How to build self-confidence
How to build self-confidence: Our confidence building tips include becoming more confident through assertiveness and observation – and learning how to overcome shyness and handle difficult people or situations.
We all lose our confidence or assertiveness at some point or another in our lives; I am in no way an exception. What sorts of things can affect your self-confidence? Shyness, fear, the unknown, low self-esteem, past failures, difficult people, a relationship breakup, unemployment, new people, a new job. Some of these things could be everyday encounters and some are more few and far between, but all can have a (temporarily) crippling effect your confidence levels.
If you’re seeking to be more assertive, you can use these simple techniques and methods to build confidence when confronted by a more dominant character, influence, or situation that is just plain scary. Yep, a few simple confidence techniques really can dramatically increase your effective influence and emotional strength.
What is assertiveness and self-confidence?
They describe someone who…
Expresses their views clearly and articulately without being aggressive.
Stands up for their own and other people’s rights in a reasonable and clear way.
Has the courage to express their own feelings, even about difficult issues, in a way which is respectful and honest.
Five ways to become more assertive and build confidence
Have faith in your abilities
Have faith that your own abilities will ultimately work if you use them. Find out what your strengths are and use them to defend and support your position. The biggest tantrum is no match for a well-organised defence!
Find a mentor
Select someone who you know you respect. Learn from watching them and observe their approach and use of body language in certain situations. Share your successes and failures with them and ask for feedback.
Create a Personal record
Keep with you some inspiration quotes, a list of your achievements, your basic rights as a human, personal goals and aspirations and the things you are grateful for. Read it and update it regularly.
One of the best methods of being confident and assertive is to know your subject matter. No matter what the situation is, the more you know, the more confident you’ll be.
Speak with confidence even if you don’t feel confident. Practice speaking this way. The more you practice the more it will become second nature.
Six ways to handle difficult people and situations and overcome shyness
Anticipate other people’s behaviour and prepare your own responses. Roleplay in your mind how things are likely to happen. Prepare your responses according to the different scenarios that you think could unfold. Being well prepared will increase your self-confidence and enable you to be assertive about what’s important to you.
Know the facts
Ensure you know all the facts in advance. Bullies usually fail to prepare their facts; they dominate through bluster, force and reputation. When you know that a situation is going to arise, knowing your facts will enable to make a firm case, and also dramatically improve your reputation for being someone who is organised and firm.
Use good open questions
Prepare and use good questions to expose flaws in other people’s arguments. Asking good questions is the most reliable way of gaining the initiative, and taking the wind out of someone’s sails, in any situation. Questions that bullies dislike most are deep, constructive, incisive and probing, especially if the question exposes a lack of thought, preparation, consideration, consultation on their part.
“What is your evidence (for what you have said or claimed)?”
“Who have you consulted about this?”
“How did you go about looking for alternative solutions?”
“How have you measured (whatever you say is a problem)?”
“How will you measure the true effectiveness of your solution if you implement it?”
“What can you say about different solutions that have worked in other situations?”
Have sympathy not fear
Feel sympathy rather than fear towards bullies. It’s the bullies who are the ones with the problems. Feeling sympathy for someone who threatens you and not succumbing to fearful or intimidated feelings can put you in a position where you can see weaknesses in the bully – which in turn can make you feel stronger.
Stand your ground
Stand your ground with an aggressive or abusive person. If a person or situation turns nasty, always keep your composure. If someone is shouting at you, stay calm and don’t react; reacting only fuels someone’s aggression. Let the person finish and then calmly and confidently state your case. When they don’t get the same hostile reaction they will soon feel stupid.
Make a choice every day
Shyness or lack of confidence can partially stem from a feeling that other people control or dominate you. Try to recognise the daily moments where you make a choice or decision. Even if some situations feel out of your control, note where you can make decisions and choices, even about the small things. They will remind you that you are your own captain, and make many more of life’s decisions than you may give yourself credit for.