10 Little Things: Self-Advocacy Edition

10 Little Things: Self-Advocacy Edition

"Improvement begins with I."

160
views

I recently started a self-improvement series I like to call 10 Little Things: because the biggest changes in life have to start somewhere small. This week, I'm focusing on a self-care topic that seems to go overlooked quite often-- self-advocacy.

The simple definition of self-advocacy is "the act or condition of representing oneself", but I think the true meaning of this phrase goes a little deeper. Being your own advocate means being honest with yourself, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and generally being your own biggest fan. NO ONE is going to be able to help you grow if you're not willing to help yourself. A little self-love and motivation goes a long way when it comes to self-improvement. Read on for 10 Little Things you can do to start being your own advocate.

1. Be big enough to admit when you've messed up...

When things go wrong--whether it's a bad grade or a bad argument--it's not always someone else's fault. Excuses are never going to get you anywhere. Being aware of your own mistakes and shortcomings will benefit you more in the long run.

2. ...but stand up for yourself when you know you haven't!

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to defend yourself--especially when it's to a friend. It's okay to forgive and forget, but it's not okay to let others walk all over you. Know your worth.

3. Do ONE scary thing a day.

At least. Your comfort zone is something you should always aim to expand. It can be as simple as forcing yourself to talk on the phone or as challenging as introducing yourself at a networking event. Embrace the uncomfortable! You'll feel pretty kick-ass.

4. Practice your "Elevator Pitch".

If you haven't heard of this before, now's your chance.This should be something that's always in your back-pocket! An elevator pitch is a 30 second summary of yourself--your major, your career aspirations, your interests, etc.--that you use to talk to professionals. You never know when you're going to have an opportunity to make a new contact. Be prepared to sell yourself!

5. On that note, don't sell yourself short.

You are smarter and more capable than you think you are, trust me. If you don't brag about yourself (at least a little) to employers, who's going to?

6. Learn the art of eye contact.

In today's digital world, the confidence to look directly in someone's eyes during a conversation does NOT go unnoticed! It can be kind of uncomfortable at first if you're not used to it, but it is a quick and easy way to start feeling like a real professional.

7. Have a PROPER handshake.

There is nothing worse than having a "dead-fish" handshake when you're trying to make a good first impression. Whoever you are introducing yourself to will NOT forget it. Firm, 2 shakes. Trust me on this.

8. Kick self-deprecating jokes to the curb.

I've written about this particular topic before, but it's worth reiterating. You won't realize how much of an effect this is having on your confidence until you actively choose not to use it. Don't take yourself TOO seriously, but know when to stop making fun of yourself.

9. Dress for success.

This doesn't necessarily mean wearing heels daily--it means dressing for the YOU you want to be. Find out what makes you feel polished and comfortable and strive to incorporate it into your daily wardrobe.

10. Celebrate the little victories.

Every step forward--no matter how small--is a step in the right direction. Be proud of yourself for what you've already accomplished!

Popular Right Now

10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

13699
views
Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To The Girl Questioning If She Is Smart Enough, Trust Me, You Are And Always Will Be

Your mind is lying to you.

55
views

Dear you, the girl who doesn't feel smart enough,

Why do you not feel smart enough? That question may be hard to answer. Was it one class? Was it someone's rude comment?

Was it you?

Were you the bully? Did you tell yourself you weren't smart enough because other people seemed so much better than you? Maybe you take longer to understand things that people seem to understand in seconds. Maybe you failed one test and told yourself you were stupid. Well, guess what?

You're wrong.

News flash: You are smart enough. Repeat it until you believe it. Shout it as loudly as you can. I just need you to believe it wholeheartedly.

When you say, "I'm not smart enough," who are you comparing yourself to? In reality, these standards ultimately come from yourself. Sure, society can pressure you into feeling like you have to be perfect. People can put tons of pressure on you and make you feel like one failure is a tragedy.

Erase all of those people from your mind for a second. What do you really think about yourself? If you don't feel smart enough a lot, you probably have really low self-confidence. You expect yourself to be perfect. So many people recognize your worth, and it's about time your recognize it too.

You might be thinking, "It's not that simple." I am not denying that people can make you feel stupid. It's still important to realize, though, that every time we put ourselves down and tell ourselves we aren't smart enough, we are reinforcing that idea.

If you're like me, you've been believing it since you were a child. It's time to let that go.

The next time you fail a test and think that you aren't smart enough, remember that you can feel better about yourself with time. Your thoughts aren't always true. Your mind is lying to you. You are smart enough. You always will be smart enough.

Sincerely,

The Girl Who Was Once In Your Shoes

Related Content

Facebook Comments