How To Develop Quiet Confidence

When you exude quiet confidence, you are sure in yourself, without flaunting it.

This poise will attract others to you. They will sense there is more to be discovered. It will make you appear a touch mysterious.

Learn how you can develop quiet confidence, and why you must treat it as a skill set.

What Is Quiet Confidence?

Quiet confidence is when you are sure of yourself without having to advertise your strength to the world.

This runs contrary to common notions about confidence. We think the louder the person, the less they are afraid of anything.

In truth, the loud person is compulsively trying to make up for their deep-rooted insecurity. The quietly confident person has no such need.

In politics, it’s the difference between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump. In the world of MMA, it’s the difference between GSP and Conor McGregor.

People who display quiet confidence are attractive. We can tell there is more to them than meets the eye.

With the loud person, it’s the opposite. As soon as you dig deeper, it all turns out to be show, and no substance.

13 Signs of the Quietly Confident

Quietly confident people are characterized by 13 behaviors.

1. They Sometimes Take Risks

A confident person is not afraid to take calculated risks. To get extraordinary results, you can’t always play it safe.

2. They Are Unreactive

When attacked, the loudmouth gets argumentative.

The truly confident person states their point of view, then moves on with their life.

3. They Trust Their Abilities

The quietly confident person has proven themselves in the past. If push comes to shove, they know they can access that strength again.

4. They Are Modest

The confident person acts modestly — not to impress, but because it’s the right thing to do. No matter how competent you are, there is always someone more competent.

5. They Stay the Course

When confident people make a decision to do something, they will see it through.

6. They Admit Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. The best thing to do is to admit them to yourself and to learn from them. The quietly confident person knows that.

7. They Speak Up

If the confident person disagrees with something, they speak up. They do so calmly, not defensively.

8. They Don’t Care For External Validation

The quietly confident person cares little if others approve of them. They validate themselves, in accordance with their values.

9. They Ask For Help

The pseudo-confident person cannot ask for help. They think it’s a sign of weakness.

The quietly confident person has no such problem. They understand that by taking on help, they can speed up the process.

10. They Emphasize Results

Most people go on about what they will do — but then never do it.

The confident person, on the other hand, let their actions speak for themselves.

11. They Embrace Adversity

The confident person doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. On the contrary, they welcome adversity. It is the obstacle that will point them in the right direction.

12. They Are Not Deterred by Feedback

Confident people welcome honest feedback; it makes them better.

13. They Don’t Worry Pointlessly

Some things in our lives, we cannot control. There is no point in worrying about them. The confident person understands that.

15 Tips To Exude Quiet Confidence

Here are 15 strategies to help you develop quiet confidence.

1. Don’t Judge Others

If you want to exude quiet confidence, you must stop judging others for their way of life. The critic always appears weak.

Instead of getting worked up about the shortcomings of others, spend that energy where it will make a difference — on yourself.

2. Don’t Overapologize

Some people will constantly over-apologize for trivialities,

They think they are being extra considerate. But in truth, they are ingratiating themselves.

Apologize when necessary, not reflexively.

3. Don’t Overexplain Your Decisions

You don’t need to justify your life decisions to other people. It’s your life.

Of course, you can let important people in your life know what you are up to. But there is a difference between informing them and asking for their approval.

4. Pivot

A common misunderstanding about confidence is that you are not allowed to change your mind.

That’s folly. If you assessed a situation wrongly — as we all do from time to time — rectify your mistake.

Holding on to wrong decisions is just as bad as constantly changing your mind for no reason. Both come across as insecure.

5. Learn To Trust Yourself

Unconfident people don’t trust themselves. And other people can sense that.

The problem is negative reference experiences. You didn’t follow through in the past. You told everybody you were going to lose 20 pounds, but instead gained 10.

Your distrust in yourself is justified.

You must break that pattern. You must choose goals and then actually see them through.

The trick is to start small.

Create mini-goals. Losing one pound this month is so manageable, you will easily pull it off. Then do it again next month. This will start a positive spiral.

6. Build Your Skills

Confidence is a result of competence. The more skills you possess, the better prepared you are for whatever life throws at you.

For example, having trained in combat sports my whole life, I know I can survive in a fight. If a situation goes sour, I won’t be helpless.

Aim to become self-reliant in all the most important areas of your life:

  • Learn how to fight.
  • Learn how to make money.
  • Learn how to charm people.
  • Learn how to learn.

7. Show Initiative

If there is a problem, don’t complain about it — fix it.

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.

George Eliot

That’s why we perceive the doer as confident — they are more courageous. They stand up to reality, instead of running from it.

8. Never Boast

Many of us have a tendency to boast.

The confident person doesn’t need that. Their deeds are impressive enough. No need to brag.

To overcome this, you improve your self-awareness. Catch yourself as you weave in these self-adulations.

9. Create Your Own Path

Most people are afraid to deviate. They don’t want to rock the boat. That is why they strike us as insecure.

The confident person has no such worries. They unapologetically go for what they want. If their goal happens to be outside what is socially accepted, they will take the heat.

The first step is to define your goals. Sit down and ask yourself, “What would I do if I could not fail?”

Once you have defined what you want out of life, create a timeline. Reverse-engineer what you need to do every day to get where you want to be in 5 years. Then do it.

If you are one of the few people who can follow through on this, you will appear extremely confident to others. Your behavior will show that you have mastered yourself.

10. Reach Out to Others

If you can start a conversation with that attractive stranger at the bus station, that is a massive demonstration of confidence.

Where everybody else is too afraid to make a move, you just go for it.

Also, the act of talking to strangers itself will boost your confidence.

You will learn how to interact with different kinds of people and come up with better communication strategies. This will give you a tremendous edge, be it in business or with dating.

So, build a habit of talking to strangers. Reach out to at least one new person each day. Build that social muscle through exposure.

11. Speak Less

To appear quietly confident, you should speak less. But when you do speak, every word must hit the mark.

A great example of this is Keanu Reeves. In interviews, he doesn’t blabber on as so many of his Hollywood peers do; but when he opens his mouth, you listen. Clint Eastwood is another example of this.

Study people like that. Analyze how they achieve more with less. Observe how by not giving too much away, they are cultivating the mystery about themselves.

12. Draw a Line

When people get too pushy, it’s important to draw a line. This signals confidence.

For example, if a customer is demanding a lot of your attention, calmly tell them that they need to curb their expectations or buy somewhere else.

It’s key not to get angry even when the other person gets angry. You don’t want to be a pushover, but you also don’t want to waste your precious emotional energy.

13. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Everybody makes stupid mistakes.

When that happens, make a point to laugh at yourself. By acknowledging your folly, it will be easier to learn from it and move on.

Also, it will make you look confident. Most people try to cover up their messes. You, on the other hand, poke fun at yourself.

14. Master Your Body Language

If you want to exude quiet confidence, you must master your body language. Here are a few pointers.

a) Keep Eye Contact

Instead of letting your eyes nervously wander, look at the other person, pick one eye, and fixate on that.

b) Don’t Fidget

If you fidget with your hands, touch your thumb and middle finger of each hand together.

By concentrating on this slightly unusual hand position, your nervous tics will vanish.

c) Watch Your Posture

A hunched-over posture comes across as submissive.

To fix this, whenever you walk by a shop front or a car window, check your posture. Are you standing upright, chest out, shoulders back? If not, correct.

Do this for long enough, and this new posture will become second nature.

d) Take up Space

Nothing looks more insecure than making yourself small.

Whatever you are doing — sitting, standing, walking — make a point to take up space. Spread yourself out. Keep your arms wide.

15. Prepare for Violence

On a primal level, confidence is based on your ability to physically defend yourself. You must be able to handle yourself in a fight.

This might seem redundant, as most men in Western societies never get into fights anymore.

But in any confrontation among men, the latent threat is still there. The violence might never be carried out, but you still flinch from it.

You must develop a potential for violence yourself. Become a warrior in a garden.

Start training in a combat sport, like Muay Thai, wrestling, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They center around sparring, which will toughen you up.

Stay away from fantasy martial arts like Krav Maga or Wing Chun, which incorporate no or little sparring.

Why You Must Treat Quiet Confidence as a Skill Set

It’s easy to read an article like this, and then hope that somehow, magically, you will act more confidently.

But that’s not how it works.

You must treat quiet confidence as a skill set. Deliberate practice is key. It’s no different from learning a language or an instrument.

This is what the process looks like:

  1. Pick one. Focus on one new behavior at a time. Pick one from the list above and apply it until it becomes automated. Only then do you add another.
  2. Set reminders. Set yourself an alarm for every two hours. When it goes off, take five minutes to reflect. Since, the last alarm, did you act like a confident person?
  3. Record yourself. Record your social interactions, e.g., your Zoom calls. Then analyze the tape. At what points did you act confidently and when not?
  4. Visualize alternatives. At the end of each day, journal about all the times you acted insecure today. Then imagine better behaviors to create new mental pathways.

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