Take a second to check out Jumping Bean’s facial expression.  She is displaying the “I know you just told me not to cross the stream and run the other way… but are you REALLY going to do any thing if I do?”

Jumping Bean Testing the Water

I see that face about 27 times each day.

Jumping Bean is currently 3.5 years old, or a “three-nager,” as I’ve been told.  (I adore that term, by the way.)  She is at a stage that is full of life, love, energy, and testing every single limit or rule we impose upon her free spirit.  It drives me insane.

But it also fills me with pride.

My hubby often reminds me how hard-headed, determined, or pushy I can be, and he is correct. I can be assertive to a fault, and I fully acknowledge it.  I understand how that quality can be very annoying, but I also acknowledge that it has helped me become the person that I am today.

Often, I encounter amazing women who just don’t push enough.  Why?  I’m not sure, but I would like to encourage each and every one of them push… just a bit more.  Especially when they are in a situation that they truly care about, or truly believe in.

Many of us are good at pushing our agendas personally, while pushing those agendas at work might feel uncomfortable.  What if your idea is frowned upon?  What if the team doesn’t choose your project approach?  What if no one agrees with you?  What if you are the first to speak up, and the others (that you know agree with you), don’t get on board?

All of those “What If’s” are possible.  In fact, many of them might happen when you speak your mind or choose to disagree with a peer, spouse, or boss.  But after that moment of disagreement or awkwardness… your idea is out there. No one can take it back, and it will cause someone to pause and consider something he or she possibly hadn’t previously.

If you don’t speak up for those valuable ideas and opinions in your head, who will?  You are the only one who can clearly and accurately voice your beliefs.

There is a very good chance that the idea or opinion in your head has a solid foundation, and needs to be heard.

There is an even better chance that if you don’t push back and speak your mind every once in a while, those overly assertive, pushy people (like me) will end up making all of the decisions.

That is not ok.

I (and every other assertive person out there) should not be calling all the shots.  We rely and depend on the input of those keeping it a little closer to the chest.  You often observe more objectively and take quality time to form a balanced opinion.

Use those skills to your advantage, and speak up when you need to.

The rest of us need to learn from you. We are waiting to hear what you have to say, whether we know it or not.