Be Assertive
Be Assertive

Be Assertive

Speaking Your Truth in Your Life

Emotional pain often leads us down the treacherous path of substance abuse. At least some of our emotional pain may stem from feeling like we don’t have a voice.

We may feel pain around asking for what we want or need in our life, for speaking up for ourselves. This is why, when we are in treatment, we can learn about being more assertive in our lives.

Feeling Silenced

Whether we have endured emotional or physical abuse or some other trauma, being the victim of someone else imposing their mental or physical power over us can leave us feeling silenced. 

When we are not able to speak up for ourselves, or we are not heard when trying to advocate for ourselves, then our pain is compounded.

Imagine if we were the victim of a violent crime, then we were bound and gagged and helpless. That is how it feels inside of us every day when we feel emotionally silenced.

It would be virtually impossible to escape being physically bound and silenced without intervention because we wouldn’t even be able to ask for help. However, when we are silenced emotionally, we are both bound, and also the only ones who can help ourselves.

Finding a way to help ourselves can be so difficult. And once we find it, we also have to work our way out of our emotional binding. We have to learn to listen to ourselves first if we expect other people to hear us.

Listening to Your Inner Voice

Our inner voice will always tell us what we need. Is someone at work being verbally abusive?

Do we have a family relationship where we feel there is dishonesty? Or do we have a problem as simple as asking someone to move their car out of our spot?

On the surface, we may want to avoid conflict and not say anything. But deep down inside, we feel pain around their words and actions.

Our inner voice is telling us that this is uncomfortable and that we should say something. We know that we need to listen, but we are too afraid.

Eliminating Fear

The fear of asserting ourselves is a big reason that we fail to speak up when we want to. Not just for people who have endured abuse or other trauma, and not just for people who have used substances.

Many people are afraid of speaking up. Speaking up is vulnerable, it exposes us and turns attention to us and our needs that may feel uncomfortable sometimes.

There are so many walls we put up around speaking up for ourselves, and many of those walls are created out of fear.

Whether we fear confrontation, we fear offending or hurting someone, we fear losing our job or a relationship, or any other fears that we could have, we need to overcome those fears to be able to use our voice and advocate for ourselves.

Opening Your Mouth

The switch that happens in us when we open our mouths and assert ourselves can be extraordinary. Even if we don’t get what we want, within us, there is a transformation that occurs when we ask for the things that we need.

It is not like we did not know the mechanics of asking for what we wanted. It is that our whole bodies feel how empowering it is when we do listen to ourselves and speak out, using our power.

Much like when our flashlight battery was flickering, and suddenly, we discover that we had a roomful of light at our fingertips, all we had to do was flip the switch. 

Speaking Your Truth

We are not in control of the outcome when we speak up for ourselves. There may still be times that we are not heard.

But more often than not, we actually will be heard. The power we find within us when we speak up is also visible from the outside.

Sometimes, we may even stand a little taller, speak a little louder, and be generally more confident. When we are more assertive, we speak out, and others can see and hear our truth.

We may have felt emotionally silenced in our lives up until now. Whether that was from abuse or other trauma, or even related to our substance use.

Now, we are ready to heal, and part of our healing is learning to be more assertive. When we listen to our inner voice, we show respect for ourselves.

And when we use that power to speak out and ask for what we need, others see that power and gain more respect for us, too. We need to overcome our fears and learn to be assertive. As we do so, we will find our truth.

You can be more assertive. Find out how at AToN Center. Call (888) 535-1516 to heal and be able to speak your truth.

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