Confident people: how do you do it?

Just looking from some tips from those among us who have high self-confidence and self-esteem. I’m sure for some of you it’s hard to really determine what you do differently from others, having never been anyone but yourself, but I’d really like any insights you might have.

FTR, I’ve found the only thing that makes me feel confident is prozac, and that was more in a numbing, “I don’t care about anything” kind of way, and I can’t stay on an SSRI forever, so I turn to y’all for some tips on the appropriate mentality

Confidence springs from infallibility.

It usually comes from repeatedly achieving goals you set for yourself. Eventually you realize that you have the power to effect change in your own life.

Yeah. And lack of confidence stems from the opposite. People who continue having faith in themselves despite repeated evidence that they have bad luck or make bad decisions is insanity incarnate. Or uh, simply extreme cognitive dissonance.

Of course that’s not the only source of low confidence. But it’s a big one. If you get smacked down enough by fate or god or luck or society, eventually you will start to believe you deserve it. If you get patted on the back enough, you’ll believe you deserve that too.

When you’re swingin’ the kinda meat I’m swingin’, it’s hard not to feel pretty good about yourself.

Largely, I agree with this. However, I know a few women who are very well-accomplished (one is currently a student at Harvard Law) and yet have anorexia, which is usually a sign of low self confidence. In fact I think most of us know people who are outwardly “successful” and inside are a bundle of neuroses.

Conversely, I know more than a few people who seem to be not very accomplished (job with low prestige, not a ton of achievements in life, not great-looking, etc) but also are very confident.

So it seems like there’s more to it than simple goal achievement.

I fake it. Keep your chin up and look at people in the eye when speaking authoritatively about something.

You have a plan, and that plan gives you control that you can do it. It is not just setting goals, but achievable goals. So you don’t say "I want to lose weight’, rather you say “I want to lose x pounds”. If you want to be a doctor, what is needed to achieve that goal? Overall the goal seems insurmountable, but if you break it into achievable chunks then you gain confidence that you ‘can’ do it. And from that comes success.

So in my opinion it stems from small steps that build your confidence. I am very successful in my chosen field. But I certainly recall as a freshman looking ahead at what it would take to become an Architect it was daunting. Yet bit by bit I achieved that goal, with each step gaining confidence.

I also think confidence is a measure of yourself against yourself and not an outside entity. I never measure my success as an Architect or a Father against others. It is how I feel about the work I do. There are people certainly more financially successful in my field then me, but I doubt many have the confidence I do about what I do. My clients trust me, I exude confidence that I know what I am doing (whether I do know is certainly open to interpretation!) but when my clients deal with me they don’t have any sense of that.

So I suppose it is, I feel confident so I am confident. At least that is how it is for me, but clearly others will have different opinions.

If you mean confidence in social situations, then I’m not going to be able to help you. That I don’t have.

What I do have is confidence in my own ability to do things. This comes from two things: one is repeated success at learning and doing new things; the other is when I learned not to sabotage my confidence with internal scripts that kept telling me how crappy I was no matter how well I did. I learned this through two years of therapy, really. It has to do with realizing that every single person is human, and has their own strengths and weaknesses, and when I learned to allow this about other people, what do you know, I learned to allow it about myself. Funny how that worked, I wasn’t really trying for it or expecting it.

Fake it until you make it. Act confident even if you don’t feel it, and eventually the feeling will come too. Of course, being generally competent helps too.

That meat, I assume, is the portion that makes up your head.

I adopt the “Dr Pepper” approach: “what’s the worst that can happen?”

e.g. I want to return a broken item to a store without a receipt and outside the warrenty period. My wife, for example, would be too nervous to attempt it.

So ask the question: what’s the worst that can happen?

Answer: the store say no, and I have to go home again.

I’m in no worse a position than before, but there’s a good chance they will offer an exchange or store credit.

And then the more you try it the more confidence you get.

I think self-confidence comes from self-acceptance, too. You have to learn to like yourself and accept your faillures, mistakes and bad habits (which everybody has). From the first 2 you can learn and make it better next time and on the last one you can work and try to eliminate or reduce it. I know it’s tough, especially to learn to really like oneself.

It helps to accept positive comments or compliment from others. Just believe them and let them boost your self-confidence.

Another point is people do like nice and friendly people. So they’ll probably like you, too and you don’t have to worry, what they might think of you. Give a smile as often as possible and when they smile back both of you are a little happier.

from the few people I know, it seems to come from being told how awesome and special they are for their entire lives. if you’re raised to believe you’re the center of the universe, you go on to act as though that’s true.

I’m often told how confident I am at work. When I’ve talked to people about it further, the one difference I can see between them and me is that I don’t mind the thought of trying something and failing/not being good at it. Whereas they have this horror story going through their minds of all these dreadful things that will happen if they fail.

I think Wallenstein is on track. If people don’t like you, so what? They’re twits and there are other people who do… you can’t expect EVERYONE to like you ALL THE TIME, so don’t get down when someone doesn’t. Try your best to not be a douche, try to be considerate and to put on your game face for social situations, and realize that everyone is just human… there are no magical others with powers of final social judgment, just other people who are also putting on their game faces. Chances are that if they make you feel bad, it’s their fault not yours.

Also, two drinks, as soon as possible.

Being confident is better than failing. Either draw up a plan, figure out what you want and find the best way to get there (and plan for contingencies) or fake it until you make it. If you fake it enough, you figure out a common denominator and you’ll be able to learn from that.
No alcohol, though. You don’t need an outside agent to help you pe a human being. Down that road lies Bad Things.

I agree with this and have witnessed it my entire life. Conversely I was raised to think I was fat, stupid and ugly. I am in fact none of those things and I have plenty of evidence to support my claim.

The funny thing about it is that the voices from my past creep back into my internal dialogue and the trick is to shut those voices up. I think showing confidence is melding of all those suggestions up-thread (meat notwithstanding).

Remember your accomplishments and take pride in them. Test yourself often and be proud of testing yourself whether you succeed or not. Fake it when necessary - no one knows what’s going on inside of you. Use your imagination for just one situation and be the absolutely most confident you that you can imagine. Repeat as necessary. Eventually with your discovery that acting that way didn’t make the sky fall - you will step into the role as needed. And interestingly, as you practice confidence, you in fact become more confident.

Succeed at things—and “things” can be as minor as making a box of macaroni and cheese if you’ve never done it before. Step a little outside your comfort zone, and learn by experience that you can handle new situations.

I wouldn’t call myself a confident person, but I’m a hell of a lot more confident than I used to be when I was younger, and I think a lot of that has come with life experience. The more I’ve learned, the more I’ve grown as a person, the more different kinds of people and situations I’ve encountered, the less fearful and intimidated by life I’ve become.

Absolutely not and I could not disagree more. I am very confident and I make losts of mistakes.

In my case, for a long time I faked it, until I made it. I still have to work at it in some situations, but on the whole I am quite confident. This comes from a number of things:

  1. Be aware you will make mistakes. Be aware those mistakes can be rectified, and are not life-threatening.
  2. Be aware that no matter what you do, people will talk. It doesn’t matter.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  4. Look people in the eye. Smile.
  5. Know your strengths. And the aspects of your physical beauty, as well. And don’t tell yourself “I have none”. Find them.
  6. stop arguing. I don’t mean all the time, but evety time you spring to the defense of something or other, it makes you look…well, defensive. Just shrug. You have your opinion, and they have theirs, and you don’t feel threatened by theirs.
  7. Be aware that no matter what you do, not everyone will like you. Just the way it goes.
  8. Accept compliments. Quite trying to deflect them. Just take them and smile and say “thank you”.

I grew up with no self-esteem; having it ruthlessly crushed at every opportunity. And now I have a reputation for being confident, level-headed, easy-going, and good-natured. How did this happen? Hard work. It’s not magical.

And people who have been told all their lives that they are great or wonderful generally come off as arrogant to me.