10 signs you’re becoming more confident and self-assured as you age, according to psychology

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Are you unbothered by others’ opinions? More comfortable in your own skin than ever before? Or maybe you’re finally accepting and loving yourself as you truly are?

If so, you might be growing more confident and self-assured as you age.

True confidence isn’t synonymous with self-obsession or arrogance—it’s embracing your own self-worth as you age.

And psychologists say there are certain signs that indicate an increase in this confidence and self-assurance.

Understanding these signs of growing confidence can provide useful insights into your personal development journey.

Let’s delve deeper into these traits to help you foster this newfound confidence as you age:

1) Comfort in your own skin

A key indicator of growing confidence and self-assurance is becoming increasingly comfortable in your own skin.

This isn’t just about physical appearance—you’re finally accepting who you are, flaws and all.

In an article from the Psychology of Eating, this is what it means to be comfortable in your own skin:

“We can’t reach our ultimate goal—to feel good about ourselves—when we’re not loving and accepting ourselves along the way in all our forms, shapes, and sizes.”

This is why we can only feel comfortable in our own skin when we understand that we don’t need to conform to societal expectations or fit into a particular mold to feel valuable and worthy.

We simply have to acknowledge our own unique qualities and embrace them, rather than feeling the need to hide or change them.

2) Fear of failure diminishes

Did you know that there’s a psychological term for the fear of failure? 

It’s called atychiphobia—defined by Cleveland Clinic as an intense fear of failure that may cause you to “put off or avoid any activity or scenario that has the potential for an unsuccessful outcome.”

As your confidence and self-assurance grow, this fear gradually decreases.

While in the past, the mere thought of failure might have triggered anxiety or dread, you now view it as a stepping stone towards growth and learning.

This change in mindset is a clear indication of increased self-assurance. You start recognizing that failure isn’t a reflection of your worth but rather an opportunity to improve and become stronger.

This profound transformation can significantly boost your confidence and encourage you to take more risks in life without the crippling fear of failing.

3) Embracing change

As you age and accumulate life experiences, your relationship with change often evolves.

Instead of fearing or resisting it, you find that you’re embracing change as an opportunity for growth and learning.

As George Barnes from the Roffey Park Institute said, “the belief surrounding change is that it is inevitable and necessary but can only be achieved successfully if done correctly.”

This shows that to embrace change, we need to develop emotional resilience and adaptability. When this happens, we become more open to new experiences, ideas, and perspectives rather than clinging to familiarity and routine.

Simply put, it is change “done correctly.”

4) Increased self-criticism

This article from Psychology Today discusses that “the key to receiving criticism is not letting it diminish your self-confidence.”

And it couldn’t be more true.

While it may seem paradoxical, becoming more confident can actually lead to an increase in healthy self-criticism.

Instead of berating yourself over mistakes or shortcomings, you constructively analyze your actions and seek ways to improve.

But this time, it isn’t fueled by self-doubt—it’s fueled by the confident belief that you have the ability to grow and enhance your skills.

5) Less need for validation

According to Psych Central, validation is “the recognition and acceptance of another person’s internal experience as being valid.”

But as you grow more confident, you start to realize that your worth is not determined by others’ opinions or approval.

Instead, you find validation within yourself, understanding that your value is inherent and not dependent on external factors.

It’s a challenging transition, but it’s an honest reflection of growing self-assurance.

6) Greater empathy for others

When you’re self-assured, you’re more understanding and empathetic towards others.

As the Greater Good Science Center puts it, “Empathy is a building block of morality—for people to follow the Golden Rule, it helps if they can put themselves in someone else’s shoes.”

So when you develop empathy, you realize that everyone is on their own journey, fighting their own battles—that their actions say more about them than it does about you.

This newfound empathy is not just a sign of emotional maturity but also a manifestation of inner confidence.

You are secure enough in your own self-worth to offer kindness and understanding to those around you.

7) Saying ‘no’ becomes easier

“No” is a complete sentence—and there’s power in saying it.

As you grow more confident, you find it easier to assert your boundaries by saying ‘no’.

Whether it’s declining an invitation because you need some time for yourself or turning down a work project because your plate is already full, you understand the importance of taking care of your own needs.

This might feel familiar because we’ve all faced situations where we wished we could just say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.

But when you’re confident, you’re able to say no with conviction because you value your boundaries more than pleasing other people.

In fact, according to this article from Psychology Today, when you’re confident enough to say no, you’re able to set clear and consistent boundaries in your relationships—which is something all of us need to avoid spreading ourselves too thin.

8) You begin to laugh at yourself

Laughing at yourself can be good for your well-being.

Don’t believe it? Well, let me prove you wrong.

According to Dr. Sreenivasan and Dr. Weinberger, “self-directed laughter can remind us of our humanness and promote positive interpersonal interactions.”

Whether it’s tripping over your own feet or making a goofy comment, you’re able to chuckle about it rather than feel embarrassed. 

Because when you no longer take yourself too seriously all the time and can find humor in your own quirks and mistakes. 

9) You stop playing the victim

Life is tough—that, we can all agree on, as we all have our own problems and challenges we need to deal with every day. 

According to this article from Pysch Central, “victim mindsets can develop as a coping mechanism for previous traumatic experiences.”

This means that being confident means you’ve stopped playing the victim, because you’ve worked through your trauma to stop using the victim mindset as a coping mechanism.

Instead of blaming circumstances or other people for your struggles, you take responsibility for your actions. You start to understand that you are in control of your own life.

You’re starting to own your life, with all its ups and downs, knowing that you have the power to shape your own destiny.

10) You love and accept yourself

Above all, growing confidence and self-assurance reflect in the way you view yourself.

You begin to love and accept yourself—your strengths, your flaws, your journey—everything.

You understand that you are a work in progress and that’s perfectly okay. This self-love and acceptance are the foundation of confidence and the most important thing to remember.

Because at the end of the day, true confidence comes from within, from a place of knowing and embracing who you truly are.

Embracing the journey of self-confidence

Confidence isn’t something that suddenly appears overnight; it’s a process that develops over time.

But don’t be disheartened if you don’t see all of these signs in yourself yet. Personal growth is not a race, and everyone’s journey is unique. It’s perfectly okay to take your time and grow at your own pace.

Keep in mind that becoming more confident doesn’t mean you’ll never have moments of doubt or insecurity.

Everyone has those moments, no matter how confident they appear. What matters is how you handle those moments and how quickly you bounce back.

Lastly, remember that increasing self-confidence and self-assurance are not just about feeling good about yourself.

They’re about being comfortable with who you are, embracing your uniqueness, and owning your life with grace and courage.

I wish you luck on your self-confidence journey!

Farley Ledgerwood

Farley Ledgerwood, a Toronto-based writer, specializes in the fields of personal development, psychology, and relationships, offering readers practical and actionable advice. His expertise and thoughtful approach highlight the complex nature of human behavior, empowering his readers to navigate their personal and interpersonal challenges more effectively. When Farley isn’t tapping away at his laptop, he’s often found meandering around his local park, accompanied by his grandchildren and his beloved dog, Lottie.

People who never get lonely as they age usually adopt these 9 daily habits

“I didn’t say that”: 8 classic gaslighting phrases to watch out for