battle-black-blur-board-game-260024We often view confidence as a quality or attribute that people are born with. We think of it in the same way as having brown hair or blue eyes. It is something you either have or don’t have.

But confidence isn’t an attribute, like hair or eye color. We aren’t born with confidence. It is a skill that we learn. If you had good parents, you were taught the skill of confidence from the time when you were small. During your upbringing, your parents identified and celebrated your natural gifts and talents. And they taught you how to accept being imperfect without feeling ashamed.

But there are many parents who fail to teach their children the skill of confidence. These parents may lack confidence themselves, so they don’t know how to teach that skill to others. Or they choose to teach arrogance, which is an attitude that ultimately doesn’t serve their children. As a result, many adults enter the world lacking in true confidence.

However, it is never too late to learn how to be confident. Whether you are 6 or 60, confidence is a learnable skill at any age. The key is to adopt the habits of confident people.

Below are the 5 things that confident people do. Adopt these habits in your own life and watch your confidence soar!

1. Carefully Choose Your Inner Circle: You cannot be confident if you choose to surround yourself with negative, critical people. Negative people kill confidence. They will encourage you to be unreasonably critical not only of yourself, but everyone else.

To be confident, you have to pick your inner circle carefully. You need to surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire In short, you need to surround yourself with mature, high-quality individuals.

The challenge is that those high-quality individuals may not exist in your current friend group or family. That is fine. You don’t have to get rid of those people! You simply don’t want to emulate their behavior. And you don’t want to seek out their opinions or advice.

It is important to fill your inner circle with people who appreciate your unique gifts and who believe in you. For instance, my husband is someone who is in my inner circle. If I have a goal, without reservation, he encourages me to pursue it. And I do the same for him. We are cheerleaders for each other, and that keeps both of our confidence levels high.

So, choose your inner circle wisely. Make sure that you surround yourself with folks who both appreciate you and inspire you to be your best self.

2. Stack Your Skills: Confidence comes, in part, from being capable. When you are capable of doing things of value, you automatically feel better about yourself. So, to develop your confidence, you need to stack up your skills as you go through life.

Fortunately, in today’s world, building up your skills isn’t hard. If there is a skill that you want to learn, there is a YouTube video to teach you. Whether you want to learn how to cook a particular dish, fix your toilet or learn a second language, the Internet can show you how.

Knowing how to do things well, and knowing how to fix your own problems, is a large part of feeling confident in life. If you are just starting to build up your skills, begin by learning basic life skills. Learn how to prepare an elegant dish or dessert. Learn how to properly clean a bathroom. Learn how to grow houseplants. Then graduate to bigger skills, like learning another language, or taking up photography.

The more skills that you have under your belt, the more confident you will be. And then you’ll start stacking skills. For instance, a basic knowledge of French may inspire you to start learning Spanish. Knowing how to bake a pie from scratch may lead you to tackle crème brûlée. And before you know it, you are a person of many skills and talents. And that feels great.

3. Snowball Your Accomplishments: Accomplishments naturally snowball. Once you are successful in one thing, it invariably leads to success in something else. And the more accomplishments you have the more confident you will be.

Confident people are accomplishment junkies. They are always looking for the next mountain to conquer. There is a “rush” that you get from achieving a goal. It feels amazing to work toward something and actually achieve it. Accomplishments build up self-esteem like nothing else.

If you want to increase your accomplishments, pick small goals to start with. For example, you might have an exercise goal. You could start with walking for 30 minutes per day with your dog. But watch out! That 30 minutes could very well turn into a gym routine and perhaps a marathon.

Or maybe you have a goal of learning to speak French. You might take an online class or one at your local community college. And pretty soon, you may end up becoming a Francophile and developing an expertise in French culture. And that many eventually lead to a job which requires French language skills. Accomplishments snowball!

The key is to start small. Set small goals for yourself. And then build upon them. Pretty soon, your confidence will increase as you accomplish bigger and bigger things.

4. Set High Standards for Yourself: Many people lack confidence because they set low standards for themselves. They live in messy homes. They eat junk and don’t exercise. They watch hours of television each night, instead of doing something productive. And when they look at their lives, they understandably are depressed.

The key is to set high standards for yourself in all things, from how you care for your home to how you dress to how you do your job. By doing so, you automatically will feel more confident. That is because confident people are “pulled together” people.

There is an “aura” that confident people have. The more you clothe yourself in that aura, the more confident you will feel.

Let me put it this way. I don’t care how smart or talented you are. I don’t care if you have a Mensa IQ, or you can play the cello like Yo Yo Ma. If you look like a disaster, or if your personal space is a mess, you are going to feel inept. And other people will think that you are inept, as well.

If you want to walk into any situation confidently and have people treat you as capable, then you need to hold yourself to a high standard. That is because confidence isn’t merely an attitude. It is a lifestyle.

5. Be an Encourager: If there is one truth that I have learned in life, it is this: Confident people encourage others. Insecure people insult others.

Simply watch mean-spirited, unkind people in action. They are highly insecure. They may try to hide their insecurity by pretending to be over-confident or arrogant. But that behavior is simply masking deep-seated insecurities.

If you want to learn to be a confident person, you need to learn to be an encourager. You need to be someone who sees the best in others. When you do, you will start to see the best in yourself.

Try to develop the habit of encouraging by taking note of what you admire about others. And then tell them! Don’t keep it to yourself. Confident people are generous with compliments and stingy with criticism.

So, if you want to be a confident person, work at your Confidence Habits. Confidence is a lifestyle. It is a way of being that anyone can adopt.

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