Confidence is a fruit of knowledge and attitude.
It is a cornerstone of every great success and its cheap version, cockiness, happens when confidence is stripped of either of its parts. Cockiness stinks, doesn’t it?
True confidence on the other hand attracts. But why?
Because the keys to our greatest realisations are often held by confidence. We are all born with it, but sometimes setbacks snatch it away. And so we seek, until we encounter someone who reminds us of what we can be. That someone, or those someones are confident people. You are either one, or on your way to become one.
You can recognise them by their contagious peace, their joie de vivre and a combination of the following traits:
1. They Display Composure
Composure opts for reason instead of emotions. Composure is emotional control, and emotion control is why confident people are usually the last to panic or the only ones not to.
Although they feel pain like anybody else, confident people approach it by taking action instead of remaining on the receiving end of awful. They imagine themselves as having been through the situation before, and provoke their best reaction by asking this simple question: How would a confident person handle this?
As a result they remain cool, calm and collected.
2. They Are Not Easily Offended
Simply because they know their worth.
Just like calling a cat a car will never make it one, confident people know that they only are who they choose to be. Insults and remarks that do not agree with their self image they ignore, because to them, being defensive is a drain on mental resources. “Why spoil a beautiful smile?” -says every confident person.
3. They Speak With Authority
Authority comes with knowledge and experience. And like I mentioned earlier, knowledge is one of the foundations of confidence.
“It is because I know, or because I know that I don’t know, that I speak. Either way, I know.” From this premise, confident people approach every conversation free of doubt and rich with assurance. That is why their voice shows firmness from the very first seconds of any conversation, which research has shown to be the most critical for perceiving authority.
4. They Celebrate Others
Because they know their place in life, they are not frightened by the light in others. Rather, they nurture it, lift others up and encourage them to stay there. From a confident person’s vantage point, a confident speech comes after a confident sound engineer did his job, to which he was driven by a confident bus driver, who was encouraged by a confident husband. Everyone wins when we all do well.
5. They Are Decisive
One of the biggest fuels of procrastination and therefore failure, is indecision. For example, when questions like “When should I start?” and “When should I approach?” linger for long, they often translate to never.
So to avoid never, confident people choose to choose, thereby setting in motion the happy cycle of decisiveness.
How does it work? Choices either produce victories which make you more confident, or lessons which increase your knowledge and therefore confidence. Because your confidence is built, choosing becomes easier and you become even more decisive. Thus, the happy cycle of decisiveness.
6. They Focus On Their Strengths
A sure way to beat confidence out of you is to focus on everything that makes you small, rather than everything that elevates you. Unfortunately, that is something our minds tend to naturally do. One of the ways confident people overcome this is by having a list of their strengths, which they happily remind themselves every time they start to feel down.
7. They Take Initiatives
…but you might be thinking this the other way round, so let’s make it clear. Initiatives do not always come from confidence, but the act of taking initiatives builds confidence. By taking initiatives you discover what your limits are and how you can push them, which ultimately puts you in control of the most powerful tool in existence: Yourself. Is it a coincidence that confident leaders are very self aware? No.
If you wish to build your confidence, start things. Most importantly, start small.
8. They Maintain An Open Body Posture
A closed posture says “I’m not sure of your intentions, please do not come”, while and open posture says “I believe you cannot harm me, so come, I welcome you.” That is why people tend to give up their defences in the presence of confident people. They make others feel at ease.
Although the list of what constitutes good posture has been discussed ad nauseam, like good manners, a little refresher is always welcome. Here are 5 tricks to make your posture more inviting:
- Lean into conversations, not back.
- Show your palms from time to time when talking to a crowd.
- Maintain eye contact with the people you talk to.
- Avoid crossing your arms during meetings. Instead, keep them apart.
- When you smile, go all the way. Engage those eyes and forehead. Be genuine.
9. They Are Loving & Humble
Love requires accepting people for who they are since values are always relative anyway. Confident people have grown to love and accept themselves so much, that the practise of it has made them perfect. Hence they tend to open arms, welcome others and smile with and without reason. With them, it is always your day, rarely ever their day. They stay humble.
10. They Never Stop Learning
Let me say it one more time. Knowledge fuels confidence and ignorance fuels doubt. To nurture the confidence which they have worked so hard at building, they keep learning. But learning has other advantages for confident people: It helps them understand others better, understand themselves better and understand life better. Coincidentally, the more they learn, the less they judge others.
Let me say this. Confidence is not a have or not-have. It is not switched on, it grows. Starting the journey is all it takes to have a step into it. From there, the only limit is yourself. Now go ahead and make the step, you’ll find me somewhere along the way.