speak up for yourself“Speak up for yourself; Because if you don’t, no one would!”

Growing up, have you ever wonder why we need to adhere the social standards to be a “good girl” or “good boy”?

For kids, “be good” usually means being obedient to authorities, peace-loving, having good manners etc.

I recalled vividly a day in school when I was 15; It is the last week of the semester, and I just got my report card. There is a column written by my class teacher to describe me as a student and she wrote, “Industrious, obedient, and helpful to others.”

I was so shocked and disappointed with the word “obedient”; Obedient to WHOM and WHAT?? As a teenager who is still searching for her self-identity, this is definitely not something I was very proud of. I do have a brain!

Only after that incident, I start to realise how much I have been accommodating myself to other’s demands, even when I don’t feel like it. I was too timid to speak up for myself because I thought I might either get into trouble (if I express opposing ideas to teachers & parents), or get into quarrels in relationships ( If I say NO to friends).

Can you relate?

When “Good Girls” Enter The Workplace

This struggle of assertiveness continues to affect me today in the workplace. There were countless times when I should have voiced out my opinions but I chose not to and regretted afterwards; and there were also a few occasions where I spoke up for myself in the WRONG context, which brought disastrous results.

A social psychologist, Adam Galinsky, points out in his TEDx talk that we all have a set of “acceptable behaviours” on our own terms. And to become more assertive effectively, we need to expand the scope of acceptable behaviours.

To speak up for yourself more, here are a few tools he suggested:

Advocate For Others.

He called it the “Mama Bear Effect”. When we advocate for others, we naturally become more assertive and able to discover our own voice.

Perspective-Taking.

Let’s do a quick exercise together: Draw the capital letter “E” on your own forehead. Done?

There are two different ways to draw this letter. One method is entirely self-focused, meaning that it looks like an “E” to you. The other is the perspective-taking “E,” as it looks correct to another person.

Which way did you draw your “E”? If you took the self-focused route, don’t feel bad—it’s practically human nature. “We often get self-focused,” says Galinsky, “And we particularly get self-focused in a crisis.”

Perspective-taking is a way to challenge those natural tendencies. Using this approach, you step outside yourself in order to comprehend something from someone else’s viewpoint—because, as you likely already know too well, context can play a huge role.

Why it’s useful to advocate for ourselves? It’s the belief that “if I give you what you want, I can probably get what I want.”.

Give Them Choices.

It’s human nature that when you have choices, you feel like you are in power.

So when you give people the power of choice, it lowers their defense mechanism, and they are more likely to stick with it afterwards.

Of course, you can curate multiple choices that are all acceptable from you side, so whichever they choose, you would be fine with their decision.

Ask For Advice.

Many people thought asking for help is weak; this is so wrong! When we open up and invite for ideas from others, people who get asked feel flattered, and cannot help but subconsciously like you more. In fact, asking for advice is a great way of self-promotion that you might have overlooked.

Tap Into Our Passion.

The last tool Galinsky suggested is through powering up ourselves with our passion, we would become more courageous and expressive.  When we are talking about things we truly love, naturally our eyes lit up, we smile, and that energy is contagious and powerful!

 

To speak up for yourself more is not a selfish act; when you gather the courage to speak up, you allow others the room to do the same too. Let this positive cycle of courageous self-expressions begins with you!

Want to have so much Confidence that you shine like a diamond? stay tuned to our upcoming Personal Power Program!

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