12 Common Habits of Highly Confident People

What do people with sky-high confidence do differently? Here are 12 habits we can take from them into our daily lives to vanquish self-doubt and become more comfortable in our skin.

Self-confidence is a superpower. It makes big dreams seem achievable. It makes success more likely and defeat less painful. It makes your presence more magnetic. It makes meeting people fun and turns you into a more attractive potential partner.

Ultimately, confidence makes life much more enjoyable! Sadly, it doesn’t always come easy. According to one report, 85% of people struggle with low self-confidence at some point in their lifetimes.

So, what can we do about it? If we’re plagued with self-doubt, crushed by self-consciousness, and suffering from low self-esteem, how can we turn the situation around and get back to feeling our best?

Looking at the habits of highly confident people could be a good place to start. Here are 12 things they do (and don’t do) that we can all learn from:

1. They Don’t Worry What Others Think

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One hallmark of a truly confident person is that they’re comfortable in their own skin. They aren’t trying to impress anyone; they aren’t worried about looking or sounding like a fool.

As a result, they’re not weighed down by excessive self-consciousness. They’re free to be themselves. Insults, digs, and jibes are like water off a duck’s back.

Lesson: Recognize that people probably aren’t paying as much attention as you think – they’re focused on their own lives, not yours. Equally, if they do pass judgment, it doesn’t mean they’re right. Feel sorry for them. Think how sad it is to spend your energy putting other people down.

2. They Talk to Themselves Positively

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People with low self-confidence often have an inner critic screaming in their ears. They’re being told all day long they’re not enough. Confident people don’t have that. Their inner voice is full of positivity and reassurance; it’s a friend, not an enemy.

Lesson: Pay attention to your inner voice. If you catch it being unfairly harsh and insulting, interrupt it internally. Make the effort to remind yourself you’re okay, worthy of love, and that everything’s going to be fine. Try speaking to yourself as you would your closest friend.

3. They Speak Up

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Confident people aren’t afraid to talk or ask questions. They offer their opinions, contribute to the conversation, crack jokes, and seek clarity when they don’t understand something. For the reasons discussed above, this can be incredibly difficult when you have low self-esteem.

Lesson: Know that your opinion matters, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Know that the less you speak up, the harder it gets. Try to involve yourself to some degree in conversations. If it’s too hard in large groups, start off with little contributions in one-on-one conversations and build from there.

4. They Do Hard Things

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In my experience, highly confident people have an air of invincibility about them that comes from having been tested in life. Their confidence has been forged in the fire. Instead of shying away from adversity, they embrace it and come out stronger on the other side.

Lesson: Self-confidence is a lot like self-respect. And, just like respect for others, self-respect is earned. Stop avoiding adversity. Do hard things, test yourself, and realize you’re capable of more.

5. They Have Strong Personal Boundaries

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Highly confident people a) have self-respect and b) don’t care what others think. As a result, they’re not trying to please everyone constantly, which enables them to say “no” when something crosses a personal boundary. If they don’t want to do X or let others do Y, they’ll have no qualms about putting their foot down about it.

Lesson: You may be too worried about making everyone else happy. Remember, your needs also matter. Don’t be scared to say no, even if it’ll risk upsetting somebody.

6. They Have a Strong Sense of Self

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A key part of setting personal boundaries is knowing yourself. After all, you don’t just set them randomly. Confident people know what they like and dislike, which enables them to a) make appropriate decisions and b) tell others when they cross a line.

Lesson: Putting effort into discovering who you are is a key part of becoming more confident in your skin. Trying new things and embracing new experiences should help. Over time, you learn to think for yourself and start to realize what you enjoy and what you don’t.

7. They Learn from Mistakes

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Confident people don’t beat themselves up when they make mistakes. They frame them as a learning opportunity instead of a sign of ineptitude. In some ways, they’re almost grateful for mistakes because they help them to grow and get better.

People lacking confidence do the opposite. Mistakes are the enemy – another sign they’re not good enough and will never amount to anything.

Lesson: Separate yourself from your mistakes. Don’t read too much into them. They’re something you’ve done, not something you are. Remind yourself that a) everyone makes them and b) nobody’s perfect.

8. They Don’t Judge Others

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Unconfident people can often be critical and judgmental of others. It’s a reflection of their inner state. Their insecurity and lack of self-compassion make them inclined to tear others down, too.

Confident people aren’t as judgmental. They’re less focused on everyone else; they’re simply living their life. Furthermore, their sense of self-worth isn’t dependent on bringing others down. In fact, they’ll probably encourage you and celebrate your achievements.

Lesson: Recognize that judging others isn’t serving you. Realize it’s probably a reflection of your own low sense of self-worth. Strive to focus on your own and other people’s inherent value.

9. They Laugh at Themselves

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Another sign someone is confident in their skin is that they can laugh at themselves. They’re the first to admit and poke fun at their inadequacies. They don’t get uptight about being the butt of a joke, either. They’ll laugh along, secure in their sense of self-worth. It’s endearing. They know they’re imperfect and are okay with it.

Lesson: Try not to take yourself too seriously. Perfectionism will only lead to disappointment. Learn to smile at your flaws and failings, recognizing it’s just part of being human.

10. They Don’t Rely on External Validation

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When you lack confidence, it’s natural to seek validation from external sources. Maybe you work backbreaking hours in the office to get approval from the boss, for example. Whatever the case, you can be desperate for reassurance, compliments, and affirmation from others.

The most confident people in the world don’t need that. They generate their own sense of self-worth. They know when they’ve done a good job and don’t require anyone to confirm it; their satisfaction comes from the work and achievement itself, not the approbation.

Lesson: Give yourself a pat on the back. Remind yourself how far you’ve come. Realize your value as a person isn’t dependent on what others think of you. Strive to validate yourself.

11. They’re Excellent Listeners

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Some people seem confident, but it’s just a disguise for insecurity. A clear sign of this is when they talk far more than they listen. They’re loud and obnoxious, often because they’re trying to prove to everyone (perhaps even to themselves) that they’re worth listening to.

People who are truly confident are more likely to listen and ask questions. For one thing, they know that’s how they’re going to learn something. For another, they have nothing to prove.

Lesson: Being vocal and outspoken isn’t necessarily a sign of confidence. Know that your input and opinions matter and that people will be more receptive to them if you listen to theirs, too.

12. They Take Responsibility

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Confident people are experts at avoiding a victim mentality. Instead of self-pity, they take responsibility for whatever ills befall them – whether it was their fault or not. That way, they’re always empowered to find solutions rather than waiting to be saved.

They also take on actual responsibilities. They step up to bat instead of letting others handle matters. Having self-belief makes this easier, of course. But it also builds confidence. It’s a natural byproduct of taking on responsibility and doing a good job.  

Lesson: You’re more capable than you give yourself credit for. Confidence grows when you take control of your life, take ownership of problems, and take on responsibility.



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Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including MSN.com and news sites across the US.