The first thing to remember is you know who you are and you are well aware of your actions. Your survival or existence should not be for pleasing others. Standing up for yourself is a way of assuring yourself of self-respect and also ensuring that other people recognize and respect you. It is not an easy task to unlearn your previous habits of shyness and it will definitely take time for you to acquire confidence to stand up for yourself in life. Never procrastinate to start this journey of self-improvement and never wait to take the first step.
Let us find out more about the 14 best ways you can adopt to gain confidence and to project a positive attitude towards life:
1. Acquire Confidence
Develop a strong sense of self-confidence first and practice to stand up for yourself. This is more than enough for others to see the real you and to respect you. Bearing a negative emotion or a low energy reflection always becomes an easy target for others. At the same time showing a confident attitude will automatically drive away the usual teasers and bullies. There are several ways you can follow to feel confident and respectful to the person in you:
- Learn a new skill or craft
- Lose Weight and focus on looking good and presentable. This is one of the best ways to increase your confidence levels.
- Repeat positive affirmations daily and indulge in any kind of silent meditation. Look after yourself first.
- Last but not least, be patient. Nothing will change overnight but your confidence will grow with time.
2. Define your Goals
Control your destiny and life with a purpose and get this done by defining your goals. Find out what you truly want from life, pen it down and start working on it. This is the most important part of standing up for yourself and not letting others put you down.
- Set an ambitious and an achievable goal and start by making it for a short term. For eg: do not set your goals for the next five years, instead pen down your goal for the coming week or month. It could be anything such as weight loss goals or learning a new skill or developing a new hobby etc. Start off with anything you feel will give you self-worth or self-confidence.
- After you have achieved your goal take time to check the progress you have made and also ensure to appreciate how much you have achieved. These days there are several smartphone applications you can download, that will help you pen down your goals and will also help you track your goal progress.
3. Develop a Good and a Firm Attitude
A Good and a Firm attitude is everything you need. The one thing that impacts how other people perceive you and even how you see yourself. Once your attitude is set, the same will reflect in the tone of your voice, in the quality of your thoughts and even in your facial expressions and body language.
- Make an attempt to remain happy, bubbly and bright and accept any situation with a positive attitude. Just remember that everything happens for a reason and this alone will help you perceive any situation with an optimistic attitude. Moreover this will elevate your self- confidence and will also encourage the people around you.
- Always understand that people prefer hanging around the person who makes them feel good about themselves. They listen and respond positively to someone with a good attitude.
- At the same time we are more likely to shove a person who projects a morose attitude. Hence make the right choice and you are already on your way to standing up for yourself.
4. Feel Good about Yourself
Looking fit, strong and healthy will definitely boost your confidence levels and will help you stand up for yourself.
- Indulge in some weight training, running, dancing or any other activity that you enjoy doing. This will not only make you look fit and healthy, it will also help you become a more fun person in the process.
- Try to develop some self-discipline in your life. For eg: join a martial art class or some kind of self-defense class. This is not just meant for self-defense, it will also enhance your confidence levels in the public and you will more elevated, courageous and can ultimately stand up for yourself in any given situation.
5. Develop an Assertive Nature
Assertiveness is the right key to standing up for yourself and developing this nature will definitely take you where you want and will get your voice heard properly.
- Developing an assertive nature helps you take a proper stand in life and you will be able handle situations with an open and honest mind. It also helps you initiate straightforward communication which will be accepted by your peers in the long run.
- Always use the word “I” in your statements rather than “you” statements as this sounds less accusatory and the opposite person tends to become less defensive in the situation.
6. Learn to say No
Learning to say a ‘No’ probably would be one of the toughest tasks you have ever faced. But it is actually the first stepping stone to standing up for yourself. Avoid becoming a doormat for everyone to walk over and take advantage of.
- For eg: if you have noticed that your colleague leaves the office early whereas you are always asked to stay back and work extra, this will definitely put pressure on your personal as well as professional lives. Make an attempt to say a firm ‘No’ and learn to put your foot down in such situations.
- Do not worry if you feel your friends or your dear ones might hate you if you become assertive, or if you say a firm ‘No’, mind you it is going to do you good in the long run and will help you stand up for yourself.
7. Manage your Body Language
Your gait, the way you talk, sit and stand –everything does make an impression on people. So it is very important to manage your body language the right way to earn the right kind of trust and respect from people.
- Follow an open body language that shows people that you are confident, self-assured and a no nonsense person. Open body language involves leaning forward, making eye contact, standing with your hands on your hips and feet apart, using gradual and meticulous gestures and uncrossing your arms and legs.
- Closed body language on the other hand involves crossing your arms, clenching your hands or fist, using shifty and cagey gestures, avoiding eye contact and turning your body sideways. This kind of body language sends the wrong signal and pushes the people away from you.
8. Practice and Train to Stand up for Yourself
Shy and timid people often find it difficult to stand up for themselves and it does not come naturally to them. You do not have to worry about it and all you need to do is to practice standing up for yourself. And before you realize it, you would have already developed self-confidence and assertiveness that you were lacking in before. The best way to practice this is to
- Write down the responses you would use to handle harsh situations and try practicing them with your friend using a timer.
- Make your friend pretend to be a difficult or an intimidating person who constantly keeps putting you down. Put the timer on for say 2 to 3 minutes and start responding without a glitch. Keep practicing this way till you feel comfortable and get a hang of it.
- First practice handling smaller real life situations and slowly you will be able to take care of more intimidating situations in life before you know it.
As mentioned before, patience is the key to practice standing up for yourself and ensure to never give up. Another right way to practice is to fake it till you make it. Even if you don’t feel confident from within, fake and act as if you do and before you know it you would already be a genuine self-motivated confident and an assertive personality.