Saving Yourself

Have you ever felt like you are drowning? Not literally of course but just that feeling of being totally overwhelmed and not able to relax. It is not a great feeling, stress and overwhelm can lead to so many problems in our lives.

Is there a way to overcome this feeling? Absolutely!

The big question is how?

We need to stop and take a step back and question what is causing the most stress. Is this how I want to feel? What can I do that will help regain balance in my life.

Try making a list of all the activities, commitments and obligations that went on in your week. Analyse and see if there are any of these things that you can omit or share with someone. Have you over-committed? Saying yes to things when you really wanted to say no? Do not despair, we all do it but we don't have to.

Learning how to be assertive is an important communication skill. It simply is a skill that relates to respect for personal rights and boundaries of both parties.

Assertiveness requires direct, open and honest communication, which we all have a difficulty doing. It is a communication skill that can be developed, we can become comfortable in expressing what we really want and need.

It is a two way process in where we need to listen and learn the wants and needs of others. It is a way of living where you get the most out of life without other people telling you how to do it.

Changes start with awareness. It might be time to learn why you do what you are doing and how to turn it around. It is not just a matter of flipping a switch.

As Dr. Phil says "You cannot change what you do not acknowledge".

Are you living with guilt and frustration? How do you feel about yourself? Are you simply going along feeling like you are being taken advantage of? You need not accept this way of life, this type of change does not come in an instant, but it can be learned carefully one step at a time.

The big question is how motivated are you?

There are always going to be people in our lives who know how to push our buttons to get what they want. There are the ones that manipulate, the ones who don't care it's their way or the highway, the ones that demand you fall in line, and of course the ones that feel they always know what is best for you, which of course gives them the authority to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. It is very difficult to overcome the patterns that have been established, some for a very long time. The worst is feeling like there is nothing you can do about it. Not wanting to hurt someone's feelings is always difficult. However, by assessing and realizing what has been happening that is causing you to feel the way you are feeling can be overcome by acknowledging what it is that you would like to change in your life to become a happier healthier you.

Without assertiveness you will lose control of your life and find yourself living someone else's idea of what life should be. If you never master the ability to assert yourself, make your own decisions and live your own life, someone will surely step forward and do it for you.

Asserting yourself does not mean blaming others for your decisions, it does mean taking responsibility for your own decisions. It is scary and risky for anyone to do this, like what if I try and I fail or it doesn't work out? The great thing is as you learn to be assertive, you also learn to trust yourself when making decisions.

When you make a decision to become more assertive, you will need a well thought out plan. There will be times when it will seem easier to throw in the towel. When this happens, remind yourself of the benefits you will enjoy. You will decide what is important and what is not. It just means choosing for yourself, what to do, what to say, what to believe. Learning to assert yourself produces a change in how you handle yourself. By doing things different of course produce a different outcome.

There is a reason why you keep getting stuck and unable to move forward. When you repeat a behavior pattern, you are doing it for a reason, you must find the reason in order to change the behavior.

Assertiveness is not a cure all for all your ill feelings. It is a way of managing you life. It won't guarantee your happiness or fair treatment by others, nor will it solve all your problems, or get you what you want all the time, but it will enable you to take control of the one thing you can. You



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