Confidence is a trait most of us aspire to.
The funny thing is, not every confident person realizes they are confident. They do the things a confident person does naturally, without thinking about them or considering themselves as especially confident.
So what are those things? What sets a confident person apart from those who lack confidence?
Well, these 14 things for starters. A confident person will likely demonstrate many of the things on this list.
1. They value authenticity over popularity.
It’s a common misconception that confident people are popular. While some are, others might have few close friends.
The key point here is that a confident person doesn’t value popularity all that much. They don’t strive to be at the center of a large group of friends or be the person everyone wants to hang out with after work.
They just want to be themselves. Their confidence allows them to show their true selves to the world and not worry about what people might think of them. It’s refreshing to see.
What often happens is that they attract other like-minded individuals simply because they demonstrate authenticity. The friends they do have will appreciate who they are—inside and out.
2. They act despite their fear or anxiety.
Confident people aren’t fearless. It’s rare to find someone who is completely devoid of fear.
Instead, it’s the confident person’s willingness to do something that they feel fearful or anxious about that sets them apart.
They will take the steps that others may balk at because they know that, whatever happens, they will be able to get through it.
Confident people also feel less embarrassed or ashamed when things don’t go to plan. They can bounce back quickly. This allows them to face down their fears while others avoid them at all costs.
3. They are optimistic about the outcome of things.
Even though a confident person is prepared for things not going to plan, they genuinely believe that a positive outcome is more likely.
They have a glass-half-full outlook on life which allows them to persevere even when faced with setbacks or unexpected obstacles. They just have a feeling that everything will work out well in the end.
And, often, things will work out well for them because their positive mental attitude works like a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Because they are optimistic about the outcome, they take more of the actions that are required to produce that outcome.
4. They remain composed in the face of challenges and stressful situations.
When things don’t quite go to plan, you won’t find a confident person flapping around, panicking about what to do.
No, they keep their cool, they control their emotions, and they act with a clear head.
They feel able to cope with whatever life throws at them, even when the sh!t hits the fan. They have the self-belief required to see them through the rough times in life.
5. They admit their failings.
It takes courage to admit when you are wrong. It takes even more to apologize when you have hurt someone else.
A confident person doesn’t try to shirk responsibility. They own their shortcomings and mistakes because they understand that those things don’t define them.
Instead, they man up and try their best to put right any wrongs. What’s more, they don’t get defensive when their mistakes are raised because they have already owned them and are willing to work on them.
6. They are realistic about their abilities.
There is a line between confidence and arrogance that is defined by a person’s willingness to recognize how and where they might fall short in their skillset.
While an arrogant person might try to convince others that they can do anything to a high standard, a confident person won’t feel the need to exaggerate. They live in the real world and aren’t afraid to admit when they aren’t able to do something.
This comes back to the point about them living authentically. They feel no need to embellish their talents to win the praise of others.
7. They exude confidence in the way they walk and talk.
A confident person holds themselves in a particular way. They stand up straight, keep their chin up, make eye contact, and appear calm in their movements.
One look at them tells you that they are confident in themselves.
They also sound confident. They speak clearly at just the right pace—including pausing where necessary—for their audience to follow everything they are saying. They don’t use as many filler words as most people. Their tone and volume give power to their words and make others listen.
8. They speak with conviction.
Aside from the way they talk, the words they use demonstrate their inner confidence. They try to avoid ambiguity by limiting their use of words like “maybe” or “probably” in favor of statements starting with “I am going to…” or “We should do…” and similar.
Their opinion is always clear, though a confident person won’t try to impose that opinion on others. As assertive as they are, they won’t bulldoze others into doing what they want to do. They are happy to listen to others and reach the decision that works best for the group, even if it means doing something other than their preference.
9. They take risks.
Confident people have a healthy attitude toward risk. They see risk not as something scary to run away from, but as something that has a potential opportunity waiting on the other side.
Their confidence allows them to take risks safe in the knowledge that they will be ok whatever the outcome. They even get a little rush from stepping out of their comfort zone, putting themselves on the line, and facing the unknown. They likely seek risk out every now and then because they enjoy it.
What’s more, every time they take a risk—no matter the outcome—they gain a little bit more confidence and self-assurance.
10. They show their vulnerable side.
It takes a heck of a lot of confidence in yourself and who you are as a person to be able to display vulnerability, especially to more than a few people.
To open yourself up like that risks you getting hurt if people reject you, ridicule you, or simply don’t know how to handle such realness.
But a confident person is prepared for the potential hurt if it means they can build deeper connections with others.
This is another thing that sets confident people apart from arrogant people because although they may appear confident on the surface, arrogant people fear vulnerability because they think it makes them appear weak.
11. They know what they stand for.
It’s a lot easier to speak and act with conviction—the visible hallmarks of confidence—when you know who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re prepared to do to stay true to yourself.
That knowledge of their inner self may come naturally or they may have spent time in self-reflection to discover what matters most to them. Either way, once they are clear on those things, a confident person is willing to stand up and be counted in the pursuit of their values and beliefs.
They are even willing to let go of certain relationships, careers, or pastimes if they find that those things no longer resonate with their moral compass.
12. They bring others together.
True confidence is attractive, and a confident person may find that others are drawn to them and feel comfortable in their presence. People may come out of their shell and feel able to be themselves in the knowledge that the confident person won’t judge them for it.
Inevitably, this makes confident people perfect connectors and hosts. They might form a significant part of the glue that holds a group together because each individual in that group wants to be around that sort of confidence.
They also act almost as a figure of authority at times, even though they don’t seek that position out. If they spot one member of the group treating another member poorly, they will step in and put a stop to it—all in a frank but fair way. They tend not to tolerate cruelty and will speak up against it.
13. They maintain their personal boundaries.
A confident person is very much not a people pleaser. Not in the unhealthy sense anyway. Sure, they might want to help others out or do things to make them happy, but they won’t do so to their own detriment.
They are quite happy to say no to someone or something without feeling guilty about it. They know full well that the other person is unlikely to take offense at their rejection, and that if they do, that’s their own issue they need to work on.
Likewise, if someone crosses one of their boundaries, they will speak up and not allow that person to get away with it. And when it comes to repeated violations of their boundaries, a confident person is not afraid to cut ties with the offender in order to maintain their wellbeing.
14. They like themselves.
Confidence flows more easily when it is accompanied by a healthy self-esteem. So, in general, a confident person will like themselves for who they are. They may not like everything about themselves, but they like enough to feel able to be their authentic self and maintain a positive mindset.
Want to be more confident but are struggling to do it by yourself?
Speak to a therapist to get you where you want to be. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to identify where your lack of confidence comes from and provide tailored advice to help you build it up.
BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
Many people lack confidence and most try to muddle through and force themselves to feel it – unsucessfully. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.