10 things confident people don’t waste their time on

Confident people aren’t perfect, and neither do they live perfect lives.

But they are more likely to succeed because not only do they have a winner’s mindset, but also because they use their time and energy wisely.

Here are ten things you’d never find a confident person wasting their time on.

1) They don’t wait for approval

A confident person doesn’t pay attention to external validation and simply does what they want, because they want it.

A simple example is that they won’t ask their friends if they look good in a red tailcoat, or if their best friend will approve of them wearing a pencil skirt. They simply wear them because they want to.

Whether it be a career, a business, a relationship, a major life decision, or the way they cut their hair, is worth it. They don’t wait for someone else to show them approval or to pat them on the back for doing the “right thing.”

And if things go wrong, they own their decisions.

They don’t spend ages moping over it, or trying to blame others for their problems. It was their decision, they chose to go ahead with it, and their failure is just something they can learn from.

2) They don’t gossip

Many of us love gossiping about other people, and there are many reasons why. There’s the allure of knowing forbidden knowledge and uncovering secrets. The temptation of being ‘in the know.’

But confident people know that it’s all a big waste of time. Those ‘secrets’ you get are going to be heavily distorted in one way or another, and there’s no real reason you should be ‘in the know’ anyways. It’s none of their business to know what everyone’s up to.

Moreover, they know that listening to too much gossip can make them self-conscious of their life-choices—even over something as small as what clothes they’re wearing—over fear of judgment and being gossiped about.

Think of the times you were gossiping about someone ten years ago. Sure, you had fun then. But what good came out of it? What happened to those people now, and do you even remember them still? If you think about it, you could have spent that time doing things instead.

Gossip is useless and dangerous to interpersonal relationships even, so why bother?

3) They don’t engage in negative self-talk

You might find yourself in a tough spot and then think, “I can’t do this.” Then you look at those who remain confident and then wish that you were more like them.

But here’s the thing. The idea that confident people don’t feel inferior, or ugly, or incapable is a myth. They struggle with the same negative thoughts and insecurities that you do.

What sets them apart is that they have managed to train their mind to reason away and dismiss or even straight up disregard those negative thoughts. They don’t let those insecurities and fears chain them for too long, and might even be driven to prove their fears wrong out of sheer spite.

You’ve convinced yourself that you can’t help but think negative thoughts. But it’s possible to break free. It won’t be easy, but you can try to learn how to be less negative.

It’s only when you’re legitimately suffering from mental health problems like clinical depression that you won’t succeed by trying alone.

4) They don’t fixate on other people’s successes

Everyone has their idols, and confident people are no exception. But confident people don’t fixate on their idol’s successes, and the things they personally lack when compared to their idols. Instead they just rely on them as inspiration, as their compass.

A confident aspiring musician might look to Frank Sinatra and admire the music he made. Of course, they would be far less famous than their idol, and they might find themselves thinking that they aren’t as famous, or that their voice doesn’t sound as good as Sinatra.

But instead of dwelling over that, they reassure themselves that they’re on the right track. And that while their voice isn’t as good, they know they’re especially good with the guitar and will focus on that instead.

That is to say, they don’t waste their time looking over the fence and squirming in envy at just how much greener the grass is on the other side. Instead, they will water their own lawn.

This is an incredibly big deal, and another reason why the confident person eventually succeeds. In the end, the confident person will likely end up with a lush and verdant lawn. The one who instead gets a bit too fixated at how green their neighbor’s lawn is would end up neglecting their lawn until it dies out.

5) They don’t fixate on other people’s failures

Confident people don’t like to compare themselves to others because they know there’s just no point. There’s always someone better, just as there is always someone worse.

Fixating too much can lead to unhealthy thought patterns, and they’re aware of this. If they keep comparing themselves to someone worse than they are, they’re going to get an overinflated ego and stunt their personal growth.

If they keep comparing themselves to people better than they are, then they’re going to end up feeling inadequate.

The only one person they could ever compare themselves to is staring at them in the mirror every morning. When they’re doing better than their past selves, they celebrate. When they’re doing worse, they try harder to get better.

Every single one of us has their own journey through life, and it’s just not fair to choose an arbitrary trait or achievement and use that to judge someone as being better or worse. There’s more to people than that.

The truly confident person knows that, and even hates it when people try to make people miserable just to make themselves feel better. It’s just not their thing!

6) They don’t wonder if they’re the best

Confident people don’t spend time wondering if they are the best.

As was just mentioned, they recognize that there is always someone better, and someone worse. It’s impossible to ever be ‘the best’ at anything, even in things that have public rankings such as chess.

They aren’t full of themselves. Even if they’re recognized as the best chess player in the world right now, someone else is going to show up and defeat them eventually.

They don’t put their worth as a person down to the things they do. They might cook good pasta, or be a good pianist, but they know that they’re more than just their talents, skills, or achievements.

They still do matter, of course. Who doesn’t feel proud after cooking something delicious? But it’s not their entire life. The truth is that worrying too much about being seen as “the best” at anything is a sign of insecurity.

7) They don’t worry obsessively

Most of us spend a lot of time worrying over things that might never happen.

A confident person knows this and would rather not use his or her time thinking of the many scenarios that something could go wrong. They know that their fears won’t even happen, most of the time.

And even if their worst fears come true, they know there’s always a solution, and that thinking logically about it is how they’re going to find that solution.

This is the reason why confident people succeed. They’re willing to take risks because they don’t allow themselves to worry excessively. And those risks they take pay off, more often than not.

8) They don’t try to justify their circumstance

So let’s say they’re born dirt poor and it could be the reason that they’re still not far along in their career as they hoped.

Instead of trying to justify to themselves (and others) why they still haven’t achieved what they want in life, they acknowledge this as a basic fact and try to find a way to still push forward.

They don’t waste their time trying to comfort themselves because they know what they’re truly capable of. They also know that anything is truly possible if they toughen up and do the work that needs to be done.

Sure, they might have been slightly behind. No big deal—what matters is that they keep moving forward.

9) Self-pity is not their thing

A confident person knows that they’re important—so is everyone else.

For them, the true value of a person is what’s inside.

If they’re now broke because they quit their 9-5 job to pursue a career in the arts, they aren’t going to mope around and feel sad for being broke. Instead, they’ll take it as a challenge and try even harder.

What’s more important to a confident person is following their vision and leading an authentic life.

It might be cathartic in the moment to indulge in self-pity. To convince yourself that you’re already terrible anyways so you simply got what you deserved. But as cathartic it may be, it’s also harmful to you as a person.

A confident person has a vision that’s bigger than his or her suffering, and they see that suffering as just part of the package.

10) They don’t stay in something that clearly doesn’t work

A confident person respects themselves enough to not waste another month or year or decade staying stuck in a place or relationship or job that they’re not happy about.

It’s clear that it’s just not going to work out and there are only so many hours in a day. You know it, they know it, and everybody knows it.

So why are they going to waste their precious time chasing after something that just isn’t meant to be?

Sometimes leaving pushes them back in life, but just as they are confident that they can push themselves forward, they’re also confident that they can rise back up to their feet.

A confident person knows that whatever happens, they’ll be fine, as long as they go to the direction of what they think is the life they deserve.

Last words

Confident people value themselves and their time.

They savor what life gives them, but they don’t let themselves get desperate when things don’t work as well as they had hoped.

Gossip, drama, self-pity…confident folks avoid these like the plague because they’re poison to the mind. No one drinks them and ends up getting better afterwards.

They’d rather get busy pursuing their goals and enjoying their lives…as should you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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