The art of confidence: 10 powerful habits of confident people

Confidence isn’t always about how conventionally attractive you look or how expensive your outfit is – and who knows this better than genuinely confident people.

These are the people that easily catch your attention in the crowd by the way they walk, talk, and act around others.

They believe in their worth and capabilities, and it shows.

But even when someone is simply sitting down and keeping quiet, there’s still something about confident people that captivate others.

And it’s because of the rules and lifestyle that confident people share.

Here are some of the rules to live by if you want to make it when it comes to confidence.

1. Listen More Than You Talk

Many confident people may seem to have the gift of gab.

When they speak, their words captivate you and you genuinely want to listen to what they have to say.

While speaking with a clear voice helps them appear more confident, what they have to add to the conversation is also an attention grabber because of the content of their words.

In a conversation, there are people who keep quiet and wait for their turn to talk, and then there are those who listen and respond based on what you say.

Truly confident people listen to others and speak ideas clearly and confidently because they take the time to listen and understand before they open their mouths.

2. Don’t Live for Everyone’s Validation

It’s nice to feel understood and appreciated.

But confident people don’t feel the need to live off the compliments and validation from other people.

They recognize that they can’t please everyone, so they’re not going to worry or lose sleep over the fact that not everyone agrees with them or likes them.

Confident people know their self worth. They know what’s the right thing to do.

They’re not going to live for the applause but because they know it’s what they should do.

When you worry too much about what others think, it can affect your own confidence and how you see yourself.

3. Invest in Yourself

No one is perfect, but they can take steps to improve themselves.

Confident people are aware of this, which is why they have faith in their own skills.

But at the same time, they recognize the importance of growth and adapting themselves to be better.

Plenty of successful people today have achieved a high level of confidence because they’ve invested in themselves.

Like them, you are capable of excelling. However, you may need to provide yourself with the tools and skills to grow and become more confident in yourself.

4. Know the Difference Between Feedback and Insults

Life isn’t always going to throw sugarcoated criticism your way.

Don’t look at constructive criticism and feedback as something that throws off your confidence, but as something that gives you the opportunity to grow.

The greatest success stories didn’t become successes overnight, so learn how to take feedback and use it to build yourself.

With that being said, though, you should know how to sort through feedback and insults.

Confident individuals know how to listen to criticism and learn from their mistakes. But they don’t dwell on that criticism or feel bad about themselves because of it. 

Instead, they focus on improving themselves rather than focusing on those who want to tear them down.

5. Bounce Back

This is something I’ve started telling myself every time I’ve felt like a failure or if I’ve done something wrong: just bounce back.

I used to be terrified of failure, and it was what prevented me from exploring the adventures and pursuits I wanted unless there was a high chance of success.

Confident people explore new things regardless of their success.

They understand the risks of failure, but they’re ready to accept it as a part of life.

If they fail, it’s merely an opportunity for them to bounce back and reach new heights.

6. Surround Yourself with People You Trust

There’s no point in having a wealthy, ambitious, or equally successful inner circle of friends if you can’t trust them to have your back.

The world is tough and cruel enough as it is, and confident people know that it’s a world they can’t face on their own.

With a trusted inner circle of friends, you can feel confident knowing you have people around you who lift you up and aren’t jealous of your success.

Avoid friends with a negative mindset.

If they gossip about people behind their back, chances are that they likely gossip about you, too.

And having friends who discourage you or think negatively can influence your thoughts, which can prevent you from growing or leaving your own comfort zone.

7. Be Decisive

One of the ways confident people stand out is through how decisive they are when it comes to plans.

They may ask for your advice and want to hear other perspectives, but at the end of the day, they will make a decision and stand by it.

They aren’t wishy-washy about the path they’re taking. And if they’re wrong, they can accept their errors and learn from their experience.

Confidence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be right a hundred percent of the time.

But it can mean knowing yourself well enough to make a decision based on your own reason and logic, then standing by it.

You can adapt your choice as more information comes along, but you own the decision wholeheartedly.

8. Have a Plan and a Back-up Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail – and confident people are very aware of this.

Confidence isn’t recklessness, and jumping into a major endeavor or milestone without a plan is simply setting yourself up for failure.

Even the most confident people are fallible, so there’s always a plan in case their decision is proven wrong.

Whether it’s for business, career, love, health, or just life in general, you need a plan.

This is what sets the foundation for your goals and gives you something to strive for.

And if that fails? At least you have a backup plan to look forward to in the future.

9. Don’t Wait for a Hero

When the going gets tough, confident people don’t turn into a damsel in distress and wait for a fairytale hero to come swooping in with solutions.

While their circumstances may make them the victim, confident people refuse to stay the victim for too long.

Moping around isn’t going to solve their situation, so confident people either try to make the best of the situation or find a way to solve their problem.

You might find yourself in a pickle where you’re undoubtedly the victim.

But choosing to stay the victim the entire time won’t get anything done until someone does it for you.

Rather than waiting forever for that hero, find the agency and drive to become your own hero.

10. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver

Confident people know themselves and their ability to deliver.

Rather than setting high expectations and risking failure, they set the bar low and exceed expectations.

They understand that setting the bar high with more than they can deliver is less about pushing themselves to reach new goals, but setting themselves up for failure.

Being confident about your capabilities doesn’t mean over-promising and then expecting to get everything done.

Instead, being confident means knowing you’re setting yourself up for achievable goals.

Setting unattainable goals can constantly make you feel pressured, and then not achieving them can make you feel like you’re not as good as you think you are.

Instead, set goals that you can realistically achieve, and then see if you can surpass them.

11. Find Your Strengths

Confident people are aware that they aren’t going to excel in everything.

Instead of trying to be the best at everything, they focus on their strengths and apply themselves to these endeavors.

You’ll notice that most of the confident people you know pursue careers, businesses, and passions that they excel in.

If you’ve already found your strength, stick to it and try to find ways to improve yourself.

Otherwise, keep searching for that niche you can excel in or build your skills to reach a level of talent that drives your confidence.

12. Love Yourself

This is easier said than done, but self-acceptance is necessary for confidence.

Loving yourself doesn’t mean needing to grow or improve yourself, but recognizing that you have your flaws and shortcomings – and that’s totally OK.

There are always going to be people who won’t like you or be glad to see you fail.

But at the end of the day, you recognize that you’re an ongoing project and you’re eager to see your work in progress in the future.

Loving yourself is arguably the most crucial step towards building the confidence to live your best life.

Because if you don’t love yourself, you could end up relying on others’ love to determine your self-worth and value.

And you can’t build your confidence based on how others look at you.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder 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 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.