Some of the most admired, magnetic and attractive people in this world share this powerful trait: a healthy form of self-confidence.
No, I’m not talking about an ego-fueled “I’m always right, I’m so awesome, you’re an idiot if you don’t listen to me” type of confidence in self. That is actually a sign you are insecure.
Instead, I am talking about men and women who have
a quiet poise and self-assurance about who they are
and what they have to do… while being free from
self-promotion and ego.
I want to be more like that… don’t you?
Fortunately, this type of quiet self-confidence can be strengthened in you. Keep reading to learn how you can grow this quality in your life.
But first, just in case you doubt whether it is worth the effort to cultivate this quality, here are 7 desirable advantages that come from possessing this healthy form of self-confidence.
7 Compelling Advantages of Having Quiet Self-Confidence.
There are many amazing benefits that come with the healthy ‘quiet’ form of self-confidence. Here are just 7 reasons why you should aspire to grow this trait… since it can be a game changer in life.
1. Quiet Confidence is the Breeding Ground For Greater Competence & Success.
When facing a skill-based task (e.g. making free-throws, giving a speech, playing a musical instrument, starting a business), a person with stronger self-confidence will more readily take on the challenge, and persist until they reach their goal.
In contrast, people lacking self-confidence will more quickly talk themselves out of even trying (because they doubt they will see success… so why even try?). They also will give up on the effort more quickly if they do start, again because of self-doubt.
As noted by Dr. Scott Kaufman, Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania:
A bulk of research shows that when people are put in situations where they are expected to fail, their performance does plummet. They turn into different people. Their head literally shuts down, and they end up confirming the expectations. When they’re expected to win, their performance shoots back up. Same person, difference expectations.1
To put a twist on a classic Jim Rohn quote-
“If you really believe you will succeed at something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t believe, you’ll find an excuse.”
Just so you know… people with greater self-confidence don’t necessarily “feel” more confident when they choose to move forward.
Instead, they have learned that taking the next step is what builds your confidence. We all learn the way on the way.
The advantage/benefit of having health self-confidence isn’t all about personal achievement. It can also positively impact how others perceive you.
2. Quiet Confidence Generates Greater Admiration From Others.
Researchers like Kilduff & Galinsky have confirmed through many studies that people tend to hold in higher regard those who express confidence in what they say and do.
One of the brains shortcuts to quickly form an impression is called “the confidence heuristic.” This brain bias tends to automatically accord high status and respect to confident individuals. The brain’s auto system shortcut seems to conclude, “If someone seems to believe in what they are saying, they are probably right.”
I also think there is something else unconsciously going on. I believe we all secretly desire the ability to feel confident and certain, especially in the context of uncertainty. We crave certainty. We admire that quality… and those who exhibit it.
This certainty doesn’t mean the quietly confident person ALWAYS thinks their opinion is right. As described in more detail here (10 Attractive Qualities of a Quietly Confident Person), the person with healthy self-confidence is the first to admit when they are wrong or that they don’t know the answer.
It means they are not plagued with doubts over what they know or believe, even as they are open to new information that could change their view. People admire those who are both confident in what they believe and quick to admit when they are wrong or not sure.
3. Quiet Confidence is Seen as Being More Physically Attractive
A study published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science revealed that giving men some cologne improved their confidence enough to be rated as visibly more attractive in photographs.
Did you catch that?
It wasn’t that the cologne made them smell more attractive. Instead, they put on cologne, which made them feel differently about themselves… then they were photographed.
The men in those pictures who were wearing the invisible cologne (and as a result felt more confident in their appearance) were rated by viewers as more attractive.
This phenomenon is also seen in people who dress up (for work, for a speech, when going out). When you look better (more professional, or maximize your physical attractiveness), you feel better and more confident about yourself. That gets non-verbally communicated as greater confidence.
In another study, researchers noted that women who displayed a confident smile toward a man attracted more positive attention and were viewed more favorably.
Bottom line: People who exude confidence (from whatever source) trigger an unconscious reaction of attraction in those who see them. We are drawn to confident people.
4. Quiet Confidence Improves Your Relationships
People with healthy self-confidence are less self-conscious and worried about what people think of them. As a result, they are able to focus more fully on others.
When you not preoccupied with yourself, people relax around you because you are focused outward and able to bring out the best in others.
In contrast, the self-focused person (seen in both the “l’m so awesome” and “I’m desperate to fit in” types) is so preoccupied with themselves that they offer very little to make others feel welcomed, accepted or valued.
This type of secure confidence also enhances close relationships especially when both people in the relationship are secure and not afraid to state their views, feelings or needs. There is courage and/or safety in play. This type of transparent, honest approach can lead to a healthier give and take relationship that is mutually satisfying to BOTH parties.
Quiet, secure self-confidence not only enhances one’s relationships, it also offers some HUGE personal benefits.
5. Quiet Confidence Reduces Stress
One of the benefits of being less self-conscious and preoccupied with what people think of you is a reduction in the low-grade anxiety you feel when you are always worried about the thoughts and opinions of others.
When those worries stop running constantly in the background of your mind, you experience a relaxed freedom from that type of stress.
Self-confidence also reduces the background stress and anxiety caused by the fear of failing or being seen as a failure or stupid.
These types of background stress add up. It is hard to envision the difference in energy you can experience when these sources are eliminated… but it is true, and amazingly liberating.
6. Quiet Confidence Gives Freedom from Conflict Avoidance
Too many of us spend our whole life avoiding conflict. This leads to a shrunken life, forced to live within limited boundaries dictated by the people around us.
Instead, when you believe in yourself, you are able to face challenging people and situations with a new fearlessness.
You are able to handle the inherent tension… and even make it to the other side of resolution and mutual understanding… rather than folding prematurely.
Even in those situations with conflict prone personalities (they always have to be right, get their way), when you are secure in who you are and what you believe, you can actually accept where they have valid points while comfortably agreeing to disagree in areas that are not legitimate.
Since you are secure and confident in who you are and what you believe, you aren’t crushed if the other person doesn’t agree with or accept your position.
7. Quiet Confidence Leads to a Richer, More Engaging Life.
People with quiet confidence are not afraid of new or challenging situations. They know regularly stretching yourself outside your comfort zone is the path to growth, success and a fuller, more impactful life.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” — George Addai.
Additional Reading: Comfort Zone Escape: 5½ Powerful Reasons Why It’s Worth It.
In fact, in a fascinating study conducted by Yale University, researchers found that if you are facing a predictable environment or outcome, your brain just coasts. However, if there is some level of uncertainty, the brain goes into hyper-learning mode… and you grow.
In another study, research psychologists Yerkes and Dodson revealed that for us to operate at our highest capacity (what I call fully alive), we need to be in a state of ‘relative’ or ‘optimal’ anxiety (where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal).
In other words, we are at our best just outside our comfort zone (where our senses are heightened, and we feel more alive and alert).
People with a robust sense of quiet confidence are always growing, learning, trying (and at times failing)… and enlarging their capacity to experience life.
Why just survive and play it safe, when you can grow and become a bigger, better version of yourself?
Everyday you must choose to survive… or thrive. I choose to stretch myself and thrive. Will you?