Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tip#177: Learn To Stand Your Ground - Grizzly Man

Remember it's okay to get angry when confronted by challenging personalities. For some it is necessary to feel anger in order to become more assertive. Anger is still a form of passion and is powerful fuel you can tap into.

This is part 2 to my previous blog entry tip#176: The Good In Getting Your Buttons Pushed. It's about learning to stand your ground.

As I had written I was constantly challenged by a pushy personality that was stressing me out. This individual was always asserting his point of view and I had to always speak up to express my own needs.

This recent incident showed me how far I'd come to just speaking up for myself. Years ago I wouldn't have said anything because of fear. But by not saying anything I was really communicating to the other person that it was okay to "walk all over me".

When others push their point of view on you they violate your space. But it is your job to speak up and draw the line they cannot cross with you. Whether it is in your workplace or personal life you must learn to articulate your needs.

Grizzly Man

The irony and synchronicity of my recent confrontations was that this individual had given me a belated birthday gift of a DVD called Grizzly Man. It was a compelling and tragic documentary on grizzly bear activist Timothy Treadwell who lived among grizzlies in Alaska. It's a powerful portrait of a man who learned how to stand his ground with these wild, untamed animals.

Here’s what Treadwell says at the opening of the film:

"They're challenging everything including me. It goes with the territory. If I show weakness, if I retreat I may be hurt, I may be killed. I must hold my own if I'm gonna stay within this land. For once there is weakness they will exploit it, they will take me out, they will decapitate me, they will chop me up in bits and pieces. I'm dead. But so far I persevere."

This passionate statement could represent how you feel in a situation with a challenging relationship. And yet sometimes you have to get so riled up by your confrontations that you ultimately unleash your inner "grizzly bear" in order to stand your ground.

Life Is Like A Play

That's why I found it ironic that the messages of this DVD gift came from the same person who was pushing my buttons. It reminded me that certain people come into your life to push your buttons on purpose to trigger your inner strengths.

Life is like a play and they are there to say their lines AND get you to say yours. And if you don't find the courage to articulate your needs then someone else in the future will come into your life and push your buttons again.

So take action now and release that assertive energy already within you. See your challenging relationships as part of a play where you MUST say your lines. These individuals are there to help you be the empowered person you want to be. That's the biggest gift in getting your buttons pushed.

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008


Anonymous said...

Really well put, Emmanuel!
This sentiment is empowering, particularly the analogy / vision of life being a play.
I was familiar with Shakepeare's words "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...", but somehow I never made the connection that the aggressive actor was merely cuing me to give my next line, and that I had a choice in how I could improvise!

Seeing our aggressors as actors who actually function to empower us (if we choose!) is freeing!!!!!

Certainly makes it easier not only to forgive, but also thank them for their importance in our life! Wow!
Thank you, Emmanuel, for being my acting coach and director today!


Anonymous said...

Hey Emmanuel,

Great choice of topic here. This is something me and some others I know have had to learn lately, and I recognize the lessons in it. What makes it tougher, though, is that sometimes it seems some people can't handle someone being assertive or very honest with them.

One girl I recently befriended took me off her friends list after I told her my views on some things we were discussing and explained what I needed at this time as well. She seemed very needy, and I decided that I wouldn't run after her if she decided to not be my friend.

Strange, though, because I thought she was a bit more mature than some other people I know and we seemed to share some values. Yet, I cannot feel guilty for looking out for myself, too, sometimes and speaking my mind.

I've also heard that when challenges come into your life with people, it is a way to help you reveal more light if you learn to react properly. It's true that you have to know when to be assertive and say no to things, stuff like that, but sometimes you also have to learn how to rise above your ego in how you react to people.

For example, ignoring someone's calls all the time or thinking I can't take the way this person seems so protective (maybe a parent) and I'll let my emotions get the best of me.

Take care,