It most certainly is not a negative or mean attitude, that’s for sure! Although being assertive at times does require putting your foot down to the sometimes pushy persistence of others who just don’t get it, one can be assertive with true grace and honesty.
I recently participated in a series of interviews with a longtime friend that was all about “Being Assertive” or “Assertiveness“.
This seemed like a cool and easy interview – which it was always cool, but it wasn’t always easy. I found myself at times at a loss for words… Other times I found myself experiencing a real “A-ha” moment, while other times I found myself questioning my own assertiveness within my “assertive” responses. So crazy how the mind/ego can play these tricks if we even allow it half a breath! When you start to question your own assertiveness, POOF! just like that your assertiveness is gone with the wind!
What I slowly began to realize is that being assertive is not a word or a thought. It is an emotional response. And no, that emotional response is not laced with a roll of the eyes, a twist of the head, or two snaps of the fingers. That kind of assertiveness is all ego with a heaping dose of personal hurt, upsets, let downs, put downs, you name it.
The assertive emotional response I speak of is centering, focused, clear, calm, secure, unattached, open, lit, curious just to name a few. Think of a few famous people who aren’t just famous people but leaders, teachers, creators, innovators, who all carry their assertiveness within and not on their emotional sleeve. Who are they? … Oprah? … Michelle Obama? … The Dalai Lama? … Martin Luther King, Jr?
Who are those assertive, fearless leaders you look up to who inspire you to be a better person, who inspire your creative mind and spirit, who inspire you to be different, do different, make a difference… Who are they? How do they carry themselves? How do they conduct themselves? Embody those positive-assertive aspects, still be you, but ask yourself what kind of role would assertiveness play here if Oprah or MLK were experiencing this experience… How would they respond? Would ego get the better of them? Will ego get the better of you?
Ready to test drive your assertiveness?
The next time you are asked to do something, go somewhere, agree with something or someone – whatever it is that requires a simple YES or NO response. Become aware of your assertiveness, how it’s being emotionally delivered, and see if you either find yourself saying YES to something you really want to say NO to -OR- saying NO to something that is a no, but includes too much explanation, guilt, self-judgement, a nasty attitude or aggression. As I mentioned earlier, assertiveness is certainly not a funky attitude.
Hope you enjoy this awareness journey, and find much love, patience and gratitude on your quest to true assertiveness!
JOIN me at the next free Workshop!
Saturday August 24th at 11am
Los Cerritos Park in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach, CA) off San Antonio Dr. & Del Mar Ave.
Visit the Events page for details. See you there!