The image of confidence that we have composed as a society is a bit blurry. Things that are presented as confident behaviour tend to be overly brash, inconsiderate, and aggressive. The most popular image of confidence is a successful businessman/woman willing to hustle, talk, brag, and push their way towards more favourable business environments. This kind of imagery tends to confuse people and push them into developing an overconfident (i.e. fake confidence) which, instead of getting them to move forward, actually holds them back and pushes them towards a bad crowd. This kind of confidence is also hard to maintain because it has no roots from which it stems. It takes too much energy from the person trying to hold onto this kind of personality. It is basically a character people attempt to role-play. This character also rarely comes naturally.
The thing that we are going to try to outline here is what defines a truly naturally confident person. These things can extend to the business sphere of our lives, but they are never exclusively tied to it. Let’s see what behaviour marks truly confident people.
1. They do not rely on outside compliments for a confidence boost
To thrive on compliments and praise from others isn’t unnatural or necessarily a bad thing. Still, a person that requires outside positive feedback to function with confidence isn’t someone that we would define as a confident person. Truly confident people retain their personality and attitude even when nobody in particular is praising their work or behaviour. In other words, their productivity and motivation are self-regulated.
2. They can accept a compliment
Getting overly excited about compliments is also an indicator that an individual’s self-confidence isn’t really all that solid. A confident individual will accept a compliment, recognize it, but will not let it impact their internal picture of themselves too much. If each compliment shifts a person’s internal image of themselves, this means that this image isn’t all that stable. This is a requirement for a confident personality.
3. They can accept criticism as well
The paradigm works for negative opinions as well. It is not that confident people are not fazed by criticism or that it doesn’t affect them in any way. Confident people don’t act out when they are faced with criticism. They can measure up their action to the criticism they received and react appropriately. Not all criticism comes from a good place. Confident people can be objective about the criticism they receive and get the best out of it. They don’t feel threatened because they realize that they are only human after all, and as humans, they are prone to making mistakes so they do the next logical thing instead. They learn from them.
4. They do not crack under social pressure
Our personality is inevitably influenced by our social environment, friends, family, celebrities, teachers, and so on. Still, we all have our weird quirks and interests that are not commonly shared by the rest of society. One example of this is the fact that people keep reptiles and snakes as pets even though most people get the creeps from these animals. The reasons for this have actually been explained scientifically. A truly confident person will not evict their favourite pet on account of other people’s pressure. This can be transferred on all other aspects of life.
5. They avoid bragging
There are few clearer indicators of a lack of confidence than constant bragging. The desire to be constantly in the spotlight and asking for attention by loudly boasting about various things are usually a defence mechanism for people who are not really satisfied with their internal image and who lack stability. Confident people; on the other hand, share their confidence with the people whose opinion they truly value. They avoid talking about their success, professional or otherwise, with people who are not obviously interested in their achievements. Humbleness is not excluded by confidence, quite the contrary.
6. They are not afraid of other people’s success
Truly being satisfied with your current success and yourself as a person eliminates feeling envious of other people’s success. True confidence means that somebody else’s success doesn’t send you into a spiral of self-doubt and reevaluation. This in turn allows them to feel truly happy for the good things happening in other people’s lives. This allows them to learn from other people’s success. This is also why it is easier for them to make changes. Confident people have a much easier time making that transformation from a couch potato to an active individual because they learn from others and are motivated by their success.
7. They ask for help when they need it
Humans are social beings for a reason. Nobody can go through life without ever relying on help from friends, family, and co-workers. Holding on to pride and struggling to resolve each and every life issue on your own will get you nothing but struggle and hardship. Confidence means accepting that you have either made a mistake or are unable to resolve something alone and that you need help from somebody who is better at handling problems of that type. Relying on the experience of others and watching them handle difficult situations you couldn’t resolve are important parts of learning and personal growth.
8. They are not afraid to make a change
The comfort zone is a cosy place to be in. There are more than a few people out there that wouldn’t leave their comfort zone for anything in the world — which is quite okay. However, there are a lot of situations where the things we desire are outside of our comfort zone. That important first step that leads us into the unknown requires some of that true confidence. Also, while the changes that are beneficial to us as people might be questionable in the eyes of our social environment, we can also require those same traits. Baldness is something that is socially acceptable, but a confident person wouldn’t have a problem with resolving this issue if they thought that the quality of their life would improve, regardless of the judgement they might receive from their social environment. Change comes from within, not from social pressure.
9. They listen more than they talk
While we are on the subject of learning, confident people do not feel the need to constantly impart their experiences and opinions upon others. They are aware that there are quite a lot of ways to go through life and are interested in hearing about them. They also realize that in order to establish a healthy relationship, you need to do some listening as well as talking. They don’t feel a need to make themselves more presentable by talking for ages. Their confidence makes them a good listener, and this helps them connect to people better.
10. They rely on guilt to improve, but don’t hold on to it
Confidence is not a shield against guilt, this is more where denial steps in to “save the day”. Confidence creates room for acceptance and sets the grounds for change. Guilt is there to help us realize we have made a mistake and that we should improve some aspect of our life or personality that requires recognition, acceptance, and action. True confidence helps us avoid crumbling under guilt and gives us the space to grow from it.
11. They are not afraid to argue and be wrong
I’m not trying to say that they are pushy and that they will run head-first into any argument, but they will not step back from an argument even if they are not 100% sure if the point they are defending is the right one. Most people will avoid an argument and sidestep confrontation, whether they feel that they are right or wrong. The risk of being wrong in front of other people and seeming stupid or silly is too great. Only with true confidence can you accept the fact that you can’t always be right and can’t win every argument. It also helps you realize that there is no humiliation in being wrong.
Keep in mind that real confidence is something you work on. It’s something that takes time and patience! The road is paved with NOT GIVING UP! You will doubt yourself, you will feel fear, and you will make mistakes. Thankfully, confidence doesn’t revolve about being perfect. It involves owning up to your imperfections and learning to feel comfortable with yourself despite them. If I had to outline truly confident people, I would have to say that these are people who feel comfortable in their own skin. It is as simple as that.