7 ways to be confident without being arrogant

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Confidence and arrogance are two sides of the same coin.

They both project an image of self-assuredness, but only one of them is attractive.

Confidence is magnetic, it draws people towards you, and helps you build trust and credibility.

Arrogance, on the other hand, pushes people away and makes you look unapproachable, untrustworthy, and ultimately, unattractive.

I know this all too well, as I have struggled through this myself.

It’s not easy to know when you’re crossing the line from confidence to arrogance, and it took me a while to figure out how to project confidence in an authentic way.

In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips that I’ve learned along the way, to help you walk that fine line, so you can be confident without being a complete douchebag.

1. Focus on other people

Are you tired of feeling insecure and like you’re never enough? Do you constantly compare yourself to others and feel like you need to prove yourself?

Well, here’s the thing: when you’re too consumed by your own insecurities, it often comes across as arrogance.

Think about it: when someone talks about their accomplishments, and you feel the need to one-up them or talk about your own, it’s not a sign of confidence.

It’s a sign of insecurity. And unfortunately, many people misinterpret it as arrogance.

So, if you want to break free from this cycle and truly exude confidence, it’s time to focus on others instead of yourself.

Stop obsessing over your own shortcomings and start making others feel good.

By doing so, you’ll not only let go of your insecurities, but you’ll also be able to establish genuine self-confidence that doesn’t come across as arrogance.

2. Accept your weakness

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Acceptance is important when it comes to real confidence.

After all, if you don’t accept yourself for who you are, then you can’t be confident in yourself. It’s as simple as that.

And look, I’m the first to admit that accepting yourself isn’t easy, but it’s important.

After all:

It forces you to confront your limitations head-on, instead of hiding behind a false mask of perfection.

Let’s be real, no one is perfect, and trying to pretend otherwise is an exhausting, never-ending game of catch-up.

The thing is, when you deny your weaknesses, you’re essentially saying that you’re not good enough as you are. That thought alone is enough to erode your self-esteem and confidence.

But when you have the courage to accept your shortcomings, you can start to see them as opportunities for growth instead of a source of shame.

And that’s the real magic of self-acceptance – it frees you from the constraints of perfectionism and allows you to be who you are, flaws and all.

It’s only when you stop trying to be someone you’re not that you can start to build real confidence.

So embrace your weaknesses, work on them, and watch as your self-confidence soars to new heights.

3. Let go of the past

Everyone has a cringe-worthy moment. You may have been insensitive, selfish, or conniving in the past, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep atoning for old behavior for the rest of your life.

Take a step back and breathe. Don’t forget the context of your behavior and remember to place them in the past.

Your previous choices and behavior, although impactful, do not define who you are, much less who you will transition into as you grow into a fuller person.

It’s incredibly unhealthy to keep nagging yourself for things that you did in the past. Invest in the art of letting go and moving on.

This is how you bring real confidence from here on in. 

When you stop holding on to your past mistakes, you start to feel more at peace with yourself.

You become more focused on your present, and the future you want to create. This shift in focus and perspective is the key to developing real confidence that has nothing to do with arrogance. 

After all:

By letting go, you free yourself from the burden of the past, and you start to build the confidence that comes from being present and fully invested in your life.

4. Real confidence starts with your daily habits

Think of the people in your life that you love and respect. How do you treat them?

You are kind to them, patient with their thoughts and ideas, and you forgive them when they make a mistake.

You give them space, time, and opportunity; you make sure they have the room to grow because you love them enough to believe in the potential of their growth.

Now think of how you treat yourself.

Do you give yourself the love and respect that you might give your closest friends or significant other?

Do you take care of your body, your mind, and your needs?

Here are all the ways that you could be showing your body and mind self-love in your everyday life:

  • Sleeping properly
  • Eating healthy
  • Giving yourself time and space to understand your spirituality
  • Exercising regularly
  • Thanking yourself and those around you
  • Playing when you need it
  • Avoiding vices and toxic influences
  • Reflecting and meditating

How many of these daily activities do you allow yourself? And if not, then how can you say you truly love yourself?

Remember, you can’t be genuinely confident unless you love yourself for who you are.

5. Be grateful

Loving yourself and developing real confidence in yourself is more than just a state of mind—it’s also a series of actions and habits that you embed into your everyday life.

Gratitude is more than just a feel-good emotion, it’s a transformative force that can drastically improve your life and change your mindset for the better.

The key to cultivating genuine confidence and avoiding arrogance is to adopt a grateful perspective.

Psychology Today highlights the importance of exchanging self-pity for gratitude, and it’s not hard to see why.

By focusing on what you’re thankful for, you’re shifting your attention away from negative thoughts and feelings, and towards positivity and abundance.

But how exactly do you develop gratitude in the first place?

The experts at Unstuck suggest one of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.

Take a few minutes each morning to jot down a few things you’re grateful for, and over time, you’ll find yourself becoming more appreciative and content with your life.

The beauty of gratitude is that it creates a virtuous cycle: the more you focus on what you’re grateful for, the more content and confident you’ll become, and the less likely you’ll be to fall into the trap of arrogance.

6. Embrace criticism

You know what happens when you start to improve?

Your friends, colleagues and maybe even family members may start to put you down.


Because it’s the natural order of things. They’ve put you in a box and it messes with their mind when you start to change.

This is especially the case when you start being confident and assured in who you are.

So you’re going to have to summon up some courage and ignore criticism from others.

Let’s even take it a step further and use that criticism as fuel for our growth.

Confidence doesn’t come from just ignoring the negativity, it comes from embracing it and using it to grow even stronger.

And when we’re truly confident in ourselves, there’s no room for arrogance.

Confidence that stems from genuine self-improvement and a strong sense of self-worth can’t be shaken by outside negativity.

So let’s embrace the criticism, use it to improve, and let that improvement lead to a genuine and unshakable confidence that can’t be shattered by negativity.

And remember, true confidence means not being afraid to be yourself, warts and all. No one’s perfect, but confidence comes from loving and accepting who you are, flaws and all.

7. Do what you’ll say you’ll do

If you want to be proud of yourself and who you are, take action when you say you’ll take action.

How do you feel when someone says they’ll do something and then they don’t? They lose credibility.

So build your own credibility with yourself. Live with integrity.

Every time you take action and achieve something, you build confidence in yourself.

And that’s the key to genuine self-confidence.

When you keep your promises and follow through on what you say you’ll do, you develop trust in yourself.

This self-trust fuels your self-esteem and empowers you to tackle new challenges with ease.

On the other hand, if you make promises and fail to deliver, you’ll only erode your self-confidence and undermine your ability to achieve your goals.

So, always do what you say you’ll do and you’ll be on your way to becoming a confident, self-assured person.

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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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