This week I want to talk about something that intimidates many people both with and without ADHD: self-advocacy. Confrontation is intimidating for a lot of people. Even just speaking up can be a challenge. It requires you to tackle boundaries and people pleasing tendencies. Self-Advocacy is as hard as it is important. You might be telling yourself, “I don’t want to bother anyone, worry anyone, ask too much, come off as demanding, etc.” However, if you don’t advocate for yourself- for your needs, wants, happiness, whatever- then who will? If you aren’t used to advocating for yourself it can feel abrasive or confrontational, but it usually isn’t. You most likely will have to advocate for yourself in a variety of settings- home, work, school, the doctor, with friends, or more places that you may not expect at first. 

What does self-advocacy look like to you? What comes to mind? 

What do you need to advocate for yourself? 

Where would advocating for yourself benefit you? 

Are certain areas/environments/people more difficult than others to advocate for yourself in/to? What makes those more challenging? What makes other instances easier? 

What makes self-advocacy difficult? 

What’s keeping you from advocating for yourself now? 

How can you advocate for yourself? What do you need to make it happen? 

What’s the difference between advocating for your needs and being selfish or unnecessarily confrontational? How can you tell the difference? 

What is it costing you to not advocate for yourself? What are you losing? 

What will you gain once you advocate for yourself? 

Do you need to practice advocating for yourself? If so, how can you practice? 

What will be different once you advocate for yourself? 

When do you need to advocate for yourself and when do you need to tolerate what is happening? What is the difference? 

How much longer can you sustain the current situation without advocating for yourself? 

Does advocating for yourself have to be all or nothing? What level of advocating for yourself are you comfortable with at this point? Do you need to be comfortable in order to advocate for yourself? How can you get to a place where you feel ready to advocate for yourself? 

Standing up for yourself is challenging. It’s the first step to create change for yourself, and change can be intimidating. We all only have one life to live. How much longer can you manage without advocating for yourself? Think about how life will be better once you do advocate for yourself. Is it worth it? 

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