Please take a few minutes and watch this very powerful video!
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.
Turning to her, he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.
He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity-the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Moral: In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react to it and what you make out of it. Life is all about leaning, adopting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.
If you are a person that wants to be “nice” and “not cause problems”, but you suffer in silence and believe that nothing can be done to change the situation you need to read further. Learning how to be assertive can help you overcome fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger. Asserting yourself involves advocating for yourself in a positive, honest, and respectful way. Assertiveness means that you are communicating in a clear, direct, and honest way about your needs, opinions, and feelings. Being assertive will help you improve your relationships, relieve stress, make you more confident, and less resentful.
Here are ways to start being assertive: When you start using the below techniques it’s important to start small so that you do not overwhelm yourself.
- The best way to start using effective assertive language is to use “I” statements to express what you are thinking and feeling. So for an example, instead of saying, “You are mean to me!” you can say, “I feel hurt when you call me stupid.”
- Rehearse what you want to say and be clear in what you want. Those around you are not mind readers.
- Practice saying no.
- Express yourself in a calm manner. Take deep breaths if you need to.
- Don’t apologize or feel ashamed or guilty for expressing a need or want.
- Use confident body language and tone. Best way to do this is by practicing in front of your mirror.
Assertiveness takes time but be persistent with your efforts and you will see the pay off.