7 Takeaways To Start Advocating For Yourself

Speak up for yourself

You’ll never get everything you deserve or everything you want from work. None of us can.

You can, however, stop accepting rejection, being walked all over, and not getting the respect that you deserve.

Regain your sense of self control by advocating for yourself.

Take emotion out of it.

This isn’t the time for other people’s feelings or how you even feel about the whole thing. This is straightforward, you are a unique and valuable human being and deserve to be treated with respect. You don’t have to impose your will on others.

It’s about clearly expressing your expectations of how you expect to be treated, how you will treat others, and that you expect to be treated with nothing less than respect.

Whether this is new territory for you or you’ve fallen into a bad habit of allowing others to treat you as less than what you deserve, it’s time to grab the reigns of your life and self advocate.

You’ll need to take stock in your values and your own

It’s important to know what is important to you.

  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • What behaviors are unacceptable to you?
  • What are you willing to do if someone can’t treat you with respect?
  • What do you need?

You won’t be able to clearly articulate to others if you haven’t taken the time to answer these questions for yourself. It’s a valuable exercise take advantage of this moment to take stock.

As you take stock remember to believe in yourself.

Valuable Person – You are unique

You are an individual and there isn’t another one of you. Be proud of who you are and believe in yourself.

Your self worth comes from within, and is not something that can be given to you. 

Build Self Confidence

Self Esteem is important to your own outlook.

  • Grow your awareness of your strengths.
  • Appreciate who you are and your contributions.
  • Be proud of who you are.

This isn’t egotistical this is having self worth.

Express Yourself Clearly

It can be difficult to have conversations with others about behavior. This is why it is critical to speak about what is important to you, what you need from others, and what you are willing to tolerate. This is not a moment to take them to task and air your grievances about their poor behavior.

Again, take emotion out of it and find the clearest language that explains what you are looking for. Use the answers to your values exercise and know what those three things that are most important to you are, and clearly share those.  

Stand Your Ground – Be persistent and firm

You will notice a immediate difference in others when you have these conversations, clearly articulate your non-negotiables and what you are willing to tolerate, and what you want. This does not mean everyone will immediately change their behavior. This is something new for you and for them, so it may take some time, so be realistic in your expectations of others.

That does not mean to tolerate bad behavior. Be persistent and reinforce your commitment to your values and what you’ve expressed as being paramount to you. You have to stay firm and committed. Stand your ground. Just don’t be surprised if it takes others a bit to adjust how they show up with you.

This is one area where it isn’t a negotiation. So long as you are not dictating what others will do, but are clearly expressing what you expect and what you will put up with – then you have every right to protect your rights as an individual.

Simple but scary

If you are thinking that this sounds simple but really kind of scary. Good. You that’s how it should feel. You’ve allowed yourself to fall into a pattern that isn’t doing you good. It’s time to respect yourself and expect the same of others.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Just that it has to be done.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in your head worried about how others will react. Work through these steps. And get out there and do it.

Nothing anyone can do is worse than the way you are probably feeling now. Letting yourself get walked all over and disrespected isn’t the issue. It’s letting it continue to happen when you know you can make a change for the better.

You deserve to be treated with respect – advocate for yourself and your life will never be the same.

If you enjoyed this article and want to continue your learning journey check out the below resources for some quick learning.

Check out my article, Stand Up for Yourself Without Stepping on Anyone By Being Assertive which fits in nicely with self advocacy.


Check out this great share from Claire Shipman on confidence 101. Confidence comes from taking action. It comes from a longer course on Linkedin on called Women Helping Women Succeed in the Workplace that has some wonderful content.


Here in this three minute video Joel Garfinkle shares 3 Ways to Hone Your Self-Advocacy Skills at Work.

3 Ways to Hone Your Self-Advocacy Skills at Work

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