Have you ever stayed quiet when you wanted to speak up? Do you want to take control of your decisions? Are you looking to progress in your career, or develop your professional relationships? Learning how to be assertive is the key to all of this.

It's not a skill that comes naturally to everyone, but it's a trait that can open the door to increased work satisfaction, a better quality of life, and newfound respect from your colleagues. Your path to discovering how to be assertive can be as simple as making small conscious changes that will build into a whole new life – and it can start with something as easy as reading a book!

From asserting yourself as a woman in the workplace to becoming a better manager or making small changes in your daily habits – these are our 5 favourite books on assertiveness:

Assertiveness: How to Stand Up for Yourself and Still Win the Respect of Others

By Judy Murphy

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The aim of Murphy's book is simple: to teach you how to be a more confident and assertive individual, and to help you gain control of your life decisions through a range of simple exercises and actionable tips.

Murphy's incredible insight on assertiveness will show you how to implement control and authority within your relationships, progress your career, and earn newfound respect from family, friends, colleagues and partners.

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

By David Goggins

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After a traumatic childhood full of poverty and prejudice, struggling with body image, and battling with depression, David Goggins turned to self-discipline and hard work in order to turn his life around.

Now one of the world's top endurance athletes and a World Record Holder with elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, Goggins wrote this book to tell the story of his journey and teach the world his rules for releasing your true potential. Can't Hurt Me explores the idea of ‘The 40% Rule', which suggests that most of us are only ever accessing 40% of our full capabilities, and Goggins promises to help you harness the power of assertive thinking to access that hidden 60%.

A Woman in Your Own Right: Assertiveness and You

By Anne Dickson

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Dickson defines assertiveness as the art of clear, honest and direct communication to others. By approaching situations and others with assertiveness you build your self-esteem and the ability to make decisions for your own happiness.

Whilst the book is aimed at women wanting to assert themselves in the workplace to combat its male-dominated hierarchical structures, the book can apply to anyone simply wanting to increase their assertiveness skills.

Make Your Bed: Small Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World

By Admiral William H. McRaven

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Based on the speech he gave at the University of Texas graduation ceremony, Admiral McRaven's book teaches invaluable lessons that he learned during his Navy Seal Training. The book breaks these lessons down into simple, succinct ideas and statements – for example, “making your bed is a reflection of your discipline, your pride and your personal habits. If you can't get up in the morning and make your bed, what else are you incapable of doing?”

Inspiring, creative and filled with captivating anecdotes, it's the perfect introduction to the notion that little changes can make a big difference when it comes to becoming a more assertive person.

The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships

By Julie de Azevedo Hanks

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This book focuses on the importance of respecting yourself, and others, on your path to an assertive life, through acknowledging our different attachment styles and how they can affect our ability to express emotions.

Hanks uses strategies based in mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, and dialect behaviour therapy to help readers understand these attachment styles that keep us from asserting ourselves. In becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings, you empower yourself to be able to ask for what you need, set boundaries, and speak your truth.

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