You say you feel assertive but I can tell from looking at your body that you don’t feel that way. You are trying to override with your mind the honesty that your posture cannot hide. You are scared. You lead with your chin and roll your shoulders forward. This protects your heart and shows the world you are headstrong. You are not open to new ideas and protect yourself from emotional closeness. Of course you do, that was an adaptive strategy effective earlier in your life.
How we carry our bodies and hold ourselves says a lot about how we feel. Much of the posture that we have today is not the result of proper body mechanics and functionally correct alignment. Most of our posture developed as a reaction to the emotional environment we grew up in. That posture becomes our normal way of moving through the world and stays long after the emotional environment changes. Even when our present situation is good and as adults we are more in charge our posture often does not change to reflect that. A protective body stance and dysfunctional habit patterns we learned about how to carry ourselves remain.
Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) developed the idea of muscular armour: the expression of the personality in the rigidity of the body. His writing influenced many body workers and psychotherapists most notably Alexander Lowen (Bioenergetics), Arthur Janov (Primal Therapy) and Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy). Counseling with someone trained in posture and how it affects self-esteem can be transformative. At Counseling on Burnside together with Backs on Burnside (A Chiropractic and Massage clinic) we take a look at the whole person and not just the content of their issues.