Careers   -                    7 Steps to confidence

Most people think that they would like to have been more assertive in certain situations. They may feel that they were push into something or that they didn’t put their opinions across in the way that they should have. This is both common and natural. Humans get along well because we do not all demand to be heard at the same time. If there are four people in a conversation, three must be listening and only one taking at any moment if the conversation is to be productive or enjoyable.

If one or two people try to dominate a conversation or situation, then they leave us two choices – we can walk away or we can face them down. Sometimes walking away is the best option for us, but if you want to be more assertive, here are some things that you can try.

Be positive. Focus on what you have achieved and what you are good at rather than your limits. Be confident in your ability to control your own future and to act independently of others.
Know your successes. Be aware of your achievements and of your strengths. This sense of self worth is at the core of any effort to be more confident and assertive.

Watch those physical signals. All humans have a physical presence that signals to others how we feel about ourselves and about them. Watch people that you admire and analyse how they stand and walk, the gestures that they use, and the amount of eye contact that they give to others. Make a conscious effort to copy your role model and see the reactions of the people around you. Studies show that these body signals are a key way that communicate with others and may be even more important than what we say in some situations.

Stick to your principles. Confident people are prepared to act independently of others and even to go against the flow if they believe that it is the right thing to do. This is risky behaviour but it demonstrates integrity.

Admit your mistakes. Nobody is perfect and anyone who claims to be will be eventually found out. Admitting to what you don’t know or what you have done wrong is confident behaviour and it is honest. Covering things up shows a lack of confidence. It is also often very damaging, particularly in a work situation.

Wait for people to compliment you. Nothing exposes a lack of confidence more than someone who is constantly promoting themselves in front of others. It makes them look insecure. Instead accept compliments graciously but do not constantly seek to approval of others.

Help others. Don’t allow your bid to be more assertive be just about you and what you want. Confident people are also generous in the way that they treat others. They make a conscious effort to include others in situations, and they find ways that they can assist them. This behaviour separates the confident from those bullies who try to dominate others. The confident person is not just interested in themselves.