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Itís one of lifeís ironies that being unable to deal with confrontation is more likely to result in confrontation, and not standing up for yourself is going to result in you getting mistreated by others. Assertiveness is not only a skill you can learn externally, but it is also a character trait that will help you to get what you want out of life. Therefore, consciously cultivating assertiveness on a day to day basis is essentially the same as investing in your future. Dealing with people that impose on your boundaries, making bold decisions in life and breaking through the psychological boundaries which prevent you from achieving your dreams are essential if you want to make the most out of your short time on earth!
Little by little
As with any skill, it takes time and dedication to reach a level of mastery. If youíre lacking in confidence and struggle to deal with people whose interests clash with your own, itís best to start small. Life provides us with opportunities to strengthen our assertiveness on a daily basis. For instance, by generating the strength required to kindly ask a neighbour to keep the music down in the evening, this can help us to pluck up the courage to ask for a raise at work, which can in turn help us to negotiate extremely lucrative business deals involving parties with conflicting interests, and so forth.
Aversion to risk
One of the reasons we do not embark on a course of action is because of the perceived risk involved, whether real or imagined. While this short-term psychological mechanism of self preservation is incredibly useful, it can often be detrimental to achieving our goals in the long-term. Hypnotherapy can be used to associate negative emotions to inaction, and positive emotions to risk-taking (if appropriate), thereby forcing us to step up and face our fears if it is in the pursuit of our long-term life objectives.
One of the funny things about facing your fears is that youíll probably look back on how you previously felt and wonder why you got yourself worked up so much about something so inconsequential! It often proves that the majority of our fears are utterly irrational and unfounded. Take the example of asking for a raise at work: you may feel sick to the stomach at the prospect of asking your boss for a higher salary, visualising all the possible negative outcomes that could occur as a result of this action. By replacing these negative visualisations with positive ones, and by combining the appropriate amounts of confidence and assertiveness in your request, youíre much more likely to have your wishes granted! Even if youíre unsuccessful, having your request denied still puts you in a better position than sitting on the fence – perhaps a change in career is your next step?
Making your boundaries known
If you do not make it overtly clear that you have certain personal boundaries which cannot be breached, then you are much more likely to be exploited by others. This does not mean that you have to explicitly state the kind of behaviour you’re willing to tolerate (although sometimes this is necessary when dealing with difficult people), but rather when you achieve a high level of self conviction and confidence, it will become obvious through your sub-communications (such as body language and eye contact) and actions that you are not the kind of person who is to be mistreated. Generally, people will respect you only as much as you respect yourself!
To truly acquire assertiveness as a character trait, you need to also possess confidence and self esteem. If you feel that you are lacking in assertiveness, a series of sessions with a qualified hypnotist will not only improve your self image, but will also allow you to make bolder decisions on a daily basis which will ultimately lead to a more rewarding future!
(Photo by arjmage)