. What if those around you don't believe in the same things you do? When push comes to shove, do you give in and toss your beliefs aside to go with the flow? Does helping others cease if the behaviors or appearances of those in need don't match your own? Does honesty only matter when it's painless? How would your children describe your family and what is important to you? Do you demonstrate what you say you believe in?
An interesting article states that 95% of the majority is directed by the will of 5% of the minority (loumacabasco.hubpages.com). This means that most people tend to follow what a small number of successful people/leaders choose to do or believe. The minority lives a purpose-driven, fulfilling life, because they stand for something. They have values, principles and goals that serve as their guide in how they will live their daily life. The majority, on the other hand, tends to feel trapped with problems, waiting for someone to direct their lives. They worry more about what others think and in efforts to please, they let their family, relatives, friends, co-workers, bosses, community, media, government, or someone else dictate what they should do and believe in.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything", author unknown.
So, no more backing down, giving up or apologizing for what you believe in. Stand tall and believe what you believe! Consider what is important to you and truly live it. What do you believe in so much that you would be willing to take a risk, be uncomfortable for a bit, or stand alone if necessary, in order to be true to you? Make a list of your values, beliefs, and rules of conduct. Talk to your family about what they mean and how you demonstrate them throughout your life. When you live according to your own core beliefs, you'll develop character and an internal strength that cannot be defeated. Be a leader and enjoy!