So, I know you have a long day ahead of you. And the fact you are reading this means that you are looking for something to challenge you as you work on self-and everything else. Over the next month or so, we are going to focus on a word or phrase, and we are going to break that word down and into something digestible. You are going to internalize this word, utilizing it as fuel when your energy is low, or you feel overwhelmed.
This is not just to increase your vocabulary, but to strengthen your self -awareness, and encourage positive paradigm shifts. So you ready? Of course you are!
“Insisting on one’s rights or authority”
This word has not changed much over the last 500 years.
The word of the day is assertive ( just in case you missed the title).
The word for today comes from around the mid-1500s, though the sentiment is much older.
“Declaratory, positive, full of assertion, or insisting on one’s rights or authority”. You might have known that already. But did you know it is short for self-assertive? The word has evolved from ‘defending one’s opinion or right’, and has taken a more offensive tone, which includes volunteering insight or conviction, and not waiting to be addressed.
This word ‘ assertive’ is not to be confused with its angrier 2nd cousin, AGGRESSION ( GRRRR!!). Assertive is not about as much about might, as exercising your right to apply your will to any given situation within your authority or scope.
But the word begs the question: What exactly IS within your authority?
Exploring your passions.
Now, this is not to be confused with control. Control is often the fairy tale we yell to ourselves to overcome the reality of our own powerlessness. No, being assertive is about exercising your right to do EVERYTHING in your power to influence the outcomes you want.
Control is a fairytale in most contexts, but ‘influence’ is often not given the love it deserves.
Assertiveness should not be about bullying. This is about bravery. Being assertive means you are willing to apply your will unapologetically because you have every right to CAN.
It means you must also assert yourself in situations. You have to do more than try. You have to exhaust every option to take advantage of opportunities. Not wait for someone to open the door for you. All the given seats are taken. You have to bring your own. This takes audacity. This takes boldness. This takes conviction.
But assertiveness, when used incorrectly, can make a fool of you. To do JUST because you can is a waste of beauty you are meant to bring into the world.
Be confident not just about your ability to insist on your right to create and build. But be confident that your assertion adds value to the environment, elevating whatever space you occupy. Assertiveness lacks luster when it’s only fueled by emotion and passion. Include learning, reasoning, and critical thinking in expressing your conviction.
Otherwise, you are just annoying.
We have enough of that in the world.
So today, try to be assertive. That raise you KNOW you have earned? Time to visit your supervisor. That blog you said you are going to start? DO IT! This is not to flex your ego.
This is to add to the collection of greatness that makes humanity’s potential so..well… GREAT!
So go, utilize that authority!
The world is waiting.