How to build quiet confidence
When we think about confidence, we may think about being the loudest person in the room, shouting opinions and being seemingly unfazed by anything. This isn’t truly what confidence is, however. Confidence, feeling certain in your abilities, comes in lots of different forms and it has nothing to do with how loud you are.
Quiet confidence is when you don’t need to be the loudest person in the room. It’s when you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You simply walk about your life, quiet in the knowledge that you’re on the right track and that you are totally capable. This feeling is a powerful one. It can propel you forwards in all areas of your life, from your career to your relationships.
But how exactly can we cultivate and build this quiet confidence? Here we look at the key steps you need to do this.
Connect with your values
Understanding who you are and what you stand for is an essential first step. By identifying your core values and living in alignment with them, you’ll know deep down you’re doing what you believe is right and focusing on what’s important to you.
Having this knowledge underpin the decisions you make day-to-day helps to stay on the right path for you, building quiet confidence that you’re moving in the right direction. You may falter from time to time (we’re only human), but being open to learning from your mistakes and recalibrating will ensure your confidence doesn’t get dented.
Listen before you speak
Confidence doesn’t mean assuming everything you say or do is right. Those who are truly confident are open to learning and practice active listening during conversations. When you actively listen to others, you get a better understanding of what they want from you in that moment. You can nip any miscommunication in the bud and feel more confident in the process.
When having a conversation with someone, avoid multitasking and give them your undivided attention. Rather than waiting for your turn to talk, or composing your response in your head while they speak, try to take in everything they’re saying. You may find it helpful to reflect back to them what you’ve heard, to ensure you’ve understood what they’ve said and then offer your response. Ask questions and aim to leave the conversation with both parties being crystal clear on any follow-up actions that need to be taken.
Play to your strengths
Building quiet confidence relies on you both knowing and playing to your strengths. When you know what you’re good at, and what you enjoy, you can seek out a lifestyle that incorporates these things for a happier, more fulfilling life.
If you’re not sure what your strengths are, you may want to explore online strengths finder quizzes. The VIA character strengths survey is a popular and free option, giving you the option to pay to dive deeper and receive a full report. Another popular (and free) quiz is the personal strengths inventory, based on psychologist Martin Seligman’s pioneering research in positive psychology.
Once you’ve identified your strengths, ask yourself the following:
- Am I utilising these strengths in my life right now?
- What small steps can I take to start utilising these strengths more in my personal life?
- What small steps can I take to start utilising these strengths more in my professional life?
Ask for help
In order to build confidence, we must acknowledge and accept our vulnerabilities as well as our strengths. Nobody is perfect, and no one has to be good at everything. If, however, there’s something you’re struggling with that you know will help you move forward in life, asking for help should be your first port of call.
This doesn’t literally have to be asking someone to help you, asking for help could look like seeking a course/workshop/book to help improve your skills, finding a mentor to support you, talking to friends for advice or working with a coach.
Those who exude quiet confidence are comfortable in their skin. They understand that they’re a work in progress and this is OK. They know asking for help doesn’t imply weakness and that they don’t have to do this alone. Support and guidance can be the icing on the quiet confidence cake you’ve baked, elevating it to the next level so you can move through life with your head held high.
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