Empty Courtroom

How to Build Belief In Yourself – You’ve Got to Be an Advocate

Empty Courtroom

Imagine this. A woman is about to stand trial for murder. The jury is sitting in the jury box, waiting to hear the case and choose. Guilty or not guilty? The prosecutor is seated at counsel table with binders and exhibits all around her. She’s prepared to make the case that this woman is guilty. She’s ready to help the jury believe in her case. But at the other table, where the other attorney would normally sit, the woman sits alone. No one is coming to make the case for her. No one will counter the stories, evidence and energy of belief that the prosecutor is going to present to the jury. The jury will really have no choice but to believe the prosecutor because no one is giving them another choice.

The woman is innocent.

She doesn’t have a chance to win though. No one is going to believe that she’s innocent if no one is making the case for her. Without an advocate, she is lost.

Sounds terrible, right? The scariest thing is that this very scenario goes on in your brain all the time. Every day you choose to believe a story that isn’t true, and it’s a story that hurts you. Every day you lose, simply because you refuse to advocate for another story. You’re not standing up to that negative voice. No one is making this case for you, your ideas and your potential. Enough is enough. It’s time for you to make the case for yourself, to yourself.

Ethan Kross is a Professor of Psychology and a researcher at the University of Michigan. He’s the author of the book Chatter, which shares the research around the voices in our head and how they lean towards the negative. He was kind enough to come on my podcast, The Elegant Warrior, and he shared the impact of negative self talk and the power of countering it with a positive voice.

Someone needs to make a case for that positive voice. That someone is you. You’ve got to be the advocate for your dreams, your ideas and your potential. With the right tools, you can help people believe in your ideas, your dreams and your potential. The people you will persuade and influence are your jury. They give you your wins. But you always have to start with yourself. Your Inner Jury is your first jury.

Your Inner Jury is the part of you that chooses what to believe. But for way too long, you’ve been letting the negative advocate in your head win because you haven’t even made a case for the positive advocate. That negative voice presents stories and evidence to support all of the terrible things that could happen. It shouts all of the reasons you can’t take that risk, make that leap or try that thing. That voice is usually wrong, but it doesn’t matter because you’re not giving yourself another choice.

I work with Fortune 500 companies, teaching teams how to build belief in their ideas, their products and their services. There are specific tools we lawyers use when we advocate and build belief in the courtroom. These proven tools can work for anyone, and they can be learned. The more you use them the better you get. They work on my clients’ Outer Jury – their clients, customers, investors and team members. And they work on your Inner Jury as well.

There are many tools I sharein my work, but one of the foundational methods is the SEE Technique™. When you change what a jury sees, you change what you get. Change their perspective, get more wins. Change your perspective, get more wins. The SEE Technique™ is how you change what people see.

The SEE Technique™ is simple. When you’re advocating for yourself, your ideas and your potential, you use:


Collect and create stories that support what you want your jury to believe. Know your jury well enough to share stories that will resonate with them. That may mean you choose different stories for different juries. And make sure you’re considering the stories the other side is using and countering them as often as possible.


Collect and create evidence that supports your case. Evidence is data. Every jury wants to hear evidence different ways, so know your jury and how they like to hear and see the evidence. Present it in different ways that speak to different people. Don’t be afraid to play with the evidence.


Focus your energy on what you want to believe. Every advocate has doubts. When you work to disprove the other side, you have to be willing to see where they’re right. That can lead to doubt. But remind yourself regularly what you want to believe and why, and that energy of belief will be contagious. You can’t sell it if you dont’ buy it. Your energy has to make it clear that you buy it.

This SEE Technique™ works on all juries. It works best on your Inner Jury because you should know yourself better than anyone. One of the keys to being a strong advocate is knowing your jury. When you’re advocating to your Inner Jury, you know which stories are going to hit home. You know which evidence matters most to you, and how you’ll remember that evidence. And you’ll feel that energy of your own belief so thoroughly that the negative voice won’t stand a chance.

You’ve got to give yourself the opportunity to believe in yourself. When you’re presented with that negative voice in your head, your Inner Jury has to have a choice. The SEE Technique™ will allow you to start making the case for a different voice, a voice that will allow you to achieve your highest potential. If you don’t believe it, it’s hard to see it. But when you do, others follow.

Let’s go back to that woman on trial for murder. She’s about to lose her freedom, her life and her future. Everything she has and everything she’s dreamed of having is about to be on the other side of a prison door, all because there was no one to advocate for her. All she needed was an advocate.

You need an advocate, and it has to be you. No one can do it better because no one knows you better. No one knows your hopes, your dreams, your fears and your potential. You know what you’re capable of and what you can achieve. When you make the case for your potential, you’re far more likely to reach it. It’s time to take on that negative advocate. It’s time to advocate for what you want – and win.

Heather Hansen

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