Are you curious about confidence and how to tell when someone is truly confident? Here are the telltale signs.
Confidence — you either have it or you don’t. Right?
Not really. For most people, confidence is just as much a learned behavior as it is an instinctive quality. Confidence is more determined by how you think in relation to the conditions of your environment than by some genetic lottery.
At first glance, it might seem easy to tell if someone is confident. But how do you know that someone’s confidence is genuine and that they’re not faking it? That’s what I’ll explain in this article, but first, let’s get on the same page about what exactly confidence is.
What Is Confidence?
The word confidence comes from the Latin confidere, meaning “having full trust”. It describes a state of trusting — in yourself, in someone else, in the decisions you make, or in the information that you have.
When we’re talking about confidence in people, though, we’re most often referring to self-confidence and self-assuredness, or the quality of trusting one’s own thoughts, decisions, and capabilities.
10 Signs That Someone Is (Truly) Confident
No list can cover every possible expression of confidence, so I’ve chosen 10 of the signs most relevant to modern guys.
1. Confidence Is Knowing How to Listen
If a person spends most of their time talking, and very little time listening, they’re not as confident as they could be.
A confident person spends a lot of time listening, taking in as much information as possible so they can weigh their options and make the best choices possible.
2. Confidence is Asking for Help When You Need It
Confidence is, in large part, about knowing what you know — and what you don’t.
When a confident person doesn’t know something, or knows they’re not capable of doing something, they’ll ask someone else for help.
3. Confidence Is Owning Your Mistakes
Even the most confident people, with the most trust in their decisions, will make mistakes — that’s the nature of life.
A confident person will own up to their mistakes when they make them, rather than trying to put the blame onto someone or something else. That’s because they know that the only way to keep improving is to understand where things went wrong.
4. Confidence Is Taking Action (When the Time is Right)
Confident people are action-oriented, but only after taking the time to really think through their position and make the best decision possible.
You’ll notice that confident people are always working on something, rather than thinking about or dreading what work they need to do to improve.
5. Confidence Isn’t Seeking the Approval of Others
Confidence means trusting in your own ability to navigate the world — and that doesn’t require much in the way of other people’s approval.
When a confident person does value approval, it’s only from trusted and reliable sources like parents, mentors, and close friends. What some random yahoo on the internet thinks of them is of little to no importance to a confident man.
6. Confidence Is “Walking the Talk”
A confident person’s words and actions are in harmony. If they say they’re going to help you with a project tomorrow, they’ll be there.
Similarly, they won’t commit to things that they don’t believe in, or don’t have the capacity to take on.
7. Confidence Is Accepting Compliments and Criticism
In the confident person’s world, both compliments and criticism are welcome. If they’ve done a good job, and someone recognizes that, they’ll be thankful for the compliment.
On the other side of the same coin, if they’ve made mistakes or not done their best, a confident person will welcome criticism as a way to improve in the future.
8. Confidence Is Treating Others With Respect
When a person treats other people poorly, assuming negative things about them, it’s most often because of their own insecurities. Confident people are secure in their own selves, and this allows them to treat others with dignity and respect.
9. Confidence Is Collaborating When Necessary
The most confident people in the world know that humanity’s greatest achievements have been made through collaboration, not through the supposed efforts of “self-made men.”
Confident people welcome collaboration with others because they don’t need their voice to be elevated above those of their peers.
10. Confidence Is Trusting Your Own Judgment
At the end of the day, the choices we make are determined by our own judgment. This is all we have to navigate the world, and we can choose to trust it — or to turn away from it.
Confident people trust their own judgment and make corrections when they see that they have chosen in error.
Hubris: The Dark Side of Confidence
So what happens when you know you’re right — but you turn out to be dead wrong? Well, that’s when hubris is on full display.
Also known as overconfidence, or sometimes arrogance, hubris is confidence’s evil twin.
While confidence leads you to trust in your own abilities and experiences, hubris can encourage you to place too much value on those same things.
Ultimately, the end result is a delusion. The belief that you can do something without actually having any real reason to think so.
We the delusion caused by hubris all the time in today’s influencer-saturated world, where appearances often seem more important than substance.
Project enough “confidence” or “alpha energy,” as any number of tough guy influencers will encourage you to learn how to do by buying their exclusive program or book, and you’ll be able to do anything you want with your life.
Hubris. Sheer hubris.
The fact of the matter is, real confidence in yourself comes from being realistic about your own capabilities — and your limitations — and then working to improve them.
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”Marcus Aurelius
By finding ways to rack up little successes in your life, you can slowly but surely develop genuine self-confidence. (And you won’t even have to pay for an online course to do so)!
Once you have confidence in yourself you won’t have to worry about appearing confident — you’ll be truly and naturally confident because it’s part of who you are.
Do you know a lot of truly confident people? Who are they? Leave a comment below!