Have you ever found yourself in a position where you decided not to speak up for yourself? How did you feel? It is hard being in a situation you cannot stand up for yourself because you feel fenced in and trapped.
You are not alone if you choose not to speak up for yourself. It is prevalent for people to avoid confrontation and don’t speak up out of fear, potential retaliation, or if they feel uncomfortable. People from all walks of life experience this barrier in their lives and have a problem asserting boundaries.
It is essential to speak up for yourself because without speaking up for yourself, you will continue experiencing disrespect, being demeaned, and having your value belittled. It is not your fault you are experiencing this, but it isn’t fair for you to continue enduring what is happening to you.
Sometimes, you won’t have an ally to fight for you. Even if you do, there needs to come a time you can’t depend on their support because they may not always be there. You will eventually need to fight for yourself to thrive and give yourself your best chance.
1 – Recognize Why You Don’t Speak Up
If you struggle with speaking up, this may trace back to your childhood because you may have been taught not to speak up or question things. These feelings may have manifested in how you navigate your personal or professional lives. If you have never had a moment where you spoke up for yourself, consider the people in your life. Did they ever speak up for themselves? If they did, was it a positive experience? What worked and what didn’t? It would help you consider these questions to figure out how to speak up for yourself.
If you have difficulty acknowledging your self-worth, tell yourself you deserve more if you’ve become accustomed to being treated a certain way. You may fear how people react or want to keep others happy. But your happiness is significant too.
Write down one thing you appreciate and imagine what your life would be like if you spoke up for yourself. You may even need to write it down. This won’t completely change how you feel about yourself. Still, if you can find one thing you appreciate, it is an essential step to value your worth in the world.
2 – Practice and Prepare for the Conversation
As they say, practicing your speech in front of the mirror prepares you better. You can apply this practice to anything you need to. Start having a conversation with yourself about what you need to say. You won’t receive positive feedback at first because people are so used to walking all over you. If you want people to take you seriously, you need to be clear about what you want. You also don’t need to practice by yourself. If this becomes too hard for you to speak or you aren’t getting the desired results, ask other people around you to help you.
Do you know your audience? Who is the person or group you need to know about and have this robust conversation with? It is best to know their personality and how they think about things to prepare for how this conversation will envelop.
When you are ready to have that conversation, prepare emotionally too. It’s one thing to be ready for what you are going to say, but imagine how they will react. Being scared is natural, but you can’t let that fear overcome your goals. When people feel cornered in these situations, they may revert to how they felt before. Try your best to control your emotions, and do not let yourself become angry, hateful, or spiteful. You can lead with emotion, but don’t allow your emotions to control you and the message you are trying to tell. Your clarity is blurred from the receiving end if you can’t manage your feelings. You don’t want this to happen to you.
Go into the conversation prepared and ready to fight for yourself and what you need.
3 – Advocate for Yourself
There are other areas in your life where you need to “metaphorically” speak up. It isn’t only essential for your transformational growth to physically speak up for yourself but to show up in other areas of your life. This could be with the people you are around, where you work, and even how you spend your time. It could mean advocating for your wellness by taking the day off, finding a new job, moving to a new location, or ending relationships that only hurt you.
You are not the only person figuring things out, which is why there are many resources you can utilize. Many people think they need to handle everything on their own, but there is nothing wrong with seeking out help for themselves.