How to Be Your Own Best Advocate

In your workplace or business have you ever tried harder than ever to “make it work” only to keep re-living and trudging through the same situation over and over? 

We can encounter these moments both personally and professionally, where it feels like the same day on repeat. (Like the movie, Groundhog Day)

Unfortunately, it’s all too common. 

So, what can you do about it? 

By being aware of the repeated pattern and your role in it, you’re on the road to a solution. 

The thinking and actions that got you into that pattern are typically not going to get you out of it.  

Interestingly, it can be even harder if you are an achiever with high standards and a high level of personal responsibility. (Responsibility is one of my core values)  

If you’re the kind of person who is uber self-reliant, takes charge of a situation and works doggedly to fix it… often “alone”, that’s wonderful. 

Until it isn’t.  

Let me share the experience of a client of mine. She has a background in Information Technology. 

She started decades ago before computers could be held in your hands or put on top of your desk. 

She worked at a place that spoke about commitments to growth, healthy work culture, advancements based on merit and excellence. 

After a few years, she noticed that unhealthy behaviors were tolerated, and at times, celebrated. 

She kept quiet at first, then began to try to make changes. 

She shared with a woman on the team and was told she was being “too sensitive” when she called out the behaviors. 

Kind and compassionate by nature, she thought, she needed to change who she was.

Toughen up.

Try harder. 

She was so committed to trying to make it better that she also began ignoring how tired and depressed she was. 

She pushed harder.

She tried everything – from working 16-hours to get noticed, to introducing new projects, to speaking up about the discrepancies in expectations. 

She saw bullying and verbal abuse was kept hidden and created a dysfunctional dynamic in the office. 

While she confronted the leadership of the team, nothing was ever done. 

Finally, being a courageous leader and willing to risk the right thing for herself, she became her own advocate and created a new opportunity. 

She left the toxic environment and is in an excellent new job where her skills and sensitivity, and high standards are appreciated.

The commitment to a healthy work culture is not just something people talk about; it’s lived every day. 

What can we learn from her and her experience? 

~She took time to figure out if she was reading the situation correctly about the toxicity of her previous job situation. 

~She tried taking actions to effect change. 

~When those actions produced no change, she understood that she needed to do something different. 

~She learned that in some cases, trying harder isn’t the solution. 

~She was suffering and understood she couldn’t continue this way. 

~When she understood the causes and situation were truly outside of her control, it wasn’t healthy to try to “fix”—herself or others. She recognized there was no willingness or invitation to change on the part of the company or individuals.  

~She made choices for herself where she did have control. She became an advocate for herself, including asking for help. She put effort into taking actions for her highest and best good.  

~She found a new job where she is appreciated and flourishing, and the organization is reaping the benefits of her talents, sensitivity, high standards, and expertise. 

~She changed her world. 

That’s how you do it.

That’s how we do it. 

ACTION:  The Upside Challenge for the week is to notice if you have a chronic complaint or if you are suffering/enduring a situation. 

Are you trying to fix something that isn’t under your control? 

Explore what can you do (that IS under your control) to change what you are experiencing.

If you can’t see what to do or how, reach out to a coach or someone who may have insights or observations. Because… the world needs you and your brilliance.

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