Are you tired of doubting yourself?
Do you wish you believed in yourself more?
Then keep reading, because, in this article, I’m going to talk about 7 essential habits of naturally confident people.
I’ve been there myself, but through practice and hard work, I’ve managed to build up my confidence and I want to share with you the principles and habits that have worked for me.
1. Confident people set clear boundaries
This probably isn’t the first habit that springs to mind when you think of a confident person, but it’s an important one.
If you want to be confident, you need to know where you stand.
This means knowing your limits and sticking to them, whether that means saying no to others, standing for yourself, or simply making it clear what you will and won’t tolerate.
The bottom line is this:
Confident people won’t compromise their self-worth or integrity. They stick to their boundaries regardless of what others say or think.
When you set boundaries, you take control of your life and assert your own needs and values.
You send a strong message to other people about what you will and won’t tolerate, which helps build your self-respect and self-confidence.
The question is: How do you set boundaries yourself?
It’s all about being clear about what you want and won’t tolerate.
In order to do this, you need to understand yourself, your desires, and your limits.
For example, I used to be a bonafide “people-pleaser”, so to set my boundaries, I needed to become explicit about the lengths I was willing to go to make other people happy.
Once I was clear about what I can and can’t do for others, I stopped trying to make everyone happy. Instead, I focused on doing what I can to help other people and left it at that.
2. Confident people accept themselves, flaws and all.
Confident people accept themselves, even their negative traits.
They understand that no one is perfect and they embrace their flaws and imperfections.
This means you don’t try and hide your weaknesses or pretend to be someone you’re not.
You accept yourself for who you are and even embrace your imperfections because that is what makes you unique and human.
Sometimes, it isn’t enough to simply know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.
Though you might know your strengths, you could also be harboring resentment for yourself or feeling insecure about your lack of ability with your weakness.
This insecurity can negatively affect your confidence.
That’s why it’s also important to accept yourself.
Forgive yourself for having your flaws. Remember: nobody’s perfect; we all have our own shortcomings.
Confidence is about accepting that, and knowing where to focus your energy.
Confident people tend to have little to feel ashamed about; they’re proud of who they are.
If you wondering how you can learn to accept yourself, then remember that it all starts with self-compassion.
Treat yourself with kindness. Understand that’s okay to be imperfect.
It can also help to start a gratitude practice where you focus on the things you appreciate about yourself and your life, rather than dwelling on your flaws.
3. Confident people keep expanding their comfort zone
Confident people are comfortable taking risks and trying new things.
They understand that growth comes from making mistakes and failures and trying new things.
This is why they’re not afraid to exist their comfort zone. They see these experiences as opportunities to learn and grow.
When faced with a difficult task, the insecure tend to retreat into their comfort zone.
But confident people are up to the challenge.
This isn’t to say confident people are fearless. They can still be afraid of failing. What sets them apart is acting despite the fear of failure.
Think of the times when you started doing something for the first time, be it your awkward golf swing or struggling vocals in your first singing lesson.
You’ll never become better at anything without being bad at it first.
That’s why it’s important to try taking steps to venture beyond your comfort zone.
So how do you expand your comfort zone?
Start small and slowly build up to bigger challenges. Try things that push you slightly beyond your comfort zone, even if it is something small.
Seek out new experiences and challenges that stretch you in different ways. And remember, it’s okay to feel scared or uncertain.
4. Confident people focus on what they can control.
Confident people focus on what they can control and let go of the things they can’t.
They understand that there are many variables beyond their control, and they don’t waste energy worrying about them.
Instead, they focus on what is within their sphere of influence and forget about the rest.
This not only makes you more effective in life but your confidence increases because you prioritize things you actually can do something about.
We tend to feel insecure and helpless when we think about difficult situations that are out of our control.
But if you can learn to switch your attention to only things you can influence, you’ll empower yourself to take control of your life.
In the end, as the Dalai Lama says in the below quote, there is no benefit in worrying about what you can’t control.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – Dalai Lama
To take action on this, start by making a list of the things you can influence and take action on, and things you can’t.
Then throughout the day, consciously try to only focus on what is actionable.
Every time your mind starts thinking about things you can’t control, simply accept you don’t have control over it, and move your mind onto what you can control.
5. Confident people don’t need the spotlight
Being confident doesn’t mean you go around bragging about your accomplishments.
On the contrary, you quickly diffuse compliments and shift conversations to other people who have helped you achieve your goals.
This isn’t fake humility; you’re truly secure enough not to focus on your accomplishments and to lift up the people around you instead.
While it can be difficult at first to lose your craving for people complimenting you, it will help you build your inner self-confidence and self-esteem.
You’ll learn to stop constantly seeking approval or validation from others.
And when you can do that, you’ll become comfortable with you who you are, because you won’t need outside forces to boost your own self-worth.
People who rely on accomplishments or approval from others for their confidence tend to be very fragile and insecure when things don’t go their way.
To put this into practice, start by practicing humility and gratitude. Understand that your successes and achievements are because of the efforts and contributions of many people, not just yourself.
Focus your attention on encouraging and empowering others, rather than trying to steal the spotlight.
And who knows, trying to make others feel good might make you feel good. According to five studies published in The Journal Of Positive Psychology, doing things for others enhances well-being by fulfilling a psychological need for connection with others.
And remember, it’s fine to celebrate your own achievements and share them with others, as long as you don’t think you’re better or above other people because of them.
6. Confident people don’t fixate on other people’s successes
Everyone has their idols, and confident people are no exception.
But confident people don’t fixate on their idol’s successes, and the things they personally lack when compared to their idols. Instead, they just rely on them as inspiration, as their compass.
A confident aspiring musician might look to Frank Sinatra and admire the music he made.
Of course, they would be far less famous than their idol, and they might find themselves thinking that they aren’t as famous, or that their voice doesn’t sound as good as Sinatra.
Comparing yourself with others means you’re not happy with who you currently are and you’re struggling to accept yourself.
Instead, confident people realize that comparing themselves is wasted energy and instead, they focus on themselves and how they can improve.
They also understand that it’s impossible to compare themselves fairly with others, especially today, with social media typically showing only the positive side of people’s lives.
People love to brag about their lives but they leave out all the other details. You never really know what’s going on in someone’s life.
That person who showed off her photography skills on Facebook could be going through her own mental health issues and this is her way of expressing herself.
You just never know what’s going on behind closed doors.
To stop comparing yourself with others, I found some great advice in the book, Job Readiness for Health Professionals:
“Rather than comparing yourself to others, compare your present self with your former self. Are you getting better? Do you have a plan to develop your abilities so that you have a brighter future? Instead of trying to seek the approval of others, focus on improving your own opinion of yourself. Your opinion matters most.”
7. Confident people don’t surround themselves with people who bring them down
As the famous quote says: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
A confident person doesn’t want to hang out with toxic or mean people.
They don’t want to spend time with people who belittle them or gossip about other people.
Instead, a confident person makes sure to spend time with people that are just as optimistic as they are.
People who have goals and don’t treat other people like doormats.
It’s not easy to let go of people in life, but sometimes it’s necessary to improve your attitude and life.
A confident person wants to focus on their goals, and the best way to do that is to get rid of things that bring you down.
Having positive and supportive friends can have a big impact on your self-confidence and overall happiness in life.
You want to be around people that will push you forward in life. People that are positive and optimistic, and people that encourage you to push past challenges.
If you hang around people that are mean and toxic, you’ll end up feeling bad about yourself and possibly even more insecure.
As difficult as it is, sometimes it’s necessary to let go of relationships that are toxic and draining. It’s okay to set boundaries to protect your emotional health.
And start identifying the people in your life who are uplifting and supportive, and make an effort to spend more time with them.
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