So many of us struggle with our self-confidence.
This is that all-important feeling that we’re enough – it’s a trust and belief in our own abilities and skills, as well as our value as a person.
But there are also plenty of people out there who we can take cues from.
Some people are just naturally confident, or at least exude a confidence that may have developed over time.
Like so many other things, we normally recognize a confident person when we meet one.
But what lets us know that they’re really confident? What tips us off?
For the most part, if someone displays these 11 behaviors, they’re a naturally confident person, and everyone can recognize them as such.
1) They know when to lead and when to follow.
Confident people understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
Just like everyone else, they have the things they want to talk about or achieve. However, they know when to push their own agendas or ideas and when it’s better to let others take the reins.
Imagine you have a meeting about a new business strategy.
A confident coworker will probably take a few minutes to present their idea and get feedback for it, then yield to let others take the floor.
On the other hand, someone who lacks confidence might try to push what they think might be a good strategy way too hard. They might keep talking about their idea and comparing it to those of others instead of really listening to the other contributions.
They’re probably scared that if they don’t push a hard sell, their idea might be rejected, and they’d feel rejected themself.
The confident colleague, however, is ready to discuss the ideas on merit, and if someone has a better one, they’re able to graciously accept it.
2) They don’t give up.
People with confidence in themselves and faith in their own ideas don’t give up easily.
It doesn’t matter how much opposition they might face; these people are able to soldier on and keep fighting toward their goals.
Think about someone like Harriet Tubman, who risked her life and freedom to fight against slavery. She made continued missions to help slaves find the road to freedom in spite of the risks because she believed that slavery was an evil blight.
People who are naturally confident trust both their instincts and their analyses, and when they’re sure of something, that faith is almost unbreakable.
3) They make decisions easily.
Because confident people trust themselves, they’re a lot more effective at making decisions than the less-confident among us.
They trust their instincts, and that helps them to make choices quickly.
At the same time, they also trust their ability to reason and assess their options effectively, so they trust their analyses as well. This helps them to make effective decisions that usually work out to be the right ones for them.
I know that when you’re not confident, decisions can be scary and even paralyzing. Often, people consider and re-consider the options ceaselessly, too scared to make a choice because they worry they’ve missed something.
But confident people are able to take their experience and assess what’s most important and then make their decisions based on that.
4) They don’t shy away from conflict.
If someone displays a total lack of fear of conflict and confrontation, they’re either naturally confident or just dim.
As social animals, we’re hard-wired to live together and function in communities. However, these communities have delicate rules and structures that we have to tread through carefully.
For people with low levels of self-confidence, one of the scariest, most nerve-wracking things they can do is to confront someone else.
They worry that they’ll be rejected, hurt, thought of as a troublemaker, or any number of other negatives.
But for people who are confident in themselves, confrontation is usually seen as an opportunity to clear the air. While it might be a negative experience to go through, they can also see the positives of solving issues, and this gives them the motivation to do what needs to be done.
5) They stand up for others.
Naturally confident people don’t just use the power of their confidence for themselves.
They not only have faith in their own ideas and abilities, but this faith can also be placed in other people as well.
They feel that they can assess correctly when other people are right and when they need help. This helps them stand up for others and fight for those who are weaker or more disadvantaged than themselves.
6) They listen.
One of the best qualities of confident people, I think, is that they listen, and they often listen more than they speak.
That doesn’t tickle me because I love to be the one in the spotlight by any means. Instead, I just think it’s a really admirable quality to possess.
After all, everyone loves to be listened to, right?
It makes us feel truly heard and valued when someone takes the time to actively pay attention to what we have to say.
People who aren’t confident might not listen well for a lot of reasons. They could feel threatened by a person’s words, be anxious about other things, or just be overly focused on what to say themselves.
But confident people don’t share these hang-ups. They can sit back and listen instead of trying to interrupt or talk over others.
That’s something I think we can all respect.
7) They let themselves be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is rolling over and exposing your belly.
Instead of showing your sharp teeth and claws, being vulnerable shows your softer side.
It lets people know that you’re a real, multi-dimensional person who can hurt, suffer, and feel sadness. It shows you’re a complete person with weaknesses as well as strengths.
When people lack confidence, they feel the need to hide their vulnerabilities. They worry that letting their guard down will automatically invite others to hurt them.
However, for people with natural confidence, showing vulnerability can be seen as a strength.
It makes them more relatable and allows for more intimate connections with others.
Their confidence allows them to show their softer sides when it’s necessary or helpful without fear of an automatic attack.
8) They don’t try for perfection.
I’ve always struggled with knowing when a task is done, whether it’s a sculpture, a paint job, or a writing assignment.
That’s because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I always think there’s a little bit more I could do to make things absolutely perfect.
But I think that people who are truly confident recognize that there’s really no such thing as perfection. It’s simply an ideal and one that, almost by definition, can never be attained.
So they don’t try to be perfect.
Instead, they have confidence in their abilities to do a great job and leave it there.
While they may have high standards and always try to do their best, they’re also able to recognize when it’s time to let go.
9) They use the right amount of eye contact.
Strangely enough, people who lack confidence might actually use too much eye contact.
What we’d normally expect is that stereotypical bashful, shoe-gazing behavior from less-confident people.
Well, that’s true in some situations.
But when they feel challenged or threatened, these same people might switch to sudden aggressive staring.
Naturally confident people, on the other hand, look you in the eye just enough.
They don’t feel shy and need to look away, nor do they feel they need to get into fight-or-flight mode when challenged.
10) They’re straight-up.
Mom was right.
Sitting and standing up straight is really the way to go.
Not only is it better for your health in so many ways, but it also makes you look confident, trustworthy, and attractive.
Well, it’s no wonder then that naturally confident people naturally have good posture.
It makes you look confident because this is how confident people look!
11) They take on responsibilities.
When you lack faith in yourself, the last thing you want to do is take on more responsibilities.
Great – more things you can mess up!
But when you’re confident, you feel you can handle responsibilities and don’t need to run away from them.
You feel that you possess the skills and abilities needed to do many things, and if someone needs to take on the responsibility, it might as well be you.
So you’ll see that people who volunteer, coach, lead groups, and manage operations are usually very confident. Taking on these responsibilities and succeeding also helps build up confidence even further.
Do these signs ring any bells for you? Many confident people show all or at least many of them.
If someone displays these 11 behaviors, they’re a naturally confident person that many others really appreciate and look up to.
That could be you or people you know. You probably knew they were confident already, so now you know how you know!