You’ve been told that you need to grow a backbone for as long as you can remember. But what does it mean to have a strong backbone? How do you build one? And will having one really help you get ahead in life? In this article, we’ll explain what a backbone is and how it affects success. Let’s get started! For the record, when I say backbone I mean confidence. Confidence to stand on your own two feet and make decisions that are best for YOU, that’s right YOU.
1.) Make the first move.
- Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. If you want to do something, just do it! Don’t wait for someone else to take the initiative or initiate conversation; don’t let them dictate your actions and put you in a passive role. It’s important that you give yourself room to be proactive and take action instead of staying on the sidelines waiting for others to act first.
2.) Say no sometimes.
- ) Say no sometimes, actually most times…
You don’t have to do everything people ask of you, or even everything people want you to do. You don’t have to do everything people expect you to do either (and if they’re expecting a lot from you, maybe that means it’s time for them to do their part). If someone is asking for your help in something that makes sense for both of your schedules and doesn’t take too much of your time or energy, then go ahead and help them out! But if it feels overwhelming or like more work than fun…that’s ok too. You don’t have be available all the time for everyone else’s needs at the expense of your own.
3.) Set boundaries.
Setting boundaries is a great way to stop people from taking advantage of you. It can feel awkward at first, but it’s an essential part of being an adult—and one that will make your life much easier. If someone is over-staying their welcome, ask them to leave or tell them when they can come back. If someone is invading your personal space, find a way to move away from them without making it obvious that you don’t like being touched by them (for example: “oh my goodness! You’re so tall! I bet I could reach the top shelf if I stood on this stool!”).
Don’t let other people dictate what’s okay for you or define your behavior based on how they would react in similar situations. Make sure everyone around knows what they can and cannot do—and stick with those guidelines no matter what happens next!
4.) Protect your time.
You know yourself better than anyone else. You know what you can and cannot do, how much time you have on your hands to commit to things, and how much energy you have at any given moment. When someone asks for something from you, think about whether or not it’s in line with your values (and those of the other person). If it is, then go ahead and make room in your calendar for them! If it isn’t… well… don’t be afraid to say no! Not every project needs to be executed perfectly—you don’t need to squeeze every second out of every hour of every day into being productive as possible. That’s not healthy or sustainable; instead, dedicate time towards activities that bring meaning into life and prioritize relationships over commitments (unless those commitments are important).
5.) Keep it brief.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the people you’re dealing with are people like you. They have their own problems, they feel overwhelmed and sometimes just want someone to listen to them talk about it. If they aren’t willing to take a minute and hear what you have to say, tell them your thoughts on the matter briefly, then leave it alone.
If someone really needs help with something (whether they think so or not), offer advice in a way that doesn’t make them feel bad or guilty for asking – if they start feeling like an idiot because of what you say, chances are good that they won’t ask again!
Of course, this works both ways – if someone does ask for your assistance or opinion on something and then takes advantage of the fact that you’ve given it freely without getting back anything in return (either by doing extra work for free or asking tons of questions), don’t feel guilty about saying no next time around! It’s okay not to do certain things at certain times; we all do it from time-to-time 🙂
6.) Stand your ground.
Don’t apologize for having a different opinion, or for disagreeing with someone. It’s okay to tell someone when they are wrong. It’s alright to tell someone when they are being unreasonable, or mean, or otherwise unkind. You don’t need to be afraid of confrontation or conflict—it’s part of life!
If you want to stop being a doormat and start standing up for yourself, this is a great place to start!
When it comes to standing up for yourself, the most important thing is not HOW you say something. It’s WHAT you say. Focus on the message in your head and how it translates into words that come out of your mouth.
Be assertive, not aggressive: This means expressing yourself firmly but calmly—without putting down or blaming others or making threats. If someone else is being aggressive toward you (and they don’t stop after asking them nicely not to), then there’s no reason why you should be defensive either! You can ask them why they’re being so mean (or whatever else), but if they don’t want an answer or just keep going at it anyway then it’s okay for YOU too because everyone deserves respect regardless of who they are – including other people who might be acting like jerks sometimes during their lives too!
Be confident without being arrogant: An important distinction between these two qualities involves whether or not we think highly enough about ourselves relative to others around us; which would mean believing one could accomplish anything one set their mind towards achieving while also acknowledging where those limits lie too (i..e., having self-respect). However when presented with setbacks along our journey toward success (which happens all too often), those who are confident vs arrogant show resilience in facing adversity head-on instead of sulking away from
I hope this post has given you some tools to help you grow a backbone. It can be scary at first, but the more you practice these strategies, the more they will become second nature. And remember, if all else fails (which is sometimes the case), don’t be afraid to ask for help!