Assertiveness is an important quality to have as long as it doesn’t go too far to either extreme.

To obtain the things we want in life, we have to be assertive.

Whether it is finding a job or in a relationship, you need to be assertive.

Many people lack assertiveness because they suffer from low self-esteem.

One of the biggest reasons people are not assertive enough is their fear of rejection.

That one word “NO” stands in their way of attaining real happiness.

In short, the person that lacks assertiveness doesn’t fulfill many of their goals in life and their personal development is blocked.

In my professional life, I know people who were afraid to ask for a promotion or raise i.e. could not assert themselves due to fear of repercussions.


Webster’s Dictionary defines Assertiveness as “disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior.” Aggressiveness, on the other hand, is defined as ” a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) esp. when intended to dominate or master.”

It is important to distinguish the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness.

What  Causes Lack of Assertiveness

It usually starts in one’s home.

If the parents are critical, the child grows up with a set of irrational beliefs about themselves.

The parents judgmental  comments make the child feel guilty as if something in their behavior is wrong. Consequently, they don’t deserve anything good in their life.

Some of these children were either mentally and /or physically abused. They lack self-confidence to express themselves freely and/or to stand up to people when necessary. In other words, they lack assertiveness. Later in life, they will not be able to go after their dreams and aspirations because they have been so beaten down.

How to Become More Assertive

Following are some ways to become more assertive:

  • Acknowledgment – it is important to recognize that your rights are being denied and that you want to change your behavior. You can never initiate any behavioral changes until you recognize the problem first.
  • Role-Play – have a friend go over with you certain problem situations that call for you to provide an assertive response and practice how you would respond.
  • Take Action – For example, directly asserting yourself in a defined situation and standing your ground.
  • Keep a Journal – keep a diary of your interactions with people and assess your level of assertiveness.

Realize that when taken too far, assertiveness can change into being overly aggressive and we must be aware of our boundaries.


Assertiveness is an important skill that can be learned.

We need to express ourselves freely and honestly and we must be able to stand up for our rights.

The ability to assert ourselves has a direct impact on our personal development.

To allow yourself to lead a more productive  and fulfilling life, try utilizing some of the above suggestions on how to become more assertive.


About the author: Bob

Bob is a businessman, athlete, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people progress personally through better self-awareness.

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