Oct 10, 2022

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Why Standing Up For Yourself is Important for Life & Business


Dawn stands in front of a pink background with excited look on her face. One hand on her hip, other one out to the side presenting. Text below her reads "Why standing up for yourself is important for life and business"

If you’re someone who naturally shies away from conflict and rarely stands up for yourself, boy do I feel ya. I’m sharing a funny story about a time that I stood up for myself, and believe me, that does not come naturally. 

Keep reading and you’ll walk away knowing:

  • The importance of standing up for yourself in life and business

  • How to confidently stand up for yourself (without the nervous sweats)

  • Why standing up for yourself is similar to self-respect

You’ll discover that standing up for yourself is actually a healthy part of life and business and doesn’t have to be so scary.

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How to Confidently Stand Up For Yourself

It’s a little bit hard for me to admit that standing up for myself has never come naturally. And it’s led to frustrations and inner anger that I wouldn’t even admit to myself because I felt like it was “bad” or “wrong”. Instead, I stuffed them down until they eventually boiled over. 

So in the spirit of returning back to the heart of this podcast and oversharing, I wanted to tell you the story about the first time I really stood up for myself (and my biz) and how it went. 

Second Nature

It seems like for some people, standing up for themselves is a totally natural ability. They do it effortlessly and flawlessly, while I’m over here second-guessing myself. I wish standing up for myself was second nature, but it’s not. 

That being said, the more I talk about it the more I realize that I’m not the only one who feels this way. 

Standing up for ourselves in business, life, and relationships is really scary. Because more often than not, we’ve adapted to make sure everyone else around is happy. We only think we’re worthy or of value when we make the people around us happy. 

And somewhere along those lines, we’ve connected standing up for ourselves, asking for what we want, with putting other people out. In our minds, we think it’s “selfish”, which leads us to not stand up for ourselves at all. 

Sticking to My Guns

So while I was reflecting on all of this, I was reminded of a time when I did stand up for myself and how proud I was for sticking to my guns. I stood up for what was right and I did what I needed to do. Which, let me tell you, isn’t easy to do at all!

Let’s be honest, people like us, personalities like ours tend to give and give and give and we hope or assume that other people will do the same. That others will also put our best interests first, and unfortunately, that’s just not the way the world works. 

So this was around the time I had just opened my salon in Calgary and I had gotten a new logo made. It was a pink wreath of sorts with a white DB logo in the middle of it on a transparent background. I was so excited to put this logo on the door of my salon!

So I had just been to therapy where we were working through worth and value. It was helping me learn to be more confident and sure of myself. 

I walked up to the salon and saw this big, white, square sticker on the door. I was so confused when I saw it, the white background made the “DB” portion of the logo completely invisible. Not exactly the best way to promote your brand, if you ask me. 

So I phoned up the printer who had done it and I mentioned that the logo was supposed to be on a transparent background. 

It didn’t take long for things to get heated, the printer quickly went from 0 to 100, passive-aggressively telling me that “99% of the time things were printed on white backgrounds”.

I responded that I was not aware of that fact, not being in the print industry myself, but the file I had sent had a transparent background. 

Industry Standards

He tried to give me more attitude, but because I had just finished therapy, I was feeling in my power and doing good. I calmly explained that I was not made aware of that. I specifically told him “I don’t think I should have to know what is standard in your industry”. 

Which I think is a really good learning lesson for us service providers. A lot of time what we know is so ingrained in us and it comes so naturally that we sometimes can forget that our clients aren’t professionals. 

We can’t assume that our clients know everything that we know about our service.

So I was trying to be really polite, explaining where I was coming from. I even asked if I had sent an incorrect file, even though he had never specified what I needed to send. 

I explained that I had paid for something and hadn’t received what I paid for. I needed the sign redone. He was clearly upset and tried to push back. 

Even though I was shaking, I was so proud of myself. In the past, I would have apologized and owned this as my fault. But at that moment, I realized they didn’t ask and I was under the assumption that I’m the client, I’m the one paying and I gave you what you needed (the transparent file for the logo). 

Making Assumptions

The printer assumed that 99% of the time the background is white. He never asked me to confirm whether his assumption was true or not. 

This is why it’s so important to cover our butts in business, even though it can make us anxious. The more you communicate ahead of time, setting up those expectations can help alleviate the conflict that we’re so desperately trying to avoid. 

Conflict doesn’t have to be “bad” or “aggressive”. We just need to be able to live with friction in our lives and we need to learn how to stand up for ourselves. 

Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves and it’s important regardless of the situation. I’ve been told you’ve got to “pick your battles” and while I agree with that to a certain extent, I think you also need to teach people how to treat you. 

We need to show people that we respect ourselves enough that they’re going to respect us back. 

This is also a lesson in making sure we’re not making assumptions in our business. That we’re not taking things that are common sense to us in our industry and putting them on our clients. 

We can’t assume that our clients know that chlorine can ruin their freshly bleached hair, or that drugstore shampoo will cause their color to fade faster, and we certainly can’t assume that our clients know our policies. 

We can’t assume that just because we put our cancellation policy underneath the “BOOK NOW” button that clients are even reading it. We need to remember that people are going and looking for what they’re looking for. They’re not checking out every single thing you have on each page. 

We can’t make the assumption that people read our policies, and confirmation emails or that they even see the things that you’ve intentionally put in place. 

Compassionately Assertive

Which is why it’s so important to have conversations. We need to be confident and have clear communication. Which involves learning to be compassionately assertive. 

There’s a big difference between being aggressive and being assertive. 

We fear being aggressive and combative, we fear conflict. We fear people being upset and leaving. 

But when you learn to stand up for yourself in a way that isn’t aggressive and combative but is compassionate and assertive, people can hear and understand you and see that you are respecting yourself.

Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you become a cold-hearted b*tch.

That being said, we can’t control how people perceive us. But we can control how compassionate and kind we are while still maintaining assertiveness and standing up for ourselves. 

I always say that each interaction should be filled with kindness, compassion, and empathy. Showing your clients that you’re not doing something to them or at them, but for them. 

I want this story to be a reminder to you that you’re allowed to stand up for yourself. Not only that, but you can learn to stand up for yourself in ways that don’t come across as aggressive, that aren’t combative, and that aren’t going to start fights. 

If you’re wanting to find more guidance on all of this, you should definitely check out ROCK YOUR BUSINESS. My year-long mentorship program will help you stop making assumptions in business, confidently stand your ground, and create the business, life, and bank account of your dreams. 

So that’s your reminder for today: you’re allowed to stand up for yourself. And yes, it’s going to feel uncomfortable at first, but know that growth and healing require a little bit of discomfort. 

I appreciate you so much, friend. Have you recently stood up for yourself? I’d love to hear about it! Why don’t you shoot me a DM over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair?

Until next time!

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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