Advocacy, wow. There are so many platforms around us that we can choose to be part of and use or voice. You might call me an advocate. I often speak out about Women’s Rights, Self-Love, and one of my favorites, being a parent. For those of you who don’t know, my daughter Ella is on the Autism Spectrum, which is a beautiful and eccentric gift. But I promise you that this gift, brings on a new level of advocacy that you tend to only learn about along the way.
As parents, we sometimes find ourselves the mediator or advocate between siblings. Or, at school with teachers or administration. It has truly been about finding my voice. And so, I wanted to write this piece about the importance of advocacy for others, but beautiful goddess, we know it starts much sooner than that now doesn’t it?
It starts with us.
3 Ways to Being an Effective Advocate for Yourself
Believe in Yourself
…with all of your being. You are deserving and unique, powerful and strong. It may (and will) take time to work on areas such as; your self-esteem, self-confidence, posture, and so on. But the beauty in that is this – the time, will pass anyway.
Find peace in knowing that your time, will come.
Believing that you can do anything will open doors for you that you may not have imagined to be possible. Standing firm and strong in your thoughts, ideas and feelings will help others believe in your mission, purpose or cause too.
Express and Assert Yourself Clearly
Regardless of the situation, find your voice and share it with others. Avoid shying away from situations where you may find yourself easily talked out of things you want and/or need along your journey. In most cases, we can be fuelled by emotion and can stray from facts. Do your best, to stick to them. Be clear in your intentions.
When you are clear in your communication with others, it will help you continue to build that belief in yourself.
Decide what you Want
Clarify for yourself exactly what you need. This will help you set your own goals and help you be clear to others about what it is that you want and need to see happen. Additionally, where the people listening to you come in. Setting your goals and intentions is a great place to start when it comes to deciding what you want. When we are clear with the end goal, we can create the necessary steps (and strategy) to get there.
Overall, there are a plethora of ways to advocate for yourself and situations alike.
If this is something you would love to learn more about be sure to let me know in the comments and I will open this dialogue together. Self advocacy is so important and can help direct the future of your ambitions, achievements and successes.
3 Ways to Being an Effective Advocate for Others
As a parent, you have the ability to be your child’s best advocate—until they are old enough and/or informed enough to speak up for themselves. You know your child’s strengths and challenges, and you can help identify and push for the resources your child needs to succeed. In addition to our children, we often find ourselves in advocacy roles for others too.
I know there are many women and men I have met in my life who needed an extra voice. They needed, someone to stand with them and wanted the strength in numbers. As you know, this summer my daughter Ella and I wrote a book together (she’s 9) called ‘The Search for Maya‘. This project, this beautiful book or art and imagination we created is about giving a voice to the voiceless.
It is our mission to help those who cannot speak, or speak in a way that others will pay attention. We hope you will support our vision with this book and in the mean time, here are 3 ways to being an effective advocate for others.
Be Informed and Updated
Whether your child has special needs, or your friend requires advocacy as a patient for example – be informed. Know what their ask is but also know what’s within their rights and responsibilities. In addition, know these same facts on the other side of things. When we find ourselves in a role of being an advocate for others, ensure that you are speaking the same verbiage and you are within the reality of potential outcomes.
Stay Cool, Calm and Collected
You will encounter situations that will challenge this. Remember, you are using your voice for the greater good of another. Make sure you that you are displaying a voice of reason. You want to ensure that the voice you are projecting is powerful without added volume. A rational demeanour is important and ultimately can work towards or against the outcome.
Talk to your Child and/or the Person you are Advocating for
This one can be difficult …
Please make sure that you are advocating for a cause that this person wants. Speak to them, and more importantly – listen. Now, of course this can vary based on another persons ability or inability to understand. But ensure you are starting a battle that wants to be won. Be certain that what you are fighting for is what that person wants.
Because when you are advocating for or with others, it has very little to do with you. Although, it has everything to do with them.
Therefore, make sure you are using your voice the way they have asked you to.
How are you using your voice for Greater Good?