7 ways to spot a genuinely confident person from a mile away

No binoculars needed. I see you. 

Confidence seems to be so profitable these days. Especially on social media where everyone’s trying to be an influencer. But I think true confidence has no motives or a look. It’s a feeling. 

Here’s 7 ways to spot a genuinely confident person.

1) They take care of themselves.

Let’s start off simple. 

Confident people invest in themselves. In whatever form it takes, they enjoy spending time improving their lives because they see themselves as worth it.

This can be in the form of taking care of your physical self, your mental health, or investing in hobbies and the quality of your life.

And there’s a huge difference between prioritizing yourself and using self-care as a distraction. Because sure, you can overdo it in a way that overshadows your entire identity. 

But I found that as a person who has had their confidence range from very to not at all, the key is to define for yourself what “overdoing it” means.

I always tell myself, one person’s madness is another person’s grace. 

If practicing witchcraft and playing golf every week bring you peace, let it fly, my friend!

Which is easier to believe when you don’t rely on external validation. Speaking of…

2) They don’t rely on external validation.

It’s not even that they don’t care.

They just have their own set of rules and standards that they trust. Because they have invested in themselves and taken the time to get to know what works for them.

So it can be hard to sway confident people because they’re not interested in compromising what matters the most to them. You might notice an undercurrent of consistency in everything that they do.

This can show up in a lot of different ways. Maybe they have a unique way of expressing themselves, or a long-term dedication to a craft or practice. Anything that keeps them connected to their inner world.

Another huge sign that someone doesn’t rely on external validation is if they have a consistent way of grounding themselves like meditation, or even spending time with loved ones. 

The best way to not outsource your validation is to give yourself a chance to self-validate. 

But it’s important to not get caught up in your inner world being your only source of guidance.

3) They respect other people’s perspectives.

the art of unfriending someone 7 ways to spot a genuinely confident person from a mile away

The main difference between being deeply rooted in yourself, and being caught up in your own echo chamber has to do with your ability to not control others.

I think it has to do with understanding that everyone has their way of processing life, but also that not actively disagreeing with someone doesn’t diminish your perspective.

Because respecting people has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. It’s simply choosing to conserve your energy by letting people figure out their own life. 

After all, they’re no less capable than I am to do such a thing. And nothing good ever came out of trying to change people against their will.

There’s also a lot of value in listening to different perspectives because it helps you expand your knowledge on how others experience reality.

For example, learning about how people of different socio-economic backgrounds experience the system can help you understand the world better. And maybe how you can help those that are less privileged. 

As long as your opinion doesn’t try to keep me from having my own, or others from having rights, there’s no real reason to feel threatened.

4) They keep themselves accountable.

We all make mistakes, and feeling guilt and shame is a part of learning. But it shouldn’t overshadow the blessing that is the realization that you’re growing.

Why else would you be feeling that way? I feel like it’d be more concerning if you weren’t cringing at your past. How else would you know that you’re ready to change?

While it’s normal to want to run and hide, you can also take a breather and choose how you want to respond to it.

Fear is a tool, not an excuse to ignore the call and keep doing something that harms you or others. And once you stop avoiding it, that’s when true accountability happens.

True accountability is beyond the surface and comes with radical change and honesty with oneself. They’re able to reflect deeply on why they may have hurt others or keep repeating a self-destructive habit.

They don’t rely on band-aid type solutions that only make them inconsistent and resentful towards their self-imposed discomfort.

An easy example of this is someone taking time to reflect on themselves, seeking help, setting clear goals, making amends and following through consistently on the outside and behind closed doors.

It takes a lot of courage to evaluate all different aspects of your life to want to change from the inside out. A lot of faith, and dare I say, confidence in yourself.

5) They allow themselves to be vulnerable.

This one encompasses everything I talked about because it takes a lot of consistent work, focus, respect, and honesty to change. And if you aren’t patient, you might see the process as not processing.

Especially with social media, it’s so easy to count our progress using accomplishments and finish lines. Is having an image worth feeling intermittently worthless?

I think progress has a lot to do with being patient, which has a lot to do with being vulnerable, which has a lot to do with being comfortable being seen wherever you’re at.

And it makes it a lot easier to connect with people and relate to one another beyond admiration. Which can help you feel more confident too, knowing there’s people that support you for who you are, not who you want to be.

I’m as flamboyant as they come and I love it, but I think this is why people say quiet confidence is also a thing. Because it takes a lot of faith in the unknown and yourself to believe you are changing into a better version of yourself.

It’s like knowing there’s plenty of room at the top, and knowing you don’t need to hide how you’re getting there. So maybe you can enjoy every step of the way, while you’re at it.

6) They know how to celebrate!

habits that separate successful people from unsuccessful people 7 ways to spot a genuinely confident person from a mile away

There’s so much value in celebrating yourself because it makes you feel grateful for everything – even those shortcomings that keep you up at night.

My life was completely changed when I realized I could either focus on how much longer I have to go, or relish in how far I’ve come. The sheer change in my mood was enough for me to make it a regular practice.

Also, there’s an aspect of our culture that I’ve noticed where we’re told to be humble. Especially women. But why?

Celebration spreads joy – it’s contagious! 

The most confident people I’ve met have never felt threatened by my joy. In fact, they encourage it! Which makes it easier to ignore people who want you to be small.

You don’t need to have anything crazy to celebrate, either. Sometimes I’ll hold little dance parties just because I felt like it. 

If you’re struggling to celebrate yourself, try surrounding yourself with people who do. And make a habit of thanking yourself for the littlest of things, even if it feels funny.

It’s safe to thank yourself for being alive, everyone.

And finally, my favourite:

7) They can laugh at themselves.

A huge part of genuine confidence is not being intimidated by yourself. Or life in general for that matter.

Because no matter how much work you do on yourself, you’re never going to completely eradicate the less than pleasant aspects of yourself. 

Growth is more about making room for those things, not leaving the undesirables out in the cold. Might as well laugh at them.

Once you accept that, you’ll notice how much more time you have for fun. And that accepting your flaws instead of fighting them can be fun.

I think it has to do with the fact that I’m able to laugh and get something pleasant out of being vulnerable. That there’s more to life than analyzing things and feeling right.

That it’s okay to be something other than this image of a human you created inside your head.

In fact, it’s funny!

There’s a lot of nuance to true confidence because like I said, it’s not something you can characterize as the loudest, or quietest person in a room. 

We’re all trying to find ourselves and figure out where we fit in the world. Perhaps the most confident thing a person can do is keep being curious about themselves.

And do it in a way that leaves enough room for others to do the same.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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