9 subtle behaviors that separate truly confident men from those just pretending

Confidence is a quality often admired and desired, but not always understood. Some mistake arrogance for confidence, thinking that loud voices and grand gestures are indicators of a self-assured man. They couldn’t be more wrong.

True confidence is subtle, grounded in self-awareness and personal authenticity. It’s about knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and being comfortable in your skin. It’s not about pretending or putting on a show for others.

This article will shed light on the subtle behaviors that truly confident men demonstrate, revealing the stark difference between genuine self-assuredness and mere pretense. These insights will unravel the quiet power of real confidence, one that doesn’t need to shout to be heard.

1) Living with authenticity

Truly confident men understand the importance of authenticity. Rather than succumbing to societal pressures or trying to fit into predefined molds, they choose to live in alignment with their values and beliefs.

This is a subtle behavior often overlooked in the loud din of societal expectations, where men are conditioned to act tough, hide their emotions, or portray an image of invincibility. But real confidence lies not in pretense but in acknowledging one’s true self, with all its strengths and flaws.

Pretenders may engage in showy displays of bravado or superiority to mask their insecurities. In contrast, genuinely confident men don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone. They know their worth and don’t need validation from external sources.

This kind of confidence is grounded in the courage to be vulnerable, the strength to admit when they’re wrong, and the resilience to bounce back from failures. It’s about knowing that it’s okay not to have all the answers and being open to learning and growing.

2) Embracing growth amidst challenges

As someone who has navigated various ups and downs in life, I’ve come to appreciate the silent strength of resilience. Truly confident men are not those who never stumble or fall. On the contrary, they are the ones who, despite setbacks and failures, choose to rise again.

This resilience stems from a deep-seated belief in their own abilities and potential. They view obstacles not as roadblocks but as stepping stones towards growth. They understand that life’s greatest lessons often come wrapped in challenges.

In contrast, men who merely pretend to be confident often crumble under pressure. They fear failure because it threatens their carefully crafted facade of invincibility. But true confidence is unafraid of failure. It sees failure as an opportunity for learning and growth.

This subtle behavior of embracing growth amidst challenges is beautifully encapsulated in a quote by Brené Brown, a renowned researcher and author whose work revolves around courage, vulnerability, and authenticity. She says, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

Truly confident men live by this principle. They show up, take risks, embrace their vulnerabilities, and persist in the face of adversity because they understand that this is the path to genuine growth and self-fulfillment.

3) Cultivating a mindset of resilience

Another subtle behavior that sets truly confident men apart is their ability to cultivate a mindset of resilience. They understand that life is a journey filled with both successes and failures, and they’re not afraid to tackle any challenges that come their way head-on. Instead of allowing setbacks to deflate their spirits, they see them as opportunities to learn, grow, and become stronger.

This resilient mindset is not something that’s cultivated overnight. It requires self-awareness, courage, and most importantly, a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s about learning how to navigate the highs and lows of life with grace and determination.

For those interested in delving deeper into this topic, I invite you to watch my video on the dark side of entrepreneurship.

In this video, I discuss how society often romanticizes the idea of becoming an entrepreneur without shedding light on the resilience and mindset required to make it through the challenging times. I share insights on finding fulfillment in the journey itself, regardless of how tough it may be.

Embracing a resilient mindset is a fundamental aspect of genuine confidence. It’s what allows you to keep moving forward, even when the odds seem stacked against you.

If you found this video insightful and want to explore more content on living a life with greater purpose and freedom, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. With over 20,000 subscribers, I aim to share valuable insights and foster meaningful discussions about life’s most significant issues. Click here to join our community.

4) Rejecting dominance hierarchies

Confidence is often misconstrued in our society. It’s frequently associated with dominance, power, and status. However, truly confident men understand this misconception and reject the often rigid and destructive dominance hierarchies that are prevalent in many aspects of life.

Instead of exerting power over others to prove their worth or establish their place, genuinely confident men value the dignity and worth of every individual. They cultivate relationships based on mutual respect, empathy, and cooperation. They recognize that true power lies not in suppression or domination, but in uplifting others and fostering a sense of community.

Men merely pretending to be confident might resort to intimidation or dominance to mask their insecurities. However, those who are genuinely confident have no need for such displays. They don’t derive their self-worth from their position in a hierarchy but from within themselves.

It’s about understanding that everyone has a unique role to play, and true confidence lies in respecting that diversity and interconnectedness among us all.

5) Taking responsibility for personal growth

Confidence and personal growth are often interconnected. However, growth doesn’t happen by accident; it requires conscious effort and commitment. Truly confident men understand this, and they take full responsibility for their personal development.

Instead of blaming external circumstances or other people for their problems, they focus on what they can control – their attitudes, actions, and responses. They understand that every decision they make, every challenge they face, is an opportunity for growth.

This raw honesty with oneself is not easy. It requires confronting fears, challenging limiting beliefs, and cultivating self-compassion. But it’s this commitment to personal growth that separates truly confident men from those just pretending.

Pretenders may avoid responsibility, looking outside themselves for excuses or scapegoats. But genuine confidence comes from looking inward, recognizing our own power to shape our lives and our futures.

For those interested in further exploring the transformative power of self-awareness and personal growth, I invite you to watch my video on the impostor syndrome. In this video, I discuss how feeling like an ‘impostor’ can actually be a catalyst for authentic growth and empowerment.

True confidence comes from understanding that we are always a work in progress. It’s about recognizing that each day presents a new opportunity to learn more about ourselves, to grow, and to become better versions of ourselves.

6) Embracing vulnerability

In a society that often equates vulnerability with weakness, particularly for men, it might seem counter to what we’re taught to associate this with confidence. However, truly confident men understand that embracing vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.

Rather than shying away from their feelings or hiding their struggles, they have the courage to be open and genuine.

They aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong, to ask for help when they need it, or to express their feelings openly. They know that acknowledging their vulnerabilities doesn’t diminish their strength; instead, it enhances their authenticity and deepens their connections with others.

Those pretending to be confident often put up walls to protect themselves from perceived threats or judgments. They hide behind masks of toughness or indifference, afraid that showing any hint of vulnerability will make them appear weak. But genuine confidence knows that being true to oneself, including acknowledging one’s vulnerabilities, is the epitome of strength.

This subtle behavior of embracing vulnerability is an integral part of genuine confidence. It’s about the courage to be oneself, fully and authentically, without fear of judgment or rejection. It’s about understanding that it’s our vulnerabilities that make us human, and it’s our shared humanity that connects us all.

7) Aligning actions with values

Truly confident men recognize the importance of aligning their actions with their values. They understand that genuine confidence is not just about how one presents oneself externally, but more importantly, how one lives internally.

Instead of being swayed by societal expectations or the opinions of others, they make decisions based on their deepest values. This kind of inner alignment not only strengthens their self-confidence but also contributes to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

If men are only trying to look like they’re confident, they often base their actions on external factors, such as social approval or status. They may compromise their values to fit in or to gain recognition, leading to a disconnection between who they are and how they act.

But truly confident men remain true to their values, even when it’s challenging or unpopular. Their actions reflect who they are at their core, creating a sense of authenticity and integrity that is palpable.

8) Valuing authentic relationships

Authentic relationships play a significant role in the lives of truly confident men. They understand that it’s through genuine connections with others that we find support, growth, and shared joy.

Rather than seeking superficial relationships based on status or convenience, they value deeper connections based on mutual respect, understanding, and shared values. They aren’t afraid to show their authentic selves in these relationships, knowing that the right people will appreciate them for who they truly are.

On the contrary, those pretending to be confident often hide behind a facade in their relationships. They fear that showing their true selves might lead to rejection or criticism. But genuine confidence knows that authentic relationships are built on authenticity, trust, and mutual respect.

9) Viewing wealth as a tool for positive change

Genuine confidence also manifests in how one views and uses wealth. Instead of seeing money as a measure of success or worth, truly confident men view it as a tool for positive change. They align their financial decisions with their values and use their resources to contribute to causes they believe in.

Men who are just pretending to be confident often equate wealth with status or power. They might pursue wealth for its own sake or use it to exert control over others. But truly confident men understand that wealth is not an end in itself, but a means to an end — a tool that can be used to make a positive impact in the world.

This reflects a deeper understanding of prosperity — one that goes beyond material wealth to encompass purpose, creativity, and ethical participation in the economy. It’s about recognizing that true abundance comes not just from what we accumulate, but also from what we contribute.

Confidence: A journey, not a destination

In exploring the subtle behaviors that separate truly confident men from those just pretending, we discover that confidence is more than a trait; it’s a journey of self-discovery, growth, and authenticity.

Confident men understand that this journey is not about reaching a specific destination or achieving a particular status. It’s about embracing vulnerability, aligning actions with values, and fostering genuine relationships. It’s about rejecting dominance hierarchies and viewing wealth as a tool for positive change.

Above all, it’s about taking responsibility for personal growth and embracing every challenge as an opportunity to become a better version of oneself.

In essence, true confidence is about living authentically and in alignment with one’s values. It’s about recognizing that our worth isn’t defined by external factors but by who we are at our core.

This exploration of confidence doesn’t end here. On my YouTube channel, I delve deeper into these topics and many others related to living life with more freedom and authenticity. If you found this article insightful and want to continue this journey of self-discovery together, consider subscribing by clicking here.

As you reflect on these behaviors that define genuine confidence, I invite you to ask yourself: How does my own journey towards confidence align with these insights? And how can I embody these subtle behaviors in my everyday life to cultivate true confidence?

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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