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How to be Assertive and Develop Confidence

Assertiveness is a learned behaviour.

We often look and imagine that people and colleagues who are assertive and have confidence are naturally assertive and confident.

Assertiveness and confidence are about behaviour and not about people.

Positive thinking is crucial to assertiveness and confidence.

Your belief and thinking are integral to action you take that is assertive.

Assertive behaviour is when you stand up for your rights in a way that affirms the rights of the other person or people.

Causal model of behaviour is a process of thinking that influences feeling, which then influences actions you take.

Assertive behaviour are products of beliefs about oneself, what you think based on beliefs, feeling you derive from beliefs, and actions you take based on beliefs.

In order to behave assertively and display confidence:

1. Scrutinise your beliefs.

This belief I have about myself, are they accurate and factual? Why do I hold this belief? How does this belief influence perceptions I hold about this person, the situation, and myself?

2. Make a list of enabling / helpful beliefs about yourself, the person/people and situation.

For example, “I am responsible for my actions just as the person is responsible for theirs.” “My needs are as important as those of the other person.” “I like myself and I recognise I am not perfect.” “I can choose how I behave and no one should control my responses or behaviours.”

3. Think positive and well about yourself, the other person and the situation. Think consistently positive thoughts.

Self-talk is a helpful way of positive thinking. “I have rights, knowledge and skills to attend the meeting, make a good impression, and respond to questions or queries.” “I know some things about the project that I can contribute to the discussion.”

4. Behave and take actions based on facts.

Minimise your tendency to rely on emotions and inaccurate information. Delay your decisions and actions until you are sure of the facts, and analyse information you have. Behave and take actions based on your beliefs.

In conclusion, assertiveness and personal confidence are important in all areas of human endeavour. A determination to continue to improve helps with increasing assertive behaviour, and develop confidence.