What Does Being Assertive Actually Mean

Firstly, we must ask ourselves what the actual meaning of “being assertive” or “being confident” means.  Understanding oneself is usually the starting point when it comes to overcoming insecurities and fears. We often know a lot when it comes to our personalities, our characters, our ideas; but unfortunately, these known elements cannot be concertized given the fact that we do not take the time to truly get to know the depth of our beings. Nadine Gourkow will always say that in order to know oneself, one must pay great attention to what occurs within us. After a specific experience or event, we must take the time to ask ourselves; “What did this experience actually teach me?” This would then enable us to know more about ourselves, our limits and the situations that we do not want to recur. We must also take note as to what actually makes us feel good and what brings our spirits up. When we know what our boundaries are and what makes us feel good in our spirit then we will definitely avoid the situations that bring negative reactions and encourage the circumstances that bring forth positivism to our lives.

What Are The Effects Of Ignoring Your True Feelings?

The first disadvantage of not being true to oneself and not expressing how one truly feels is that it brings frustration and emptiness. It unfortunately also brings a lack of confidence in oneself as you do not have that strength to own up to your feelings and express what is going on inside. It puts you in a state of internal conflict as you constantly shut down the inner voice that wants to come out. The quality and depth of interpersonal relationships are also greatly affected given the fact that the outside world will eventually realize that the foundation of the relationship is not solid and is not based on truth and consistency. When one acts by being assertive and expressive of the true feelings held within, our motivation is channeled in one direction; towards a specific goal. When we act to please others we scatter and miss our goal. It is very uncomfortable to be loved for what you are not. To please others because we are “nice” (for example, by not opposing or challenging others with our own reflections), is to encourage people to love that image of ourselves without actually getting to know our real selves. It is taking the risk of not feeling oneself for what we truly are. This, in turn, will contribute to the insecurities that drive us to lose that assertiveness.

How To Be Assertive In A Difficult World

We must begin by knowing what our comfort zone is and then we can establish a hierarchy of situations that we find are problematic, from the least difficult to the most painful in our lives. What matters most is that we tackle those problems.  We must surround ourselves with people who constantly reassure us and remind us of the positive image of ourselves. We cannot surround ourselves with negative and domineering people that will only bring our esteem lower.  In this respect, alliances, partnerships, and group strength are essential. Also, the focus on achieving concrete goals – rather than the dichotomy between being “accepted” or “rejected” – helps to build confidence. The good news is that it is never too late to build confidence in yourself. To be oneself is not a revolution, but an evolution.

Here are a few concrete examples of how to assert ourselves one small step at a time:

  • Return a cold dish to the server whiles telling them that you want a new hot dish.
  • Refraining from purchasing a pair of shoes under pressure even if it means that you refuse the 15th pair that was brought to you by the sales clerk
  • Demanding a raise from your boss whiles explaining to him or her that you work harder and consistently in comparison to your colleagues

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