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8 Mistakes That Amazingly Confident People Never Make

8 Mistakes That Amazingly Confident People Never Make

What is self-confidence? Is it an over-inflated sense of self, the ability to smooth-talk, and the arrogance that you’re always right? Is it self-esteem from the opinions of others?

Or is it the ability to handle any situation–including failure–because of a positive mindset, keen self-awareness, and willingness to ask for help?

Genuinely confident people develop confidence naturally through practiced effort and self-discipline, with the knowledge that adversity is inevitable, and with a single-minded focus to help others.

I used to be very socially awkward. Then I started to work on my public speaking skills, through speaking organizations, training, books, practice, and speech contests. Eventually, others asked me for help. Through this process of hard work and mentoring others to be successful, I became much more confident.

You can’t create confidence out of thin air. It’s the process of authentic self-improvement and helping others that leads to confidence.

With that in mind, here are 8 mistakes that truly, amazingly confident people never make.

1. They don’t care what others think

Positive Mindset Optimism

    Truly confident people frankly don’t give credence to the judgment of others. That’s not to say they don’t listen to advice or feedback. On the contrary. Confident people seek out legitimate, constructive feedback.

    But confident people derive their pride, satisfaction, and happiness from within. They’re confident in the stoic, inner pride sort of way, not the “look how great I am” glory-hounding external-validation sort of way.

    Part of this discipline comes from an ability to destroy negative thoughts (limiting beliefs) that are often centered on what we think others feel about us. Confident people don’t compare themselves to others.

    You are who you are at this moment, and if you’re taking action and doing your best to provide value to the world, it doesn’t matter how you measure up to everyone else.

    Confident people give the same leeway to others, avoiding judgment in favor of recognizing that everyone has expertise to bring to the table.

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    2. They don’t think they’re always right

    Write Brothers First Flight

      A big ego leads to false confidence. It’s a house of cards waiting to collapse at the first sign of adversity. False confidence leads to taking vastly miscalculated risks that ultimately lead to catastrophe affecting everyone around you.

      Genuine confidence comes from the process of learning, which naturally assumes you don’t know everything.

      Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers of flight, were extremely curious. They also lacked a college education. This gave them the confidence to reject the “expertise” of the time by questioning and testing everything. At every turn, the Wright brothers knew they didn’t have an answer, so they constantly engaged in discussions and experiments to learn.

      The Wrights were only “right” about knowing that they didn’t know everything.

      Truly confident people put the truth first, which sometimes means being proved wrong. And that’s a good thing.

      3. They don’t talk more than they listen

      Listen Actively

        Confident people don’t have a chip on their shoulder. There’s no need to prove yourself, because the most important part about interacting with others is the process itself.

        Every interaction is an opportunity to learn. The best way to learn is to listen!

        Truly confident people cultivate the skill of active listening, and they listen much more than they talk. When you’re always talking, you’re always pushing. The irony is that people will want to hear what you have to say if you’re seen as helpful.

        Coach Michael Burt calls this being a Person of Interest:

        It’s about having something so valuable that makes other people want a piece of you and it. It is about being perceived as the expert by what you project to the world…People want to buy you a cup of coffee, pick your brain, spend 30 minutes with you on a webinar, and hear what you have to say.

        In other words, confident people–rather than talking and selling–instead offer something so compelling that others are willing to come to them. They listen, learn, and form deep, meaningful connections.

        This gives them knowledge, genuine likability, and authentic confidence.

        4. They don’t go it alone

        Stokpic

          Genuinely confident people don’t succumb to the “Superhero” fallacy–that success only comes from going it alone.

          Instead, they are keenly self-aware of their own flaws and specifically seek out experts to address these known shortcomings.

          Confident people ask for help. This shows respect for the other person, authentic humility, and wisdom.

          There are lots of ways to get help from others. Let’s say you want to mentor others but get nervous speaking. You could join a group like Toastmasters to learn from other speaking experts. Want to start a business? Join a mastermind of small business owners or attend local Chamber of Commerce events. Seek a mentor. Hire a coach.

          The key is to surround yourself with supportive people who are also experts in areas that you’re deficient in. Chances are you will be able to reciprocate with expertise of your own.

          Not only do confident people lean on others all the time, they accelerate this process by absorbing knowledge at a rapid pace through books, podcasts, videos, courses, and tons of other sources.

          In fact, reading at least 1 hour per day can put you in the top 1% of experts and income-earners.

          Don’t be afraid to ask, “can you help me?”

          5. They don’t take things too personally

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          Self Tied Pink Bowtie On Man With Blue Jacket

            It’s easy to take offense when someone criticizes you. But if confident people don’t care what others think, and admit when they’re wrong, it makes sense that they also recognize that the process is more important than allowing others’ judgment to amplify personal negative feelings and self-doubt.

            Confident people have feelings of course, but they deal stoically with adversity as a problem to be solved, not a personal indictment.

            You won’t always succeed, but if you’re confident in yourself despite what others say or do, you can at least cope with any situation.

            This mental strength comes from an inner sense of accomplishment, faith in your own abilities, sense of humor, sense of curiosity, and positive approach to people and situations.

            Have fun with the process!

            6. They don’t expect certainty

            Confident Parasailing Embrace Uncertainty

              Put another way, confident people embrace uncertainty, knowing that although you can’t predict the future, you can be prepared knowing that obstacles are inevitable.

              Truly confident people expect failure and adversity, but they are ceaselessly optimistic about the future. No matter how bad things are, always look for one positive to use as a compelling source of inspiration.

              Helen Keller once said, “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

              In The Obstacle Is the Way, Ryan Holiday writes that “obstacles are actually opportunities to test ourselves, to try new things, and, ultimately, to triumph.”

              Expect uncertainty. Embrace the inevitable failures. Learn from them!

              7. They don’t make others look bad

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              Help Others

                Truly confident people work extremely hard on making others successful. The more you help others, the more they will look to you for guidance and expertise, and the more successful and confident you will become.

                It’s a positive self-reinforcing cycle that contrasts sharply with the short-term approach of Machiavellian scheming that falsely confident people use to take advantage of others.

                Think about the typical workplace. When you make your boss and team members look good, everyone benefits. And this leads to new opportunities, people that trust you as a team member, and ultimately greater confidence. The most inspiring leaders are those who give credit to the team for all of the hard work.

                Ask yourself the same question Benjamin Franklin did every morning: “What good shall I do this day?” Confident people focus on how to make others look good, which naturally and authentically increases their own value and inner self-worth.

                8. They don’t seek the approval of just anyone

                Supportive Friends

                  Earlier, we talked about how amazingly confident people don’t care what others think. But that’s not the whole story.

                  Confident people do care about what the closest, most supportive people in their lives have to say. It is this handful of truly important people in your life whose trust and support mean so much that you actively seek their feedback.

                  This goes back to the idea of asking for help and not going it alone.

                  If you cultivate only supportive people in your life, eliminating the nay-sayers, you know that these people always have your back.

                  Whereas attention-mongers seek the approval of thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, truly confident people focus on quality over quantity. They know what matters.

                  Think about the people you hang out with on a daily basis. Do they have your back? Can you share your dreams and ideas with them without getting shot down? If not, think about working on only the best relationships if you want to be truly confident.

                  If you were inspired, share this article!

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                  Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                  The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                  Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                  Posture

                  First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                  All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                  Facial Expressions

                  Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                  If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                  1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                  A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                  The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                  This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                  2. Relax Your Face

                  New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                  The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                  To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                  3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                  Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                  The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                  To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                  3. Smile More

                  There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                  Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                  4. Hand Gestures

                  Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                  It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                  5. Enhance Your Handshake

                  In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                  “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                  It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                  6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                  As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                  Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                  Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                  Final Takeaways

                  Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                  If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                  More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                  Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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