Asking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up shutting down by getting frustrated and, or, giving up.
Here are 3 tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will strengthen, deepen and enrich your mind set—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:
Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have. For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a task unto itself. Here, it may be useful to ask: “What would I like to happen,” or “What would I like to accomplish?” Of course, this question is dependent on what project you are focused on at the time. For me, it was gaining as much international exposure as possible for my books before and after publication. Thus, I had to speak up and speak out. Focusing on an ideal outcome for whatever purpose opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or ‘victim-thinking,’ and helps us get clear on what we want and don’t want.
Share, Share And Share
Once you know what outcome you need (or want), share it with others. It’s a step-by-step, repeatable process that you must execute to get results. With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the mark. It can feel pleasurable to express your needs or desires out loud to build and maintain connection. You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle, for instance, exercise. Practice speaking about your needs, whether big, or small, on a daily basis. When you speak up, you get used to your assertiveness. Soon, it becomes easier to implement. Furthermore, when bigger issues come along, you will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs and greater confidence to recover from setbacks.
Give as Much as you get
It’s much harder to do most things alone — especially marketing and promoting a book. Simply sticking it out there and hoping people will buy won’t cut it. But I digress… others will be assertive in their efforts too, so return the courtesy when they reach out. It’s really exhilarating when you see your collaborative efforts paying off.
Write It, Work It, Publish it!
© 2011 Cherry-Ann Carew
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Cherry-Ann Carew, The Power Writing Coach, Editor, and Founder of Writetastic Solutions, is co-author of the bestselling book, ‘How The Fierce Handle Fear, Secrets To Succeeding In Challenging Times,’ co-author of the ‘The Power Of 100 – 100 International Women Share Powerful Stories Of How To Stay Focused On Your Dreams,’ and author of ‘Whisper of Lies,’ a novel. Cherry-Ann helps writers with their creative expression to add value to their books. Learn how her coaching and editing services can help you with your book. Subscribe for your FREE SPECIAL REPORT: Discover The 3 Simple Steps That Will Help You Start And Finish Your Book. Yes, you can have a finished draft fast!