We all know how important confidence is.
But confidence doesn’t always present itself in bold ways. In fact, it can be quite unassuming.
That’s because rather than being a display of force, it’s more of a steady internal foundation.
There’s a good chance you’re already far more confident that you give yourself credit for.
This article will take a look at the unexpected ways that confidence can show up.
So let’s dive in.
1) When push comes to shove, you know how to be decisive
We all make countless choices, big and small, on a daily basis.
Life is so full of these decisions that it can be quite overwhelming at times.
Even a simple trip to the coffee shop these days can leave us umming and ahhing over the extensive menu.
Do I want the vanilla bean cream frappuccino or the roasted skinny hazelnut latte with an extra shot?
Make no bones about it, decision fatigue in a 21st-century world is real.
That’s why an ability to make clear choices and take decisive action is a sneaky sign of confidence.
You are showing that you trust yourself.
You’re putting faith in your own ability to get it right —and that takes confidence.
2) You may not like it, but you can handle criticism
Shall we be honest?
None of us likes criticism, right?
We’ve all got egos, and nobody’s ego enjoys being told it is less than perfect. Despite the fact that none of us are.
But it’s a sign of inner confidence if you can handle feedback fairly graciously.
If you know how to take it on the chin without becoming instantly defensive, it’s a good sign.
If you take the time to consider criticism rather than dismiss it, this shows your confidence is strong enough to handle it.
3) You see your own flaws
Are you pretty certain that the sun shines out of your behind? Or do you perhaps recognize that you’re not always perfect?
The most arrogant people find it painstaking to even consider their own flaws.
That’s because deep down they don’t have the confidence to do so.
It takes guts to look at those less-than-appealing parts of ourselves. It’s not a comfortable feeling.
In many ways, it’s much more pleasant to simply live in denial.
So if you’re aware of your own flaws and weaknesses it’s a sign of confidence that you’ve even dared to acknowledge them.
4) You know how to swallow your pride
Whether it’s a stupid argument that got out of hand or a stalemate that’s gone on too long — you can suck it up and back down.
You recognize that sometimes it’s better to be happy than to be right.
Rather than keep going around in circles, you’re prepared to let it drop.
A lot of us have a stubborn streak, I know I do.
But it’s an unexpected sign of confidence when you see excessive pride for what it is — destructive rather than admirable.
For the sake of keeping the peace, you can put your pride aside.
5) You don’t get a kick out of criticizing others
Judgment of others is how our ego makes us feel better. It gives us a warm feeling of superiority.
We feel safer in the knowledge that someone else is getting it wrong. Because in a way that elevates us in the pecking order of life.
But that boost we get from making others wrong so that we can feel right springs from insecurity.
So the less you need to criticize others to feel good about yourself, the more confident you most likely are.
6) You look people in the eye
Don’t underestimate the confidence (or lack of it) we display through something as simple as body language.
Think about a time when you’ve been nervous. Now think about how much trickier eye contact feels.
For example, when you’re on a date. Looking your crush in the eye isn’t always easy right?
It brings out our shyness.
If you tend to look at people when they’re speaking to you, it’s actually a simple sign of your confidence.
7) You don’t mind playing the fool
And I’m not talking about always feeling the need to be the class clown.
That can be a sign of attention-seeking — which we’ll talk more about next.
But it’s a real sign of confidence when you aren’t hugely image conscious.
You aren’t so afraid of what people might think of you. So you don’t mind being the butt of the joke.
You can handle looking silly sometimes, and it doesn’t feel threatening.
8) You don’t attention seek online
Ok, let’s face it:
Who amongst us hasn’t sought out a little bit of validation online.
I mean, it’s hard not to, right?
Social media is set up to feed into this desire we have for attention.
So it’s normal to get a little kick out of lots of likes on a photo or positive comments on your post.
But if your day isn’t filled by sharing mirror selfies at the gym or #humblebrags then you’re more confident than you know.
You’ve resisted the huge temptation of seeking most of your validation from the positive feedback of online acquaintances.
9) You apologize when you’ve wrong
Elton John knew what he was talking about when he sang:
“Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”
It can very easily get stuck in the back of your throat.
Who wants to admit they’re wrong and risk denting your ego.
But if your ego can survive the knock, you’re clearly confident.
Because the truth is there’s nothing strong in never backing down — quite the opposite.
Holding your hands up and fessing up when you’re in the wrong is what takes real strength.
10) You ask for help
Not needing to ask for help is yet another one of those misgivings we can have about what makes you strong.
Because at the end of the day, no man is an island.
Insisting on going it alone becomes the foolish choice when many hands make light work.
When we can ask for help, we’re admitting to ourselves and others that we don’t know everything, and we can’t do it all.
And that requires confidence.
11) You’ll give something a go, even when you’re not very good
There’s a whole lot to be said for sucking at things.
You might not think so, but it’s brave.
We all have a tendency to gravitate toward the things we’re naturally good at.
It’s understandable. It feels far better to succeed the first time.
But if you’re prepared to try at the things you’re not good at, that is so much more confident.
You are willing to face potential failure, building your resilience and strength in the process.
12) You can open up to people
If you’re prepared to open up to certain people in your life it’s an unexpected sign of confidence.
You are daring to be vulnerable. And that’s not easy.
In fact, opening up and laying our truth bare to another person can be one of the scariest things.
You are trusting them with those softer parts of yourself. That requires a certain amount of confidence.
13) You don’t brag
Have you ever been around someone who is always boasting about what they have, or what they’ve done?
It’s actually really cringey, right?
Yet they can’t seem to see it.
They are trying to show how great they are, and how much you should envy them — but it doesn’t come across that way.
That’s because bragging screams insecurity, not success.
This is exactly why showing humility is an unexpected consequence of confidence.
You don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone else.
14) You don’t hog the conversation
Another sign of deep-rooted insecurity is when someone always has to make everything about them.
They have a tendency to monopolize the conversation, and they seem to lose interest whenever you talk about anything else.
If you take an interest in the lives of other people, this shows your own inner confidence.
You don’t need the limelight to be constantly on you to feel good.
You can ask questions, listen, and happily discuss what’s going on in someone else’s life.
15) You like learning from other
You can appreciate the skills and abilities of other people.
You accept that there will always be people who know more than you — at least when it comes to certain things.
That doesn’t phase you or leave you feeling rubbish about yourself.
You are perfectly happy to have somebody teach you something.
That’s because it doesn’t threaten your sense of self to acknowledge that you don’t know it all.
This simple fact means you are confident in who you are.
To conclude: Everybodies confidence rises and falls
The truth is that confidence isn’t something you have or don’t have.
Neither is it static nor constant.
Instead, it tends to rise and fall depending on the situation, and how we’re feeling at the time.
Most of us are capable of being confident when we’re comfortable or uncertain and shy when we’re not.
But we can be quick to criticize our own lack of confidence, even when it’s perfectly normal.
Confidence doesn’t demand that we’re constantly unafraid and daring.
That’s why it’s useful to remember the little ways that your confidence quietly shines through in everyday life.