For most of my life, I’ve been told I need to tone myself down, to be less assertive, to be less … something they didn’t like or want to accept about me.

My reaction used to be that I would care too much about their opinion of me, it would upset me deeply. I’d do everything possible to change myself to satisfy them.

It took years and a great deal of personal development to learn that I am A-Ok just as I am. Sure, I’ve worked hard to change myself but not for other people’s approval. I changed aspects of myself so I could like myself more.

I know now that what we don’t like about others has more to do with our opinion of ourselves then it does the other person. They are merely a mirror being held up to show us our areas for improvement.

Today, I was asked by someone in my extended network to be more assertive with them.

Honestly, I laughed. Out loud.

Never, in all my years, would I have ever thought anyone would ask me to be more assertive. Y’all know I’ve got a healthy dose of sass!

And yet, I’m not always assertive. I’m not always confident. Frankly, there are some people who scare the shit out of me, who send me back to my fearful, adolescent, insecure self.

So, clearly I’ve got a little more room for improvement. {Insert: Jiggy Dance}