Building Confidence And Assertiveness at Work


Wikipedia describes confidence as “a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.”

The Latin word from which confidence derives (fidere) means “to trust”, either in oneself or someone in whom you are confiding.

confidence at work

More often it means someone who is brave and extrovert enough to be who they are and to state what they want. It blends with our understanding of having boldness, an absence of fear.

Self-confidence is the certainty that you are going to be fine in whatever situation.. an inner trust in oneself.

How do we then instil this confidence in ourselves?

The mix of positively visualising how you want an event to turn out, with an inner surety that you can handle things, can create a feeling of calm and confidence that all will be fine. Even if exactly what you envisaged does not come about in the way you wanted it to. You ‘know’ that all will work out well regardless. That challenges are temporary.

Is confidence linked with assertiveness?

Yes. Confident people are able to convey their ideas, wants and needs much more readily than those who are fearful of a) the outcome backfiring on them b) being seen in a way that is too aggressive. That is, they see their actions or demands as being perceived how they themselves view the arrogant person: none too likeable.

Confidence is about self -perception. We can change that self-perception in a number of ways.
Sublime reactions

There are thousands of subliminal affirmations which and bring out confidence from within, yet it is through practice that we gain a level of belief  in ourselves and our behaviour.

So how can we take those first steps?

Using such mind-changing programmes, you may end up getting what you were trying to avoid: yet here is the paradox. The thing that will change your behaviour is you confronting the situation and acting differently to how you normally would.

The key to confidence is to embed the behaviour: use it more. Relax into it, even if at first it makes you anxious.


The four keys to confidence:
  • Experience your first success as success. Even if it ended up not as expected, the success was in the doing.
  • Develop positive psychology. See the positives of what happened. For example: “I took the chance to speak to someone first. I’ve never done that before. I kept my gaze when ordinarily I look away.” Doing something different makes us feel more confident.
  • Practise this behaviour. Copy others who you think are good role models. One lady said to me “I’d like to be as confident as the lady on the station every morning. She oozes confidence.” How does she know what the woman is actually feeling? When you are relaxed in yourself, others see your confidence shining through. Consider attending confidence courses London, to develop yourself.
  • Neutralise your old thought patterns which trigger old emotions. When you hear your ego mind saying “see, you look a twit. There you go again, getting your words all mixed up. You never learn.” Try interrupting the pattern by shifting your attention to something else, or saying ‘no’ and moving on to the next thought. You have a choice.
Believe that every step you take is a success.