Having worked with, and studied, truly confident people over several years, I have observed that there are certain traits which are common to them, regardless of the things they do or the areas in which they work. I have taken the most prominent 9 traits and I’m sharing them here with you; when you start using some or all of these, your own confidence cannot help but grow.
By seeing the things which truly confident people do, we can see areas in our own lives where we can start to do the same things. When you start doing the things which truly confident people do, then you naturally start to develop your own confidence, and get the sorts of results they get.
So, let’s take a look at the 9 things Truly Confident people do!
1 – They move on
“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.”
I get it. I really do. Things happen which cause us problems. Situations don’t work out. People let us down or even betray us. We lose, maybe even losing big-time.
And isn’t it so comforting dwelling on what went wrong? Railing against the injustice. Feeling sorry for ourself for having failed or been let down. “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
The problem is, the more we wallow in self-pity, the more we dwell on the past, the more we waste time feeling sorry for ourselves, the less time and energy we have to devote to moving forwards, and the more we sabotage our future results.
You see, we tend to get what we focus upon. So, when we feel sorry for ourselves and look forlornly at missed opportunities and things which went wrong, we focus our mind and attention on looking for things failing.
On the other hand, accepting that the past is the past, has happened, and nothing can be done about it, we start the process of moving on. By letting go of the past, we can free ourselves to learn the lessons from what has happened, and to embrace our new opportunities.
2 – They embrace change
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
– Henry Ford
For many people, change is scary, even terrifying. Which means for many people, the urge to avoid change at any cost is overpowering. The problem is, that without change, we can never grow or move forward. If we want to do something different, or if we want to grow, then we need to accept changes.
Fear of change is understandable – it is basically a fear of the unknown. We are afraid of what could go wrong, of what will happen, of what we will have to do if it goes right.
Truly Confident people know that change is needed, and they thoroughly embrace change. They know it will bring issues and problems, and they have the confidence to know or trust that they will be able to overcome those problems, to learn and grow from the process, and they will get the result that they wanted.
3 – They welcome challenges
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
Following on from the previous thing, Truly Confident people openly welcome challenges. They know that it is by facing challenges, and overcoming the inevitable obstacles which they bring, that we can make changes and grow.
Many people run away from challenges because they are afraid – afraid of the challenge, afraid that they will not be able to overcome the obstacles, afraid of what they will have to do once they succeed. However, Truly Confident people have the confident in themselves to now that no matter what the challenge brings them, they will be able to find a way through. They also know that the end result will be worth it all, and so they welcome the challenge both for the outcome it brings, and for the opportunities to learn and grow which the obstacles will bring.
4 – They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Likewise, there are many things in life which we can neither control nor influence.
Unfortunately, for a great many of us, there is the very strong compulsion to focus a lot of our time and energy on the things we can not change. Of course this is a complete waste of our energy, because there is nothing we can do about it.
Truly Confident people realise this. Which is why they don’t waste any of their energy on the things that they can’t control.
Consequently they are better able to focus their energy on the things which they can control. And this is why they get far better results!
5 – They are fair and kind
“Everything you do to other people affects them, and how you treat people affects them.”
– Carolyn Mackler
This may sound very simplistic, idealistic or even hippyish, but the fact is that Truly Confident people are fair and kind to all. OK, maybe not all the time to everyone, because even Truly Confident people are human after all, and they have off days. But in general, they are fair and kind.
It’s not even something which they have to practice being, rather it is a result of being confident.
The reality is that people who are unkind to others or who treat others unfairly, do so from a position of fear. They lack confidence in themselves and their own abilities, and so they see others not as potential allies or supporters, but as potential enemies and people to be ground down and fought at all costs.
Which means that, in order to protect their own position, they will lash-out and attack anyone who might get in their way or pose a theoretical threat. Therefore they are unkind to others in order to discourage them. They treat others unfairly so as to remove any possibility of the other person being successful; they (wrongly) think that if others are successful it will be at their expense.
On the other hand, Truly Confident people know that success can be a win-win. Someone else’s success does not diminish your own success – in fact, it can often increase your success. They know that by treating others fairly and kindly, they create many benefits. The others feel better and achieve more, and they also increase the likelihood of others being more disposed towards helping them. Collaboration, not competition. That is the sign of trump confidence, right there!
6 – They are unafraid to speak up
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
– Winston Churchill
The thing which really holds most people back from speaking up is fear and lack of confidence. A fear of what other people will think of them, and a lack of confidence in themselves to stand up for what they know is right.
Which is why truly confident people have no problem with speaking up. Whether it is to speak up against an injustice, or to defend others, or to argue their position, they know it is more important to speak up than to remain quiet.
Yes, speaking up might indeed alienate some people. But consider this – the sort of person who would be alienated by you standing up for something, are they the sort of person whose opinion of you even matters? Not really, when you think about it. But one thing is absolutely certain – the person or people on whose behalf you speak up will be VERY grateful! And you will also attract others with a similar viewpoint, which can never be a bad thing.
7 – They celebrate other people’s success – they don’t resent it
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
We all know of people who seem too exist solely to suck the joy out of life! The sort of person who will always find fault. And when someone succeeds, this person is the first in line to tear down the achievement, to ridicule it, to pour scorn on it, and to point out how they would have done it so much better.
What a jerk, right?
So why do they do it? Simple answer is, because they are scared. Seriously. It is because they are scared of their own inadequacies, so they lash out at anyone else who is either a potential “threat” or who is better at it than they are. Which is ridiculous because the other people are not a threat, nobody is. But their lack of confidence in their own abilities prevents them from being able to see anyone else in a positive light. They fear that other people succeeding will mean others will laugh at them for their own poorer results – in short, they are afraid that others will treat them the way they treat others!
The truly confident person knows that when others succeed, it is cause for celebration all round. They know how much that will help and boost the other person, and they are more than happy to join in the celebration, they know that others’ success does not diminish theirs in any way, and they also realise that when you foster an environment of mutual celebration and support, others will be there for you when you need it!
8 – They are willing to take calculated risks
“Between calculated risk and reckless decision-making lies the dividing line between profit and loss.”
– Charles Duhigg
There is, of course, a huge difference between taking risks and taking calculated risks.
I had a friend who used to gamble a lot – lottery, bingo, casinos, the works. He would always say “You’ve got to speculate to accumulate”, which is indeed true. However, as most people know, with all of those forms of gambling, the odds are always in the House’s favour. That’s why casinos operate, because they are guaranteed to make money. You’d have too be a very poor business person to actually make a loss running a casino! The punter, however, always loses in the long run, because the odds are against them.
Risks are important to take, but they must be calculated risks, where you have carefully weighed up the options, considered the alternatives, and evaluated the risks. You have then decided that the risk is an acceptable one – the chances of “winning” are sufficiently high, and the downside of “losing” is a loss which one is prepared to accept. You also calculate that the likelihood of success is as high as possible.
In the final of the US series “The Rebel Billionaire”, Richard Branson offered the winner a twist. The prize was a cheque for $1,000,000. BUT, Richard offered the winner the chance to risk it all on the toss of a coin – get it right, he wins the million plus a massive bonus prize; get it wrong, he loses everything.
What would you do?
Fortunately, the winner correctly calculated that the risk was not worth it – to risk losing a million on a 50:50 pure chance? Insane! Yes, there was a potentially massive result if he won, but he correctly calculated that the risk was far too great.
Truly confident people know that there is nothing wrong with taking risks, provided they are calculated and do not expose you to too great a loss or too high a risk.
9 – They aren’t afraid to ask for help
“Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nobody gets through … on their own.”
– Michelle Obama
Sadly, for too many people these days, asking for help is seen as a bad thing. It is seen as a sign of weakness, even a failure. For some people, the thought of asking for help is so alien or so uncomfortable for them that they would rather spend their time struggling and failing to get anywhere.
The reality is, as the truly confident person knows, we all need help from time to time. Far from being a sign of weakness, asking for help is a sign of strength!
Whether it is help to learn a new skill, or to give us new ways of looking at a situation, or to help us overcome problems, asking for help is the best way to move forward.
Richard Branson has said that at any given time, he typically has 6 mentors. He realised the tremendous importance of seeking help and guidance from others who may know more than him, or who may have greater expertise and experience than him, in any given situation. His approach is typical of the truly successful around the world.
Never underestimate the tremendous benefits of having help in any area of your life.
Your Turn To Join The Truly Confident People
Hopefully you have found this 9 Traits of Truly Confident People to be helpful. By starting to use these traits yourself, you will start to develop greater confidence. Even just using one of them will start to make a difference. I don’t know whether you will notice it right away, or whether you will start to notice it over the days and week ahead, but either way I’m hoping you are getting excited about how you can make use of these.
If you’d like to explore these concepts and more in greater depth, pop long to this free 60-90 minutes of free confidence insights and strategies you can directly implement in your every-day life.
Leave a comment and let me know how you are putting this to good use!
Also published on Medium.