“How can I be more assertive?” is a question I have been asked and been reflecting on over the past couple of weeks. I thought I would reach out and ask you the same question.
Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines assertiveness as "a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person's rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one's rights or point of view."
In past years, I have been silent about important issues because I lacked the belief that my point of view mattered or was valid. Even though I knew deep down that I was of value, I was too insecure around others to tell them my honest thoughts and opinions.
What helped me speak was the presence of a supportive community who lifted me up. I truly encourage you to find positive role models in your life as social learning is such a valuable tool for your personal growth. When you surround yourself with individuals who model healthy behaviours, you observe them and want to apply their behaviours yourself.
The behaviour that I had wanted to teach myself was to speak out and express how I feel. One of my teammates several years ago will always stick out to me as an awesome leader in this area; she expresses how she feels. Her example of speaking up in an assertive way served as a model for others to follow.
Our coaches announced a change in schedules over email; the change sounded good in theory but its practical application would impact all of the athletes’ lives. The coaches had originally promised our team that we’d have Sundays off; they then changed this to Mondays. Many (including myself) just accepted the email and did not respond as we assumed the coaches had all the power in the decision. But my teammate felt strongly about the change; she didn’t want it. Weekends were days when she went home to spend time with family. Therefore instead of remaining silent, she spoke up against the matter in an assertive way.
Through her response, my teammate was declaring that her thoughts and opinions were important and valuable. I remembering thinking, “My, she is strong!” “Maybe I should have said something too!”
Even though this event happened a few years ago, ‘til this day, it continues to stand out at me; it showcased the importance of being assertive in all areas of your life. Little did I know in that moment I was being taught an essential life lesson. Thank you, friend and teammate, for showing me the way!
From my friend’s example, I thought that sharing stories about assertiveness would be a great series for Arianna’s Random Thoughts. Instead of just encouraging people to “Stand Tall & Speak from the Heart”, from now on I am going one step further by sharing how to practically apply assertiveness in our daily lives.
Let’s all be “cheerleaders” for one another; let’s stand up and cheer one another on in our personal journeys through encouraging each other to value ourselves and be assertive through speaking from our hearts. We can teach and learn from one another!
BE ASSERTIVE!BE ASSERTIVE! BE ASSERTIVE!
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!