Confidence or Assertiveness
Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem ~ Bruce Lee
Do you struggle with confidence? Do you have difficulty in getting your voice heard? Being assertive means to voice your opinions, feelings, wants and needs in a respectful manner to you and the individual(s) receiving the communication.
This may occur in environments with a partner in your home, where you feel that you are unable to assert your views or opinions for fear of conflict or confrontation. It can also occur at work where you feel you are unable to speak up. It could be as simple as not being able to complain about inadequate service in a restaurant. These scenarios can leave an individual with feelings of frustration, inadequacy, low morale. The important thing is that with the appropriate training, you can become more assertive and confident to express yourself.
Why am I not assertive or confident?
There are many reasons, one of these being stress. When an individual is experiencing heightened levels of stress, the fight or flight response is triggered. This can lead to agitation and the inability to respond in a confident or assertive manner.
At times, you may feel that being assertive will offend someone and this may be a learned behaviour from childhood; either from a parent or sibling.
Lack of confidence can also result in the inability to express your opinions, especially when others have alternative views on things. There can be a sense of fear and questioning as to whether expressing your opinion could lead to conflict.
Lack of assertiveness can also stem from the culture we grew up around. For example, in some cultures, it is considered impolite and disrespectful to question elders. This can leave the individual feeling helpless as a result of being unable to express themselves. Gender can also play a role, even in western societies where a female may be raised to not speak up in situations that could cause conflict. Consequently, she carries this forward into her adult life.