When we think of the term “hero,” we often picture someone saving other people around them. But sometimes, you need to save yourself.
Actually, when it comes to heroic legends worldwide, time and again we see how the protagonist of the story needs to be a hero to themselves first, before they can be a hero to others. They need to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead, whether it’s Perseus obtaining Medusa’s head to slay the kraken or a Rocky Balboa training montage.
Remember, a hero is not a sacrifice. A hero in the classical sense is not a “one and done” figure. Rather, we need heroes to be able to repeat their world-supporting efforts.
When you set out on your personal heroic adventure, you need to make sure you are protecting your rights, who you are and your place in this world. Let’s take a look at just a few ways you should be a hero to yourself.
Defending Your Rights at Work
Is your employer treating you fairly? Is your boss treating you badly, or is the company putting you in harm’s way with unsafe practices? This issue can be quite prevalent, particularly in industries that involve heavy manual labor. However, it can happen to anyone regardless of their role or the color of their collar.
For example, an office worker might develop a repetitive strain injury (RSI). If their employer didn’t encourage rest breaks or well-being training focusing on ergonomics, the company is not doing right by its workers. If a company allows workers to develop hearing loss due to loud equipment, they should be held liable for the injury. Organizations such as the Lions Hearing Clinic can help advocate in such a situation.
Bottom line: many employers will not be proactive about protecting their employees. That’s why you need to be your own hero on the job.
Defending Yourself in a Relationship
Are you in an unhealthy relationship, whether romantic or platonic? Many of us stay with “the devil we know” for fear of being alone, but this allows toxic people to take advantage of us.
A significant other might be abusive in some way, or a so-called friend might build up their own self-esteem by knocking yours down.
A healthy relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. If you are in a situation where someone is trying to put themselves in a position of power over you, that is a recipe for toxicity.
You need to make sure other people, no matter who they are, are not lording over you, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Be a hero for yourself, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Do it safely, get help from others who truly respect you. Whatever you do, make sure no one you love takes advantage of you.
Defending Yourself from Yourself
It may be a cliché, but we can indeed be our own worst enemy.
In the end, only you stand in the way of your own happiness. Don’t scapegoat other people when it comes to feeling bad. No one but you can make you think or feel anything, unless you give them power over you.
Whether its building up self-esteem or managing your mental health, you must make the choice to be in charge of your own destiny. The fact that you are in control of your own fate is great news! That means you are solely responsible for how you approach your life.
Not only do you need to filter the influences of other people, you need to stand up to your own inner critic. The shadowy part of yourself can be much more insidious than anyone else in your life. It will berate you, call you stupid, unskilled and useless.
That critical voice inside all of us is just our past pain, our self-doubts, and our fears begging to be heard and exorcised, like personal demons. We can relieve that inner critic by just listening to it, and accepting it as a part of our lives. Rather than suppressing it or ignoring it, we need to embrace it. Like a sulking child, it will subside when you pay attention to it. Once that happens, its influence over you will diminish greatly.
Your Big Takeaway
If you remember one thing from this post, remember this: be a hero to yourself, so you can be a hero to the world!