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8 Effective Ways To Be More Assertive

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8 Effective Ways To Be More Assertive

Do you often find yourself feeling like a pushover? Your friends constantly call on you to help with the smallest of things, yet you never get time to get your own things done? Have you missed the last two promotions at work because you’re letting others take the credit for the job you’ve done? If this sounds like you, then you need to learn to be more assertive in life. Here are 8 effective ways that you can learn – and become – more assertive.

1. Make quicker decisions

It is important when you’re asked a question that you answer quickly. Doing so will prevent you from over-thinking and changing what your gut instinct says. For instance, you’ve got 15 loads of laundry to catch up on, and want to get a quick workout in, so when your friend calls for a ride, say no immediately because that’s what you’re really be thinking anyways.

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2. Know what you want

Many people who feel they’re left behind often don’t know what they want, so they have a difficult time standing up for themselves. It’s important that you have a vision of what you want in your mind, so that you can go after it. For instance, a promotion is coming up and you want it. Strive to show your boss that you’re the one that’s doing all the work and deserves the position.

3. Set clear expectations

In order to be more assertive, you need to clearly know what to expect from yourself and others. If you’re someone who’s always on the back-burner, don’t expect to rise to the top immediately. Set clear goals and expect to move at a steady pace, gaining the ground you deserve.

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4. Overcome your fears

It’s possible that one of the reasons you’re overlooked is because you prefer to stand in the shadows. When it comes to a presentation at work that you’ve done all the groundwork for, don’t let someone else give your presentation. Overcome your ‘stage fright’ and take the front seat at that presentation. Remember that courage isn’t the lack of fear. Courage is acting despite having your fears.

5 . Use body language to project confidence

Even though you might be in a situation where you don’t feel confident, don’t let anyone see that. Use body language to mask your true fears and give off a confident vibe. Stand straight, chin up, shoulders back and don’t fidget.

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6. Don’t fumble your words

When people are nervous and lacking confidence, they tend to talk quietly and mumble, sometimes making many mistakes with simple words. It is much better if you speak so that you can be heard, as well as slowly and clearly. Avoid fast-talking, as that really allows your lack of confidence to show through.

7. Dress to impress

Not that outer images should make a difference, but the truth is, they do. It’s important that you dress for success. Make sure your clothes fit properly, are cleaned, and in some cases, ironed. You want to look more confident, which will help you feel more confident on the inside.

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8. Change the way you think

The most important factor to become more assertive is to change the way you think. Allow yourself to stand up for what you believe in, what you think is right, and don’t think about what others think. For instance, when someone tries to take over your presentation, or say that they’ve done the work that you’ve done, don’t allow them to do this, as you have in the past. Change the fact that you let others walk all over you and stand up for yourself!

Featured photo credit: LOA via Shots of Insight

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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