Building assertive beliefs
> Assertiveness > Building assertive beliefs
Assertive beliefs |
Non-assertive beliefs | Developing assertive
beliefs | See also
Much of what we do, say, feel and act is based on our
beliefs, and in particular in
our beliefs about
people. Problems occur when we hold different beliefs about ourselves and
about other people.
If you have assertive beliefs, then assertive behavior will follow. If you do
not hold assertive beliefs, then you will have difficulty in sustaining
Beliefs that drive assertive behavior include:
- I am equal to others, with the same fundamental rights.
- I am free to think, choose and make decisions for myself.
- I am able to try things, make mistakes, learn and improve.
- I am responsible for my own actions and my responses to other people.
- I do not need permission to take action.
- It is ok to disagree with others. Agreement is not always necessary or
Non-assertive beliefs are generally those that assume we are not equal to
other people, and hence drive passive or
Beliefs that drive passive behavior include:
- Others are more important, more intelligent or otherwise better than me.
- Other people do not like me because I do not deserve to be liked.
- My opinion is not of value and will not be valued.
- I must be perfect in everything I do, otherwise I am a complete failure.
- It is better to be safe and say nothing rather than say what I think.
Beliefs that drive aggressive behavior include:
- I am cleverer and more powerful than other people.
- Other people cannot be trusted to do as they are told.
- It's a dog-eat-dog world. I must get other people before they get me.
- The only way to get things done is to tell people. Asking is a sign of
- People who do not fight hard for what they want get what they deserve.
Developing assertive beliefs
There are a number of things that you can do to develop and stabilize
assertive beliefs that will lead to you being more assertive:
- Notice how your current beliefs drive your decisions and actions. Identify
the beliefs that you want to change.
- Wonder about how the beliefs of others drive their decisions and actions.
- Decide on the beliefs that you want to adopt. Write them down. Pin them on
the wall. Carry them with you in your wallet or pocket.
- Start by acting assertive. You may not feel it, but you can always act it.
- Start small: be assertive in relatively simple contexts, such as asking
for things in shops and restaurants where it is not a 'life or death'
- Reflect on your successes. Realize how new beliefs are making a
Beliefs about people