Every person wants to be that little bit more confident, but what does that really mean? And what does it entail?
Surely it can’t be strutting about like a puffed up peacock, nor yelling about your riches and fame to every passer-by.
Many of us look at confident people with admiration, wondering how they carry themselves with such grace and poise.
We get all furrow-browed and squinty-eyed, a little green with envy.
Now, it’s easy to think they were born this way and that confidence is a trait only a lucky few possess.
But the reality is that confidence isn’t just a genetic lottery win but a manifestation of daily practices and habits.
These 9 behaviors are a great list to kick you off if you’re looking to observe, learn, and cultivate some more confidence of your own:
Perhaps even radical self-acceptance.
But before we aim for radical, let’s start nice and slow and try and love ourselves just that little more.
Confident people have a deep-seated understanding that they are inherently valuable, and this belief isn’t tied to their accomplishments, looks, or what others think of them. They know their worth and accept themselves, flaws and all.
I know, it sounds difficult. But it’s a gradual process.
I try to always remind myself that I need to love myself in the same way that I love others, and in the same way that I want to be loved.
For if you beat your own ego with sticks and tear down your self-worth, how on earth are you setting a premise or standards for others to love you by?
Self-acceptance is a daily exercise, a consistent practice of reminding oneself of their inherent value. Gratitude journals and meditation will help you soothe and build a deeper understanding of who you are, and the many areas you should be proud of yourself for.
This quiet confidence doesn’t need to be broadcasted nor shouted from rooftops; it simply exists as an unshakeable foundation within these confident people, and is a lesson we could all learn from.
2) Positive self-talk
Rather than sneering at your reflection and calling him/her/them ugly or vain or fat or thin or shameful or lazy or dumb or awkward…
Confident people know the power of words, especially the ones they say to themselves. They understand that their inner dialogue can either be their biggest cheerleader or their harshest critic.
They consciously choose to speak to themselves in a way that is kind, uplifting, and constructive.
You won’t catch them saying things out loud like, “I can’t”, or “I’m not good enough”.
Instead, they reaffirm their abilities and strengths by using phrases like “I can handle this”, or “I am capable”.
This also counts for that inner dialogue. They do not stare at their reflection and shower them with insults, but instead repeat statements like “I am enough”, or “I can do this”, or “I am worthy”.
They don’t delude themselves with false positivity.
I’m not talking about arrogance or egotism here at all.
But by maintaining a realistic optimism, confident people stay steadfast in believing in themselves and their ability to overcome anything.
Practicing positive self-talk daily reinforces this belief in themselves, boosting their confidence without the need for outside validation.
So no constant reassurance needed from partners.
No Instagram likes.
No waiting for the next text back to feel valued.
Confident people know that the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for all other relationships in your life.
So they nurture this and tend to their inner selves, which in turn creates an unshakable confidence.
3) Setting healthy boundaries
Confident people are masters at setting healthy boundaries.
They recognize their worth and refuse to let others treat them in a way that contradicts it.
So no, they tend not to people-please.
Confident people understand that saying “no” when necessary doesn’t make them mean or selfish; it’s actually an act of self-care and preservation.
Because the reality is that sure, people like it when you help them out. But do too much at your own expense and they conversely start to lose all respect for you and see you as a bit of a doormat.
Instead, naturally confident people set boundaries not just with others but also with themselves.
They give, but in moderation, and make sure they’re not overextending in their personal or professional lives.
4) Continuous learning and curiosity
Confident people have an insatiable curiosity and a love for learning.
“How is that relevant?”, you might ask.
But the fact is that they view every day as an opportunity to learn something new, be it a skill, a fact, or a perspective.
Acquiring more knowledge and broadening their perspectives makes them feel more confident, not in a “I know more than you” sort of way, but instead a form of natural high from continuous learning.
Confident individuals also aren’t afraid to ask questions when they don’t understand something – which is also a key distinction between them and the more egotistical who would never ask for help.
Instead, truly confident people don’t see asking for assistance as a sign of weakness but as a step towards gaining more knowledge.
This relentless pursuit of learning keeps them on top of their game and instills an unwavering confidence in their abilities.
5) Celebrating small victories
Every achievement, no matter how small, is worth celebrating.
Naturally confident people understand that it’s the small victories that add up to significant achievements.
If you don’t really celebrate or even so much as give yourself a pat on the back until you’re finished…
What happens if you never really reach the end goal?
Success is firstly an ongoing process without any real, tangible finishing line.
Secondly, what’s the journey worth if you don’t stop to enjoy the view?
Working tirelessly to hit your personal idea of success, be it owning a home, making a certain amount of money, or publishing a book will stay tiring if you don’t celebrate the mini milestones.
Confident people don’t wait until they’ve reached the finish line to celebrate; they find joy in the journey itself.
By acknowledging their progress regularly, they keep their motivation high and their self-belief intact.
6) Practicing gratitude
Being grateful for your very existence and the nice brunch you had this morning adds up to feeling confident and more self-assured.
Hence why confident individuals recognize the abundance in their lives and express their thankfulness for it. They don’t turn their head and ignore privilege or other blessings that come their way.
They make it a point to acknowledge and appreciate the good things in their lives, big or small.
Gratitude shifts their focus from what they don’t have, to what they do have. This creates a greater sense of contentment and confidence, and motivation to work for what they lack.
It also helps them stay resilient during tough times as they can draw positivity from the good things in their lives and refocus on those positive memories.
7) Physical health
Confident people understand and prioritize the connection between physical health and self-confidence.
They know that taking care of their bodies can significantly impact their mental and emotional well-being.
This doesn’t mean they’re all fitness freaks or adhere to strict diets. But they do value regular physical activity, even if it’s not slaving away in the gym, and they tend to follow a fairly balanced nutritional intake.
The body, a temple…
They understand that feeling good physically can help them feel good emotionally, bolstering their self-confidence.
Moreover, the discipline and commitment required to maintain a healthy lifestyle also translate into other areas of life, creating a stronger sense of self-belief and ability to carry that discipline through into other life areas.
Exercise + Eat well = Feel good = Work better = More confidence
8) Embracing challenges
You won’t catch confident people shying away from challenges; instead, they see them as opportunities for growth.
They understand that comfort zones are cozy but don’t offer much room for personal or professional development.
When faced with a challenge, they don’t focus on the potential for failure and decide to not give it a go out of fear of what may go wrong.
Instead, they learn how they can grow from the experience.
They see every challenge as a stepping stone towards becoming a better version of themselves.
And yes, failure still hurts them. They are not immune to the sting of rejection and feeling like they’re not good enough.
They just don’t allow those emotions to hold them back or stop them from trying it again, just in a different way.
9) Surrounding themselves with positive influences
Lastly, confident people understand the importance of surrounding themselves with positive influences.
They know that the people they spend time with can significantly impact their mindset and self-belief.
They choose to associate with individuals who inspire them, support them, and help them grow. They steer clear of negativity and refuse to let toxic relationships drain their energy and self-confidence.
They are adept at knowing when to let go of those who detract from their self-worth, and are able to leave those relationships quietly and politely.
This isn’t to say that you should ditch anyone going through a touch time out fear of that they’ll dim your sparkle.
But do remember, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, choose your companions wisely; surround yourself with positivity and watch your own confidence soar.