If you are not able to stand up for yourself in life, chances are, you won’t get what you deserve, let alone what you want. Nothing in life comes for free, and there will always be people who are willing to step on your toes or run over you in order to get something.
If you do not want people to take advantage of you anymore, you need to learn how to become more assertive. If you want to get more respect from others, you need to improve your assertiveness skills. If you have dreams and aspirations in life, you need to take assertive action.
Assertive Communication Is Not Agressive
A lot of people confuse assertiveness and aggressiveness. These are two very different things. Assertive behavior is a powerful way to communicate and act that will likely lead to the outcome you want to achieve. Aggressive behavior is inferior to that, as in many cases, a person that is acting aggressively is “trying too hard” and damaging their relationships with other people because they are too hostile, dominating, threatening and blaming. It’s a much more negative way of trying to achieve something, and it often stems from a lack of power.
A truly powerful person does not need to be aggressive – truly powerful people know how to get what they want without damaging their own reputation. It is possible to be a nice, friendly person and assertive at the same time.
Feeling Insecure, Inadequate, Shy, Nervous & Hesitant
A lot of people who lack assertiveness have simply not yet learned that it’s okay to ask what they want. They might even feel unsure whether they really deserve something or not, or whether a request is unreasonable or selfish. These feelings are often tied to a low self-esteem.
You also need to get over your fear of being disliked, doing or saying something that others might disapprove of. It is a simple fact of life that if we try to please everybody, we will usually end up pleasing nobody or act so timidly, that no one notices our actions at all, let alone give credit to us.
You don’t have to be a people pleaser, you don’t have to say the things other people want to hear. Be comfortable with engaging in conflict or creating a challenge.
But there’s good news too, as professor Daniel Ames, an authority on assertiveness has said: “Assertiveness can be learned.” He also backed this up with solid research. ((Pushing Up to a Point: Assertiveness and Effectiveness in Leadership and Interpersonal Dynamics))
You need to adapt a more assertive language and behavior if you want to build a more assertive personality. Stop being apologetic, don’t say “sorry” all the time.
It’s a good idea to practice assertiveness techniques in a “easy” situations first, before applying them directly to challenging situations. For example, if you do not like the fact that a certain co-worker often interrupts you when you speak, and this really upsets you, then practice in other situations first where you are less emotionally involved. Once you have done the assertiveness exercises a couple of times and “got them down”, you can then apply them to more challenging situations where your emotional involvement is higher.
How Assertive Are You?
If you want to become more assertive, you should be able to answer yourself the following question: “How assertive am I?” And in order to do that, you need to evaluate or “measure” your assertiveness. How do you do that?
Well, before you join a meeting, or engage in a conversation, define what outcome you want to achieve. And then, afterwards check: did the result of the meeting or conversation match your desired outcome? This way you get a feeling for how successful you are at asserting yourself.
Be Proactive About Practicing Assertiveness
Don’t just consume information, read books or articles or watch videos about assertiveness – practice it. Set yourself tangible goals, and create an assertiveness training course or plan.
Rehearse what you want to say in order to achieve an outcome, so that can communicate it clearly when you are in the actual situation.
One of the best ways to learn assertiveness is to set yourself specific goals with a deadline. For example, engage in three challenging situations within the next week where you have to be assertive.
Another good assertiveness exercise is to just make sure that you speak up in every group discussion you take part in at least once (and preferable within the first five minutes).
The Hypnotic Assertiveness Training Course
One of the best places to train assertiveness is your own mind. If you can actually visualize and imagine yourself to act decisively, and you can do so very vividly, you are basically imprinting a new behavior style into your subconscious mind that will serve as a “blueprint” for your future real behaviors.
Hypnosis allows you to become more assertive quickly, because it works from the inside out.