Maybe it’s something in the way they stand. Or when they speak, and you can’t help but listen a little more closely, and think a little more critically about what they’re saying. True confidence is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. It’s inspiring, especially compared with the fake bravado that some people use to mask insecurity.
So how is it that these people is are able to embody such positive feels? Forbes pinpointed a few of the habits which can be adapted by anyone. Be forewarned, though: most of these are more cerebral than setting a reminder on your phone to stand once an hour at work.
1. Be happy with who you are
To be confident in your actions, you have to be happy and confident with who you are. It might seem like a minor thing, but finding value and purpose in your work drives confidence levels higher than constantly basing self-worth on what others think.
2. Don’t pass judgement.
Everyone has something to offer. Truly confident people realize this and, since they don’t base worth on the reactions of others, they don’t need to cut anyone else down, either. It’s true what they say: the only race you’re running in life is against yourself.
3. Don’t say yes (unless you really, really, really mean it)
Studies show that the more trouble you have with saying no, the more likely that you are stressed, burned out, maybe even depressed. Saying no is healthy for your mind and body; it will help you increase self-esteem and be able to articulate why you are saying no.
4. Listen more than you speak.
Confident people know that they don’t need to fill the voids in conversation. They’re focused on the other people in, listening actively, and adding value when necessary. So, when confident people do speak, it’s with assertiveness and conviction.
5. Seek out small victories…and let them go to your head.
While confident people don’t feel the need to judge others, they do like to be challenged. Physiologically, small victories build receptors in the parts of the brain related to motivation. Increasing these receptors increases testosterone, which further increases confidence and desire for more challenges.
6. Get moving.
People who exercise at least twice a week are more socially, academically, and athletically competent. This translates to confidence in body image and self-esteem, but not because of physique changes; it’s the endorphin high.
7. Celebrate other people.
Insecure people are doubtful and critical because they are constantly looking for worth from those around them. They’re constantly focusing inward. Confident people, who draw their worth internally, are focusing outward, and able to see people in a positive light.
Building confidence is a marathon, not a sprint. When you catch yourself passing judgement unfairly, want to skip a workout, or feel obligated to take more work that you really, really, really don’t want to do, take step back. Ask yourself if this is something that builds or detracts from confidence. And act accordingly.