Every day we are making a million little choices that can either benefit us by asserting our goals, ideas, dreams and desires or diminish us because we are hesitant to make our goals, desires and views known.
Sure, it can sometimes be easier to go with the flow, be quiet and avoid potential conflict, but reality is that if we let people walk all over us, we only increase our stress and anxiety levels and ultimately we only play into our insecurities and lessen our feeling of self-worth.
Take charge of your life and learn how to stand up for yourself. When you believe in your own self-worth and power and boldly go in the direction of your dreams, you will be able to achieve anything your heart desires with confidence and strength.
Here are our TOP 10 powerful steps to learn to stand up for yourself in any situation.
#1 Know What You Want
Before you embark on your journey to be more powerful and assertive, you need to know what you want out of any given situation. What does it mean for you to be more assertive and what doesn’t it mean for you? And what are the reasons you don’t feel like you are being assertive enough? Before you begin to find ways to stand up for yourself, go inward and reflect on what it is you want to achieve by being more assertive and why you sometimes find yourself unable to bring your point across.
#2 Be Transparent and Authentic
We know this can be hard at first, but if you learn how to openly and honestly express yourself, you can take a huge weight off your shoulders. We oftentimes hide behind a smile and nod instead of owning up and saying what we think. This does take a little bit of practice, but learning to be open and authentic about what you feel and think is the first step on your way to become more assertive and stand up for yourself. Get into the habit of making yourself heard without being defensive or overly accommodating and people will automatically start to hear you.
#3 Be Selfish
You only have so much time and energy available, so don’t fill them up with the hopes and dreams of others. While it may be the nice thing to do, it will ultimately leave you feeling worn out and you may even start to resent the other person. Be generous with your time and sharing your happiness with others, however, don’t forget to keep some time and happiness for yourself. Learn to be selfish and stand up for yourself. Alone time is detrimental to your happiness and well-being.
#4 Take Small, Powerful Steps
Like with everything else in life, if you are struggling with standing up for yourself and being assertive, don’t jump into it full force, but rather start by taking small steps. Even learning how to use your body to portray assertiveness can do wonders to your self-confidence. Practice to walk more confidently with your head held high, shoulders back and chin up. Once you are comfortable with the physical confidence you created, channel this attitude to other areas of your life. If someone cuts in in front of you at the coffee shop, politely ask them to move back. If you see a wrong charge on your credit card statement, call and dispute it.
#5 Practice Makes Perfect
Remember, simply deciding that you are going to be more assertive and stand up for yourself won’t just magically happen overnight. It takes time to warm up and as with any skill in life by practicing continuously you build the strength to stand up for yourself until it becomes second nature. Remember, if you go to the gym, you need time, patience and diligence to build muscles and over time, you will be able to build and strengthen your assertive nature by repeatedly using it.
#6 Fake It Till You Make It
Learning how to be assertive and stand up for yourself won’t just magically happen overnight. It takes time and practice to grow comfortable with standing up for yourself and while you are still learning, imagine you are an actor playing a role and fake it till you are completely comfortable and it’s become second nature to you.
#7 Make It Physical
We don’t, by any means, mean that you should be getting into physical fights with another person. What we do mean is that you need to be aware of your body language. As we have mentioned in previous blogs, we communicate powerfully through our body posture, gestures, facial expression and the tone of our voice. Take inventory of your non-verbal communication. Are your shoulders pulled back? Are you holding eye contact? Are you standing face-to-face or turning to an angle when talking to another person? Your body language is critical if you want to convey assertiveness to another person, so make sure you stand up tall, chest out, chin up, hold eye contact, speak with a strong tone of voice, have a smile on your face and use open arm gestures.
#8 Train People to Treat You Right
We encounter people every single day, so make sure that you stand up for yourself and tell people how you want to be treated. By this we don’t mean to explicitly tell them, but rather show them through your words, actions, body language and the outward decisions that can be seen by others. If we allow another person to take advantage of us once, that may be a sign for the person that you can be used. So be very aware of your behavior when you interact with another people, because the way you project yourself outwardly will reflect how the other person is going to treat you in later interactions.
#9 Take Emotion Out of It
We know that our emotions and feelings cloud our perception and judgement. It’s time to flip the switch on our perspective and learn how to take the emotions out of the equation. When we respond to a situation emotionally, we rob ourselves of our power. Learn to step away, take a breath and take the emotion out of the situation and you will realize how much easier it is to stand up for yourself, be confident and take charge of your life.
#10 Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
We mentioned earlier that in order to be more assertive and stand up for yourself, you need to learn to be selfish and we mean that in the best possible way. We want to take this a step further now. For some of us this is a huge issue, but learning to say no is a life skill that is a definite sign of a strong person who knows how to set boundaries and makes sure to take care of him or herself first. Saying no has nothing to do with being stubborn or rude and everything with knowing your own limitations and making sure to stand up for yourself and doing what’s right for you.
Stop letting people walk all over you and increase your confidence and assertiveness. We know it can be difficult, but whether it’s in your professional life or in social interactions, you have to let your voice be heard and speak up for yourself if you want to reach your goals, dreams and aspirations. Keep in mind though, standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you have to turn into a rude tyrant. There is definitely a happy medium between aggressiveness and assertiveness and with a little practice, we’re sure you can find the perfect balance and successfully stand up for yourself.
DO SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING. MAKE A DECLARATION.
Joschi & Monika