Building genuine, lasting confidence takes work, but the payoff regarding relationships, opportunities, and fulfillment makes it incredibly worthwhile.
In this article, we’ll explore three habits you can adopt to stop second-guessing yourself and start radiating genuine confidence. By getting comfortable with silence, limiting apologies, and assuming others already like you, you’ll begin projecting the self-assurance you know deep down.
Why Bother Building Confidence?
Self-assurance allows us to take risks, put ourselves out there socially, and pursue opportunities that seem out of reach. Yet many of us struggle with confidence.
Low self-esteem has become an epidemic, with over 70% of millennials suffering. This lack of confidence hampers our success and diminishes our enjoyment of life.
The good news? Confidence can be built. It comes down to adopting habits and thought patterns that support self-assurance. We can reset our confidence levels and make them shine with conscious effort.
This article will explore actionable steps to boost confidence in social situations, the workplace, and other facets of life. Read on to learn techniques for silencing self-doubt and realizing your worth.
Get Comfortable with Awkward Silences
Do you compulsively fill quiet moments in conversation with nervous babbling? Do you spew trite phrases like “at the end of the day” when you can’t think of what to say next?
Breaking this common habit can instantly boost your confidence in social interactions. Rather than recoiling from silence, learn to embrace it.
Silence creates anticipation and gives you control of the conversation’s cadence. Pausing before responding to a question projects confidence and authority. It signals you don’t need to rush your thoughts.
Of course, silence can become awkward if prolonged too long. Get comfortable with brief pauses of 3 to 5 seconds to collect your thoughts. Refrain from using filler words and nervous laughter to patch over silence.
With practice, you’ll become adept at letting conversations breathe. The other person will start to fill the space, allowing you to steer the dialogue confidently and anxiously.
Jeremy always stuffed conversation with endless “ums,” “likes,” and “you knows.” He felt this nervous chatter made him more approachable.
When a colleague pointed out this habit, Jeremy decided to break it. He began counting silently to 5 before responding in meetings and social situations.
The effect was immediate. Jeremy appeared calm, composed, and authoritative after brief pauses. People took his views more seriously, boosting his confidence.
Do you compulsively say “sorry” for minor things like accidentally bumping into someone? Do you find yourself apologizing for taking up someone’s time or asking a small favor?
Saying “sorry” too often suggests discomfort simply existing. It’s an apology for taking up space. Constant sorries also downplay your strengths and attractiveness to others.
Try to limit apologies to times when you’ve made an apparent mistake. Even then, a simple “excuse me” often suffices.
You can further project confidence by replacing meaningless apologies with words of gratitude. For instance, “Thank you for your patience” sounds more authoritative than “Sorry to bother you.”
Lily worked as a junior employee at an advertising firm. She felt insecure around higher-ups at the company and said “sorry” repeatedly in interactions.
Her boss noted how often Lily apologized unnecessarily. She encouraged Lily to limit sorries and exude more confidence by saying, “Thanks for your time.”
The adjustment felt awkward initially but soon became natural. Lily noted she felt – and was treated – like a more valued employee. Her confidence grew.
Act As If People Already Like You
Do you get nervous trying to impress dates, make new friends, or network professionally? Do you attempt to “win people over,” anxiously obsessing over their opinion of you?
This yearning for approval suggests a lack of confidence in your inherent worth and appeal. Next time, go into social interactions with a mindset shift: act like people already like you.
Don’t try to impress or bend over backward for others’ validation. Relax in the knowledge that you’re already likable as you are. Keep the conversation casual and focus on learning about the other person.
Avoid closed-off body language like crossed arms. Make eye contact and smile warmly. People will reciprocate positive vibes, confirming your belief that they have already accepted you.
James felt intimidated at tech conferences and worried about impressing venture capitalists considering his startup. He obsessed over pitching perfectly to investors.
Finally, James realized he needed to project confidence that VCs would already find him and his business appealing. He focused less on selling himself and acted friendly and authentic instead.
The investors responded positively. By assuming they already liked him and his startup, James could relax and make genuine connections, boosting his investment odds.
Angela’s Journey to Authentic Confidence
Angela was bright, outgoing, and ambitious – yet plagued by constant self-doubt. She apologized repeatedly at work, second-guessed her competence, and got nervous trying to make new friends.
Despite being well-liked, Angela couldn’t internalize others’ positive perceptions of her. She compared herself to colleagues and worried about saying the wrong thing.
After reading about habits that build confidence, Angela committed to making three changes:
First, Angela practiced embracing silence in conversations instead of nervously filling space. She focused on listening fully and pausing before responding.
Second, Angela reduced unnecessary “sorries.” She stopped apologizing for taking up others’ time or asking reasonable favors.
Finally, Angela acted under the assumption that new people already liked her. Instead of over-strategizing to impress, she was friendly and authentically herself.
Within a few weeks, Angela noticed a considerable shift. She exuded self-assurance and had an inner calm about interactions with people. This confidence opened doors to new opportunities.
For the first time, Angela’s self-perception aligned with how others saw her good qualities. Her new habits had unlocked deep self-esteem.
Confidence Opens Doors
As Angela’s story illustrates, building confidence through targeted habits can be life-changing. Suddenly, opportunities and relationships you assumed were out of reach opened up.
Becoming a confident person isn’t about acting superior or dominant. It simply means realizing your worth and trusting that you have value to offer others as you are.
Start adopting the habits in this article today. Get comfortable with silence, limit apologies, and assume you’re already liked. You have so much to offer. Let go of self-doubt and allow your confidence to radiate at total wattage!