If you are one of the many women around the world who struggles with their confidence, then know that you are not alone. Even the most self-assured of us have moments when we doubt ourselves or feel unsure. Working on being assertive can be a great way to counteract those anxious thoughts and help you to grow your confidence in general.
But being assertive does not come easily to everyone. It certainly doesn’t mean acting in an aggressive way, expressing anger or wearing a mask of no emotion. Instead, being assertive means advocating for yourself and your wants and needs in a calm but firm manner. It can mean putting in boundaries around other people, speaking up for yourself, and communicating in a forthright yet respectful tone.
The good news is that this approach can be practiced in plenty of everyday situations. Below, we’ve compiled a list detailing how to practice being assertive within existing hobbies and interests in order to grow your confidence and live a more fulfilling life.
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Although, traditionally, casino games were thought of as a male-dominated activity, times have changed and there are now many successful female gamers in this popular and continually expanding industry. Perhaps you’re already a keen blackjack enthusiast or you love to spin the reels of online slots; maybe you’re a complete newcomer to this world. Whichever best describes you, playing table games can be a great opportunity to practice being assertive and subsequently grow your confidence.
If you’ve ever wondered where the idiom “to double down” on something comes from, it’s actually from the well-known casino game blackjack. To utilise double down blackjack is a bold move but one which can net significant results. Backing up your resolve like this at the card table is great practice for advocating for yourself in everyday life. It forms a useful habit around making your move and then supporting your decision, no matter what happens next.
A creative outlet can be great space in which to develop your self-confidence, but not if you only stay firmly within your comfort zone. If you are part of a group or class that regularly creates together, then practice putting forward your ideas to the people around you. This could mean reading from your current work-in-progress at a writing group, sharing your thoughts on somebody’s else’s painting, or even suggesting an exhibition where everybody can display their work and collect feedback from each other and from visitors.
Being part of a public exhibition means that you have to put your assertive skills into action as you must believe in your own work in order to display it. If you become comfortable with this situation, then you could even move on to selling your creative endeavours either online or in person. Opening an Etsy store or something similar will create endless opportunities to assert your boundaries and practice being assertive.
Again, a traditionally male-dominated space is the gym. Even the first gymnasiums in Ancient Greece were the domain of men only. Thankfully, this is no longer the case and there are now plenty of female athletes who train together and alongside their male counterparts. If you’re a keen gym bunny, then this can be the perfect environment to test out your assertiveness. For example, if you never use a certain machine because you don’t want to get in the way of people bigger or more accomplished than you, then giving it a try could be the ideal exercise in building your confidence. Recognising that you have as much right to experiment as everyone else there is an important step in realising your goals of being an assertive woman.
Alternatively, if running or cycling are more your thing, then why not set yourself a new PB goal? You don’t have to stay at the same level forever or where people expect you to be; you can decide to stretch yourself and set your own objectives according to your own knowledge and ambition.