Do you find it hard to speak up for yourself in certain situations? Do you struggle with asserting yourself at work, at home, or even socially?

If you’ve waited your whole life to take matters into your own hands and learn the art of expressing yourself with confidence, then this is the episode for you!

Today, we’ll be discussing one major obstacle that may be holding you back from your ultimate confidence goals—and we’ll also discuss the one major shift you can make to transform your energy and open up new possibilities!

Now, maybe you’ve already read my book, Not Nice, or attended one of my online events . . . but if you haven’t, that is a great place to start.

Let’s face it: confidence work is scary.

Most of us wouldn’t even know how to begin to ditch our old way of thinking as we attempt to take on a whole new mindset . . . and that’s alright! But if you really want to learn to share your opinions, offer your perspective, dispel fear, or even stop overthinking everything all the time, then you’re going to need powerful tools to help you along the way. DrAziz.com is a comprehensive site that provides a variety of resources to guide you on this journey, including seminars, mastermind groups, live events, and even my free eBook, 5 Steps to Unleash Your Inner Confidence.

In the meantime, though, let’s take a look at one of the most common issues faced by people who are beginning their confidence work: the pendulum.

Most people operate within one of three modes of being: passive, aggressive, and assertive.

When you pull the pendulum one way, you find passive behavior, and when you pull it the other way, you get aggressive behavior. The passive person fears speaking up because he will upset people, bother them, experience discomfort, or maybe even cause conflict; the aggressive person gets angry, blames others, and explodes in other hurtful ways.

Sometimes, aggressive behavior is just a response to being passive for so long that the emotions have nowhere else to go but OUT.

Put another way, the passive person tries as hard as possible to push attention away from his own needs, while the aggressive person thinks only of himself with no regard for other people. What we’re looking for is the middle path.

When someone has found the balanced stasis in the middle of the pendulum, he values all sides respectfully: “What I want matters, AND what you want matters.”

The assertive person isn’t afraid to speak up for himself because he knows that he’s able to be diplomatic and courteous about it. He understands that he might be the only person fighting for his own needs, but also that negotiations involve two sets of needs. The assertive person is always on the hunt for collaborative strategies and win-win solutions to every problem.

Unfortunately, even this healthy form of self-expression can feel super aggressive to anyone who has spent his entire life on the passive side of the spectrum.

Once those passive/aggressive sensors are out of whack, it can be hard for someone to easily distinguish between directness and outright aggression. This is something that comes up in my mastermind programs all the time: members who simply want to learn to speak their minds feel like doing so will make them a bad person.

First of all, saying what needs to be said does not make you a horrible person—it makes you someone who knows how to ask constructively for what he wants.

The truth is that giving into that voice of fear and self-doubt is just your subconscious mind’s way of keeping you in your safe and comfortable bubble of passive behavior forever.

The only way you will ever be able to move forward in your life is by learning to communicate effectively, and no matter what relationship you’re in or what company you work for, sharing differing opinions effectively will be part of accomplishing that.

Passive behavior minimizes every instinct to engage, disagree, or even make contact. Sure, passivity makes conflict impossible, but it also completely destroys any chance of resolution.

No relationship on this planet can exist without the ability to come into conflict, clear the air, and come closer together because of it.

Without that exchange, even a romantic relationship will lose its energy and passion, grow distant, and sever its connection—it becomes dead inside. That is not a win-win scenario.

Assertiveness is a good thing, even if it feels risky at first. The ability to speak your mind does not make you a boor—in fact, it serves the other people in your life just as much as it serves you.

If you’re too intimidated to do it on your own at first, that’s fine! Enlist the help of a friend to help you determine whether an action you’re thinking of taking is one that is assertive or too aggressive. If you go this route, however, make sure you seek help from someone who is at least more assertive than you.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking guidance when you need it, and that’s exactly what this group is all about. Not only can you find a wonderful community of individuals seeking exactly the same results as you, but you can also find several resources that will support your growth, including my new year-long training program, the Unstoppable Confidence Mastermind. If you’d like to learn more about that, please click on the link below or visit DrAziz.com.

Regardless of which way you decide to begin this journey, begin it TODAY. No change comes with inaction, so find a place in your life to become assertive and go for it at least once per day for the next month. Making changes is all about consistency, so you must keep at it, just like you’re doing reps at the gym.

The more you can commit to bold, assertive action, the more comfortable it will seem, the more skillful you will become, and the more confident you will feel.

Please take a moment to share your experiences, thoughts, and questions below! What actions do your passive behaviors keep you from taking? What is one action you could take, starting today? Only through inclusivity and participation can we increase our learning and grow at the fastest rate possible.

Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.