We all know people who are naturally confident. They seem to have popped out into this world feeling brave, strong, and capable.
Then there are the rest of us.
As we grew up, our confidence was tested time and again and often found lacking. We may have had family situations that made us lose sight of our own worth or run into situations that made us struggle to have faith in ourselves.
I think we’ve almost all had setbacks and failures that also represent big blows to our confidence.
The question is, once your self-confidence is low, can it ever be built back up?
Luckily, the answer is most certainly!
It can take a while and a lot of work on yourself, but you can build confidence and learn to see yourself as a person with inherent value and worth.
If you display these eight behaviors, you’re slowly gaining self-confidence. Not only that, but it’s confidence that you deserve and that is built to last.
1) Getting angry (sometimes)
Wait just a second, now. Isn’t confidence supposed to be a positive thing?
Why is the first behavior on this list such a negative one?
Good question… but is anger necessarily negative?
Certainly, it’s a negative emotion, something you don’t want to be feeling too often.
But getting angry sometimes might actually be a positive sign that you’re developing one of the crucial side-effects of self-confidence – the ability to set boundaries.
If you were never able to get angry in the past, that’s probably because you never had the confidence to draw a line in the sand and say, “This is my limit. Cross it, and you’ll upset me.”
Anger is a very natural response to people either trying to cross or actually crossing your boundaries. So, while it’s not a terribly positive thing to feel, it at least indicates that you’ve built up your confidence enough to stand up for yourself.
2) Saying no
This behavior represents another repercussion of gaining self-confidence and the associated ability to create and maintain boundaries.
When you completely lack confidence, do you ever say no to anyone, or do you just let people take advantage and walk all over you?
You know the answer.
But if you notice yourself able to now say no to requests and orders, this is a sign you’re gaining in self-confidence, however slowly.
Users love a person without confidence. They know they can push them around and get them to do anything.
When you can say no, however, you’re able to stand up to users and let them know you’re a person who has to be respected – because you respect yourself.
3) Sharing your thoughts
One of the most characteristic signs of people who lack self-confidence is keeping their thoughts and opinions to themselves.
Well, if they don’t trust in themselves enough, they won’t believe that their views have any value, so this explains why they wouldn’t want to put them out there.
All that does is risk them being revealed as stupid or wrong, just like they believe they are.
So what happens when you do have self-confidence?
This means you trust yourself, and of course, that can include trust in your views and thoughts as well. It doesn’t mean you’re always going to be right all of a sudden, but you’ll realize that you have good reasons behind what you think.
You’ll be able to reveal what you think and be OK with being contradicted or argued with, too.
You’ll see that being wrong doesn’t mean you’re stupid or a bad person – your value goes a whole lot deeper than that.
4) Feeling regret
Yet another seemingly negative behavior related to gaining self-confidence is feeling regret.
You might find yourself thinking things like, “Why did I waste so much time with people who didn’t value me?” or “I wish I’d put more effort into myself.”
But look carefully at these thoughts. Are they the reflections of someone who has no self-confidence?
Not at all.
These are the thoughts of someone who sees their own worth, possibly for the first time.
And since they can see what they didn’t do well in the past, how they didn’t feel their own value, they’ll naturally feel some regret.
That’s fine. We should regret our mistakes, just so long as we don’t wallow or drown in them.
If you’re feeling regret, try to use this to motivate you to make your future so good that you’ll never have to regret anything ever again!
5) Seeing mistakes as normal
People who have low levels of self-confidence can get bogged down in the things they do wrong.
After all, every mistake and every failure reinforces for them the idea that they’re not good enough and lacking the skills and abilities necessary to do things right.
While this seems to make sense, it’s missing a very important detail that changes everything:
Everyone makes mistakes.
With low self-confidence, it’s easy to ignore this simple truth, but when you’re slowly gaining self-confidence, you might notice that things flip around.
No longer will you see your mistakes as the natural outgrowth of your own ineptitude and inability. Instead, you’ll start to see them as normal and often unavoidable.
You’ll start to see that doing your best is good enough, and mistakes will happen sometimes, no matter what.
6) Being able to take a compliment
This behavior actually sounds pretty strange if you think about it.
Wouldn’t it be people with low self-confidence who constantly crave compliments?
Well, maybe, but that doesn’t mean that when they get them, they process them in a positive way.
Normally, people whose confidence is low just won’t take a compliment at face value.
They either suspect it’s somehow sarcastic or insincere, or they simply think the other person is just saying it to be nice.
Rather than modestly thanking the other person, they’ll usually deflect the compliment with some self-effacing remark, like in this example.
“Hey, good job today!”
“Oh, that was just luck. I really don’t even know what I’m doing.”
So, what changes when your self-confidence starts to increase?
Instead of deflecting compliments or turning them inside out, you start being able to accept them as real and true. So you might give a simple “Thank you” in response.
Sure, compliments might still make you blush, but at least you no longer believe you don’t deserve them.
7) Feeling happy on your own
Ask most people out there if they’re happy to walk into a restaurant and have a meal on their own or go to the movie theater to watch a feature film by themselves. Chances are that almost no one would say yes.
Sure, we think of these as social things to do, but the real point is that in these situations, your aloneness is exposed.
You’re out in the open for all to see, doing something that is normally not a solo activity.
This is why so many people find the idea cringeworthy.
Surely, if you’re all on your own, you should hide it away and be alone where no one can see you, right?
But when your self-confidence is on the rise, you might find that these situations don’t make you feel as awkward as they once would have.
You start to feel comfortable in your own company and not worried about what people will think if they see you flying solo.
You might even find that you crave alone time, which you feel is an opportunity to get centered and focus on developing yourself.
8) Trying new things
Low self-confidence works like this.
You look at your skills and abilities and have no faith in them. You don’t feel like you can do anything successfully, and you’re afraid to even try.
So why would you go out and try new things if you’re going to make mistakes, fail at them, or generally do a bad job?
Can you fail at trying new foods or visiting new places?
Sure, you can – you might order something that ends up being gross, or you might visit a different country only to find it totally confusing and almost impossible to navigate.
Does that mean, though, that you’ve actually blown these experiences?
Not at all!
People try new things to see what they’re like. They expect to enjoy some of them and really not enjoy others. It’s not even a risk but more a form of exploration.
And when your confidence builds, you become more open to this exploration. You feel enough trust in yourself to give things a go and be ready for whatever comes your way.
If you display these 8 behaviors, you’re slowly gaining self-confidence, and it shows.
Not only that, but I bet it looks good on you.
So don’t stop striving, pushing, and exploring. The more you do, the more your confidence will increase, and you’ll be a person others look up to as brave, capable, and strong!