Archives for category: Getting our needs, wants and desires

In my culture, being self sufficient shows strength of character and asking for help from others is seen as a sign of weakness. What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Is it such a bad thing to ask for help? Is it such a bad thing to be weak? I remember needing help from my big brother when I gave birth to my third child and my then mother-in-law made a comment “if you can’t manage on your own, you shouldn’t have another child”!  She is entitled to express her own opinion yet it was merely her mentality and mind set that she grew up with.

In my culture, a weakness exposed means others takes advantage of it and the weak person is shamed. Therefore, people hide their weaknesses and never set themselves free of toxic shame.

There are certain things and many of them in life that requires the help of others. Those who are successful are never shy of asking for help because they know that they are only able to complete their tasks, get what they want and achieve their goals by asking for help.

Toxic shame says we shouldn’t say this or do this and that because nobody does it! We get laughed at for saying something that nobody says. We get laughed at for doing something nobody else does.

I remember my dad telling my youngest son Calvin, on a number of occasions not to say this or do that because he shall get laughed at. That is toxic shame which was passed onto him from his set up and he is passing it onto my son.

Do we become prisoners of what others think of what we say and do in order to avoid being shamed? Do we tread on eggshells in order to be free of being shamed?

A see a huge number of people in my culture are being prisoners of others opinions of them and never get what they want from life. Why?

I am grateful that I had the support and help from my sweetheart to be able to have the tools to learn to set myself free from toxic shame. Living  the life that I want for myself and NOT what others expect of me has been my biggest achievement on a personal level.

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What does being assertive mean for you? How do we get what we need, want and desire from being assertive?

Never feel bad for being assertive, speaking your mind and putting your foot down. What you think is anger, others see as a good solid display of self worth.

I see in my daily life that the majority of people lack skills to be assertive. Men and women alike, are all living a life of not getting what they need, want and desire. These people are allowing their fear of making any sort of speech to hold them back from getting their needs, wants and desires met, as they are not making any progress for happiness and a higher quality of life.

A Story of Lacking Assertiveness

I attended my first Toastmasters meeting last week ( on my own )  for public speaking and I spoke to a number of people who are scared of making any sort of speech, so this is holding them back from personal growth and they are NOT: getting their needs met and/or getting what they want and desire.  A young man named Daniel ( who was there with his friend Paul) who sat two seats to my left told me, when I was chatting to him, that he just laughs when he is nervous about making any sort of speech. Daniel was told to stand outside of the room by an Englishman who sat on his right, by passing him a note and Daniel’s giggling was perceived as rude, whilst a speaker was giving their speech. This could all have been avoided if the Englishman had asked why Daniel was giggling, instead of just making a presumption based upon Daniel’s giggling that he was being rude.  On the other hand, Daniel could have explained to the Englishman in advance that he is nervous and he would giggle or laugh yet he is merely nervous and not being rude, in order to avoid misunderstanding and tension. Both of these men lacked the assertiveness to get to know each other at the meeting and instead they allowed their lack of confidence to create a huge misunderstanding. I saw the Englishman who was sat next to me on my left had made no effort to speak to any of the guests that was sitting next to him. He lost his focus after Daniel’s giggling annoyed him and he was on his phone for the rest of the speaker’s speech. He could have asked me to swap seats with him. He could have handled the situation more effectively instead of making presumptions based on Daniel’s giggling. This is a case of lacking skills in being assertive and it is where misunderstandings are created. Daniel’s lack of confidence in making any sort of speech has cost him dearly and he is fully responsible for taking actions to turn his life around to becoming assertive. From what I saw, the Englishman is also lacking skills to be assertive and he is the only one who can turn it around.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Who are the best people at asking for what they want? It is little children because they never hold back. When they are told that they cannot get what they want, they keep asking until they do eventually get it. Little children have such a strong desire for what they want so they stop at nothing to get what they want and it is their determination, persistence and strong will that gets them there. They just keep asking, pestering their parents for what they want and they are the best at getting their wants met. I remember I asked and asked for a bike because all of my friends and other children had one so I wanted one as I wanted to join them, riding my own bike. It took my mum several years to get the money together to be able to afford my very first bike because money was so tight at home, yet my persistent asking finally paid off. I was twelve years old when I finally received my first bike after three years of asking and waiting!  Then when I was in my early teens, I saw a pair of red Kickers boots from a shop window that I had a strong desire for so I asked my mum for them. It took me some more asking and asking before my mum would buy me them because from all of my asking, she knew how much I wanted those red Kickers boots!

What Assertiveness Means to Me

From what I have learned about assertiveness during my four years and six months of personal development, here is my definition of being assertive which will differ from other people’s definition:

Assertiveness is:

  1. Having the courage to express our thoughts and feelings to others without intentionally hurting their feelings as we do so ( if they listened with the intent to understand us then their feelings shall be less likely to get hurt).
  2.  Being courageous to show the world, without shame who and what we are from being open and honest. We drop the mask that we wear, of who and what others expect and want us to be as we become assertive.
  3. Having our needs, wants and desires met, at home, work and with friends and family.
  4.  Standing up for our rights and freedom.
  5. Speaking up for what we believe in and what matters to us.
  6. Protecting ourselves from potential harm by having clear boundaries in place and when someone steps over our boundary, we let them know in an assertive manner.
  7. Expressing our likes and dislikes with friends and family so that they get to know our true authentic self.
  8. Expressing to our partner what is bothering us, annoying us, hurting us, damaging our relationship and so on.
  9. For parents, setting clear boundaries for our children and discipline them with consequences and follow through with it by being consistent.
  10. Asking for what we want and desire outside of home.

Do you enjoy listening to life experiences that shall help you to learn how to become assertive to get a higher quality of life?  So, let’s grab a coffee or tea because I want to share with you my life experiences on what I have learned about being assertive and how it is paying off!

My Heart was Set

I was on a weekend adventure exploring Sydney whilst I was there for my first time with Calvin, my ten year old son and my boyfriend. The boys had bought ice cream to indulge in, at the beautiful Watson’s Bay, so we looked for a seat for them to sit down. We saw a pagoda that was just perfect for them up ahead. As we walked up the few steps towards the pagoda, we were bluntly approached by a tall man who was joined by a group of people, drinking alcohol and children were present. This tall man told us we were not welcomed there as they were “having a party”,  so initially we walked away. Then as I thought about it, I had my heart set on sitting at the pagoda with my companions as it was our first time there. So there was no way I was going to back down as it was a public space and I knew that we had the right to be there as much as anyone else. I also knew that even though this group had arrived at the pagoda before us, we did not require their permission to sit down there. So I walked back and said this to the tall man and we sat down so the boys could eat their ice cream. So by now,  the tall man was frustrated that their “party” had been disturbed and he was not letting go at all as he was having fun with what I said to him and that behaviour from him to me, was selfish. All the others in his group was quiet and he was the only one not letting this “drama” go as he went on and on. My boyfriend and I totally ignored the tall man’s cheeky and obnoxious remarks as it was a wise thing to do in the presence of Calvin because we were teaching him by our words and actions. I told Calvin to never allow anyone to tell him that he’s not welcomed into a public space because he has the right to be there, unless they have applied to the appropriate authorities to have the space all to themselves, which is the case in some countries. I got what we wanted, by being confident to stand up for our rights in an effective and assertive manner, without being aggressive and that was my goal. We sat there in the pagoda for a maximum of ten minutes on a warm and sunny weekend afternoon and the boys got to indulge in their delicious ice cream.

What Would You Do?

What would you do in this same situation as you have your heart set on sitting there under the pagoda with your companions?  Would you just walk away not wanting to create a scene or get into a conflict and possible fight with strangers because they got there first?  So how do you get what you want when you want it? If we never speak up for ourselves then who will? If we never express our thoughts and feelings and our rights to others, then who will? A huge number of people never get what they want because they are “people pleasing” as they never want to cause a scene, tension and drama. Then there are those who never speak up because they lack the courage and confidence to do so and this holds them back from getting what they need,  want and desire in life. They allow people to walk all over them, disrespect them and treat them as though they do not matter. I was one most of my adult life, as I blamed others for the way they treated me and neglected to take full responsibility for the way I was allowing others to treat me. I was living my life as the “victim” to life’s circumstances. This created much ill health for me and I longed for things to change.

My Past had Set Me Up for Disappointments

So until I learned that I was creating a very low quality of life for myself from having a lack of skills to be assertive and speak up for myself, I was allowing others to walk all over me. My mother controlled a huge part of my life from my early childhood and right into my late teens so I never had my needs, wants and desires met and this trained me to stay quiet and timid. I had become lazy in asking for what I wanted and desired because of my set up, mother’s controlling ways and being abused by both my parents had created so much destruction to my self worth. My dad was absent from my formative years until I came to live in Scotland at the age of eight from Hong Kong. So I never really asked my dad to have my needs, wants and desired met.  As my needs were not met, I took care of myself from a very early age and I relied on myself.  My mum had disappointed me when she promised me she would do something for me or with me when I was a young girl living in Hong Kong and I was deeply hurt by my mum’s disappointments. My mum didn’t keep her word and made excuses and said she would get it done the next day and the next day. This set me up for many disappointments and my emotions were never acknowledged by mum so I had built up a lot of resentment towards her. The resentment was never handled constructively so I carried it around with me until many years later when I worked hard on myself to turn my life around. I entered my late teens from being a happy and content child to being a quiet, timid and very damaged girl which affected my relationships with others.

An Unfulfilled Marriage

I was stuck in an unhappy marriage for fourteen years because my needs, wants and desires were not met and my life felt unfulfilled and dead from the inside. I felt enormous emotional pain which was slowly killing my soul. As I came from a very dysfunctional family where I was abandoned and my needs were not met from a tender age, I had been trained to allow others to walk all over me, disrespect me and my adult life had become very poor quality. My self worth was diminished from my dysfunctional family set up and it took many days, weeks and months of working hard on myself to achieve my goal of being an assertive woman. I gained so much confidence to speak up and stand up for my rights and freedom, to express my needs, wants and desires which enriched my empty life.  I am still learning each day as I want to improve my skills and teach my sons too. A skill once learned requires to be fuelled and that’s like building mental muscles.

Questions to Ponder

So let me ask you, how assertive are you? Are you getting your needs, wants and desires met? If not, what is holding you back? Are you standing up for your rights and freedom? Do people listen to your concerns? Is your relationship needs, wants and desires being met? Are you getting what you need and want from your job to do a better job? Are you allowing your children to rule your home? Are you blaming others for the way your life is at the moment just like I did?  Are you telling yourself that everyone is nasty to you and they need to change and not you? Here’s the important things to learn about being assertive:

  1. When we want to see an improvement in our lives, we get there by taking full responsibility and make the necessary changes.
  2. When nothing changes then we shall always remain in the same position.
  3. In order for things in our lives to change, we need to change because we have no power or the right to change others. We can only change ourselves.
  4. When we stand up for ourselves by speaking up and are listened to from being assertive, we feel happy from within.
  5. When we always do what we always did, we shall get what we always got.
  6. We live a higher quality of life when we take full responsibility for our choices.

 

 Lessons Learned from My Personal Development

I learned that if something was bothering me about what others said or did to me, I would no longer speculate or presume what they meant. I would confront them in an assertive manner and ask them to clarity what their words or actions meant. This avoids wasting my energy and valuable time on something that could be trivial. Do you ever speculate on why someone did not respond to your text message or email? Do you think over and over of why this person is ignoring your time to send them that text or email yet you do not ask them for a response and just speculate what the answer could be? Speculating about such an answer about these small stuff is wasting our time and energy when we could be doing more productive things with our time. Sometimes, we allow our thoughts to control our lives, so by being assertive in this manner, we gain much clarity and avoid sickness as we have the assertiveness to ask for the answer instead of speculating what the answer could possibly be. Many people I know avoid these “confrontations” with people who have “upset” them or hurt their feelings when their text or email is being ignored because they lack the skills to handle “confrontations” effectively. Instead, they get passive aggressive or blank their subject who upset them instead of handling it with assertiveness. Then they blame their subject for upsetting them and not taking full responsibility for their choice in not being assertive in handling the situation. This creates ill health because the emotions of their upset are being suppressed, ignored and dismissed whilst the recipient of their text or email could have a valid reason for not responding to them. It also destroys a good friendship and creates a distance which can both be avoided with some assertiveness skills.

Assertiveness for Better relationships

Relationships between two people are the most demanding thing we ever deal with in life. We have a relationship with our friends and family, neighbours, colleagues, supervisors, manager(s) and boss. So there is bound to be some kind of conflict, confrontation or tension between these people and ourselves at one point in our lives. Being assertive helps us to express our thoughts and feelings to another without intentionally hurting them. Our friends and family are the ones who hurts us the most and this can all be avoided most of the time when we have the skills to become assertive by setting clear boundaries to protect ourselves from harm. Then it is the people we work with and we also need to set clear boundaries with them too in order to protect ourselves as we spend most of our time at work other than at home. Standing up for ourselves in our daily lives helps us to feel good from the inside. Shouting or showing our anger at someone in an aggressive, violent and angry manner because they have upset us only creates tension, sadness and more emotional pain plus this creates a distance. On the other hand, when we use assertiveness and express our thoughts and feelings without accusing the other person, we are listened to with the intent to be understood more. People get defensive when we are showing negative emotions towards them and use accusing words especially sentences that begins with “YOU”. Instead when we use “I” at the beginning of a sentence and express our thoughts and feelings, they are less likely to become defensive with us and shut us off from listening to what we want to express. Most of the time, our friends and family had no intentions of hurting us when they were merely giving us feedback or expressing their thoughts and feelings. Then their are times when we have the friends and family who are the drama addicts or toxic ones who just suck the happiness out of us. So we can avoid getting sucked down to their level by limiting the time we spend with them and if it is a friend we could choose to eliminate them from our lives for inner peace and harmony.

Positives versus negatives

It is vital that we make wise choices as to what we give our energy, time and attention to as this multiplies. I learned this from the law of attraction a few years ago and I turned my life from a miserably dark one and into one that is shining bright each day. . Think positive thoughts and we attract positive thoughts to us. Think negative thoughts and we attract negative thoughts to us, multiplied. So with being assertive, we get what we give out, multiplied. If we think that by confronting someone with an issue and we are going to get a negative result, then that is exactly what comes our way. When we trust our own abilities to handle a confrontation effectively with the end result in mind, we shall receive the result we had in our mind. Our goal of confrontations is to get answers and clarity, not a fight. Many people I have come to know associate confrontations with fights and drama so that is what they shall attract. They lack the trust in their own abilities to handle confrontations effectively so they avoid any confrontations at all costs, which is never going to help them get what they need, want and desire.

The Value of Setting clear Boundaries

Conflicts and confrontations happen in our daily lives and sometimes we have no power to control them coming our way. What we can do to become more capable at handling conflicts and confrontations is from learning skills to handle them without hurting ourselves and others. Being assertive is one of the most effective ways of handling day to day conflicts and confrontations. It is vital to take care of ourselves by protecting ourselves from potential harm and pain. This is best done by setting clear boundaries as to what we will and will not tolerate from others whether they are friends and family, neighbours, associates or someone we work with. When we avoid confrontations all our life, we never learn to get what we need and want. Our desires are never within reach either and we never grow. That becomes a very poor quality of life and we lose touch with what the world has to offer us each day. Therefore, we lose out to opportunities of feeling happiness and contentment.

Taking Action to Protect Myself and My Sons

Let me share a story with you that happened to me a number of years ago. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety had set in so I was feeling very vulnerable. My youngest son was hit by a neighbour’s daughter ( Chelsea) who is the same age as him. So Calvin hit Chelsea to defend himself yet I was being bullied by both of Chelsea’s parents with verbal abuse and verbal threats for Calvin’s defending himself.  They told me in their extremely angry and raging manner that Calvin had no right to hit Chelsea which I strongly disagree with. I was not tolerating that kind of treatment from anyone so I called the police to report Chelsea’s raging parents in order to protect myself and Calvin. The police came to interview me and I told them that I do not tolerate bullying in any shape or form and I wanted this nipped in the bud. They did their job well and had a word with Chelsea’s parents. Obviously the parents were not happy with my reporting them to the police, yet this stopped the bullying there and then. So the moral of this story is, Stand up for yourself to bullies no matter how intimidating they are. It is vital that we protect ourselves ( and my children in my case) from such bullies and never allow them to walk all over us.

Assertiveness Skills

Being assertive requires effective communications skills as well as active listening. It requires patience and love to listen to the speaker. When we listen to someone, with the intent to understand them, we are showing them our love by giving them our full attention and time. How many times have you felt ignored and dismissed, diminished, discouraged and angry for not being listened to when what you expressed was important to you? How did you feel when you were listened to with the intent to be understood? Compare the two and you shall learn how important it is to actively listen to what the speaker is expressing. How many times have you asserted yourself and told others that you felt they had not listened to you with the intent to be understood, when you had something to say that was important to you?  By feeling confident to assert ourselves and express our thoughts and feelings to others, it helps us to meet our needs, wants and desires. Other people are unable to read our minds so being direct, honest, upfront and straightforward is vital to getting our needs, wants and desires met!

Emotional Intelligence

Emotions is the drive and motivation that gets us moving towards what we need, want and desire. Without emotions, we are empty, drained and dead inside. It is the engine required to push us towards what we want and desire.  Our needs are more than likely to be met when we express ourselves with emotions attached to our statement. Our desires comes from our emotions too. It is what we have inside that pulls us towards our desires. As a young child, do you remember when you did not get what you wanted from your parents when you asked for it and threw a tantrum, cried, shouted, screamed and felt they did not care about you? That’s our emotions coming through as we did not get what we wanted. Now think back to a time when you did get what you wanted from your parents. How did you feel and what emotions did you have?

Our Set Up Sets Us Up

We are taught how to be assertive from childhood by watching our parents and copying them as children are the best copycats. How did you get what you wanted when you were a child? How assertive were your parents? How did they get their needs, wants and desires met? What boundaries did they have in place to protect themselves from harm? How did your parents teach you to be assertive? All these factors shall influence how assertive you grow up to become. If you lack the skills to be assertive then it is something you could teach yourself, just like me. Our parents can be limited as to what they teach us because of the way they were taught by their parents. When a set of parents teach their child by passing on what they were taught and NOT taught, the child only knows from what their parents did and did NOT do. We learn from our parents actions, inactions and words at childhood. We pick up everything our parents did and did NOT do and we then have that in our map of the world when we grow up. When we realise that we lack a particular skill in adulthood to handle life’s challenges, it is because we had not been taught that skill from our parents nor did we learn it as an adult so it is now our responsibility to teach ourselves because no one else will.

As Jim Rohn said “Don’t ask for an easy life, ask for more skills!”

My Benefits of Becoming Assertive

I learned to express my thoughts and feelings in an assertive manner from investing time each day to work hard on myself for self development and I felt happier about myself from within. I was setting clear boundaries at home, at work and in my personal life. I no longer allowed anyone to walk all over me, treat me with disrespect and my life became so much better, brighter and bigger! The huge shift was magical as I made continuous progress. My health became so much better as I was sleeping soundly at night and I felt the energy I had each day was what I needed to see me through my daily challenges. I felt I could take on the world!

Happier relationships at Home

My relationship with my three sons became so much happier as I set clear boundaries at home of what I need and wanted them to do and NOT do, what was acceptable and not acceptable. I was respected for being assertive, whereas before, my sons had treated our home like it was there own place as they did want they wanted, when they wanted. I follow through with consequences whenever my sons step out of line and they learn their lessons well. My relationship with my friends was better too as they learned that I was no longer prepared to tolerate their drama, their disrespect and negativity. I used my assertiveness to drop friends who were toxic because their extreme toxic ways were dragging me down and it distracted me from achieving my goals. I gained much inner peace and harmony from taking actions on setting boundaries and following through with my actions.

Taking Charge of my Life

I had a close friend who had no respect for other people’s time and she was doing it to me so I put a clear boundary up with her and she knew that I meant business so she was never late in dropping her kids off at my home for me to babysit them for her. In the past she was late, thirty minutes and more, and this wasted my valuable time and I felt annoyed and angry with her poor time management. Yet I had allowed her to continually waste my time by not setting clear boundaries with her so I took charge of this and I became so much happier. People treat us the way they do because we allow them to by lacking assertiveness. It is up to us to set clear boundaries and this clearly states to others what we shall tolerate and what we shall never tolerate. Putting the blame on others for the way they treat us is highly irresponsible and this gets us nowhere other than it hurting our own feelings from the poor choices we make.

I Acknowledge What You Said

I was having an issue with my bank card a few months ago where it would not allow me to pay for my purchases in certain stores so I called the helpline number for my bank. The person on the other line advised me to visit my bank in person and ask them to fix it for me as they could not do it over the phone. So when I explained my situation to the girl at the bank, she gave me an excuse and I was not prepared to leave the bank until my issue was sorted. I said to the girl, with calmness, “I acknowledge what you said, yet I was told that this issue shall be fixed by visiting my bank in person when I called the helpline, so I want this issue fixed today”!  So with that, the girl reluctantly fixed my issue and I was a satisfied customer.

Effective Communication

There is a more effective way of getting what we want by communicating effectively with emotional intelligence. I see many adults who get frustrated when they are NOT getting what they want and behave like little children, unable to handle and manage their emotions. Emotions when not managed effectively and constructively are very irrational and our logic goes out of the window. We do not get what we want when logic has been controlled by our negative emotions and we come away drained, exhausted and frustrated. Then we rant, rave, moan and complain that the person dealing with us was this and that, when we could have handled the situation in a more calmer and effective manner.

Evaluate Who You Spend The Most Time With

Evaluate the people you spend the most time with and take note of who is assertive and who is not, as the non-assertive ones shall influence you in a negative manner. The assertive ones are those who you really want to surround yourself with to learn from them. Ask them what they do and how they do it to get what they need, want and desire. Listen and observe how they communicate with others and learn from that. Practice those skills yourself and your life shall become so much happier as you gain confidence to becoming assertive.

Resources and Tips

The following is a list of things I did and still do to becoming assertive:

  1. Reading up on books on assertiveness
  2. Reading up on books on emotional intelligence
  3. Reading up on books on effective and brilliant communication skills
  4. Reading Set Yourself Free by Shirley Smith
  5. Reading The Key to Living Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield
  6. Reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  7. Reading Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
  8. Reading Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic
  9. Reading The Secrets of The NLP Masters by Judy Bartkowiak
  10. Reading Make a Great Speech by Jackie Arnold
  11. Reading Eat The Frog by Brian Tracy
  12. Reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
  13. Reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  14. Reading Questions Are The Answers by Allan Pease
  15. Reading Twelve Pillars by Jim Rohn
  16. Reading Body Language by James Borg
  17. Setting clear boundaries with friends and family as to what I shall tolerate and not tolerate
  18. Limiting my time spent with my family in order to avoid having my happiness sucked away and also eliminate distractions
  19. Eliminate toxic friends from my life for happiness and harmony as well as to eliminate distractions
  20. Limiting my time spent on internet doing unproductive things and distracting me from achieving my goals
  21. Limit the time I spend listening to my neighbours’ complaints
  22. Doing my daily yoga, squats and plank to strengthen my mental power
  23. Have a list of  “things to do” written down for the following day before I go to sleep at night
  24. Practicing gratitude each day by writing in my gratitude journal
  25. Eliminate anything and anyone from my life such as the news that creates fear or anyone who focuses on and talks about their fears most of the time

 

The Payoffs

There is so much reading required for me to stay as assertive as possible in order to get my needs, wants and desires met. Yet, this is the best way to invest in myself and make continuous progress for happiness. When I have my needs, wants and desires met, I feel happy and content from within. When we feel happy and content from within, we are more positive, inspiring, motivating and we attract more of what we want into our lives. Our energy levels are higher as we feel happy and content from within, with no need to fill any voids by doing anything unproductive, destructive, or anything that costs us money that we may not have and our overall health. Our mental and emotional health is maintained by getting our needs, wants and desires met. We live a higher q

uality of life and we have a spring in our step.  We are then able to love ourselves more and give out love. Feeling happy and content from within is the key to a fulfilling life and it eliminates fear which cripples us.

With so many payoffs from being assertive, what is holding you back from getting your needs, wants and desires met?

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult!

What are you doing today for a richer, better and brighter tomorrow for a higher quality of life?