Everybody wants to have confidence but not everyone knows how to get it or even know what it is. In trying too hard, a lot of people become arrogant and cocky. The truly confident people walk and talk with an air of quiet assurance. They don’t constantly seek affirmation from other people because they know what their strengths and abilities are as well as their limitations. Those are the types of people you want to emulate.
Before you start on your mission to gain confidence, it’s important to know what this quality is, and why it is essential to your overall success and happiness. The best definition of it I can find comes from Google: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one”s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
And there lies the problem. How do you gauge your skills and abilities? What if you over-rate yourself? In thinking too highly of yourself, you may only be presenting yourself as a bragger. It’s a thin line between radiating inner strength and coming off as a smart-alecky show off.
Here are tips on how to naturally exude confidence without seeming boastful.
1. Know your strengths and work to improve them.
What do you like to do? It could be leading people and motivating them, cooking, excelling at a certain sport, or simply doing your job well. When you have identified your interest, work on improving them. Attend classes, find help on the internet and consistently develop your skills by learning newer techniques. When you know you are good at something, that itself gives you confidence.
2. Graciously accept compliments but don't seek them out.
Confident people welcome recognition of their abilities but don’t actively seek them out. Their behavior and attitude do not change with the absence or presence of others because these are constants in their lives. When praised, they respond with an acknowledgement but avoid self-glorification.
3. Take notice of criticisms but don't overly react to them.
No matter what others say, critiques and criticisms are always negative. They attack the issue or the person’s character and even the most confident individual is still a human being, after all. But how you react to criticism is what defines your own self-esteem. Rather than holding the person in contempt, confident people analyze and learn from the negative comments. If it was an undeserved one, they simply dismiss it and don't obsess over it.
4. Avoid extolling your own achievements and virtues.
Some people mistakenly think that by talking about their accomplishments, talents and possessions, they look good to other people. But a study published in Psychological Science has found that braggers were less liked by other people. While this is not a surprising revelation, it should make you take stock of yourself and see if you’re guilty of bragging. Bragging elicits a good feeling, akin to that of eating and having sex. It’s also a way to unconsciously boost the self-image because people who brag all the time are actually those who are insecure and have low self-esteem.
Confident people don’t brag unceasingly and indiscriminately. They share their stories and experiences with other people who are genuinely interested to listen. And in sharing, they also inject a sense of awe in their stories and gratitude for their achievements.
5. Be ready to listen more.
Genuine listening is different from making small talk. And the people you are conversing with can easily tell one from the other. The technique to active listening is to develop a sense of curiosity and a sincere desire to know the story. Show the person that you are genuinely listening by asking appropriate follow-up questions. Don’t judge and contradict. And don’t interrupt; let the person finish first before talking.
6. Be happy for the success of other people.
The really confident person does not begrudge another person’s success because it does not take away from his own. When you are confident in your own accomplishments, you don’t view other people as threats. On the other hand, you feel truly happy for them and when they see that, they will appreciate you.