18 hacks that make you more confident and assertive

Everyone is a work in progress. Even the most confident people need a good reminder on how to maintain their self-esteem. The most assertive people may falter after a hiccup. 

We can all use a crash course in being more confident and assertive. These are some easy-to-follow hacks to help you along the way… 

1) Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations

Instead of thinking you’re not good enough, focus on your strengths.

When I feel insecure, I tell myself the following positive affirmations:

  • I am worthy.
  • I am unique.
  • I trust in my abilities.
  • I am always growing.
  • I can overcome anything.
  • I love who I’ve become.

2) Know your stuff

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply believe you’re good at things.

You need to actually be a subject matter expert. You have to know your stuff because faking it until you make it may lead you to feel even more insecure.

Set yourself up for success… 

3) Give yourself clear goals

Working to accomplish something requires you setting clear goals for yourself

Ask yourself, what does success look like for this project? How will I know I accomplished what I set out to do?

The goals you set should also be a stretch… 

4) Have a growth mindset

Your stretched goals mean you’re aiming for growth. Developing your skills and improving your process will build your confidence.

When you set out to do something, and you make a plan to dedicate yourself to your efforts, you’ll feel great about yourself.

You know it’ll be a lot of hard work, but you’re ready for the opportunity. 

5) Embrace discomfort

For a confident and assertive person, if they’re not great at something, it’s no big deal.

They embrace the fact that they don’t know everything. They know what they are good at, so not being good at certain things is okay. 

Confident individuals know that discomfort is temporary. 

6) Use assertive statements and words

It’s simple. If you want to appear assertive, you have to talk the part.

That means, you have to clearly express yourself with “I” statements:

  • I know this happens.
  • I love this thing.
  • I have experienced this.

While not saying the words “think” and “believe” after the “I”… 

7) Avoid “I think” and “I believe” statements

Saying “think” and “believe” when making I statements make you seem unsure. I fall victim to this bad habit constantly.

I always have to remind myself, instead of saying, “I think” and “I believe,” I need to be declarative and unapologetic with sharing my thoughts and opinions. 

Being open about your thoughts and opinions means you’ll have to make yourself vulnerable… 

8) Be vulnerable 

Being assertive also means you’ll have to take some emotional risks. While you assert your needs, you may have to reveal deep thoughts and feelings. 

Sometimes expressing yourself will come in the form of drawing boundaries. Sometimes getting what you want means you have to be vulnerable enough to let people in.

And sometimes being vulnerable enough to ask people for help also makes you more confident… 

9) Seek feedback

In addition to asking people for help, confidence can be brought by requesting feedback. 

I tend to reserve these moments for people I trust. Get constructive feedback so you can improve, grow, and become even more confident. 

Your development—with the help of others’ feedback—will lead to success… 

10) Celebrate successes

When confident people succeed, they don’t hide or shy away from the spotlight. I know this isn’t always easy to do. 

Assertive people celebrate their accomplishments like the loud and proud people they are! 

Be unafraid to toot your own horn. Assert yourself by drawing attention to achieving your goals. But the key here is to stay humble so you’re not off-putting. 

11) Master the art of bragging

There’s comfort in the spotlight for confident and assertive people, but there’s a fine art to it. And it’s not the popular term, the “humble brag.”

If you truly are confident, you don’t brag to show off. You brag with humility. You truly stay humble while honoring how hard you’ve worked.

When you do this, your self-esteem will grow in the process.

12) Surround yourself with positive influences 

Saying confident things and being assertive sometimes isn’t enough.

You’ll want to be around people who will root for you when you’re working to accomplish something. You’ll want friends and acquaintances who will genuinely celebrate you when you succeed.

Be mindful about who is in your circle. Ask yourself, “Do these people have my best interest at heart?” 

13) Know who you are

If you surround yourself with people who love you and inspire you, it’ll help you reach your true potential.

As you become the best version of yourself, an integral part of the process is knowing who you are. That means, being honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. 

14) Get back to your center 

From time to time, you may forget who you are. When you’ve lost your way, get back to your center. 

The best ways to do this include:

  • Spend time with people you trust the most.
  • Visit your childhood home or see your loving family. 
  • Give yourself an opportunity to sit with your thoughts.
  • Visualize what you want.
  • Reflect on your experiences. 

15) Practice self-care

If you don’t feel good on the inside, you won’t be able to project confidence on the outside. 

Practicing self-care is paramount to your confidence. Taking care of your mind, body, and soul will give you strength.

Examples of self-care include:

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Sleeping well
  • Practicing gratitude 
  • Staying connected 

16) Stay connected

That’s right. The last bullet point under self-care is a very important hack to staying confident.

When you isolate yourself, it’s easy to spiral if there’s negativity around you.

If you stay connected with people who care about you, when the negative spiral rears its ugly head, they can help you navigate it. They can remind you to stay positive.

17) Just say no

I always tell myself, one of the most powerful ways to assert myself is to just say no.

So if I really don’t want to do something—even if it may disappoint people—I’ll say, “no, thanks.”

18) Be yourself

No matter what happens in life, confidence is as easy to attain and maintain as being okay to be yourself.

Be unapologetic about who you are, what you like, and what you’re good at. 

Simply, be proud of you.

Picture of Ysolt Usigan Schmidt

Ysolt Usigan Schmidt

Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers WomansDay.com, Shape, WhatToExpect, CafeMom, TODAY, CBSNews, HuffingtonPost, TheBump, Health Magazine, and AskMen. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in relationships, spirituality, mental wellness, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.

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