Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well hello again!!!

I have started blogging on a site where I do online meetings, so thought I would share what I said here. The meeting was around asserting yourself, and here is the blog post.

What does assert yourself mean to you? Where in your life do you take a back seat, and at what cost? I would like you to take a moment and write that down.

Where do you say yes when you really mean no, then hold resentments or frustrations or guilt afterward? Are you so busy pleasing others you forget about what you want or who you really are?

If you say yes, what are you saying no to? Conversely, if you are saying no, what are you saying yes to?

I think everyone on this site has chosen a healthier lifestyle or they wouldn't be here. Have you found yourself making less than healthy choices because that is what your friends or family wanted? No more! Assert yourself- be the leader in this healthy lifestyle, and let those who choose to follow you do so, and those who don't, no worries- they just miss out on the fun. Stand up for who you are, and in doing so you will be taking your power back. When you're planning a get together, make it something fun and active, like going for a stroll in the park,maybe a game of tag, or flying a kite or whatever makes the child inside you laugh and giggle!!! Choose healthier places to eat, and eat healthier snacks. Create the life you want to live.

Asserting yourself is also asking for what you want! Asking for what you want sounds pretty simple, yes? Do you actually do it? How many times do you think others should know what you want, then get mad when your needs aren’t met? Unmet expectations are the cause of most conflicts.

For years I was upset that my husband seldom bought me flowers. I wished he was more romantic, that he would buy me flowers just because. And he never did. I resented him for that. Finally I told him I wanted him to bring me flowers because to me that showed he loved me. And guess what? He started bringing me flowers, just because!

What is it in your life you aren’t asking for? My challenge to you is to ask for what you want this week. No manipulating, whining or wishing things were different- ask for what you want! The worse that could happen likely is things will stay the same- the best is you will get what you want!

Another way of asserting ourselves is through setting boundaries. Boundaries are about being clear on what is important to you and again, asking for what you want. If you don’t want to listen to dirty jokes for instance, telling people not to share dirty jokes with you. If you don’t want junk food in the house, telling your partner that. Boundaries are a way to personal freedom. Boundaries are to keep us healthy, they show respect for who we are. It is about you respecting and honouring yourself, not about building walls around yourself. Boundaries are not rigid rules, you can change them as you grow or simply remove them.

I would like you now to take a moment to think of some boundaries you would like to set. Then write them down.

Now pick one, the easiest to begin with. The first thing to do is know what the boundary is, next is why you want to create it. Are you acting out of anger or revenge, or are you coming from a place of wanting to enhance your relationship by letting the other person know how you feel and how you want to be treated? If you are coming from anger or revenge, first clear the emotion before having the conversation. Ideas on how to clear that emotion? Talk to a friend, counsellor, coach, workout, run, write a letter and don’t mail it.

Next, find a support person who you can practise (role play) with beforehand, and commiserate with afterward. You are trying on a new behaviour, which will be unfamiliar and could be scary. You may not be that great at it to start with, and people may get upset with you because it’s a behaviour they haven’t seen before. Next, practise what you will say. Use non-abrasive language. Come from a place of talking to that person as you would have them talk to you- from a place of love, an honouring place. For example, “Joe, please lower your voice. It is not okay to yell at me, and if you continue, we will have to finish this conversation when you’re calmed down. If you lower your voice, I’m willing to discuss it now,” is much more honouring than “Joe, shut up! I can’t stand it when you yell at me! From now on I’m leaving when you start screaming!”

Next, set a date to have your conversation and do it!

Finally- Debrief with your support person.

The whole thing about boundaries is speaking your truth. You don’t have to make excuses or explain, just be true to yourself. Is it hard? In the beginning it may be, and gets easier with practice. The more you practise, the stronger you become and the easier it becomes. You grow stronger and more confident. You may disappoint or hurt some people because you will be changing some behaviours with them. But you are being true to yourself and honest and transparent with them about what is true for you. What type of communication do you want in your life, open and honest or closed and resentful?

So, what is that boundary you would like to set for yourself? Start off with a simple one!

Have fun asserting yourself and taking back your power!!! Cheers to a great week!!!!