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Top performers don’t worry about anxiety, even though they feel it just like the rest of us. Athletes get “in the zone.” Public speakers talk about being energized by their audience.Anyone who tells you they don’t feel fear is full of shit.Like most guys on this journey of self-improvement, one of the hardest things I ever struggled with was overcoming social anxiety.

During times of self-realization, I could tell that I was more motivated by avoiding pain than I was motivated by going after rewards.

Instead of asking for what we want in a healthy, assertive way, we learn that there’s less friction when we put the needs of others above ours. And sometimes it’s not even avoiding something as strong as conflict.

It can look like avoiding any kind of uncomfortable interpersonal situation.

Some people confuse assertiveness with aggression and think that to assert yourself is to adopt a particular position in a disagreement, stand your ground and argue a point without compromise.

In fact, being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner, while at the same time being receptive to their needs and without intentionally hurting anyone’s feelings.

By following a few simple suggestions, you can learn the skills to be more assertive in your relationships.

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