Today’s memoir is especially important for women, as I am a firm believer that one should sit in the front row of their own life and cheer for themselves!
Today, I want to discuss the importance of advocating for yourself & how doing so will have a positive impact on your self-worth and self-confidence. Advocating for yourself is done by respectfully speaking on your needs & celebrating when your desired outcome is obtained. In both my professional & personal relationships, I have noticed that often people, especially women, feel uncomfortable advocating for themselves in both professional & personal environments. Women are amazing advocates when it comes to advocating for others or a large body of people but fail to execute advocacy the same way for themselves. Many times women feel they do not have a voice or are fearful of appearing too arrogant, too pompous or too self-righteous, especially since those characteristics conform against societal “gender stereotypes” of how women should behave or carry themselves.
Today, I want to tell you that it is ok. It is ok to self advocate, it is ok to be your own cheerleader, it is ok to build up your self-esteem, it is ok to seek what you want & it is ok to express it. What is not ok is feeling uncomfortable to promote yourself as an individual. Because YOU CONGLOMERATE, MATTER! Advocating for yourself allows others to believe what it is that you are presenting to them– Y O U !
The final reward & benefits of advocating for yourself in both personal & professional environments will have you reaping the rewards that can only be obtained if you respectfully speak up on your needs & desires. You are a fully functioning intellectual, advocating that would expose you to gains you would have never imagined. Aside from the accessing your needs & desires, making choices for yourself, speaking up for yourself without regrets & expressing disagreement, self advocacy contributes to respect from others & self-awareness.
Without noticing, in both our personal & professional lives we advocate for ourselves on a day-to-day basis. We do so with our employers, during conferences, during interviews, in classrooms & presentations, as well as in healthcare. When advocating it ensures that expressing your needs obtains your desired outcome. It further allows you to establish the flexibility of your standards.
Historically, women have been an oppressed population who have & still have to advocate for equal rights in comparison to our male counterparts. Look at the outcomes that have resulted from women getting together & advocating for themselves & other women. Women have since been able to vote, work, have made it illegal to be abused by their husbands (which surprisingly has not always been the case) & have made strides in working in male dominated professions. Though there are still strides to be made in regards to equal pay & equal footing in available promotions/positions for women, women have been shattering glass ceilings everywhere. Just sit back & imagine where women would be if it were not for other women going against the grain & advocating for women’s rights as a whole. It is with the same diligence that women must advocate for themselves, as an individual. In advocating for yourself there is no room to waiver on your self-respect & self-worth. There is no room for settling or maintaining unfulfilling personal & professional relationships. You know what is best for you & you know your worth. Therefore, it is important you express it. You cannot expect others to believe in you, take a chance on you or promote you if you are unwilling & unable to believe in yourself enough to advocate for yourself. This is how you show the world who you are & why you are deserving.
Set the bar for your life, in all aspects of your life. Express what you can offer & what you expect in return. Advocate for your time as it should not be wasted. Tell your employer or potential investor what makes you better than Paul applying for the same position or starting a business similar to yours. Tell them who you are and why you are the best choice. The amazing thing is this can be done without threatening your dignity or self-worth. Let the mindset that “you are worth it” manifest in your life & you would be pleasantly surprised. If you still find yourself having a hard time, or need a simple pep talk as to why you are the bomb reach out to your tribe. They will surely remind you & propel you in the right direction. That is what they are there for!
Women are amazing. It is time to show how you contribute to such an amazing population of individuals. Keep in mind & never forget, a woman who is driven is unstoppable. Show them how! It has been said, success does not come to those in their comfort zones. So please remind yourself that feeling uncomfortable is a necessary part of unlearning oppressive behavior. As Oprah said, “you get in life, what you have the courage to ask for” so start vocalizing it. You got this! It is time to advocate for yourself no one will do it better than YOU!
Conglomerates, now it is your turn to be heard:
Do you have experience advocating for yourself? How has it impacted you? How did you feel afterwards?