Confidence. One of the most important qualities we all aspire to have.
It’s the self-assurance to be authentically yourself, without constantly looking behind your back to see what others think of you.
It’s the charisma you radiate, drawing people toward you like sunflowers toward the Sun.
It’s the love you’re able to give others freely because you have so much of it within you.
Confidence is many things, but most of all, it’s turning away from needing the validation of others and turning toward finding that certainty inside your own heart.
These are the 9 traits of a confident person who doesn’t need validation from anyone.
1) They trust their own judgment
It’s completely normal to seek counsel from family and friends. In fact, it’s advisable – gathering more opinions gives you a broader point of reference, allowing for more objectivity.
But while people with low self-esteem go and do what others say, a confident person will take that advice for what it is – advice only.
In the end, they know their own opinion matters most. They trust that whatever they decide, it’ll be good for them.
And that’s because…
2) They know themselves very well
True confidence doesn’t just pop out of nowhere. It’s built upon years and years of getting to know yourself, self-reflecting, and accepting some harsh truths.
Confident people don’t just think they’re absolutely perfect. On the contrary, they are aware of all their weaknesses and insecurities, and they’re taking active steps to improve themselves.
The fact that they know who they are is why they make good decisions in the first place.
Hold on, though.
I’m not finished. You can’t just know yourself – there’s another element you’ve got to throw into the mix in order to cook up great confidence.
3) They are their best friends
Yup, it’s hard as hell to be kind to yourself at times, but it’s so very worth it.
You can have a complex knowledge of who you are as a person, but if you hate everything about yourself, it’s not going to help you build up your confidence. Not by a long shot.
Think of the way you treat your best friends. Think of all the support and kindness and love you give them.
A truly confident person takes all that and directs it at themselves, too. They know they’ve made mistakes in the past. They know they’re far from perfect. They know some days will be harder than others.
But they have the grace to give themselves a break. To forgive. To listen compassionately and without judgment.
In short, they are their best friends.
4) They choose their own path
Entrepreneur and author Matshona Dhliwayo said, “The lonely road to greatness is better than the crowded road to mediocrity.”
Ever since I was a child, people told me all sorts of things about who I should and shouldn’t be.
“Don’t write for a living. There’s no money in it.”
“Don’t do theatre. There’s no proper retirement scheme.”
“The only way to be successful is to study hard. Doing art means you’ll end up poor.”
As I grew older and built up my confidence, I knew listening to this kind of advice would bring nothing good.
I wanted to live my life doing what I loved, not what determined the size of my income.
And as it turns out, all those people were wrong in the first place – I spent my teenagehood gaining crucial critical thinking skills from doing theatre and I’ve found great success writing in my early twenties.
Confident people follow their dream, no matter what anyone says.
5) They aren’t afraid to embarrass themselves
Embarrassment is the fear of social rejection. It’s the fear of getting your ego hurt.
As someone who knows their worth from within, a confident person doesn’t rely on other people’s acceptance. Especially if they’re strangers.
They know that sometimes, making a mistake is necessary. Sometimes, it’s better to ask a stupid question rather than pretend they know what’s what and remain ignorant.
Shame is a feeling we’ve all experienced, but when you’re really confident, you know that it will pass. People will forget.
So what if you embarrassed yourself? In five years, no one will remember.
It’s better to try something new and cringe at yourself for a little while than to always wonder, “What if?”
6) They support others instead of competing with them
The best way to spot true confidence is to consider whether someone lifts others up or tries to bring them down.
A confident person doesn’t see any need to compete with other people because they know everyone lives on their own timeline.
What’s more, they understand there are limitless opportunities in the world, and if one person wins, it doesn’t necessarily mean the other has to lose.
We can all win together.
So why not share all our tips and tricks, offer counsel when needed, and give each other a helping hand?
Confidence is so amazing because it’s contagious. The more confident you are, the more you want to share that feeling with others, helping them become the best versions of themselves.
7) They aren’t attention-seeking
So, how can you tell someone isn’t competitive?
They don’t need to steal the spotlight at every opportunity. In fact, confident people don’t really need any extra attention in the first place.
Confidence is quiet. Insecurity is loud.
When you’re completely happy in your own skin, you don’t feel the urge to impress the people around you. You don’t need their approval to feel great.
You’re perfectly comfortable standing in the background, letting others lead the show.
8) They listen more and speak less
The same applies to conversations. Confidence is often found in the small things, and the way someone asserts themselves during social interactions is one of them.
Boasting? Not confidence.
Talking and talking and completely ignoring that the other person’s on their fifth “wow, that’s crazy”? Not confidence.
Listening actively, asking questions, and paying serious attention to what others have to say? Bingo!
Someone who’s confident doesn’t monopolize the conversation because they already know everything about themselves and don’t particularly care about impressing others.
They find it infinitely more interesting to learn about other people’s experiences and thoughts because it helps widen their horizons and learn new information.
9) They prioritize their well-being
This is a big one.
“Hey, could you take my shift tomorrow?”
“No, I’m busy.”
While people pleasers would struggle to say that simple sentence out loud, a confident person doesn’t have an issue with that. They know their priorities come first, be it their personal relationships, self-care time, or hobbies.
They take care of their well-being and don’t let anyone push their boundaries. If a co-worker gets annoyed because you’re not willing to cover another shift for them…so what?
In the end, this is probably my favorite trait about confident people. They cherish their time and energy.
And they know that if someone tries to steal those things away and doesn’t understand what “no” means… it’s okay to let them go.