Want to learn how to look more confident? Then this article might be what you’re looking for.
Confidence can be elusive for some and a natural character trait for others.
There are people who have learned to appear extremely confident, even if their inherent shyness and natural insecurities made it difficult for them.
According to an article published in Psychology Today, confidence, by those who study the subject, is “the degree to which you think and feel your actions will achieve positive results.”
Contrary to what many believe, it’s something you build by experiencing achievement, not through hollow praise.
Confidence is not all about a brash and loud persona.
And it’s not about dominating situations or being the constant focus of attention.
In fact, if we take a closer look at those who achieved a healthy level of self-confidence without forgetting about the importance of humility, we will notice the following qualities.
If you want to learn how to look and act confident, take notes.
1. Don’t Talk About Yourself All the Time
I remember a while back when I was working in Rome, and there was a job opening in my department.
After interviewing several candidates, we chose the one who we thought was the best fit for our team. A few weeks after we hired her, she asked me why we chose her over all the candidates.
I confessed the reason we gave her the job was that she was the one candidate who didn’t try to oversell herself.
She was qualified for the job as much as the other candidates, but we liked her ‘air of confidence’ — which was a plus for the job position.
Also, she allowed us to form our own opinion about her.
She didn’t brag about her achievements. Instead, she simply answered the interview questions and also showed a genuine interest in knowing more about how things worked in the company.
It’s not that confident people don’t care about what others think. They don’t feel the need to influence the thoughts of those around them through constantly talking about themselves.
I find that many great achievers, often don’t have the confidence to believe that others have noticed their accomplishments and talent.
They often have an obsession with being liked and popular . And that’s why they try hard to impress and focus the conversation on themselves.
Instead, as mentioned in an article published in Psychology Today, confident people are usually the ones who ask questions and make you feel they are genuinely interested in you.
They don’t need to impress.
Recommended read: How to Build Unshakable Self-Esteem: 4 Practical Strategies
2. Learn to Be Quiet
Quiet people are often mistaken for being particularly shy or lacking in social confidence. However, in many cases, the opposite is true.
As Tim Denning mentions in an article about Keanu Reeves, these people have the habit of speaking only a few well-chosen words when asked a question.
Silence allows room for thought, and quiet people are not afraid of it.
Contrary to what you may think, those who like to be the life and soul of the party aren’t necessarily the most confident people in the room.
As Dr. Karin Luise explains in an article in The Huffington Post, loud people are often insecure, and their behavior is a smokescreen for who they really are.
Confident people instead speak more quietly.
It’s not a deliberate act; they don’t need to be loud because they’re not trying to impress you but instead to share information with you.
3. Speak Slowly
When genuinely confident people talk to you, they want to tell you a story, but they don’t appear nervous or in a hurry for you to get to the end of that story.
They have a relaxed air about themselves, which extends to the way they talk.
This aligns with their habit of talking quietly and slowly.
When people speak slowly, we tend to listen more intently.
As Sarah Landrum mentioned in an article published in Fast Company, someone who talks too quickly can appear nervous. Those who speak too slowly instead, can lose the attention of their audience.
As Carmine Gallo explained in his book Talk Like TED, to sound more confident, a rate of speech of 190 words per minute is the sweet spot for which a person should aim.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Some people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. Confident people don’t have the same rationale.
In fact, they think it makes sense to ask for help. And they don’t feel judged for doing so.
Ask yourself this question. The last time someone asked you for help, was your immediate reaction wanting to help them? Or did you think they were weak or useless? I guess the first option matches your answer.
And I believe that proves the point.
Confident people are not afraid to ask for help because they see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn from someone else and gain new skills.
People who lack confidence are more reluctant to ask for help. They worry it will make them look incompetent, useless, or just plain stupid.
Let me give you an example
An example of this trait of confident people is Marco, one of the best managers I have ever known.
One day he called me into his office. He asked me if I knew how to create a chart for him to go in a report he was compiling.
For me, it was easy. I had done something similar many times before, so I was able to show him all the steps.
When I walked out of the room, I didn’t think he was dumb for not knowing how to create a chart. Instead, I felt glad to help him.
It also gave me an opportunity ‘to shine’, which made me feel good about myself.
This is something confident people will enable you to do.
What I also learned from this is that confident people are not jealous of those who can do something they can’t.
They recognize their shortcomings, but they don’t let that negatively affect who they are.
5. Find Your Happiness Within
If you want to learn how to be confident, then this point is one of the most important ones.
When you learn to rely on yourself and your own life – and not on others – to be happy and feel fulfilled, you automatically feel more confident as well.
And people perceive that.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone confident and in a relationship with someone who lacks confidence? (Not at the same time, of course).
Did you notice that the confident person was generally independently happy instead of depending on you for their own happiness?
People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments – as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments.
6. Don’t Seek Validation From Social Media
What’s the first thing you think of someone who posts 100+ selfies on Facebook every day?
Let me guess: you probably find them insecure and think they are seeking validation from others.
Also, everybody knows at least one person whose day was ruined because their post on Facebook didn’t get many likes.
This is a clear sign that someone lacks confidence because they associate people not liking their post as not being good enough. They take these things personally.
As explained in an article published in Psychology Today, confident people know that seeking validation online doesn’t bring real happiness.
They can see through social media and either use it to their advantage to stay in touch with their loved ones — as opposed to using it for a psychological pick-me-up — or not bother to use it at all.
In general, confident people do not seek validation from others to feel good about themselves.
This is why, if you want to look like them, you should definitely avoid seeking other people’s approval on socials.
7. Take Care Of Your Appearance
This might sound superficial, I know.
However, let’s be honest, looking good makes us feel better.
It makes us feel good about ourselves. And that usually has a positive impact on our mood which makes others perceive us as more confident as well.
You can take care of your appearance by doing simple things, such as wearing your favorite clothes, wearing perfume, changing your hairstyle, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
Another thing that can help you look better is building some healthy habits that in the long term can have a great, positive impact on your appearance.
A few examples of healthy habits that you can start implementing right now:
- Drink at least 2.5 liters of water every day;
- Dress well;
- Wear perfume;
- Work out at least four days per week;
- Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods;
- Avoid sugar.
8. Accomplish Something Every Day
Another thing that can help you look more confident is reaching a small goal every day. If you think about it, it will help you feel more confident, and consequently act as someone who has high self-esteem.
If you see that you can accomplish something – even if small – every single day, you will give a small boost to your self-confidence and you will believe every day more in yourself and your capabilities.
A few examples of how you can reach small goals every day:
- Write a to-do list every morning with simple, small tasks and complete all of them;
- Exercise every day;
- Read personal development content for at least 20 minutes every day;
- Declutter and clean your desk or any other messy spot in your house.
9. Have Purpose, Focus on Your Path
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. However, that’s the worst enemy of confidence. And obviously, it can make you look insecure.
This is why you should focus on yourself and your own path only.
When we have a purpose, when we know what we want and focus on our progress, we start caring less of where others stand.
We stop to compare ourselves with other people, and we start accepting the fact that there’ll be always someone more successful, more attractive, taller or funnier than us.
How to apply this idea, in a nutshell:
- Identify what you really want in life: is it financial freedom? Having a family? Running a 7-figure business? Being famous?
- Focus on the small goals that will take you to your ideal life.
- Keep a journal.
Genuinely confident people usually are the ones who don’t try too hard to impress.
They are quiet, speak slowly, aren’t afraid to ask for help, find their happiness within, and don’t seek external validation.
As Brian G. Jett once said:
“You can determine how confident people are by listening to what they don’t say about themselves.”
Genuinely confident people show their trust in themselves through their behavior.
They don’t feel the need to impress, and they don’t need to be loud.
Here is a quick recap of habits that may help you act and look more confident:
- Don’t talk about yourself all the time;
- Learn to be quiet;
- Speak slowly;
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help;
- Find your happiness within;
- Don’t seek validation from social media;
- Take care of your appearance;
- Accomplish something every day;
- Have purpose, focus on your path.