The High Esteem Podcast

Advocate for Yourself

January 17, 2021 Sarah Erwin: High Esteem Coaching Season 1 Episode 4
The High Esteem Podcast
Advocate for Yourself
Show Notes Transcript

You're on road to developing more confidence, owning what you really want, and creating a life that you love.

And yet, somehow, you often feel like your needs just aren't being met. Like you're not being seen or heard. Like you're biting off more than you can chew while swimming around dazed and confused. And what's more: nobody seems to be helping you out!

Let's talk about that important missing piece of the puzzle: self-advocacy!

This empowering skill is something a lot of us a) don't know how to do, b) are scared to do, or c)forget this is an option in our lives, relationships, and careers.

Unfortunately, not being able to self-advocate leaves us feeling disempowered, resentful, and overwhelmed.

When we're not articulating what we need...well guess what, folks, we're not getting what we need! How are they to know?

Join me for a conversation on why & how we should self-advocate, with some fear busting tips to help you push forward.


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I have recorded this so many times, guys, and this is where I bet I am mentally drained today. But I'm here because as I always say to people, sometimes when we are not at our best, that's when we need those things that inspire us or good for us most. And I know this podcast is work and connected to my work. But it's also so connected to my personal and professional development. And that excites me and gives me passion and makes me feel connected to other human beings. And when I'm struggling, and when the world is struggling, I find it actually so healing, to find a way to connect with other people and to get a message across that will help other people. 

So I want to start off this episode by thanking everyone for being here for listening in. Thank you for putting you first enough to even listen to a podcast about personal or professional development at a time when we're going through so much in the world. And I am extremely flattered that you have come to my podcast. So thank you, thank you, thank you for being here. me this week, I have been struggling with the weather and the darkness and some personal stuff going on. And I'm feeling okay. 

But I want to really practice what I preach when it comes to being real and owning where you're at. So that's that's where I am this week. But I am coming to you at you know, from a rough week, during a good place in my life. So that is different from one were really struggling. And I feel really privileged to be in this position now, which is why I'm in a good place to be making this podcast. I've talked a lot about what is different in my life. 

Now, this year, the past couple years, since I've done a lot of work on myself. I've talked a lot about that in relation to competence. And there's a missing piece there that I have heard brought up in many different aspects either when I hear someone who's doing this thing, and it really strikes a chord because I'm like, oh, wow, I don't see people doing that often. Or consistently, when I see clients people in my life, other humans in general, not doing this thing. And, and seeing the overwhelm and the resentment and the fear and the way that they get in their own heads about these things, because they're not doing this. It's really been telling me that an episode needs to be made about this. 

My mom was saying always saying to me, Sarah, you have to get better at standing up for yourself, you have to get better at standing up for what you need at advocating for yourself, right. And it didn't really click in because I think at the time, I didn't really know what that meant. But also I was so overcome by fear that it was just the The last thing I wanted to do. And that's probably where a lot of you are right now. So I just want to speak on the other side to the importance of this. And again, when I say on the other side, it doesn't mean I'm perfect edit, but it means I've come very far, I have found that it's made a difference in my life. And I found that it works. And I've seen this happen with countless people as well. Why should we advocate for ourselves? And what do I mean by that? And what is the cost of not advocating for ourselves? So let's start with the cost, okay, because I think that in order to see why something is important, we need to look at where our life is without it. So I want you to think of a situation where your needs weren't being met. Maybe it was in your relationship. Maybe it was in a friendship, maybe you were saying Yes, everything are being walked all over. Or maybe people were doing nice things for you, but they weren't what you needed. And you just felt like people weren't seeing you. Maybe it was at work or in or that time when your partner was just really missing the mark when they were trying to make you happy and and they keep saying I don't get what's wrong, I don't get what's wrong, and you feel overwhelmed and you feel frustrated. And you feel resentful because these people just aren't respecting what you need. Well, the first piece here is

Unknown Speaker  4:54  

people cannot read our minds. And this is a mistake we all make We also think we can read other people's minds. But that is a whole other different podcasts episode. And I'm not talking about clairvoyance, I'm just talking about assumptions. But people can't read your mind. So if we don't speak up for what we need, other people aren't going to know what we need. Other people aren't going to know how to give us what we need, because they don't know what it is. And other people aren't going to know how, because we haven't communicated that to them. And sometimes it might be so clear to us what we need and why we need it. But that doesn't mean it is to other people. They're dealing with their own shit. They have stuff going on, they have baggage, they have their own negative thought patterns that they're coping with every single day. They have personal relationships, they have work stress, they have all those things you have, and they are stuck in their own brain, and they are not in yours. And it gets very frustrating when our needs aren't being met, especially by people who are supposed to be supporting us. Right. And this is why this applies to so many areas of life, with friendships, with family, with partnerships with careers, because in all these areas, we rely on other people, we just do we rely on other people, right, we're connected with others. And we often feel like people are failing us or end up just resenting them, because we feel we're delivering on our end or we feel like we're working so hard, and we're not getting any assistance, we feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that we have to do to pick up the slack for where other people could be supporting us. And we often end up feeling powerless and insecure. And like our progress is stunted. Because we really can only get so far when we have so much on the go. We're stuck in our own heads. And we're just really dragging so much extra baggage that's keeping us from moving forward. And they put some questions out there to my audience to ask, you know, where is it that you're struggling most with self advocacy. And most people did say in their careers, right? That area where we feel like imposters, where we feel like we have to look perfect, where we have to be successful where we have to fulfill that image that we've created, or this idea of what other people expect of us. And I think it comes down to the stigma of asking for help as well, that stigma of looking weak and like we don't all have it together. So instead, we pretend, and then we don't have it all together, we don't do as well as we should, we start to have people noticing our stress and our behavior or we go home and we take that out on our families who were also not articulating our needs to. And then the resentment spiral, the overwhelm spiral just continues to get transferred to others, to just blow up in our lives and compound until everything feels like it's out of our control. Is anyone hearing me on this? Are you hearing very common four areas that people were experiencing this? And when I asked what it is, is holding people back from advocating for themselves? I got either I don't know how I forget that is an option. Or that fear was holding them back. Okay. And these answers didn't surprise me because they're ones that I could relate to so much. And so let's look at that. Let's look at the fact that we don't know how, or that we forget that it's an option, or that we're really scared of the consequences.

Unknown Speaker  8:46  

Let's look at that. Why don't we think as an option, because no one else is doing it, or because we have never tried it before, or because we tend to put our own needs last. And because of that fear of asking for help in our society. Maybe we're fearing rejection, or we're fearing setting ourselves up in a bad situation in our lives, whether that's making it more stressful at work with our bosses, or making it more stressful with our partners, whatever it might be. But I want to remind you that if you're feeling overwhelmed and resentful, that the situation isn't working for you now. So that's something to remember because at least if you're advocating for yourself, you're getting answers. You're making the choice to speak up and then you're getting the answers about whether or not it's possible there to get what you need. And then once we get answers when we collect more data in our lives when we collect more information, we can make choices to put us more in line with where we want to be, what we want to do and what we want to accomplish. So let's say that you're having a performance review and you ask for more money. And let's just say your boss says no. And then you realize that your job is not going anywhere. And you feel uncomfortable because because you asked, and you're wondering, oh, what do they think I'm entitled, some stuffs running through your head. And ultimately, you go back to your desk desk feeling a little bit smaller. Okay, so just playing with the worst scenario there. Contrast that with if you don't ask, and you're resentful, you stay there for five years, wondering if you're going to get a raise, and you're not really sure when and if anything is going to happen. But you can't talk yourself in or out of anything, because you don't have that information. Which one is going to allow you to move on faster, okay, you'll get over the fact that your boss made you feel a little small. And if you realize if you work on the fact that you are important that you deserve good things that your work deserves to be valued, that you deserve, what to get what you want in the world, if you do some work around that, and you're at the point where you know what your rights are, and you know what your value is, and you know, that you are putting way more work in than you're being compensated for. Okay? Then now you have that information that you won't get it there, and you can move on. Or you can find another job and use that as leverage and say, Hey, I have another opportunity. But you can't do that, if you did not ask. Same goes for getting help from other people. If we don't say to our partners, hey, I need you to help me out by making dinner twice a week. And instead, we're making it every day and we're struggling to get it on the table. And we're stressed out and we're barking on our family, and then they're barking back at us, then we're just going to continually stay in that state of resentment. And if we say it, and our partner fights at us about that, okay, so that's a fight. But then why are we with someone who won't help us out or respect our needs, or maybe that's something you want to go hash out in therapy or work on with your partner, right? We know what we need to work on. We know what we collectively need to get past when we articulate our needs, and they're not met. But we cannot blame people, we cannot blame them for not giving us what we need, when they don't know what that is. Because you could be putting on a better poker face than you think. And it isn't always as visible to other people. When you're distressed, or when you're unhappy, then it seems to us seems so obvious to us, right? Because we're in that powerful emotional state. But guys, it that doesn't always, that doesn't always translate for other people. And so for me, after working through several jobs, where I either didn't do that, and felt resentful, or I started to do that, and was not getting what I needed, it almost made the practice more powerful, because I moved on from those positions. And I did better things with myself and found myself so much happier and lighter and so much less burdened. And so I kept doing it. And I'll tell you guys, I went into my most recent job, ditching the salary higher than I had done before, and I got a higher salary than I would have likely expected from that job, that stuff actually works, because they know where you are placing your value. And if they want you, if they're the right workplace for you, they will try and accommodate. Even if it's not exactly what you asked for, and it wasn't for me, it still gives you a little bit of negotiating power there. And then it levels out the playing field. So it's not other people and situations having power over you, and you feeling like nothing is in your control. Okay, and I started asking questions at work when stuff wasn't clear. Okay, I need a little bit more information about this. Because I want to make sure that I am delivering this properly to clients or I want to make sure that I have the time to do this before I commit to it, I might say instead of just taking on too much, because I don't want to miss things with our clients. That stuff's important if you're communicating your y if you're saying I need this because A, B and C so that I can do a B and C in line with your job expectations that you

Unknown Speaker  14:30  

know it's probably in the interest of your company. In the case of work, then a good employer is going to respect that they're going to respect that you're asking for what you need and then and then they'll know that they can rely on you, they can trust you and then they know that you will come to them if you don't understand something. And the more I did this at my current job, I actually found that it I'm respected for it. I always get really good feedback about doing that. And you know my my superiors they say that they can trust me because of that and that is not something I would have thought of years ago, but it makes so much sense, right? Because if I don't have the information I need, especially in social work, which is my day job, or in coaching, if I am not able to deliver because I don't have the information that I need that I'm failing other people to, okay, my workplace and my clients, and those are real people. And those are real lives that are depending on you, too. So it's really in everyone's interest, especially because we are so much happier what we're not repressing this resentment and letting it boil up. And then we just start projecting it left, right and center all over the place. And that doesn't create a happy situation for anyone does it. And it, of course, does start with knowing your rights, knowing your value and understanding what you need. So there might be some work that you have to do around that first, before you can get to this place. And that's okay. But start small start from where you're at. And we can discuss in future episodes how to, you know, move away through those other pieces. But what is important is that you recognize that there is that disconnection between what you need and your needs, that you're communicating to others. If we don't fight for ourselves, in this world, no one is gonna fight for us. And it's even more clear when we are in situations that are vulnerable, or we're living on the margins, or, you know, you're saying you're someone who has to depend on government services or social services, right? We all know that there are aspects of our world and our system, whether that's in our workplaces or in services that we depend on, that aren't working so great. Or there are people on the other end of it who need more push in order to get you what you need. Because they might not realize why it's important to you. They might be tired, they might have a lot going on, they have their own baggage. So we need to get our own needs through. And sometimes it means stating it more than once and standing our ground. But we need to do that because we deserve it. And that is the only way that we are going to feel fulfilled and valued in this world is that we Val value ourselves enough to stand up for ourselves. If you don't like something, say it. If you need something else, say it. If you need support, ask for the help. We are all struggling in this. We are all feeling this overwhelming. We don't do this. So why is no one talking about it? Okay, you are stronger for being vulnerable and reaching out for that help. It is scary, and you're pushing past that fear. So back to that fear and that self doubt and that self trust, you need to trust yourself to figure it out. And that that starts with taking that first step forward. advocate for yourself, stand up for what you need. And trust that no matter what happens at the other end of that, you will figure it out. But at least you're setting up for you. And that feeds back into your self respect. And that feeds back into your energy. And that feeds back into your ability to create a life that you want in the life that you deserve. And that's it for today. But if you have something that you want to talk about, maybe it's one of the topics that I covered already, maybe it is a sub topic that I mentioned within one of these episodes or something completely different. Please guys send me an email Sarah at highest Team that's Sa ra h at h i g h e s t e EMCO a CH AI n Send me a note. Tell me what you think of the episode Tell me what you want to hear. Tell me something you want to be coached on that I can maybe turn into a little episode for you to help you guys out. Because I love how accessible podcasting is to get a message out that might help other people. And I love it, it energizes me. So I'm so happy to hear from you. You're not bugging me. I just want to make that part clear. And thank you for being my audience at a time when I was feeling a little bit low. And I hope you enjoyed my weird singing at the beginning of the episode. It's going to continue to get weirder and more quirky as we go and I get more comfortable with this microphone.

Unknown Speaker  19:19  

But But yeah, I cannot wait to connect with more of you. I have so much more to say on overcoming the roadblocks we need to in order to go after our dreams. And there's my dog in the back when you hear that whining. That means it's time to go. There is my dog op live. He is the one who is drawn in the podcast art. So I'm going to take that as my cue. But I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to connect through next time. Bye guys.

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