HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF

So, you know how I LOVE to talk about healing and therapy. Well...TODAY I am going to dive a little bit deeper into healing, what that journey could potentially look like for you, and how to advocate for yourself. Disclaimer: These are things that I have learned on my journey and in no way have I mastered. I am working towards getting better at them and making them a habit and not just a goal in my notes on my phone. As I always say do your own research and take everything with a grain of salt. So, let’s hop right into it...


Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries in my personal opinion was the hardest thing to do. When I used to hear the word “boundaries”, I wanted to run for the hills or I automatically thought that something was wrong (anyone else felt or feel this way?!) Anyways...let me be the first to tell you that boundaries are GOOD for YOU. They create space for you to grow, evolve, support, and love yourself and others. Tweet this: Boundaries are not meant for the other person, but for YOU! They are good things (scratch that) they are GREAT things that should not be broken, bent, or what have you. They should be ENFORCED to the 10th degree BUT the age-old question is “How in the hell do I enforce boundaries?” Well...that’s the tricky part that requires you to do some reflecting. I encourage you to read “How To Be More Self-Aware” to find out how and why you should practice self-reflection. When you sit down or even say out loud the things that may or may not be working in YOUR life, you can then be able to specifically state what your boundaries are.


Next, write down why you want to put XY or Z boundary in place. Again, your why SHOULD NOT be for someone else. It should be centered and focused on YOU. P.S. it should not be something selfish (use your judgment). It should be something that allows you to grow and evolve into a better human being. Next, enforce them, whether it is a boundary for you or for someone else. The way you enforce them is by going back to your why. Always reference your why. That is why I encourage you to make it a SUPER STRONG ROCK SOLID why.


Now, the tricky thing about boundaries is the simple fact that they can be easily broken by you or someone else. Now, take this next part with a grain of salt. Boundaries that are broken by you and are meant for you or someone else will require you to sit down and evaluate why you actually broke it and how you can move on and forward. Boundaries broken by someone else meant for that person is going to either require a conversation or no conversation at all. This all boils down to the boundary and the relationship. Something that I have learned in terms of boundaries broken by someone else that was meant for them is discernment. Simply, ask yourself is this relationship or person really worth having a conversation with. If you do decide to have that conversation I encourage you to express your boundaries if they were not already expressed and honestly, wait for that person’s response. If that person cannot and/or will not respect XY or Z, then bounce sis. If they can respect your boundaries, then use your best judgment if they are worth your time, energy, and/or space after that. This brings me to the next thing to keep in mind communication.


Practice Communication

Communication like boundary setting is not easy. It is actually quite difficult and will require you to make an effort. Communication can clear up a lot of misunderstandings or better yet miss them altogether. Some things that I have learned about communication is that there is no one size fits all and it is situational. Hear me out. I believe that we all communicate differently and in every situation, we have the potential to communicate differently with XY or Z. That is why I say that it is situational BUT I think we should have a clear understanding of how we communicate best. There are so many ways that you and I can communicate. We can communicate verbally, nonverbally, written, and/or visually. The best way to figure out how you communicate best is by taking inventory of the situations in which you were able to resolve conflict in the most effective manner and how you learn and retain information. From there, you will have a pretty solid idea of how you are able to communicate with yourself and others.


Seek Therapy

This one I am not going to talk about too much because I feel like I do all the time. All I am going to say is seek counseling, therapy, spiritual healing if you want to amp up your healing journey and look for healers that you can identify with. You do not want to seek healing from someone who does not get it, who is judgmental, who is shitty, who is robbing you of your money, etc. These are just some basic things to consider, but there are so many other things that you should consider like race, ethnicity, gender, faith, etc. No, you do not have to seek counseling from someone who is of the same race/ethnicity and/or gender. It all boils down to what they are trained and passionate in and YOUR comfortability. Do not be afraid to ask questions to get to know that person or even a group of people before swiping your card. Also, there are so many amazing healing accounts on Instagram alone if you cannot afford therapy or it is not something you are ready to commit too. Stay tuned because I will be dropping a list of all my favorite healers.


Practice Your Faith

This one is self-explanatory. Exercise your faith, whether it is in the universe, Allah, God, Jesus, etc. Aim for a closer connection or relationship with someone or something that is outside of you. I am a Christian as many of you know, so I pray, journal, read the Bible and on occasion attend church (I am still looking for a church home). Now, that I have become more self-aware and embarked on this journey of healing I have begun to seek God first more than ever. Again, you do not have to seek God if you are not a Christian. Practice your faith, pray, meditate, visualize, etc. Do whatever it is that you need to do to connect with a higher being (in a safe, love-filled way). Let me add this quick blurb in real quick. I DO NOT and WILL NOT support cults. So, do not think that when I mean practice your faith I am referring to cults or hate-filled groups or religions. Again, use your judgment on Instagram.


All four of these tips can help you advocate for yourself better. They are practices that you can put in place to help you find and/or use your voice in the most effective manner. Therapy, for example, is great to find your why, fix, mend, repair, etc. things that have happened to you. It is a way for you and me to let go of toxic behaviors and cope in a more effective way. Once you learn better coping mechanisms then you can speak on your behalf in a healthy manner and use your voice effectively. It is not a one-stop-shop or a fix-it-all practice. It is something that you and I have to work at constantly.


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