Introducing: The Courage to Rise Manifesto (Anti-Jante)

Have you ever heard of the Law of Jante? Unless you are from Scandinavia this might be the first time you’ve come across this moral law. However, you might be able to relate it to your own culture or country.

The Law of Jante a set of rules or cultural code imprinted in our Scandinavian culture. Even though they where released in print by Aksel Sandemose in 1933, the attitudes themselves existed long before then in our society.

Aksel Sandemose

For me, these set of ‘rules’ serve as a reminder of some of my own struggles  as a creative soul seeking to be seen. Growing up in a society built on these beliefs as a high achieving creative was a struggle!

Looking at them today remind me of the feelings of confusion I had when I was younger. Feelings of needing to hide certain parts of myself so I wouldn’t stick out, or God forbid make people jealous, made me so confused growing up:

“Try your best, but if you win don’t talk too much about it.”

“Don’t boast or talk about your achievements, but always try your hardest.”

“Don’t tell anyone how your are doing, unless you are not doing well, then tell them everything…. but don’t lie!”

No wonder I was so confused!

The Law of Jante

I still fight with the Law of Jante (or the tall poppy syndrome) at times. I am not sure it will ever fully leave me, however with more awareness, I am now able to notice when those feelings come up and deal with them easier:

1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
8. You’re not to laugh at us.
9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.
11: Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you?

Inspiring right??

Not really.

So here’s the deal, I know many believe these rules help people to remember we are all equal and that we are all in need of one another, but I beg to differ:

  • I DO NOT believe we need a set of rules to tell us we are nothing special, I think it’s more important to come to understand we are ALL special.
  • I DO NOT believe we need rules to remind us we are not smarter, better or more important than anyone else, I think it’s more important to teach compassion practise seeing the unique gifts each individual has to offer.
  • And I DO NOT believe we need any rules to stop us from reaching our full potential, I believe we ALL will benefit when we allow people to rise.

So, I think it’s time we re-write these old rules and re-create this manifesto. It’s time we create a new code that help us remember how amazing the world becomes when more and more of us gain the courage to unleash our potential instead of dimming it.

Below is the Courage to Rise manifesto. May this manifesto act as a constant reminder for you to stay bold, brave and reach high!Nothing great was ever created from playing small. You DO NOT need to shrink in order to raise others up.

I hope I will always stay a courageous rebel, and I hope You will too.
I hope I will always fight for the freedom of our true expression, and I hope You will too.
I hope I will always believe in the goodness of people and that goodness always prevails, and I truly hope you will too.

I used to be a yes-sayer, a people-pleaser, a martyr putting everyone else’s needs before my own.
I used to dim my light to try and fit in. I used to feel unworthy, insignificant and lonely.

But despite my many struggles and challenges I am not defeated. I have grown wiser from every experience.

I no longer need to reform and play small in order belong, because I know that when I rise, we all rise.
I trust in my inner wisdom to guide me, and I choose to speak up- even when my voice shakes.
I embrace uniqueness, diversity and creativity as I KNOW it’s the only way to a brighter future.
I am independent and driven, yet collaborative and supportive.
I am a change-maker that is crazy enough to think I can change the world, but the crazy one’s that believe they can, DO.

Brimming with potential and full of heart, I challenge you all to RISE.

Love Madelaine 💛


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