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How to Be More Assertive to Meet Your Goals

How to Be More Assertive to Meet Your Goals

Life can be tough sometimes–which is why we need to be tough sometimes, too.

And, that’s the focus of this article: helping you to boost your assertiveness, so you can tick off your tasks, goals and dreams.

Now, I realize that it’s not always easy being assertive — especially if you’re used to being a people-pleaser. You might fear that if you act assertively, you’ll be regarded as a demanding and unkind individual.

But, as I’ll show you in the next few minutes, you can be both assertive and kind-hearted. And, most importantly, if you sincerely want to achieve your goals, then it’s essential that you call upon the power of assertiveness.

Why do I say that?

Because having an assertive nature will help you overcome obstacles and reach your goals quicker than you may have imagined possible. According to the Mayo Clinic, assertiveness is a core communication skill.[1] One that allows you to stand up for your beliefs and to express yourself effectively.

And, of course, there are other advantages to being assertive:

• You’ll earn other people’s respect

• You’ll boost your confidence and self-esteem

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• You’ll create win-win situations

• You’ll gain more career satisfaction

• You’ll create open and honest relationships

 At this point you may be asking: “How easy is it to become more assertive?”

Well, it will take some work on your part, but with a little effort, you can definitely become more assertive and more successful.

To help you get started, I’m going to share with you now some great ways of boosting your assertiveness.

1. Be Direct

The first suggestion I have for you is based on the classic “less is more” philosophy.

When it comes to being direct, you shouldn’t make accusations or cause the other person to feel guilty or wrong. And, there’s no need for long-winded explanations, which can be misleading or confusing for the recipient.

Instead, get straight to your point as soon as you can. Such as by saying: “I’m busy right now, so I can’t help you at the moment.”

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2. Stay Calm

Another key component of being assertive is having the confidence to keep your emotions in check when you need to convey something to someone (I know this can be difficult sometimes).

The trick is to detach your emotions from the situation and think logically. This will help make it easier to come across as in control, and will inevitably gain a more respectful response from the other party.

3. Use “I” Statements

Make it a habit to say things like, “I feel ” or “I believe.” And, avoid phrases like “you never” or “you always,” which put people on the defense immediately and can lead to poor communication and shutdowns. 

“I” statements make you come off more confident and don’t trigger others to feel attacked.

In other words, state why you believe something — rather than criticizing the other party’s viewpoint. 

4. Say “No” More Often

There is a great way to practice assertive behavior which only requires you to utter a  2-letter word… No! 

By practicing saying no to things you cannot or don’t want to do, you’ll be exercising your assertiveness in a simple but effective way.

These are the sort of lines you might use:

• No, I’m not happy taking on that work

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• No, I don’t have time to do this

• No, I have more important things to do

• No, I’m on my lunch break right now

• No, I’m not interested!

5. Don’t Apologize 

Many people have the tendency to begin every potentially assertive statement with an apology. For example, “Sorry to bother you, but could you…”  Or even simply, “Just following up…” 

These come across as weak and passive — and certainly not assertive. 

There’s a time and place for being apologetic (e.g., when you’ve accidentally knocked over someone’s drink!), but when it comes to being assertive, don’t let an apologetic tone get in the way of what you want to say.

6. Your Body Language Should Match Your Words 

When was the last time you paid attention to your body language?

If it’s been a while, then I suggest you keep a close eye on it in the next few days — particularly when it comes to talking to someone in person.

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To come across as confident and assertive, your body language needs to match your words. This means NOT slumping your shoulders and avoiding eye contact. Instead, it means standing tall and erect, and looking directly in the person’s eyes.

This will serve two purposes:

• A) It will consciously and subconsciously impress the person that you have faith in what you’re saying

• B) It will make you feel strong, assured and confident

So now you have 6 great ways to boost your assertiveness.

But, knowledge is useless without action. Which is why I want you to start putting the tips and techniques into action in your life — right now!

Do this, and I guarantee that within a few weeks, you’ll notice you’ve become a stronger, more assertive and more dynamic person. And, with these enhanced traits, you’ll find that reaching and exceeding your goals will become second nature to you.

Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

“How do I change my life?” If you’re asking this question, remember that the one constant thing in our life is change. The more we resist it, the tougher our life becomes. Instead of avoiding it, ask how you can change your life to work with the changes happening around you.

We are surrounded by change, and it is the one thing that has the most dramatic impact on our lives. There is no avoiding it because it will find you, challenge you, and force you to reconsider how you live your life.

Change can come into our lives as a result of a crisis, choice, or chance. In any situation, we are all faced with having to make a choice – do we make the change or not?

We cannot avoid the unexpected events in our lives. What we can control is how we choose to respond to them. It is our power of choice that enables us to activate positive change in our lives.

Acting on our power of choice provides us with more opportunity to change our lives for the better. The more opportunities we create to change our lives, the more fulfilled and happier our lives become.

If you’re wondering how to change your life, here are 10 things that you can do to get started.

1. Find Meaning

Spend some time trying to sort out what is important in your life and why it is important.

What is it that you want to achieve in your life? What are your dreams? What makes your happy?

Your meaning in life gives you purpose and sets the direction of how you want to live your life. Without meaning, you will spend the rest of your life wandering aimlessly with no direction, focus, or purpose.

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If you’re not sure where to begin your search for meaning, check out this article.

2. Create a Dream Board

When we were children, we would daydream all the time. We were skilled at dreaming and visualizing what we would be when we grew up. We believed that anything was possible.

As we grew into adults, we lost our ability to dream. Our dreams became hidden once we started to feel like achieving our dreams was impossible.

A dream board is a great way for you to start believing in your own dreams again. Seeing your dreams every day on a dream board brings them life. It will also act as a daily reminder to refocus your energy and direct it toward what you really want to achieve.

3. Set Goals

Once you know what is important in your life and what your dream life looks like in the long run, you need to take action and set your long-term, medium, and short-term goals. Acting on these goals will enable you to achieve your dreams and change your life[1].

Set goals when you want to change your life.

    Remember that your goals may change. Always be flexible with setting and achieving your goals as things in life change, and your goals need to reflect these changes. It’s the small steps that you take that create the momentum when you’re learning how to change your life.

    4. Let Go of Regrets

    Regrets will only hold you back in life. If you spend all your time thinking about the past, you will miss the present and the future.

    You cannot change what you did or did not do in the past, so let it go. The only thing you have control over now is how you choose to live your present and future life. Each time you experience a negative thought about your past, challenge it.

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    If you want to have some fun and visualize letting go of your regrets, try writing down each regret on a piece of paper and then burying it in your backyard or burning it in a bonfire with friends.

    5. Do Something That Scares You

    This is all about you choosing to step out of your comfort zone and see limitations from a different perspective.

    Public speaking is one of the most frightening things anyone can do. I was petrified of public speaking; however, I knew that I wanted to be a motivational speaker. So I joined Toast Masters to overcome my fear of public speaking.

    My first speech was terrible. My knees were knocking, I broke out in a sweat, and I couldn’t stop shaking. But I did it, and the feeling of completing the speech was better than I ever expected. I chose to keep going, and now I earn a living as a motivational speaker.

    Make a list of scary things that you would like to do but are too afraid to. Start small, put a plan in place, and then go do them. Never stop doing scary things if you genuinely want to avoid complacency and comfort and change your life.

    6. Start Living a Well-Balanced Life

    Our health does not remain the same. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual state changes as we get older. What we can control, however, is how we feed our minds and our bodies.

    Living a balanced and healthy life builds our resilience to the physical changes of our body. Exercise is the best way in which we can attain a positive and optimistic attitude toward life.

    Living a healthy, well-balanced life with lots of exercise is a lifestyle choice that will give you a happier and more fulfilled life. Exercise is an incredibly powerful tool that will improve your life and help you feel good.

    What kind of exercise is best? One recent study found that patients with mild to moderate depression experienced similar decreases in symptoms regardless of whether they participated in light, moderate, or vigorous exercise groups[2]. The bottom line: just get moving.

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    If you’re wondering how to ensure a well-balance life, take a look at this guide: The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

    7. Face Your Fears

    It’s easy to ignore our fears and hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, it does not work like that.

    If you want to change your life, learn to master your fears so they can’t control you any longer. Whether it’s a fear of failure, loneliness, or the unknown, it can stop you from living your life to the fullest. We know when our fears are controlling our lives because we feel discontent and unfulfilled.

    Once we face our fears we take back our power to choose how we want to live our lives and when we do this we change our lives forever.

    Learn how to face your fears with this guide: How to Overcome Fear and Realize Your Potential (The Ultimate Guide)

    8. Accept Yourself

    The only person who is going to change your life is you! To create that change, you have to like yourself.

    There will be times in your life where you will face rejection, and there will be people who will not like you or your choices. Accepting who you are and loving yourself despite adversity helps you to move forward in your life.

    Find your courage, love yourself, and step out and do something crazy. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or whether it is the right thing to do. If it feels right, act on it and go create the life you love.

    9. Live in the Moment

    Many of us tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Often, we get to the other side of the fence and find that this is not so.

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    The motivation to change our lives comes from our desire to be happy. We are often so busy focusing on our pursuit of happiness that we miss the joy of actually living in the moment.

    Our desire to have happiness in our lives is a desire of a future state, not of the present. We become so consumed with all our problems in the present that we miss the precious beauty of the moment.

    Sitting on the beach eating an ice-cream with your best friend is a moment of happiness. Appreciating and showing gratitude on a daily basis is experiencing happiness in the moment. Helping those in need brings us joy and happiness.

    This is what living your life in the moment is all about – don’t miss these moments because you are too busy focusing on your pursuit of happiness.

    If you want more tips for this, take a look at this article: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying

    10. Experience the Joy of Learning

    Each time you learn something new, you gain more knowledge, and with more knowledge comes more confidence.

    Learning new skills helps us to be more adaptable in new situations. It also encourages us to be more creative and innovative in our thinking, and we are, therefore, more comfortable with the unknown.

    Reading is a great way for us to learn. To fully embrace the joy of learning, pick up that novel you’ve heard so many people talking about. Once you find the genre that interests you most, devour as many pages as you can.

    The Bottom Line

    You have a choice to make as to how you want to change your life. Choosing to act on these 10 things will help you get started as you seek to improve various areas of your life. Go at it with a positive attitude and remember that change takes time. Life starts when you decide to change!

    More Tips to Help You Change Your Life

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Reach Out: Set goals like a boss
    [2] Training fast or slow? Exercise for depression: A randomized controlled trial

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