There was a time, assertiveness was not my friend and how I overcame it
I want to share the story of how I was not able to say so many NO's before, and how this is something that happens.... more than you think. And how I realized I wanted to be a coach and help people in this direction.
I grew up thinking that something very special was going to happen to me some day, and that I wanted to travel and help people with it, in many languages and that I was meant to leave in a different country. Yet, even if I moved to Spain and then to Switzerland, I felt something was off.
How did I know that? I actually did not. I was living in a prison. Even if things at work were going well and I had known a whole lot of friends, I was stuck in a bad relationship. I had consciously decided to make a decision to be with somebody totally different from me, even on the values point of view. Even though I was in love, I had realized that we were going to clash at some point; you know the thing is I always thought that love entails sacrifice, and therefore you cannot get the right person, you have to work with what you have. Working on things is good, but when you realize that your values and priorities and beliefs are completely not respected by the other person, then working on things is not enough and it is actually useless.
I realized I could not focus and I could not read. Reading is one of my favorite things, therefore that was my alarm: I was so discouraged that I had even given up one of my favorite activities, because I saw no meaning and no purpose. Until one day, after I decided to go into psychology and coaching, I realized that I was completely living a life that was against my values and which was going to drive me through unhappiness.
I decided to speak up, which created a revolution of course, because we were together for some time. But hey, I am glad I did it. I said NO to all the things I had said yes before, especially on one: I was not going to give up on my life so that his needs could come first. That was not love, was geisha style.
After that, amazing things happened. This courage and slowly coming out of prison, brought me to be more bold and wanting to speak up more (if I had found the courage to get out of a sick relationship, I could do anything! I was proud), also at work. I wanted to change departments. You see, I'm a marketer and I love communication skills, but I also love psychology, and I was listening to all the people at work, their disengagement, their need to speak, their voices suffocated by managers who won't listen. Then I made the decision. I become a coach.
When I founded FindYourWay, I thought I should teach and coach about how saying the right NO to something is poisoning you, can open the door, and the YES to something greater. I got fired (yes, another result of me not wanting to shut up), but it brought me other great things, such as a lot of learning, having people who believe in the cause and noticing that soft skills and assertiveness at work and in life are things people are hungry for.
Then I read tons of book about how to say NO, assertive body language, being genuine and having the right to exist.
All of a sudden I felt freedom. Because now I know I can potentially say anything. This does not mean there are not going to have consequences. The difference is that you won't fear it anymore, because you will know the values you are looking for and will RECONNECT WITH THEM.
Do not distract yourself anymore by not noticing when you are upset and uncomfortable. Speak up! I can coach you on how!