Why It’s Important to Be Your Own Advocate – Part 1

This may sound inaccurate but YOU DO have some control on this wild ride called life. While I understand there are many things in life we can’t do anything about, we do have the power to make choices and learn things to help us on this journey.  It really comes down to one word: Advocate. 

I like tactical + practical, so today, let’s break down what advocacy means to better understand why it’s so important. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, as I share 8 Ways to Be Your Own Advocate.

What does advocate mean?
A synonym for advocate is supporter, champion, promoter. It’s being proactive and educating yourself to be informed. It’s investing in your well-being and trusting your gut. It’s speaking up and asking questions. When you advocate for something, you are risking comfort for the chance at change.

While I’m being an advocate for better information about infertility and my health, this mindset applies to any area of your life. Who wouldn’t want to be a supporter, champion or promoter of their mind, their body, their marriage, their friendships, their time, etc.? The list can go on and on.

Why it’s important to advocate
I’ve always been pro-active with my health by getting yearly screenings and check-ups. Fortunately, those appointments came back “healthy” so I never had to practice anything more than preventative care.

But, because of our infertility diagnosis, I am challenged to champion my health like never before. My eyes have been opened to many new experiences and shown me why advocacy is so important. Our journey has obviously flipped the script on this topic for me, and I am thankful because I now have the knowledge to help myself, others and friends and family.

The main reason it’s so important to be your own advocate, is because truly, no one else will. It’s your health, your life and you are in control of it. Not your doctor, your spouse or your insurance company. I understand they can make your life much easier, but ultimately, it’s up to us to be informed. Our body, mind and spirit are our responsibility. 

Advocating can save you time and money and when you understand what’s going on, in turn, it can reduce stress and anxiety. This thought process helps you evaluate how you are truly doing and feel about the path you are on and reaffirms you are doing everything you can to help your situation.

When it comes to your style of advocating, be consistent with who you are, but know in order to create change, it’s probably going to be bit uncomfortable at first. This was definitely true for me, but as the months passed, I began to realize I needed to be more proactive to be informed. My health, marriage, life and future baby were the only reminders I needed to sacrifice my comfort and start advocating.

It may take time to learn and be comfortable advocating for yourself and that’s ok. What I will share next week is an accumulation of 3 years’ worth of learning and navigating the waters of infertility. They have been choppy to say the least. Be persistent in advocating for yourself and over time, it WILL get easier. I promise.

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