If you want to become more self-assured as you get older, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

Ever wish you could feel more self-assured, but you just don’t know how to go about it? 

It might be easier than you think. Sometimes, it’s about simply letting go of old habits that hold you back.

You might not even realize you’re doing them but what if you could switch that up? 

As someone on a lifelong journey of self-improvement and confidence building, I’ve dived deep into a lot of expert insights and most seem to agree on a few specific behaviors that typically hold people back from feeling self-assured.

Today I’m taking a closer look at some of those behaviors that might be getting in your way.

It’s not about being critical or harsh on yourself, it’s about identifying them, understanding why they’re not helpful, and learning how to move past them as you get older. 

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1) Dismissing and deflecting compliments

Does getting compliments make you feel uncomfortable? It’s like you just don’t know how to react. 

This could be because deep down, you’re not fully buying into your own skills or feeling like you really deserve the praise.

It’s a confidence thing. 

If you’re the type to brush a compliment off, make light of it, or pass the credit off to someone else, there’s a good chance it’s one of the habits that’s holding you back from feeling sure of yourself. 

A study back in 2017 pointed out that folks with lower self-esteem often find it tougher to accept compliments.

It makes sense, right? When you’re not feeling 100% about yourself, it’s hard to believe the good stuff others see in you.

If you want to feel more self-assured, then you’ve got to wave goodbye to dodging compliments.

It’s holding you back big time.

Instead, try taking it in your stride, say ‘thank you’ and move on. 

2) Trying to make everything perfect

Are you the kind of person who’s always aiming for that 100% mark?

It doesn’t matter if it’s nailing a project at work, keeping everything spotless at home, or making sure a dinner plan goes off without a hitch, you’re on a constant quest for perfection.

Sound familiar? 

The funny thing is: it’s not really about acing everything. It’s actually more about being afraid to fail and dodging judgment for any slip-ups.

As Sophie McBain, a psychology writer, puts it,  “perfectionists are defensive and insecure, hampered by a fear of failure and an inability to celebrate their successes.”

This never-ending push for perfection might look like it’s about setting the bar high, but really, it’s tied to your fear of falling short. 

Letting go of needing to be perfect all the time can actually be a huge relief.

Not only that, it’s key to being more self-assured, letting you recognize and celebrate your successes, and accepting that it’s totally okay to be human and make mistakes.

3) Engaging in negative self-talk

One of the biggest habits that’ll hold you back from feeling self-assured is negative self-talk. 

It’s like there’s a small voice inside your head, constantly pointing out every mistake you make and every doubt you have.

This little voice doesn’t just make you feel down; it skews how you see yourself and your abilities.

It makes minor setbacks feel huge and turns small mistakes into catastrophes. 

Here’s the kicker: it might not seem like a big deal but, this constant barrage of negativity drags your confidence and self-esteem down very quickly. 

I used to be my own worst critic, always making myself the punchline of a joke, minimizing my achievements, or downplaying my strengths, both in my head and out loud.

Then, one day, I just decided enough was enough. That was over 15 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.

Take it from someone who’s been there and managed to break free: negative self-talk is a trap. It’s not easy but cutting it out opens up a whole new way of thinking.

It’s a key step towards becoming more self-assured, recognizing your worth, and truly stepping into your own power.

4) Comparing yourself to others

signs you have some edgy personality traits that intimidate others If you want to become more self-assured as you get older, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

Do you ever catch yourself browsing through social media, only to end up feeling like you’re somehow falling short?

It might start with something simple, like checking out a friend’s holiday photos or their latest career achievement.

But soon, you’re left questioning why your own life doesn’t stack up. 

Studies have pointed out that constantly comparing yourself to others who you think are above you can take a real toll on your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself.

And here’s something to think about: what you’re seeing on social media isn’t the whole picture.

It’s just a collection of the best bits, with all the challenges and boring everyday moments left out. 

If you’re on a mission to be more self-assured, the next time you catch yourself making these comparisons, try to shift your focus back to your own journey.

It’s a lot more fulfilling, and frankly, a happier place to be.

5) Constantly seeking approval from others

One of the biggest blockers to feeling self-assured is constantly seeking approval from others

When you’re always looking for a thumbs-up from the people around you, it means you’re giving someone else control of your self-esteem.

“Someone seeking approval puts the power in other people’s hands.

They allow other people to make them feel happy, sad, guilty, and so on.” as outlined by PsychCentral.

Every decision, every action ends up being a question of “What will they think?” rather than “What do I think?”

This can lead to a cycle where your own opinions and desires take a backseat to others, making it hard to feel confident in your own skin.

It’s time to start trusting your own decisions and views.

You don’t have to ignore what others think, but don’t let their opinions control how you feel about yourself.

Making this change can really boost your self-assuredness and overall confidence. ​

6) Failing to set and maintain boundaries

Having no boundaries is like giving people permission to walk all over you, right? it’s like you’re saying “I have no limits, I’ll accept any behavior you throw at me.”

Boundaries are a must because they mark where your personal space and comfort zone begin and end. 

They’re not just about saying no; they’re about recognizing and respecting your own needs and limits.

This is crucial for having self-respect and feeling self-assured. 

Without clear boundaries, things are tough because you often give in more than you’re okay with just to please others.

This can make you feel less in charge and respected, which is a key thing you need to feel self-assured.

Dr. Henry Cloud, a renowned psychologist, emphasizes the importance of boundaries: “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.”

If you want to feel more self-assured, embracing boundaries is key.

When you set and maintain clear boundaries, you’re sending a message to the world that you value and respect yourself.

If you want to take your self-assurance to the next level, start by establishing your boundaries.

7) Avoiding new challenges

Stepping up to new challenges can be daunting, right?

Lots of people shy away from new challenges because they’re afraid they’ll fail, so instead they stick to the comfort of their routine instead.

Take my friend Eddie, for example. He always played it safe, sticking to what he knew.

But this kept him from growing and feeling confident in his abilities. Last year, he got a chance to lead a big project at work, something he’d always dodged.

Taking it on was a game-changer for him. He realized he could do more than he thought.

It boosted his self-assurance big time and encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone more.

It might be time to say goodbye to shying away from new challenges. Embracing them can really transform your confidence.

Like Eddie, you’ll start to see that stepping into the unknown isn’t as scary as it seems and can lead to some pretty great things.

The bottom line

How many of these behaviors are holding you back from being more self-assured? 

Taking a look at them and figuring out where you can make some changes is a great first step toward feeling more sure of yourself.

Start small, tackling even one challenge can really boost how you feel about yourself. 

So, why not start making some small changes?

It could lead to some big shifts in how sure of yourself you feel, as continue to get older and hopefully, wiser. 

Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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