"Okay, okay, so I'm a wimp. Fair enough," I told my husband in response to his accusation that I shrink in my dealings with authority figures at work. "But what do I do now?"
"I don't know. Just stop doing it," he said.
Oh, really? So easy for you to say, Mr. Cool. Just STOP? Could it really be that simple?
Six months ago I would have argued with him and whined that being assertive is so much more complicated than just ceasing to engage in wimpy shrinking behavior. But lately, I'm not so sure. Maybe it really is just a matter of showing up in the moment when said assertiveness is necessary, and then acting on it. The moment my shoulders hunch up, I can take a breath and let them relax again. When the urge to unnecessarily apologize arises, I don't have to do it.
I could fall back on my old Ms. J "M.O." and really create a bunch of mucky drama around the situation and obsess over the reasons for having acquired the habit of becoming a shrinking violet; But, the thing is, ruminating on the reasons and the "story" really doesn't change anything or make me any happier. I know the reasons already, and I honor them. But let's get real, shall we? I want to create a new experience for myself and a new career within my old career.
So, the next time I go into the main office at school and Administrator A, B, or C wants to speak to me for whatever reason, I will experiment with my husband's advice and JUST STOP.
I'll let you know how it goes...