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Published on September 1, 2019

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 September 18, 2019

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

Think of the last time your bought something you really wanted. How did you feel afterwards? It felt good.

    Now, is there something else you really want? Maybe a new laptop, smartphone, or some nice clothes. Buying that thing, whatever it is, will bring you happiness. When you finally have it, you will be excited to try it out.

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          As cliche as it says “money can’t buy happiness,” we feel happy when we buy the things we want. Why is that?

          The Real Reason Why You Are Happy When You Buy Stuff

          Human beings are hardwired to seek instant gratification. You’ve probably heard the phrase instant gratification hundreds of times. To get that thing we want, the moment we want it. This desire for instant gratification came to us as a survival mechanism. I’m not going to talk about instant gratification in details here, if you want to find out more about it, take a look at 5 Ways to Get Over Approval Addiction and Instant Gratification.

          While instant gratification is in human’s nature, we live in a society driven by delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is the desire for something but the inability to get it when you want. In our society, you have to wait for your pay day, your meal at a restaurant, your coffee at Starbucks. When the thing you want finally arrives, you get excited.

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            Your excitement for this thing, the delayed gratification often elicits stronger emotional responses in you than when you get it. This feeling comes from dopamine a chemical that influences the pleasure centers in our brains.[1] When you become excited for something, you are actually enjoying a release of dopamine into our system. The thing you are actually excited for is almost secondary to it.

            Think about it, how did you feel a couple hours after buying something you waited a long time for? It was probably not nearly as good as when you first got it, or when you’re waiting to get it. It’s natural, it’s a part of human nature.

              In this way the happiness you feel isn’t true happiness. In fact, biologically speaking, you’re just enjoying a blast of dopamine. When this blast of dopamine is gone, you want something new again, which is secretly, more dopamine. This is what that old saying “money can’t buy you happiness” really means.

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              There is, however, a way in which money can buy you happiness. It’s just not in a way you think.

              An Alternative to Buying Happiness

              Recently Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA conducted a study where two groups of people were given $40 each.[2] One group was told to spend it in buying a possession, an object, something they wanted. The other group was told to spend it in ways that would enable them to have more free time, for example, having food delivered to save them from cooking, or hiring a cleaner, instead of cleaning their house themselves. When each participant in the study were to measure their happiness to a 10 point scale, those who spent their money on more free time were almost always one whole point ahead of those who spent their money on stuff.

              In a sense, they were happier because they brought themselves out of doing something they didn’t want to do. Just buying more stuff, in the long run didn’t have much of an affect on their happiness, when those who spent money on time found an increase in life satisfaction.

              It was the free time that made people happy.

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                It was the quality time that contributed more to their happiness, the money was just a tool they used to get more time. But the money ultimately is unnecessary. All that is required is a re-adjustment of how you measure time.

                Everyone has 24 hours a day. The life expectancy for females is 81.2 years; for males, it’s 76.4 years. Most people have more or less the same time of living. To make every hour, or minute count is the way to create your own happy time. If you are always feeling busy and don’t think you have enough quality time for yourself, you need to make a change to turn things around.

                To be truly happy, make quality time a true value in your life. Find out how to do so in my other article How to Gain More Time Like Making Money.

                More About Happiness

                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                Reference

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