Do you often find yourself feeling like a pushover? Your friends constantly call on you to help with the smallest of things, yet you never get time to get your own things done? Have you missed the last two promotions at work because you’re letting others take the credit for the job you’ve done? If this sounds like you, then you need to learn to be more assertive in life. Here are 8 effective ways that you can learn – and become – more assertive.

1. Make quicker decisions

It is important when you’re asked a question that you answer quickly. Doing so will prevent you from over-thinking and changing what your gut instinct says. For instance, you’ve got 15 loads of laundry to catch up on, and want to get a quick workout in, so when your friend calls for a ride, say no immediately because that’s what you’re really be thinking anyways.

2. Know what you want

Many people who feel they’re left behind often don’t know what they want, so they have a difficult time standing up for themselves. It’s important that you have a vision of what you want in your mind, so that you can go after it. For instance, a promotion is coming up and you want it. Strive to show your boss that you’re the one that’s doing all the work and deserves the position.

3. Set clear expectations

In order to be more assertive, you need to clearly know what to expect from yourself and others. If you’re someone who’s always on the back-burner, don’t expect to rise to the top immediately. Set clear goals and expect to move at a steady pace, gaining the ground you deserve.

4. Overcome your fears

It’s possible that one of the reasons you’re overlooked is because you prefer to stand in the shadows. When it comes to a presentation at work that you’ve done all the groundwork for, don’t let someone else give your presentation. Overcome your ‘stage fright’ and take the front seat at that presentation. Remember that courage isn’t the lack of fear. Courage is acting despite having your fears.

5 . Use body language to project confidence

Even though you might be in a situation where you don’t feel confident, don’t let anyone see that. Use body language to mask your true fears and give off a confident vibe. Stand straight, chin up, shoulders back and don’t fidget.

6. Don’t fumble your words

When people are nervous and lacking confidence, they tend to talk quietly and mumble, sometimes making many mistakes with simple words. It is much better if you speak so that you can be heard, as well as slowly and clearly. Avoid fast-talking, as that really allows your lack of confidence to show through.

7. Dress to impress

Not that outer images should make a difference, but the truth is, they do. It’s important that you dress for success. Make sure your clothes fit properly, are cleaned, and in some cases, ironed. You want to look more confident, which will help you feel more confident on the inside.

8. Change the way you think

The most important factor to become more assertive is to change the way you think. Allow yourself to stand up for what you believe in, what you think is right, and don’t think about what others think. For instance, when someone tries to take over your presentation, or say that they’ve done the work that you’ve done, don’t allow them to do this, as you have in the past. Change the fact that you let others walk all over you and stand up for yourself!

Featured photo credit: LOA via Shots of Insight

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