Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Be Assertive, Be Be Assertive

Being assertive can be so empowering; it's your way of telling the world that you feel confident in your own voice and beliefs.

Often we mistake assertiveness with aggression and bitchiness but this isn't always the intention of the assertive person.  It all depends on the tone and manner in which conversations are spoken.

For a long time I envied other people who were assertive. I admired their confidence and strength to speak their mind, even when it might open them up to criticism or confrontation.

I was a peace keeper; I often bit my tongue in difficult situations when opinions were being fired around because I didn't have enough confidence in my own voice to belief that my opinion matter and deserved the right to be heard.

This often left me feeling frustrated and deflated after certain situations because I had this inner voice crying out to be heard, but no guts to actually speak the words.

Often the only person I felt confident enough in speaking the truth to was my partner, so he'd often cop my vents and anger, which now in hindsight, really wasn't fair at all! Boys, being boys, would often say who cares what others think, stand up for yourself.  I'd be all pumped and puffed up thinking yes, I can do this, let me at it as he'd install short term confidence in me for the next time I'd face confrontation, but that would soon dissolve when faced with a tricky situation.

As a result, I was a yes girl, who often put the needs of others before my own because I couldn't say no.

It wasn't until I became sick that I quickly realized that my health was the most important thing in my life. It gave me a newfound confidence in myself because for awhile there, my eyes had turned inward forcing me to learn my own limitations and making me question and reassess everything that was important to me in my life.

Once I knew what I wanted, it made it much easier to be able to say no, and instead of being that quiet little mouse in meetings,  all of a sudden I would stand up for myself and others when I felt strongly about a decision or situation.

Being assertive hadn't made me a bitch; it'd just made me more aware of how important and empowering it can be to have self confidence.

It was only the other day that a good friend of mine said 

" I love how assertive you are these days- old Kirsty would have perhaps been too concerned about pleasing someone else to look after her own well-being :) "

That it really hit home for me in just how empowering it can to believe in your own voice.

We shouldn't have to go through life being so concerned with what others might think of us that we hide our true feelings and thoughts away.

At the end of the day, we all have our own agendas, priorities, values and beliefs, and that's what makes us unique and the people who we are.

We should never feel ashamed or discouraged to chase what we really want.

Once you know what your priorities are, and you can accept that it's okay to know other people's opinions and choices but that they don't have to affect your own,  then it's much easier to be assertive.

So go on, give it a try; if you aren't naturally an assertive person like me, then you can learn this skill through practice.

Try writing a list of what's important to you and practice reaffirming to yourself sentences like:

"I am important; my opinions matter".

"I have confidence in my own voice".

"Those who matter will encourage me to a share my opinions".

"I know what's important to me".

"I respect others opinions so they will respect mine".

It truly is empowering.

Ps I can guarantee that the first time that you voice your opinion youll probably be so nervous that you'll do a little bit of wee in your pants but you'll walk away with a massive spring in your step and will be secretly high fiving yourself and busting out a dance move! It's uplifting, motivating and will help to build your self confidence!

Your opinions matter.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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