Assertiveness Gone Missing

woman with an x over her mouth in read tape.

I spend a lot of time with really smart, accomplished women who are really lacking in assertiveness. When I ask these brilliant women why they aren’t more assertive, I get two common answers; 1) What if I’m wrong? 2) I don’t want to hurt anyone else. Let’s unpack these a little bit.

“What if I’m wrong?” Why are women so afraid to be wrong? I think some of it is that many of us have been given messages for most of our lives that we are inferior. It’s very hard to overcome those beliefs and to get over our fear of messing up. Yet, holding back certainly isn’t doing us any favors. Since we are likely to get judged either way, why not take the risk of being wrong by speaking up and asserting ourselves?

So let’s be wrong. Let’s face our biggest fears and mess up. Guess what? You’ll live! You will live and you will learn and you will persist. It’s the only choice you have.

Let’s look at not wanting to hurt anyone else. What? Seriously. What? How is asserting yourself and standing up for what you believe in hurting anyone else? If they are hurt by your assertiveness, that’s their problem, not yours. It’s important to be kind and compassionate, but that isn’t what we are talking about when we discuss assertiveness.

It’s time for us to stand up, speak, up, and take our place as true equals in all areas of life. No one is going to do it for us. Own it. Own your voice, your strength and your opinions. Now. Own it now.

Women, let's stand up, speak up, and take our place as true equals in all areas of life. #leadership #assertiveness Click To Tweet


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.



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Valuing Our First Act to Lead to a Better Second Act Wedded Bliss?
Valuing Our First Act to Lead to a Better Second Act
Wedded Bliss?