Fear often has a crippling effect on how we approach life. It is the basis for a lack of assertiveness. For me, both a fear of rejection and a fear of being inadequate cause me to lack assertiveness. Assertiveness is synonymous with confidence. It therefore stands to reason that if you lack assertiveness you also lack confidence. Without confidence, several opportunities will pass you by in life. Assertiveness is also often associated with standing up for yourself. If you aren’t assertive, then you may be labeled a push-over. So, how can you learn to be more assertive?
Realize that You Can’t Please Everyone
Sometimes we are not assertive because we are afraid of what others may think. Several questions may run through your mind. “Suppose he doesn’t think that I am a nice person anymore?” “Suppose she starts to hate me?” “Suppose what I am saying doesn’t really matter?” Instead of weighing yourself down with these questions, take a stand for yourself. There is the likelihood that others will respect you more for doing so.
Being Assertive Doesn’t Mean that You Have to be Aggressive
Some people associate assertiveness with aggressive personalities. You can be assertive without being rude and unkind. Learn how to express your thoughts in an inoffensive manner. However, don’t shroud your message by being too nice or circumventing the real issue. Some key tips that you should follow when communicating your message are:
- If you are having a conversation, actively listen to what the other person is saying. Don’t pretend to listen while forming your own argument in your head. Actually listen.
- Don’t let the other person overshadow you. Speak up! Let your voice be heard. Say things like “I think that we should do it this way because….”
- Don’t take what the other person says as gospel. If you have an opinion about it, let it be heard.
Be Confident in Yourself
Low self-esteem is something I battle with daily. I never feel like I am good enough. These thoughts have held me back from being everything I know I can be. As a teacher, I realize that my students sense that. Therefore, they use my lack of confidence to their advantage and often scar me emotionally.
You have to be confident in yourself before others will be confident in you. Yes, there will be people who see your potential long before you see it. However, what they say won’t matter unless you believe in your capabilities. You weren’t placed on this earth to wallow in self pity. You were placed here because you have unique abilities and talents that can add value to the world. The moment you begin to realize that is the more confident you’ll become. The more confident you are is the more assertive you’ll be.
Being assertive is an important quality for you to have to move forward in life. Follow the tips mentioned above and you are sure to develop the ability to be more assertive.
Christine is both a blogger and author who has a passion for inspiring others. She is the author of “Becoming the Best You-Ten Pressure Points that Lead to a Successful Life” that is available on Amazon, the iBookstore, and Lulu.com. You can visit her blog at this link http://christinemclean10.wordpress.com/.