10 habits of genuinely confident people, according to psychologists

We’ve all come across people who simply ooze confidence. Self-assured yet not arrogant, genuinely confident people are inspirational to be around. 

According to psychologists, “confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly.” 

You may notice that action is a non-negotiable prerequisite for confidence building. 

True confidence also requires taking a realistic inventory of your abilities and making the most of your strengths.

Genuine confidence is the opposite of the false confidence some people exude to hide their insecurities. It’s a product of self-knowledge, not self-doubt.

Some lucky folks seem to be naturally self-confident and comfortable in their own skin. But there’s still hope for the rest of us because you can build confidence and self-assurance if you follow the lead of the genuinely confident.

So, in the interest of personal growth, here are ten characteristics of self-confident people you can emulate. 

1) They believe in themselves 

A belief in themselves and who they are is the most foundational trait of self-confident people.

Confident people take the time to understand themselves. They know what their strengths are, and when they should ask for help. 

According to Roz Usheroff, “confidence is an inside job,” and that’s such an eloquent way to state a universal truth. Self-assured people understand the importance of doing the inner work to build self-confidence. 

Confident people are always unapologetically their authentic selves no matter the situation. They refused to be swayed by peer pressure, or even fear. 

Instead, they’ll ask themselves what they would do if fear wasn’t holding them back and then do it, which builds their self-confidence even more.

2) They are accountable

Confident people don’t mope. They are solutions-oriented and don’t waste their time trying to place blame. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and get to work.

They readily admit their weakness and seek to learn from people who’ve been in their situation so they can avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Everyone makes mistakes, but accountable people don’t make excuses.

3) No time to judge 

According to psychology, passing judgment on other people is how folks with low self-esteem kill the time they could use to build their self-confidence.

People who are genuinely confident feel no need to build themselves up by tearing others down.

Self-worth comes from within. Confident people don’t need to judge what others do because it’s not relevant to their life.

4) Not afraid to ask for help

Confident people aren’t ashamed to ask for help.

Read that again.

Most people hesitate to seek advice because they’re afraid it will make them look incompetent.

For whatever reason, it’s commonly believed that asking for advice or assistance denotes weakness. In fact, the opposite is true. 

And that makes perfect sense, as 

Since they’re lacking in confidence, they don’t want to ask a “stupid question” about something they should already know.

On the other hand, confident people aren’t afraid to ask for help when they’re unsure, no matter what the circumstances. They know they’re not the font of all knowledge, nor do they need to be.

5) A growth mindset

signs youve cultivated a growth mindset without even realizing it 10 habits of genuinely confident people, according to psychologists

According to “Psychology Today,” confident people are generally also curious people who love to learn and explore.

They are usually avid readers who enjoy keeping up with current events no matter their age. Because they aren’t bogged down by fear of other people’s judgment, they think outside the box and often propose perfect solutions no one else even dreamed of.

Confident people aren’t afraid to add to their skillset if that’s what the situation requires. They also don’t hesitate to activate a Plan B when new information or circumstances present themselves.

Failure is considered a valuable life lesson so they graciously accept the consequences, own their actions, and move on.

6) Not afraid to leave their comfort zone

As we’ve discussed, nothing builds your self-esteem quite like taking action. It’s one thing to concoct a plan for going forward. It’s another thing entirely to implement it.

It’s not that self-confident people are immune to failure and its repercussions. They just don’t let fear paralyze them and stop them from turning words into action.

7) They make their own happiness

People with high self-esteem derive their satisfaction from their own accomplishments and don’t wait around for others to sing their praises. 

Raising their personal bar is reason enough to celebrate, with no outside validation required.

After all, they are self-aware enough to understand that no one is ever as good or bad as people say, so it’s not worth worrying about.

8) Listen more than they talk

People brimming with confidence tend to spend more time listening than talking because they don’t have anything to prove. 

Those with less self-confidence have a compulsion to be heard and validated.

Confident people, however, utilize active listening instead. They know that by paying attention to others, they are afforded the chance to learn something new.

They don’t feel they need to participate to add value to a discussion. People with healthy self-esteem are happy to remain on the sidelines unless they have something genuinely helpful to say. 

9) Healthy boundaries

Truly confident people only agree to things that they really want to do. They know how to establish healthy boundaries and say no when a request is more than they can handle at the moment.

Saying “yes” to every demand on your time and energy is a habit that’s depleting your self-confidence. Over-committing yourself makes you feel powerless and resentful, which is the very opposite of what we’re going for.

And remember, when a self-assured individual says “no” to something, they don’t beat around the bush. There’s never any question that their “no” is a soft maybe. 

No means no, end of story.

10) No fear of conflict

Conflict may be unpleasant, but it’s also an unavoidable part of life.

A lot of people avoid conflict at all costs. Conflict is awkward and uncomfortable, and very few people would willingly engage, especially with someone they love.

However, avoiding conflict is supposedly the easy way out. I say “supposedly” because even though you’ve avoided the immediate danger, it’s still lurking in the shadows for future reference.

You’re not avoiding conflict. You’re only postponing it.

Final thoughts

Want to build your self-confidence? Psychological research suggests that you begin by making peace with the fact that you won’t always be right. It’s inevitable.

Don’t let your fear of being wrong keep you from accomplishing great things in your life.

And there’s nothing sadder than potential wasted because we fear looking foolish or being proven wrong.

There are far worse fates, and genuinely confident people know that.

Picture of Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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