Stand Up — Move Up

SUMU (pronounced sue-moo) is the acronym for Stand Up — Move Up, meaning that when we stand up for what is right for us, we move up in consciousness.

by Dr. Steven Patascher — 

SUMU (pronounced sue-moo) is the acronym for Stand Up — Move Up, meaning that when we stand up for what is right for us, we move up in consciousness. When we learn to SUMU, of course, we never do it at another’s expense. As we practice SUMU, standing up becomes easier and we grow in the wisdom about when and how to stand up.

It is amazing how many of us have difficulty thinking for ourselves and speaking our minds. We worry that we will make the wrong decision, the other person will not like us or that we will receive some sort of retribution. The more we need to please or fear the consequences of our actions, the more difficult it is to SUMU.

We must have the fortitude to value our own inner voices. When we take responsibility for something, we accept the consequences of our choices and become active participants in the decision-making process. We learn to trust our own experience. As a result, we develop certain habits of thinking and being that enable us to do what is necessary. Courage is needed to stand up for what we know is right for us.

While working on my master’s degree, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship and a fellowship. The fellowship offered an additional stipend, and required that I work for one of the professors. I was initially agreeable with this arrangement; however, after meeting the professor, it was decided that it would not be a good situation for me. I met with the dean, and after some discussion he agreed to allow me to keep only the scholarship and forego the fellowship. This was a very difficult decision, because it meant I would need to find an alternate way to defray some of my school expenses.

By coincidence, I learned that the student who accepted the fellowship I had turned down had been made to categorize stacks of old newspapers the professor kept in the trunk of his car and do myriad other similar tasks which consumed a lot of time and affected her studies and well-being. Although I empathized with this person’s plight, the news confirmed my own decision to turn down the fellowship. Standing up made my school experience much more balanced and enjoyable.

When we make decisions for ourselves, we aren’t always privy to the results. Knowing we are doing what we believe is best for ourselves at the time is all we need. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. Also, bad decisions help us get to good decisions. We need to SUMU.

Having the discernment to SUMU in a mature and emotionally balanced way takes some life experience and practice, practice, practice. If we value the art of growing in our knowledge of what is right for us, we will learn to be courageous and speak up. The more we do so, the stronger we will get in this capacity, growing into the habit of listening to — and knowing — the right direction for ourselves.


Steven Patascher, Ph.D., is a certified professional coach (CPC) in Phoenix and he also works with many individuals by phone. 602-595-2390.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 1, February/March 2007.

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