I’ve lost count of the number of times that self-doubt held me back. If you’re like me and you grew up with the ‘shy’ and ‘insecure’ labels, you know what I mean.
I regret letting those opportunities in life pass me by because I told myself I wasn’t confident enough.
But I’m grateful that I found role models who showed me that with real confidence, I can live the life I want.
They taught me that confidence takes practice. And if you’ve been wanting to boost your confidence, then this article is for you!
Learn more about the top habits of highly confident people that you can emulate so you’ll never have to doubt yourself.
Let’s dive in!
1) They take risks
Think about this: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but were always afraid to try?
If you’d seek advice from highly confident people, they’d tell you this: Do it afraid.
You see, highly confident people don’t let their fears stop them from stepping out of their comfort zone.
In other words: They act despite their fears and anxieties.
They try things that make them uncomfortable — anything that seems hard, scary, or impossible.
They boost their confidence by facing their fears head-on. They are brave enough to take risks, no matter how big or small.
It can be something as simple as trying a new dish or talking to a stranger to something as daunting as confronting a colleague or taking on a new job.
2) They embrace failure
This is connected to my earlier point about the value of risk-taking. It’s how highly confident people learn to overcome a fear of failure.
Consider this: Fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles to success. This fear keeps many people from harnessing their inner champions and living fulfilling lives.
But for highly confident people, it’s all a matter of perspective. They see failure as a great teacher because they are willing to learn from their mistakes.
Their confidence grows as they develop the will to persevere.
More importantly, they don’t see defeat as the end of their journey to success.
They learn from the experience of struggling and losing at something. By analyzing what went right and what went wrong, they become more prepared for the challenges ahead.
3) They accept responsibility for their actions
You’ll never find highly confident people making excuses for their mistakes or blaming others for their errors and oversights.
When all is said and done, highly confident people take responsibility for their behavior, decisions, and lives.
They can admit when they’ve done something wrong, and they do their best to make amends and right the wrongs.
That’s because they know they’re not perfect and won’t have the right answers all of the time.
They have a strong sense of self so much so that even if they mess up, they’ll always muster the courage to try again.
They understand that everything may not go as planned, but they do have control over how they respond to what happens in their lives — both the negative and positive.
4) They communicate effectively
How you communicate and interact with others speaks volumes about your confidence.
That’s why highly confident people always speak with conviction.
Simply put: They speak slowly and clearly, and they use words with intention.
And it doesn’t stop there: They know that their body language and style affect not just how they feel about themselves but also whether they get what they want.
To remain assertive, highly confident people always maintain eye contact and use soft and flowing hand movements. They convey their message through their tone, hands, and body.
Best of all, they actively listen to others. They can easily take in other people’s points of view because it enriches their worldview.
They respect differences in opinions and respond to them in a way that isn’t aggressive.
5) They stand up for what they believe in
Here’s a thing or two that highly confident people never do: Cower in the corner and let other people trample on their beliefs.
Sure, highly confident people are generally willing to compromise, but not their values.
They earn people’s respect because they stay true to their beliefs and values, even if — and especially when — it’s not the popular thing to do.
They know that there is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right, even if you speak alone.
And the best part? They assert their beliefs and values without losing their temper.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking: How do they do that?
By staying calm, staying kind, and speaking from the heart.
They show their strength of character through what they say and do, particularly when their beliefs and values are tested.
6) They have a clear sense of purpose and worth
True confidence comes from the inside. That’s why highly confident people get their happiness from within.
They don’t base their worth on what other people think of them.
They are at ease with their authentic self, which means they accept and celebrate themselves for who they are and who they are not.
And it’s easier said than done, given that we have these little negative voices in our heads that tell us we’re good for nothing.
So, how do highly confident people counter these negative thought patterns?
By mastering the art of positive self-talk.
They cultivate a kinder and more compassionate attitude toward themselves.
In other words: They build themselves up.
And it gets better: They define their purpose. They have a firm grasp of their “why,” and this makes them more determined to achieve the things they’re meant to do.
This brings me to my next point….
7) They set realistic goals
Highly confident people are goal- and action-oriented. They understand that life is a work in progress, and success can’t be achieved overnight.
They set specific short-term and long-term goals, develop a strategy and take steps to reach their goals.
That last part is crucial for highly confident people, as they don’t put off anything that will get them a step closer to their dreams.
Picture this: Go back to a time when you excelled at a task.
How did that boost your self-belief? Recreate how you felt after achieving one success after another.
That’s how highly confident people build momentum. They work as hard as they can to get to where they want to be.
But they aren’t too hard on themselves. They understand that there will be setbacks along the way. When problems do arise, they focus on finding solutions.
8) They have a growth mindset
Have you ever noticed how highly confident people tend to accomplish more in less time?
And it’s not just about productivity and performance metrics. They’re engaging in things that make their lives more meaningful and rewarding.
According to Carol Dweck’s pioneering research in the field of motivation, it’s a growth mindset that makes all the difference for confident, successful, and fulfilled people.
You see, highly confident people believe that they can learn new things and improve.
The ability to cultivate a growth mindset keeps them motivated and moving forward, no matter the obstacles that come their way.
And it also allows them to graciously accept constructive criticism.
Highly confident people don’t get defensive when corrected. They regard feedback not as a threat but as an opportunity to evolve and be the best version of themselves.
9) They celebrate their success (and those of others)
Think about the last time someone complimented you or praised you. Did you just shrug it off, or did you receive it with a heartfelt “Thank You?”
Highly confident people do the latter. They make it a habit to seek and celebrate milestones, big and small.
And it’s not about being boastful. They can accept recognition and praise for a job well done without bragging about it.
They boost their confidence by keeping tabs on their progress. It’s what empowers them to try again and keep moving forward when the tough days come.
And the best part? They’re the first to applaud others. They’re all about lavishing praise on others and giving credit where it is due.
10) They don’t compare themselves with others
It’s natural for us to compare ourselves with others.
Here’s the kicker: Healthy competition can work to our advantage and motivate us for the better.
But when we get stuck in a cycle of comparing our worst to other people’s best and feeling envious, it weakens our confidence and harms our self-esteem.
That’s why highly confident people avoid the comparison trap. They are not intimidated by others’ successes.
They know that each of us has unique talents and strengths.
When they catch themselves sinking deep into the comparison cycle, they divert their attention to becoming a better person.
At the end of the day, the only person they need to compete with is themselves.
11) They have an attitude of gratitude
This goes back to my earlier point about how highly confident people celebrate the successes of others.
Instead of being jealous of others, highly confident people recognize what they have and are grateful for it.
Many of the highly confident people I know keep a gratitude journal. They’ve made it a habit to list down even one thing they’re grateful for every day.
And it’s not just about celebrating their successes. They also take note of the lessons they’ve learned from previous setbacks that allowed them to overcome many challenges.
12) They don’t try to be someone they’re not
You might be wondering: How do you distinguish highly confident people from those who are just pretending to be one?
Well, highly confident people are not hypocrites. They know who they are, and they show their true character and personality to anyone they meet.
They are firmly grounded in their values and beliefs. More importantly, they mean what they say and practice what they preach.
And it doesn’t stop there: Highly confident people love themselves so much that they don’t need validation from others.
They fully embrace their authenticity.
They know that some people will like them, and some won’t. And they’re okay with that.
13) They surround themselves with positive people
For highly confident people, one of the best ways to build and maintain self-esteem is this: Keeping good company.
As acclaimed author Mark Twain reminds us,
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that. The really great make you feel that you too can become great.”
The thing is, highly confident people are intentional in their relationships. They build a supportive social circle — family, friends, colleagues — that can provide the positive reinforcement they need.
In short, they spend time with happy, positive people who enrich their lives. These are the people who:
- Share their hopes, dreams, and goals
- Challenge them to excel
- Support them in times of need
- Cheer on their successes
- Inspire them to be better people
14) They maintain healthy boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries means a lot of different things to highly confident people.
It can be about walking away from people whose negative energies drain them out.
They won’t think twice about ending toxic relationships for their peace of mind.
It’s also about having the courage to say “no” and not apologize for it.
Highly confident people have no problem saying no to people or things they don’t have the time or energy for. That’s because they know their priorities.
They know their limits, and they want to dedicate their time to what matters most.
15) They practice self-care
Self-care is never an afterthought for highly confident people.
They look after themselves, which means they take control of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
They treat themselves kindly as they would a friend — whether that comes in the form of making healthy lifestyle choices, going out for a walk, pampering nights, or finding hobbies that help them relax.
Highly confident people spend time doing things they enjoy. That’s because they respect and love themselves enough to indulge in what makes them happy and content.