If we want to become more assertive, it would be helpful to know what that even is.
Assertiveness is your ability and tendency to put your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs into the world even if this invites opposition.
Interestingly, very rarely do I hear one of my NLP coaching clients or students express a need to become more assertive and set this as a goal. For many, the lack of assertiveness is the root cause to many of their personal and professional problems.
I think that when we think of not having enough assertiveness, we spend time analyzing a past where this may have gotten installed. Though this may or may not be true, the solutions you won’t find there. At best, you will become an expert in focusing on negative disempowered moments in your life. Or become an expert at not being assertive.
It may surprise you to learn that being assertive is one out of 16 elements of emotional intelligence. Our IQ (intelligence) is fixed, we are born with it, and we can not change it. Our EQ (emotional intelligence), can be improved throughout our lifetime.
This makes cultivating assertiveness, much like increasing any of the other elements of Emotional Intelligence, a worthy goal to set or something to strive towards doing the work to obtain. As an expert trainer in NLP and Emotional Intelligence I would like to tell you that both the NLP Practitioner (live NLP training) and NLP Foundation (online NLP training) have a series of tools which you can work towards kicking a lack of assertiveness to the curb. The NLP Master Practitioner (live NLP Training), and Advanced NLP (online NLP training) allow you to work with the installation points in the past in more empowering ways.
Three simple ways to cultivate Assertiveness
Using a Model of Excellence Visualization
Imagine looking at a movie of a person who is highly assertive in a situation where you are usually in, and you are not. Focus on how this person does things differently.
Then look at the same movie again, seeing yourself doing this behavior.
Then float awareness into yourself, and practice the behavior. You would see what you would see, hear, what you would hear, and feel what you would feel.
Particularly feel the emotion when a positive result is reached.
You can refine by doing the exercise again.
Many people worry about what will happen if they are more assertive and assume that to have a negative outcome. We call that the “as if” frame in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Your brain, unfortunately, can not tell the difference between what is truly experiencing versus what is imagined—our neuro-pathways light up the same way.
What do people do who do not get anxiety? Experts in NLP have actually studied this in people who have an easy time dropping the anxiety.
First, imagine stepping out of yourself. Step out-of-the emotion.
Second, float your awareness to a day after you have been assertive, in a place of non-emotion after the event, when you no longer can control the outcome. Now the event is over.
Third, when you look back at the day before (still from the place of non-emotion), you will notice that the feeling of anxiety can no longer exist. As the event is already over.
Another Emotion to Improve Being Assertive Using NLP
First, reflect on this question: “What emotion specifically do I need to be more assertive?”
Second, think of a time in your life where you experienced this emotion intensely. And step into that you. You would see what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt.
Third, intensify the feeling by noticing where the emotion lives inside the body and make the emotion bigger.
Fourth, intensify the feeling by making the image brighter, larger, and making the sound more all-encompassing or louder.
When you feel this emotion powerfully, then step into the situation where assertiveness is required.
If you have an interest in learning NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming live or online, check out our website, and learn many tools to be more assertive and help others do the same.