How to Be Assertive in Any Situation

How to be assertive in a situation can be a tricky topic. There are two basic ways of being assertive and you must use both methods in different situations. You can not do one or the other. You must do both.

If you are going to be assertive, you must speak up when someone does something to upset you, and a few others will respect you more because of your aggressive self-awareness. By expressing yourself, you have validated the opinion of others who would prefer to avoid upsetting people.

Assertive men and women enjoy being on top of the pack and show they are capable of managing their own issues. It shows they have the mental strength to say “I’m right, and you’re wrong”.

You must know when to assert yourself and when to let others have the upper hand.

The key to assertive women is to help men understand that their opinions matter. It’s OK to challenge others if you are a self-aware person who makes a point to see themselves in a favorable light. You must get into the mindset that you are the most important person in any situation.

Self-awareness and assertiveness are two very powerful elements of personality.

Most individuals who are introverted or shy suffer from insecurity, low self-esteem, or low self-confidence. Every one of these negative traits stems from a lack of self-awareness.

Self-awareness and assertiveness will allow you to create a life where you are sure of who you are and who you want to be. Self-awareness enables you to understand what you believe about what kind of person you are and to know your potential. Being assertive allows you to experience a sense of power and self-worth.

Many assertive people will only use assertive means when they feel like the situation is worth it. For example, if you feel your friend is disrespectful and jerks you around every day, it’s wise to let him know that you won’t tolerate it.

You may make your feelings known to your boss but, be aware that he is well aware of how often you make those types of complaints and will try to distract you by pretending that things are fine. That way, he is able to continue being a jerk to you.

When it comes to assertive individuals, there are some things you should never do. Never take on a defensive position. Never criticize others for being insensitive or assertive and always remain polite.

You must always respect your assertive individuals and be aware of how you can make them feel more respected and valued. Assertiveness can be a powerful tool in any relationship.

3 ways to ground in gratitude as an antidote to overwhelm

We can’t be stressed and calm at the same time. Biologically, we’re just not wired for it. So, if you’re looking for something to bring into your life that will keep you out from overwhelm AND more resilient to stress try grounding in gratitude.

It’s no wonder that we feel stressed from overwhelm in today’s world. Things are coming at us all-the-time. We are bombarded with information daily and whether we realize it or not, we’re filtering it all. Our subconscious and auto-pilot mode is hard at work trying to make sense of everything we do throughout our days, but if we’re not mindful of our actions, we can slip into overdrive by default. That’s because actions without intentions, lead to a drain on our lives.

The good news is, you can do something about it immediately by taking back the driver’s seat and leading from the intent of finding and grounding in gratitude.

Here’s the thing about gratitude that’s important to know. Gratitude is a habit of the heart, but it won’t happen on default. You need to make it an intention for it to become a habit. Create the space and make it a priority. I’ll give you a few ways to do that shortly, but first, let’s talk about why it should be on a priority list.   

Grounding in gratitude is a conduit to joy and who doesn’t want more joy in their lives? When we experience the feeling of joy, we are eliciting feel good hormones that flood our body with endorphins, thereby shifting and broadening how we see the world. This automatically takes us out from overwhelm and stress and into a state that’s calm in the present moment. 

The truth is, we can get so busy worried about the future or maybe even stuck in the past, that we miss the here and now. And really, all we ever have is the present moment – here and now. Learning to enjoy this experience is a major key to happiness.

Here’s 3 ways to practice grounding with gratitude:

1. Take what you’re grateful for out from your head and give it a voice. Consider talking about it at the dinner table and saying what you’re grateful for. You can create a meaningful habit for dinner table conversation and guests and it’s great for families.

2. Make it visible through writing. Gratitude journaling is a perfect way to end the day for a restful night’s sleep. Or you can begin your day and help set the tone with intentions of gratitude. You’re more likely to stay in a good space and increase your resilience to stress when you start off from a good place. 

3. Take a walking meditation to think about all the things you’re grateful for. It might be as simple as appreciating all the sights you take in on your walk.

Whatever you do to fit in a practice of gratitude, just remember to make it an intention and do it.

Gratitude is a direct route for staying out from overwhelm. It supports us in remembering what truly matters in life. And it’s a gift that’s free and available to access at any time. Get grounded.

Arlene Figueroa is an NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Life Coach with the iNLP Center. Her online coaching practice is dedicated to helping women balance the needs of family with their own.Arlene is the mother of three who went from chronic overwhelm into a life that’s vibrant by equipping herself with tools for everyday living. When she works with women, they learn quickly that even making small adjustments in how they treat themselves can make a HUGE difference in how they show up in life. Arlene’s passionate about supporting women to nourish the woman within. Read about her coaching program for Overwhelmed Moms.

Self-Sabotage OR Stealth-Sabotage?

by Hannah Rowanwood

Sefl-sabotage is ironic.

Here I was studying the A-H-A model of self-sabotage for my NLP Life Coaching certification and feeling… perhaps not smug exactly, but certainly pleased with myself for having left all of that attachment stuff behind me.

I spent some time easily identifying several attachment types that had defined me in the past.  Martyr? Check. Numb? Check. People Pleaser? Yep, definite check. Next, I had fun identifying those that seemed to fit various people I know (funny how it’s always so much easier to identify patterns in others than in ourselves).

That evening, after baking a batch of cookies and eating half of them in one sitting (did I mention I had quit sugar?), I sat down to do some writing.  Instead, I ended up watching another movie. I say another because I had watched one the evening before, breaking my personal discipline rule of one movie night per week.

Afterwards, feeling enormously guilty and disappointed in myself, I pushed aside those unpleasant feelings by playing solitaire on the laptop for an hour – another broken rule.  Finally, I went upstairs to bed, feeling horrible, and tossed and turned for much of the night.

The next day, feeling tired and cranky from the post-cookie crash and lack of sleep, I moped about, delaying getting my studies underway.  I puttered on with other meaningless tasks, grazing on cookies to get my energy levels back up, knowing full well that I should have been eating all those vegetables languishing in my fridge.  I opened my laptop to write, but couldn’t seem to concentrate through the sugar fog, and instead spent the next two hours scrolling mindlessly through emails and blog posts.

All day I had the feeling of wanting something, but of not being able to identify what it was. That night, I lay awake in bed feeling… empty.  Unsatisfied. Disappointed.

And then it dawned on me.  An A-H-A moment. I was in the grips of self-sabotage, and hadn’t seen it!   After an incredible period of self-discipline and the resulting wonderful personal growth, motivation and great health it created, I had begun to slide back into old habits of distracting, numbing, and procrastinating.

My mind’s dusty old attachment to feeling deprived had seen the wonderful progress I was making, had noticed the creeping feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction, had detected my growing sense of purpose, and didn’t like it one bit.

These new feelings, though wonderful, were unfamiliar territory, and awakened a sense of discomfort and longing for something more familiar, even if that something would have eventually prevented me from reaching my goals and attaining my dreams.  In fact, especially because it would do just that.

Self-sabotaging and attachment to self-deprivation

An attachment to deprivation wants us to experience cravings, longings, guilt, dissatisfaction, emptiness, and lack of fulfillment.  In my case, what better way to accomplish all of that than to sabotage myself from eating well & enjoying good health, completing my NLP program, finding my purpose, and generally feeling great about myself?

The good news is that as soon as I realized what was happening and was able to name the thing I was craving (feeling deprived), the energy behind the attachment immediately lost much of its strength.  Simply bringing awareness to the self-sabotage pattern loosened the grip of the attachment, and allowed me to dissociate from it enough to be able to look at it objectively.

I can look back now and see how this pattern has woven through my life and my decisions, even determining the type of food I chose to indulge in!  I see now that my struggle with sugar mirrors the deprivation attachment pattern perfectly; what other food is so perfectly suited to feeling guilty, unsatisfied, & wanting more?

These deep-rooted attachments, formed most commonly in childhood, can be so challenging to our personal growth precisely because they act behind the scenes, unconsciously driving our thoughts, feelings and behaviors in ways that sabotage our best intentions and loftiest dreams.  But they can be identified and overcome with willingness, awareness and some keen investigative skills.

When looking to identify an unhealthy attachment in yourself or a client, don’t worry about trying to untangle and decipher all of the different behaviors or habits.  Simply look for the end result of that familiar, unwanted (and usually unpleasant) feeling, and work your way back.

And maybe follow the cookie crumbs…

5 Big Reasons Talking to Someone about your Problems Helps (Always)

Got a problem? Talk to someone. It helps – always. Maybe because so many of us were raised by families who didn’t love us. Or maybe because it just works!

Unless you’re confessing a crime you didn’t commit to the police. Then, it might backfire. Or if you talking to someone about a problem and that person spits it back in your face. But you already know who these people are, right?

But under normal circumstances, conversation heals when you talk to someone trustworthy.

Why? How?

Why talking to someone about your problems works so well.

1. You’ll get a different perspective, even if that new perspective comes as a realization from within yourself. Talking about your problems sets your mind in motion.

2. You’ll stop feeling alone. Part of the emotional burden that comes with problems is that you feel isolated and alone in them. When you talk to someone, you are officially no longer alone. A burden shared. You’ll feel more whole, even though being whole is not the best goal🙂

3. If you talk to someone that doesn’t judge, you might stop judging yourself. You’ll learn something – that it is possible to be seen as a decent human being and still have this problem. And when you stop judging yourself, most of the burden could lift. No additional effort required!

4. When you talk to someone about your problems, you release pent-up feelings that have been pinging around in your mind and body, causing stress and inner chaos. Get them out.

5. It’s humbling. When you admit a personal struggle, you’re aligning with the fact that you’re not perfect. And if there is one thing you should stop trying to be, it’s perfect! Winners in life are character-oriented people, not perfect people.

What are you waiting for?

You’ve got problems. Start talking.

Is There such a Thing as Soul Retrieval?

Is there such a thing as soul retrieval?

Shamans, ancient and modern, have claimed that they can retrieve elements of your soul that are lost and they claim to be able to travel the universe on your behalf, looking for fractured pieces of your soul and returning those pieces to you.

When you retrieve your lost soul, you feel complete again and perhaps even develop abilities and sensitivities that you didn’t know you have.

I don’t know if Shamans can actually do this or not. I tend to believe that they can’t, that when a showman retrieves your soul, something else happens. Here’s what I think it is. The psyche is made up of various parts. This is called the parts model in psychology and it’s evident when people talk.

They say things like…

Part of me wants to go out tonight and another part of me wants to stay home.

On the one hand, I want to quit my job and start a business. On the other hand, I like the comfort of a salary.

We can all identify with the common language of parts and parts are parts can hijack our mind, suddenly like the incredible hulk or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

We can radically alter our perspective…

…and do things that are out of character, suddenly exploding or going into a rage and the shift can be dramatic. We can have a rageful part hijack our consciousness and come out and see things completely differently …and behave completely differently,

Instead of pieces of our soul being scattered about the universe needing a shaman to retrieve, it’s much more likely that parts of our personality are simply repressed. Inner child work, made popular by John Bradshaw many years ago, is an example of this.

Your inner child is a part of your psyche that has influence over your behavior. It comes out and times and places which you act childishly or feel certain ways and it’s repressed so you don’t have direct control over it.

So many parts of our personality can be repressed. The key to soul retrieval, the key to soul retrieval is to discover and welcomed back into consciousness, repressed parts of your personality. This is easier said than done, more likely that you will need coaching or training in parts

To accomplish it, and yet our parts are communicating with us all day long, every day, and it’s amazing that we don’t think to communicate back to them, so if we have a voice in our head telling us that we’re going to fail and that we’re no good, we listened to that voice.

We try to avoid that voice.

We fight against that voice. We do everything but acknowledge the voice and talk back to it. Ask it questions. Amazingly. When you do talk back to your inner voices, they respond and you can have a conversation.

That conversation can lead to change, real change in your feelings and your thoughts and your behaviors, and it’s amazing. It may be the most powerful paradigm for personal change. The parts model. It’s worth investigating.

You’re Not a Whole Person So Stop Trying to Be One

There are different parts of your personality.

We’ve all had the experience of working against ourselves. This is parts psychology in action.

• A part of me wants to live in the country and a part of me wants to live in the city.

• I’m torn. Part of me wants to seek revenge, but that’s not a good idea, I know!

• It’s like a hungry monster comes out at night and eats the entire kitchen!

Right?

You know what it’s like to feel divided. And you certainly know that critical voice inside your head that predicts failure and mayhem in your life. That’s your inner critic part.

Having parts is not a problem. It’s just what we are.

The Real Problem

The problem with having parts is believing that you don’t. When a part of you acts up, you get frustrated and annoyed or throw your hands in the air.

• Why do I think like this?

• I can’t stop this damn voice in my head!

• I wish this crap would just go away.

You want to believe that the nasty thoughts in your head and those negative feelings are foreign. You act as if they don’t belong in your mind and body. But, they do. They come from various parts of your personality that (weird as it sounds) think and feel differently than you do.

When you believe parts of you shouldn’t be there, you will never be in a position to heal those parts. More than anything, that’s what you need. Healing.

Parts. So what?

Good question. There would be less reason to believe you have different parts of yourself if believing so didn’t yield healing opportunities.

The oddest thing about the parts model is that you can communicate with your parts. And they communicate with you in return, as if the messages were coming from the ether. It’s a strange trip for someone who isn’t familiar with this kind of inner work.

If you can get your mind around communicating with your parts, you can heal. Where communication is possible, sharing of burdens and recovery of the self is possible. And you simply must experience it to believe.