Many of us have struggled with promoting and advocating for ourselves at one point during our personal and professional journeys. Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of SpeakHaus and public speaking coach Sherhara Downing offers valuable advice and techniques for self-advocacy and effective ways to harness ownership of your power.
First, identify your wins and achievements
“Underline, don't undermine!”
We often undermine or overlook our successes because we had a higher goal but didn’t achieve it.
Sherhara advises us to celebrate what we’ve achieved, even if we didn't quite meet our objectives. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is a win, leaving an impact on others is a win and reaching 1k followers is a win, even if you were aiming to achieve 2k. Be proud and connect yourself with the significance of your wins.
Also, being successful does not just mean winning awards or making it to the top ten of a list; every small achievement counts and you should take some time to reflect on those wins, even the seemingly smaller ones. Winning can also be something you did on a personal level, such as taking care of children and your spouse.
Write down a list of your wins, weekly or daily.
Encourage yourself to pay attention to your wins every single day.
“Closed mouths don't get fed - if you do not ask, you do not receive.”
Sometimes, it is not about speaking up for yourself and sharing your wins. You can also speak about someone else and promote them as you would to yourself. Take the responsibility of volunteering others, especially women, to talk about their achievements. Be the one who edifies others. Standing up for someone else and edifying them gives you a chance to promote yourself and to be edified by others.
Find an edification partner. Share your achievements with one another. Share what you’ve done and encourage them to do the same. Support one another even when you are not in the same room. Empower each other and promote others too.
Blow your own trumpets
Talking about your own work and being proud of what you did in front of others isn’t always easy. As women, many of us were taught from a very young age to limit and filter ourselves: to be polite, pretty, kind and not brag about ourselves. However, you shouldn’t just be able to articulate your wins to yourself, you should share them with others as well.
Speaking about your achievements and successes is part of self-advocacy and owning your power.
If you did something good, own the compliments you get. Advocate for yourself by sharing your wins and achievements.
To help ease promoting yourself and talking about your wins, use the prompts, “I am proud to say...” or “I am proud of…” as a way to start talking about your wins, even when you are listing them in your journal.
“I am proud of doing this.” “I am proud of achieving this.”
Practice these in your journal during the times you reflect. This practice helps you recall your wins and achievements. It is also a way of showing your wins without coming off as arrogant or boastful.
Want to learn more?
Connect with Shahara Dowing:
SpeakHaus website https://speakhaus.com/
Linkedin Sherhara Downing
A Leader Like Me is an empowered community that supports underrepresented people to build courage and confidence in their work so they can continue to thrive. Our Nest Community is a safe and supportive environment for women* of colour. It includes monthly Insight Sessions to provide information and inspiration while our monthly Group Coaching creates a needed space for members to share their challenges and opportunities, failures and success authentically with leaders like them who share their workplace experience.
For more about us, visit: https://aleaderlikeme.com/
*We welcome non-binary and transgender people of colour who can relate to and benefit from the women-of-colour experience.