Self Assertion for the Journey Ahead

Self-help is one of the most sought after searches on the internet today. People have a natural desire to help themselves out of their own troubles.

Self-help is the primary means to achieving self-acceptance. If you have decided on self-help as the means to success, then congratulate yourself for taking personal responsibility for your problems. You have decided to work on accepting yourself on the basis of your intrinsic humanity. The problem many people face, is that they have the wrong approach to self help.

One of the biggest reasons for people persistently putting themselves down, is that they hope to become a better person by calling attention to their mistakes, flaws, and failings. Unfortunately, this process frequently includes feeling depressed or anxious, which may already be underpinned by low self-esteem.

Trying to solve an emotional problem at the same time as calling yourself useless and worthless and pathetic is much like trying to learn a new language while hitting yourself above the head with a frying pan! I think you would agree, this is not the ideal way to learn something new?

Helping yourself means to accept yourself. As you are a fallible human, you will very probably slip into putting yourself down from time to time, as every does – me included! The aim of self-acceptance is to get into the habit of positive self-talk. The aim is to accept yourself more often and to accept yourself more quickly again and again. Accepting yourself has two interesting implications for overseeing emotional problems and personal development.

The first implication is being more effective in all areas of expression. Expressing your feelings readily when they occur can be a good antidote to bouts of unhealthy anger. By talking openly and appropriately about their emotional responses to events, people are less prone to unhealthy feelings like anger and depression. There are many resources available to learn tips and techniques to improve your communication skills and to deal with self-help in a healthy manner.

Being more assertive includes standing up for yourself in a non aggressive way. Assertion is not about using violence or aggression to get your point across. When you are being assertive you are still in control of your behaviour, but when you are using violence much of your behaviour is impulsive. Remember, people are far more likely to respond to your wishes when you are being assertive simply because you are making yourself clear – not because they are afraid of your anger.

Often, your aggression is about winning an argument and getting the other person to back down and agree that you are right. Assertion is not about winning or getting one over people. Rather, assertion is about getting your point across but not insisting that the other person agrees with you or backs down. If you have tendency to become angry, and get verbally or physically aggressive quickly, give yourself time out and go and count to ten. Very few good things come out of something said at the heat of the moment.

The second implication you of having greater self-acceptance is being more emotionally resilient. You are far more likely to respond to a negative event in a positive way and accept your own shortcomings in the same way that you accept shortcomings in other people. When we witness these things in other people we find them endearing, so give yourself the benefit of the doubt, after all, no one is perfect, right?

You are unique because no one is the same as you. At the same time, you’re also not different because everyone is an individual. All of us are special and flawed in equal measure. Self-acceptance will lead to healthy and appropriate emotional responses to difficult circumstances. This healthy emotional response leads to adaptive behaviours because you are much more comfortable in your own skin. However, if you are in the habit of being self-critical, expect unhealthy and unhelpful responses, which in turn lead to destructive behaviours. Don’t fall into the trap of giving up on trying anything new just because one new thing you tried did not work. Become more forgiving and improve your life today.

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