What You

Being an advocate for others starts with advocating for yourself and voicing what you need. Develop the skills and belief in yourself to authentically communicate your needs with the people around you.

What You

25 min
Pen + Paper

In order to be an effective advocate for others, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Reflect on where you feel like you could have more support in your life or areas that aren’t working for you right now. Maybe you’re juggling a lot emotionally and it’s affecting your mental health. Maybe you are in a situation where you don’t feel respected. Maybe you have too many things to do and you’re overwhelmed. There’s no need too big or too small to advocate for.


Self advocacy is the process of speaking up for what you need. Take a minute to pause, and ask yourself: What do you need right now? After you’ve taken a minute to reflect, see if anything else might be helpful in supporting you—

You need something tangible — such as food, water, rest, time outdoors, or a more comfortable living environment


You need something connected to feeling safe — whether that be a steady home, job, or financial situation.

safety needs

You need something social — friendship, family,  support, love, or acceptance from a group.

social needs

You need something to do with your self- esteem — such as confidence, respect, appreciation,  or gratitude.

esteem needs

You need something related to self- development — such as a desire to grow in new ways, help others, or envision your next step in life.

fulfillment needs


How will you ask for what you need? One way to effectively communicate your need is to use something called nonviolent communication— a way of phrasing your needs with compassion, clarity, and the common good in mind. Try speaking your needs out loud on your own:



I noticed..

I feel..

It’s important to me that..

Can you..


Advocating for yourself is something that you will need to continue to do throughout your life. You are your own biggest advocate, but you can recruit people you trust to be on your team. To start practicing, who can you share this need with to advocate for yourself in this situation?

Take a look at our habits below!

Validate your own needs

It’s more than ok to ask for what you need— it’s necessary for your health and wellbeing. Is there something you need, but worry may inconvenience others? Practice affirming this need by telling yourself why this is important and how it will help your situation. Does this sound like a reasonable request to you? Your needs are valid!

Make rest part of advocacy

Advocacy is hard work and it’s not something that you will do only once; it’s a continued process. If you are advocating for yourself or others, build in the time and space you need to rest and take care of yourself. This will prepare you to come back energized and ready to keep pushing forward.

Lift up other voices

We all have a voice that we can use to create change. One way to magnify that change is by amplifying the voices of others and supporting their cause. This week, notice whose needs might not always be listened to— how can you help to spread their message? How can you let their voice be heard?