Just Ask: Being an Advocate for YourselfPosted: Thursday, October 19th, 2017. Filed under HXV Team
Being an advocate for yourself is hard. Who can help me? When I do get the courage, what do I say? Am I really good enough? Over time, I have come to realize that every pivotal shift in my life began with something simple: asking a question.
I would love to look back on my life and say that it was really easy to get to where I am. As with most people, this was not the case. It was full of moments where I thought that the world had bested me. Moments of confusion and indecision over how to be the best I could be were overwhelming at times. Looking back, I noticed something. Every time that I knew I should be at a different place than I was, it all began with me fostering the courage to ask someone about it. To go after it. Nothing just comes to us. I just had to ask.
To illustrate my revelations, let me go back to my younger years. A few career prep classes in high school had planted the seeds that I was capable of a degree. A two-year degree would be an amazing feat that I felt I had the capability of achieving. In my family, college wasn’t something that was really spoken of, and I knew nothing of it. Around my mid-twenties, I finally began asking what it would take to begin an associate’s degree. A couple of years later, I graduated with highest distinction, and a belief that was instilled in me by my professors that I was capable of even more. Shortly after graduation, I began working towards a bachelor’s degree, something I had never even fathomed a few years prior. I was so scared that I wouldn’t make it. But, I kept asking what I needed to do and pushing forward.
During my time as an undergrad, I began to expand my boundaries even farther into the unknown. I began to wonder if I was capable of attaining a graduate degree. I was nervous, but I asked. And now, I am four courses away from completing my master’s. Prior to asking at each of these moments, it all seemed so large. These ideas always seemed like such a great endeavor I hadn’t the aptitude to actualize. But the strange thing was, once I started asking, it all just seemed to roll forward. It was that first initiation that seemed to be the fabricated wall that kept me from asking sooner.
Here at HUMANeX, I have been afforded the opportunity to grow and stretch my wings as far as I choose to expand them. When I started as an intern, I still had the mentality that maybe I wasn’t good enough. I needed to prove myself. Maybe if I work harder, I will move to full-time. Maybe if I accomplish something amazing, then I will get there. I was waiting for it to happen to me. Then, one day it hit me. I realized I was good enough. I knew I had so much to offer. The only thing holding me back from moving in that direction was my own lack of confidence and initiation. I was the only one who needed to make it happen. So, I began asking what it would take to move to a permanent position. A few short weeks later, it happened. It all began with pushing past that fear and asking.
The most interesting part of my experience has been the realization of this correlation. It seems so simple looking back on it. The more I ask for what I want, the more I get what I want. And oddly enough, the more I ask, the easier it is to ask. So many individuals will say, “No one ever makes time for me,” or “I don’t even know where to begin.” I have to say in return, have you asked? I am here to tell you that wall is an illusion. It’s created in our minds to protect us from the fear of not knowing what we might face. Not knowing if we are good enough. Not knowing if we will be turned down, or told no. But, if we never ask, we can be certain we will never receive. What in your life are you waiting to ask for? Training? Feedback from your supervisor? A raise? Just ask.
This post was written by HUMANeX teammate Angelina W.