STRATEGIES WON’T WORK IF YOU ARE IN FEAR
If you’ve struggled with assertiveness, you’ll know that becoming assertive is harder than learning a few skills and practicing saying no to a mirror. There are powerful reasons why you feel unsafe to speak your voice.
When ‘strategies’ don’t work, it means that you are stuck in the blueprint of an earlier life experience. You have a strong association with self-expression and danger. If it’s hard to be assertive, that means that having boundaries was not safe. Skills won’t work when your subconscious mind is controlling the way that you feel.
We remember the reaction we got from the “big people” in charge. The memory is held in our subconscious, in our body, in our instincts. If we got strong and negative responses to boundary setting, we learn to stop setting limits.
BEING ASSERTIVE IS ABOUT MORE THAN SKILLS
If to be assertive feels like committing a crime, if you avoid negotiation, if disagreements send you into surrender or despair, it is all for a very good reason. You are not weak or defective!
Maybe the adult in your life crumbled or lashed out when you said no. You may have learned that it was not safe to express yourself creatively. Today, the link between being assertive and being punished (or losing something important) is still alive.
You might feel like you don’t have a good sense of who you are. If you struggle to say no, this means that you grew up having your Selfhood undermined by the big people in your life when you were a child.
What that means is that you never learned about your boundaries, and so you never had a chance to learn about who you were as an individual.
Was it safe to have boundaries? What comes up for you today? It is important to work with yourself in the practice of feeling safe to be you. Recognize where this struggle comes from!
The connection between You and You can be interrupted, but never destroyed.