Sometimes, we accommodate others for fear we’ll have lost an opportunity. Sometimes, it goes much deeper as we were taught to put others before ourselves, that we were “nice girls” and it was our place to do so. My question becomes: How can we better advocate for ourselves so that we share equally in the prize without giving up what we fully deserve?
I was watching, CNN’s Leading Women and this month’s interview was with Christine LaGarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. When asked why she gave up an opportunity at a leading Parisian law firm, having been told that as a woman she would never make partner, she said, in essence, because “I deserve more.” Paraphrasing her words, ‘I don’t want to work for a firm that limits me”. Her example takes me back to times in my life and career when I gave up my power to advocate for myself with subconscious statements like “they must know better”, “oh, it’s nothing” (anybody could have done it) or if I don’t take this opportunity with these conditions, I will never have that or other opportunities again; statements that, now I realize had rendered me powerless.
So, how can we be our own best advocates for things we know we deserve? Here are some tips: