6 Essential Tips on How to Be More Assertive & Confident At Work

The workplace is not the best place to display your meekness. While being a nice person is good, failing to speak up when you need to can create lots of problems for you. In addition to being prone to bullying, not speaking up due to lack of confidence, can easily lead to stress and burnout, as well as deny you many benefits. Lack of confidence will make you almost invisible. 

Being confident in the workplace, on the other hand, can get you several things. For a start, it will improve your visibility, which is a crucial factor in getting promotions and raises. Being more confident and assertive also means you will be able to ask for what you know you deserve. It will also help you realize when someone is trying to take advantage of you and stop them short. 

Confidence is not what you can fake. In order to become more confident in the workplace, you need to do two crucial things: (1) treat yourself with respect, and (2) build your communication skills. Here, we will discuss six practical tips that can help you achieve the ultimate goal of becoming more confident. 

1. Recognize Your Value 

Until you understand that you are important and valuable in your workplace, you can't begin to build real confidence. If you are really low on confidence, you need to first realize that you are valuable as a person, and deserve to be respected. A sense of worthlessness will not get you anywhere. 

When in doubt, review your roles and duty in your workplace. There is no need to compare your role with anyone else. You should also avoid self-criticism at this point. Subdue the little voices trying to remind you of your flaws and shortcomings. Rather, focus on the things you have been doing at work. You will realize that you are contributing in your little ways to keep the organization going. You can also note how to do better during this self-introspection. 

2. Know Your Rights as an Individual and As a Staff 

As a human, you deserve to be respected. As a staff of an organization, you also have rights that you should never let anyone trample on. Until you know your rights and stand up for yourself, you will continue to take some treatments you don't deserve, and that will further erode your confidence. 

There is no better way to know your right than to read. From your job description to the employee manual, there are several materials from your employer where you can learn about your rights. You should take a step further by studying the labor laws in your state and locality to know if your rights are being violated in any way. Knowledge, they say, is power; never joke with it in this instance. 

3. Know Your Limitations 

Some suffer severe work stress and burnout because they don't know their limitations and certainly don't respect their personal boundaries (if they established any at all). You should understand that there is a limit to what you can do as a human, and trying to beat that will always end in frustration. No matter the workload you have, knowing your limits will keep you sane. 

It is also important that you create personal boundaries. Work-life balance is very important, and you need to be confident about embracing it. When you know your limitations, you can decide never to answer work emails beyond a particular time. Such is a healthy personal boundary that you should respect. When you make it clear to colleagues and your employer that you respect your personal boundaries, they will have no choice but to respect it too.  

4. Be Prepared At All Times 

Lack of preparation is always a recipe for failure, and failure is mostly detrimental to confidence. When you want to become more confident at work, you need to prepare for everything you do. Improve the quality of your work and your overall attitude to work. When you improve your performance, your confidence will naturally be boosted. 

When you have specific events or scenarios that demand a little more confidence than you feel you possess at the moment (such as a meeting to ask for a raise or interview for promotion), preparing for it is also an excellent idea. You also need to include some level of practice. Act out the scenario and speak confidently in private. If you have a loved one who is open to role-playing, talk it through with them.  

5. Understand the Difference between Assertion and Aggression 

Some people have been erroneously conditioned to think that being assertive is the same thing as being aggressive or bossy. This misconception has forced some rather outspoken individuals to become more docile in a bid to remain in the good books of others. Being assertive is a sign of confidence, and there is nothing wrong with that. Aggression, on the other hand, is often a mask for lack of confidence. 

Becoming confident and assertive wouldn't make you a hated person. If anyone despises you because you are confident and communicate assertively, then the person shouldn't love you in the first place. Also, take care to recognize the line between assertion and aggression. Be assertive and honest, and you will get the respect you deserve. 

6. Keep Growing 

Growth is a continuous process, and you must strive to grow in confidence continuously. Just as you become better at what you do with time, you should also become more confident with time. An experience that is not backed up by confidence cannot get you through some doors. 

While growth is important, you should also take care not to appear to be in haste. Be patient with your progress while working harder to become a better version of yourself. You may not succeed at some times at first, give it more time, prepare, and try again with improved confidence. 


If you have examined yourself and can truthfully tell yourself that you lack confidence at work, it is time for a change. No one will make you become more confident. It is a personal journey you must be willing to undertake. The tips discussed here can be very helpful. 

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