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  • Writer's pictureJenn Donahue

Empower Yourself in the Workplace: How to Find Inner Courage

Have you ever encountered a situation in your workplace that required you to have courage?

The workplace can be a challenging environment, with its own set of demands, expectations, and pressures.

Problems may arise that require us to tap into our inner courage and empower ourselves. Issues such as bullying, discrimination, wage gaps, and dishonesty can be prevalent in some workplaces, and finding the strength to stand up for what is right can be daunting.

It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed or disempowered at times, especially when faced with difficult situations or difficult people. However, finding your inner courage and empowering yourself in the workplace is essential to your personal and professional growth.

When you speak up for what is right, you create a better workplace environment and world around you. Your peers and colleagues will see you as someone they can admire, respect, and trust.

Here are five effective approaches to find inner courage and empower yourself in the workplace.

1.Know your worth

The first step in finding inner courage and empowering yourself in the workplace is to recognize your own worth. Know what you bring to the fight! You are valuable and have unique skills, talents, and contributions to offer. Take the time to reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, and the impact you have made in your work. Remind yourself of your achievements and capabilities, and let that knowledge fuel your confidence.

When you understand your strengths, accomplishments, and unique contributions, you can tap into your inner courage and take charge of your career.

Remember, you are not just another employee; you bring something unique and valuable to the table.

Ask yourself,

1. What are my skills and talents?

2. What have I achieved so far?

What positive feedback have I received from colleagues, supervisors, or clients?

Recognize the value of your work and the difference you make in your organization.

Don't be afraid to own your accomplishments and share them with others, whether it's during performance reviews, team meetings, or networking events. Being aware of your worth and confidently expressing it can help you gain respect, recognition, and opportunities in the workplace.

2.Speak up!

Speaking up and expressing your opinions and ideas is a powerful way to empower yourself in the workplace. Share your insights, contribute to discussions, and offer your perspectives. Be confident in your knowledge and expertise, and don't be afraid to voice your thoughts, even if they differ from others. Your input is valuable and can contribute to positive change.

One of the first steps in finding your inner courage is to speak up when you witness or experience unacceptable behavior in the workplace. This can be challenging, especially when dealing with bullies or dishonest colleagues. However, it is important to remember that you have the right to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace.

When speaking up, try to approach the situation with a calm and understanding mindset. Consider how you would want someone to respond to you if you made a mistake or were in a difficult situation. Be open-minded and willing to learn from mistakes, and treat others with the same level of respect that you would expect in return. If necessary, seek allies who can support you in addressing the issue and consider escalating the matter to a supervisor or HR representative if needed.

3.Prepare & collect data

When facing issues such as discrimination or wage gaps, it is important to be prepared and gather as much information as possible. Research and educate yourself about your rights and the relevant laws and regulations. Collect data and compare statistics to build a compelling case to support your claims.

For example, I experienced wage discrimination in the workplace and was paid 30% less than a colleague. When HR brought this to my attention, I gathered data and compared it to my colleague's salary to make a case for a pay raise. I approached my boss calmly and presented my findings. As a result, I was able to secure a pay raise, and as it turns out, my boss was not even aware of the issue. Staying calm and presenting evidence can help you make a stronger case and increase the chances of a positive outcome.

4.Cultivate Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenges and setbacks. I have my own experience with resilience and I know that cultivating resilience can help you face difficult situations with courage and persevere in the face of adversity. Develop a growth mindset, practice self-compassion, and seek support from mentors, colleagues, or a supportive network.

Empowerment in the workplace requires resilience. Challenges and setbacks are inevitable, but how you respond to them can make a difference. Cultivate a resilient mindset that allows you to bounce back from failures or setbacks and keep moving forward. Instead of dwelling on mistakes or disappointments, focus on learning from them and using them as opportunities for growth. Embrace change as a chance to learn new skills and expand your horizons.

5.Start Small and Celebrate Wins

Finding courage and empowering yourself in the workplace does not always mean taking big leaps. I’ll go on record and say that I do not believe in leaps of faith. Start small and take calculated steps towards your goals. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and take incremental steps to expand your boundaries.

Similar to skiing, where you start with easier slopes and gradually progress to more challenging ones, in the workplace, it is important to identify your comfort zone and gradually push yourself to grow. Celebrate small wins along the way, as they indicate progress and boost your confidence. Creating a checklist of achievable goals can also help you track your progress and motivate you to keep going.

Remember, there may not always be a clear endpoint in achieving your goals, and that's okay. The journey itself, with each day's accomplishments, can be the end goal. It takes determination and courage to keep moving forward, especially when facing challenges in the workplace.

Tap Into Your Inner Courage

Finding inner courage and empowering yourself in the workplace is possible through knowing your worth, speaking up, preparing and collecting data, cultivating resilience, and starting small while celebrating wins along the way. Remember to stay calm, be open-minded, and be willing to learn from mistakes. Upholding integrity and honesty, seeking support from allies, and utilizing available resources are great tools to help you get there.

When you believe in your own capabilities and express your ideas and needs confidently, you can achieve great things in your career. Find your inner warrior and let it roar!

If you would like to hear me speak more to your organization or audience about any of these topics, reach out to me!


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