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Note 8: Being present

Welcome to note 8 of 12. In the last note we looked at how our beliefs can act as a barrier to communicate effectively. In this note, we will look at how we can be more present in the moment and how that helps.

One benefit of being more assertive is that you will be more present in the events that happen in your life. There are of course thousands of situations when you can and should feel like you can do this, here are a few:

  • Where do you want to eat?
  • What did you think about the movie?
  • I would appreciate your professional opinion on this

Expressing one's opinion can sometimes be hard. Here are a few tips on what to think about to overcome this:

  • Relax before you start: Breathe slowly and deeply. This will help you feel calmer, which makes it easier to think clearly.
  • Rehearse: Go over what you plan to say. The more you practice, the easier it will become to be spontaneous and be able to say what you want in the moment.
  • Own your message: When offering a statement use an “I” statement to show that you take responsibility for your view. Not the impersonal “one”.
  • Don’t apologise for having an opinion: Stay away from sayings like “Forgive me for saying this...” and “I’m really sorry but I think..”
  • Don’t let it slide: Sometimes our opinion might not be asked for but it may be important for you to give anyway. You could say something like: “John, I know you haven’t asked, but I strongly feel that adopting a bear cub is a bad idea.”

Remember: One part of “being present” is to reveal and share your ideas, attitudes, preferences and opinions.

Action: Think back over the past week. Can you list three situations where you could have offered your opinion but didn’t. When facing a similar situation the following week, we want you to try at least one of the tips above as a way to express your opinion.

In the next note we’ll look at receiving positive feedback

And don’t forget: You are valuable. You are powerful. You can do this!

Your friends at Soul Medicine

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