How to Be More Assertive

  • “Successful people are assertive people.”
  • Many people struggle with being assertive, either because they don’t want to come across as rude or because they lack confidence in themselves. In this episode, Brendon helps to explore what assertiveness really means and why it’s an important skill to have.
  • “Those crazy requests you have change the world.”
  • Struggling to take control of your life? By the end of this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of how to be more assertive and feel empowered to take control of your life.
  • Watch the video to get the full teaching!


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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of Motivation With Brendon Burchard. Please note that this episode, like all episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, Motivation With Brendon Burchard has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in the Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Assertiveness, assertiveness again, psychologists. You might think of this as personal agency, but I don’t like just personal agency because it’s an idea. It’s a philosophy and a theory. The way that real personal agency is manifested into the world is a forward lean and assertiveness, a take it-on ness, a do-the-work ness. That is what it looks like. That’s what it’s going to take another level of assertiveness where you don’t avoid anymore. You approach, you assert your real thoughts, feelings, needs, desires, and dreams into the world. When there’s a problem, you assert yourself, say there’s a problem. When there’s a goal, you yourself say, We have a goal. When someone messes up, you assert yourself, saying, I need to give you some feedback. That’s what it means. And so many people have lost that forward edge of assertiveness. 

1. Don’t Wait For ‘Later’

So the whole time they’re staying silent, the whole time they’re being private the whole time. I’ll bring it up with her later and later becomes the cage. All address the problem later. That’s the cage. I’ll do the thing later. I’ll build the thing later. Or invest in it later. I’ll do it. I’ll join it. I’ll make it happen later and later become perennial. You plant the ground. Listen, you plant that seed later in your life. It just keeps springing up all the time. It’s like a flower bed that never goes dead. And your brain later or later because you’re not later. It looks like flowers later. It’s comfortable. Leaders. The comfortable life. The comfortable life looks really pretty. But then when the comfortable life is no longer joyful, it’s because there’s a bed of roses out front. Your big house called later and over and over and over again. You keep watering the latter and soon you overwater the latter and those flowers become weeds and they take the house. And that’s what a lot of people do. They don’t make the decision. They don’t move. They don’t take action. Even known when they know they need to do it. 

And what mostly, I would say the most impressive people I know, it’s that you don’t know about Jamie Kern Lima, but let me tell you what she’s incredibly assertive. She will come up with an idea. She’s asked me to do things or asked me to be no one’s ever asked me for. And I’m like, who? And sometimes I go, I was pretty direct and then my high performance brain go kicks. And I’m like, That’s awesome. Oh my God, Jamie, that’s awesome. Shoot. No one’s ever asked me that before. Ever. My entire life. Do you know what she asked at this event? You know, she asked about the event. She’s like, Can I have 4 hours on stage? Do you know how many people I’ve had on this stage in 15 years?

2. Ask For What You Want

Remember some of you, you’re new to my room. I’ve done this eight times a year for fifteen years. Well, Tony Robbins has been on my stage. Wayne Dyer has been on his stage. Marianne Williamson’s been on stage. The late great Debbie Ford was on my stage. Larry King’s been on my stage. Harvey McKay’s been on my stage. Brian Tracy’s been on stage. Jack Canfield has been on my stage. Everybody, seven, eight, seven, eight, nine. Billionaires have been on my stages. I’ve been in this for a long time. No one ever asked me that before, ever. How badass is that? 

At first, I thought, that’s what we’re talking about, you know because if you’ve done something, you’re comfortable. Every new request seems crazy.

But you know what? Those crazy requests change the world.

I want you to think about that now. As you think about that now, we already had an agenda, so that wasn’t going to work for this particular one. But she still got an hour more than she was going to get because she asked because she asserted herself, she goes, I want more time on stage. I’m going to ask for that. Does that make her crazy or bad or awful? No, it makes her successful. Where are you asserting yourself? Where are you asking the big questions? Where are you asking for the favors? Where are you pushing? That’s what I want you to do. That’s your next level and you don’t even know it. This is part of the things I do with all my groups. Men. You guys know this. I’ve been teachers. Sometimes in GrowthDay. 

3. Make A Bold Request

I want to make sure you finish every single Friday, part of your Friday finishers. You make a bold request. You don’t finish a Friday without an email going out or a voice message going out with a bold request. Find that person on LinkedIn, email them, DM them, and message them. You think, Oh no, no, no. I need to wait until I have a million followers. I need to wait until I have 100,000 downloads. I need to wait until we hit 5 million. I need to wait until we hit 50 employees. I’m like, No, no, no, no. Now make the bold requests now, because later is perennial. Make those bolder requests sooner and faster. Get in it.

Successful people are assertive people.

When they’re ready, they go over and over. And it is a difference-maker. I can tell you. It’s like you would think that they’re so like sometimes you think they’re breaking a boundary or they’re bored. 

But remember, even Steve Jobs, here’s to the crazy ones. You think about that. Turn the person. That’s right. Give him a nice shake so you look a little crazy. Nine Mm. Are you crazy? I want you to be a little crazy once in a while and allow yourself to do this. Hey, here’s my question. Where are you lacking this? Is it your career? And so I’m not lacking. I go, Okay, do you have any employees? Yeah. Are any difficult employees? Yeah, any employees. You should have let go of five months ago. Six months ago? Yeah. Okay. You’re lacking that. Hey, you have a good dream. Any big ideas? Yeah. How long have you had that idea? Three or four or five months. Yeah. Have you anything about it? Make any bold requests, Pushed it, made it happen, Bought the thing, and invested. Gone? Yes. No, No.

4. Find What You’re Lacking

You’re lacking that in you’re in my world. Aaron’s like, what do you do in his party coaching and are coaches in the room or he you know, I have this thing it’s like as a coach, as a mentor, I’m paid to push. I’m here to push you. And you know, the level of assertiveness. Notice there are good ways to be assertive and bad ways, right? Some people are very assertive, but they know how to communicate. They don’t know how to give. They don’t have to serve. And that’s the stuff we were talking about earlier. 

They’re assertive, but they’re takers. There’s a difference. You learn to be full of yourself. I like really in full of your full powers when you ask if you’re okay if they come back with no takers when they are told no, they get mad, and they stop trying. They get bitter and they’re in the back of the cage. But listen to Jamie Kern Lima. She comes out here just guys like let me tell you, I heard no so many times and she’s smiling when she says it. It’s almost like she like the notes. Did you pick it up on it? She liked it, but it’s so different, isn’t it? It’s different. Be more assertive. Allow yourself to do it. You can do it with grace. All you have to do is go. I’m not taking it. I am asserting. And if it’s a no, it’s a no. Let me just let me pivot. Let me go again. Let me be kind. I can receive a million no’s and don’t think the person give me a no. It’s just I just for me, I talk not the time, not divine guidance right now, not supposed to happen with this person. I can keep trying, but I’ll always try in a graceful, respectful, professional manner. But the thing is, I will try, I will try. I will be assertive and I want you to do that. I want you to close your eyes with me real fast and just put your hand on your heart again and tap it with me. I just want to just close my eyes and say it again. Time to be more assertive. Time to be more assertive. Time to level up. Time to push it out there. It’s okay to push. It’s okay to push. Because I’m ready. Because I’m ready. Cause I’m ready. All right. Give yourselves a round of applause. You know, we’re doing the work. We’re doing the work.