and How I’m Still Learning and Improving
Besides the booksmarts that I destroyed my sleep schedule for in high school, if there was one takeaway that I absolutely appreciate, it would be how I learned to be a more assertive person.
Obviously, there is so much left to learn when it comes to advocating for yourself, saying no, and making decisions. But, in retrospect, I’ve definitely come farther than when I started back in freshman year.
Improving your mindset in your daily life is important. It is how you will get what you want.
So, here are some of my tips that I learned to be more assertive that I will be using and improving upon in college.
Tip 1: Realize that confidence takes time.
Assertiveness and confidence are absolutely related to one another, and you can’t have one without the other.
I was not the most confident person in the world. I was quiet and just did what I was told every day without saying anything. Overtime, I realized that this was not the way I wanted to live my daily life and that I wanted to express myself in more ways than what I wrote on my homework assignments.
While it might be superficial, getting more into fashion helped me not only develop my style but also show another side of me. I feel confident when I am wearing clothes that I like.
The world of social media also plays a huge role in a person’s confidence, especially for us Gen-Z kids. It is so easy to feel insecure because of the other people that you see online, whether you are comparing yourself to their looks, success, or both. Then, you never want to post anything and put yourself out there because you don’t think you are up-to-par with everyone else.
To try to ignore some of that, the best thing I can tell you is to post anyway.
It’s difficult to feel good after you share a part of yourself online and there’s no response, but having perseverance helps you to feel confident that whether or not people see your stuff, you know that you put your best foot forward to make something good.
Tip 2: Know What You Want
When you want to be assertive in front of anyone, you need to know what you want. You cannot be wary of decision making.
Have your goals in mind whenever you need to talk to someone to get your voice out there.
Know that it will not always go your way, but you can still improve and change the way that you approach the situation and try again.
When you have those goals in mind, it makes your communication stronger and you will know how to make the decisions that will best achieve said goals.
Tip 3: Branch Out and Take Leadership Roles
As a student, the easiest way that you can accomplish this is by joining clubs and on-campus activities.
In the college realm, I have yet to join any organizations as school hasn’t started yet and I am a first-year student. However, I was a part of a few in high school that helped my assertiveness.
Besides joining a club, you need to work to obtain a leadership role.
The responsibility of running a club puts you in a position where members are expecting planned out meetings and events. When you are in charge, it improves your decision making abilities and willingness to stand up for yourself and ask for what you want because there isn’t another person who can do it for you.
Tip 4: Make Smart Decisions
This feels like a given because of the nature of the other tips. However, decision making is the base of everything that you do, so it contributes to learning how to exude confidence and assertiveness nicely.
When you make smart decisions, you are always keeping in mind what you want and what the end goal is.
While it is impossible to predict every outcome from every decision that you make, it is possible to analyze the most likely ones and how that will affect your work. Knowing that you are making a smart decision will make you more confident and thus more assertive.
Tip 5: Find Other Assertive People
It can be quite inspiring to surround yourself with assertive people.
This plays into the social media explanation earlier, but by surrounding yourself with people that are good at making decisions, you will want to be good for them too. There are, of course, boundaries when it comes to this because you don’t want to negatively compare yourself to the other people.
But the gist is that you are all making smart decisions together that are all helping your personal careers and lifestyles because you can all advocate for yourself in any situation.
Now that we’ve got the tips covered, I’ll give you a more detailed example of how being more assertive has affected my life and how I am still personally improving.
When I was in high school, the best thing that I did to help me become more assertive was starting a student newspaper. For the simple rundown, my school didn’t have a newspaper, I like writing, and I like to be involved in school activities when I can (or at least know about them). So, you can imagine where that went.
Here, I now know what I want; I want to start a newspaper. This required me to jump straight ahead to taking on a leadership role and increasing the amount of effort that I put forward into the paper.
I was constantly writing, planning, and making sure that everyone was doing what they needed to do because there were deadlines to meet.
Having that leadership position pushed me to advocate for what I wanted out of the paper and express what needed to be done to achieve that. Now, you’re not being aggressive here either. I still had a friendly relationship with everyone in the class, and it wasn’t an “all work no play” situation.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to start a club. But what you can do to get your foot through the door is join a club that you’re passionate and interested in and speak up at the meetings to get your voice heard in the crowd.
What I got out of those two years running the paper, ending my high school career, was experience to carry into my college years and future career. In college, I am looking forward to joining clubs and organizations that I am passionate about that will help me lead a more confident lifestyle.
In a world where you cannot expect that everything will go your way, you have to stand up for yourself to make that change and be bold and assertive to achieve your goals.
Stay safe, wear a mask, and thank you for reading.