If you want to start carrying yourself with confidence and poise, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

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Do you often look at naturally confident people and wish to be more like them?

Do you dream of navigating interactions with a sense of poise and elegance?

While there is no quick fix or magic potion for true self-confidence, certain behaviors may be (unknowingly) holding you back.

Our habits and actions affect how we carry ourselves, indicating to others how confident we are.

By saying goodbye to the following 8 behaviors, you’ll appear more self-assured AND feel 10 times more worthy and unstoppable!

1) Criticizing yourself

You might think how you speak to yourself remains private, but this isn’t true. 

Negative self-talk often spills over into our conversations. If we are beating ourselves up internally, there is a high chance we will criticize ourselves out loud without realizing it.

Moreover, negative self-talk can lead you into a dark downward spiral and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Others start to see you as pessimistic and grumpy, as you always turn down opportunities and invitations.

And, of course, people with negative self-talk have a strong “I can’t” vocabulary. These two words are among the biggest indicators that someone lacks confidence.

So, how can you stop criticizing yourself?

Well, it’s not a quick or easy process, but you can start by using positive affirmations and practicing gratitude. 

Gratitude is scientifically proven to improve self-esteem and self-confidence, as it helps to shift your attention from your shortcomings to your strengths and achievements. 

2) Comparing yourself to others

Constantly measuring yourself against others will diminish your self-esteem to the point that everyone around you will know you lack confidence

People who regularly compare themselves to others are more likely to:

  • Turn down opportunities
  • Degrade themselves
  • Self-sabotage

Confident people understand that everyone is on their own unique journey. 

Even if they are not as good as others in some things, they know that they have their own set of talents. 

So confident people don’t see others’ achievements as a measure of their worth but as inspiration and insights into what they can achieve.

As a result, they have an optimistic approach to life and are more willing to give things a go, as they believe they will figure it out.

If your constant comparison is keeping you small, I recommend writing a list of all your past achievements. This will help you focus on your progress and growth rather than everyone else’s.

Once you start believing in your worth, you’ll naturally stop doing the following behavior, too…

3) Seeking external validation

Unconfident people tend to rely on others to validate their worth, while truly self-assured people find it from within. 

It’s easy to understand if someone relies on external validation, as they constantly ask others for their opinions, ideas, and thoughts.

While it can sometimes be beneficial to consult others, confidence is about making decisions independently AND trusting your choices. 

Like many other behaviors on this list, seeking external validation stems from low self-worth.

So…

To stop this self-limiting behavior for good, cultivate self-awareness. 

Become aware of when a negative thought arises that leads you to want to seek validation from someone.

When this happens, use positive affirmations to transform the thought into a more empowering one.

Surprisingly, you will find that the more you trust your judgment, the better you feel about yourself and your abilities.

4) Over-apologizing

A typical behavior of unconfident people is excessively saying “sorry.”

While apologies are essential in certain situations, over-apologizing can undermine your confidence and assertiveness. 

Research has found that constantly apologizing (for minor inconveniences or expressing your opinions) diminishes credibility. 

For example, in one study published in The European Journal of Social Psychology, participants perceived those who didn’t express remorse as more confident, assertive, and authoritative than those who apologized often.

As excessive apologizing is often an unconscious habit, try to be more mindful and catch yourself when you have the urge to say sorry. 

Ask yourself, is this apology truly warranted? If it’s not, reserve it for a genuine mistake or offense.

5) Using closed-off body language

Nonverbal cues play a significant role in how others perceive us. 

They also serve as a massive giveaway of how we feel about ourselves.

Closed-off body language can convey insecurity and lack of confidence, such as:

  • Slouching
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Crossing your arms 

One good thing about body language is that even if you don’t feel confident, you can ‘fake it till you make it’ by consciously practicing open and assertive body language.

To carry yourself with more confidence and poise, make a habit of:

  • Standing tall
  • Drawing your shoulders back
  • Making eye contact when speaking 
  • Keeping your arms by your side
  • Using expressive gestures

After doing this a few times, you will likely feel more confident and self-assured, as body language doesn’t just trick others but also yourself.

How?

According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, open body positions are power poses that help us to physically take up more space in the world. 

This sends signals to the brain that you’re feeling confident. As a result, cortisol levels decrease, and testosterone production is stimulated, the hormone linked with high confidence. 

6) Speaking without thinking

Along with body language, our words play a key role in how confident we appear to others. 

Authentically confident people know this, so they choose their words carefully. 

They curate their sentences mentally before they speak them aloud. 

Why?

Thinking before speaking makes your speech clearer and more to the point. 

You are less likely to stutter or use filler words, which research has found makes you appear less confident and less credible.

So, thinking before speaking makes you more likely to talk slower and calmer without trying to fill every gap. 

As a result, you sound more assured and certain of what you are saying.

7) Saying yes to everything

Another behavior that unconfident people tend to pick up is saying yes to everything.

People with low self-esteem and low self-worth can find it difficult to set boundaries and assert themselves.

So, when asked to do something they don’t particularly want to do, they are likely to say yes regardless. 

One reason for this is the belief that saying no will make them look unfriendly or rude.

However, many psychologists disagree with this theory and instead claim that people who gain a reputation for always saying yes are seen as pushovers and easy to manipulate.

Meanwhile…

According to Vanessa Patrick, author of ‘The Power of Saying No”, people who aren’t afraid to assert their boundaries are well-respected. This is because saying no shows you respect yourself and your capacities. 

Saying ‘no’ is also about being authentic, which brings me to the final behavior to say goodbye to…

8) Not speaking your truth

Confident people are not afraid to use their voice and say how they honestly think and feel, even if it means going against the grain.

They can do this because they don’t care what others think of them.

As mentioned, self-assured people validate themselves and do not need to mold their words and actions to please others.

However, if you lack confidence, you might be more inclined to ‘sit on the fence’ and avoid taking sides due to fear of judgment or rejection.

So, if you really want to appear more confident, being bold is one of the best ways to do it.

Remember that speaking your truth requires vulnerability and authenticity, two highly valued traits. 

You’re more likely to be respected by being honest than sitting on the fence.

Final thoughts

While some people seem naturally confident, anyone can increase their self-assurance through self-awareness, courage, and perseverance.

By letting go of these 8 detrimental behaviors, you take the first steps toward carrying yourself with greater self-assurance and grace. 

Remember that confidence is not about being perfect or never experiencing doubt—it’s about embracing your authentic self and trusting your worth and abilities. So say goodbye to these behaviors and step boldly into the life you deserve!

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space.
I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of
words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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