Confidence doesn’t just make us feel good when we enter a room or open our mouths to speak—it’s critical to achievement. Marcus Garvey famously said, “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started.”

We all consider confidence (not to be confused with cockiness) to be an attractive quality. It’s something we collectively value and wish to cultivate, yet it often eludes us. Even people who you perceive as exceedingly confident have moments of self-doubt and hesitation. Confidence is not all or nothing—it can be developed, and that’s great news for those of us who could use a boost.


6 Traits That Exceptionally Confident People Have in Common

By examining the traits of highly confident people, you can learn to be more self-assured.

1. They don’t make excuses.

If you want to take credit for your successes, you should be willing to take responsibility for the role you play in your struggles. Don’t waste precious time and energy trying to justify your circumstances, shortcomings, and failures with excuses. Take ownership of your thoughts, actions, and reactions.

2. They have a purpose, and they act on it.

When you’ve identified your why—the reason behind your desire for achievement—it functions as a compelling motivator. By identifying your true purpose, your goals and actions will be more focused.


3. They embrace the inevitability of failure and view it as a tool for growth.

Setbacks are simply part of life.  You cannot escape failure, but you can control what happens next. When you fall down, do you get right back up? It’s important to take stock of what happened, learn the lessons there are to be learned, and try again—stronger and wiser.


4. They don’t let anything or anyone stand in the way of their dreams.

Confident people don’t concern themselves with insecure critiques, whether they come from other people or themselves. They know how to disregard their detractors and manage negative self-talk.


5. They crave progress, not perfection.

If you strive for perfection, disappointment is guaranteed. Wait for the “perfect” time or circumstances and you’ll wait forever. To get where you want to go, you have to keep moving. Every trek up a mountain is completed one step at a time. Jump on opportunities when they arise, take a risk, enjoy the journey.  And whatever you do—never stop learning.


6. They have no problem asking for help.

It takes confidence to raise your hand and ask for support. It’s impossible to singlehandedly know and do it all. Seeking help doesn’t indicate a lack of knowledge, experience, or skill. Allow it to make you feel empowered, not threatened or inadequate.


5 Effective Ways to Develop More Confidence

As is true of achieving any goal, cultivating increased confidence takes work and persistence. Here are several ways you can foster self-confidence.

1. Shine a light on the dark places.

Take an honest inventory of yourself, and identify the areas where your thoughts, skills, or abilities are limiting your confidence. Before you can hit a target, you must first set your sights squarely on that target.


2. Tap into your strengths.

Think about the situations that make you feel most confident. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you around? How does it feel? Draw out the details. Make a point to put yourself there more often—both physically and mentally.


3. Expand your skill set.

Confidence is built by way of continuous learning and doing. Get out of your comfort zone, and put some effort into the areas you identified as lacking in self-confidence. Keep it up. Practice doesn’t make perfect—perfection is not what you’re aiming for. Practice makes progress.


4. End the comparison game.

It’s easier said than done, but you have to stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on what you have and how far you’ve come. Celebrate your wins, even the small ones. Take a social media break if it’s adding fuel to the fire.


5. Find a cheerleader.

While it’s true that confidence is an inner state of being, it is influenced by external factors. If you can’t totally remove toxic people from your life, limit your time with them. Surround yourself with positive individuals who inspire, motivate, and support you. Don’t have ideal cheerleaders at your fingertips?  Refer to trait #6 above (ask for help). A life coach is a great resource.

Remember, you’re a work in progress—just like everyone else on Earth. If your confidence levels aren’t where you want them to be, today’s the day to start changing that. Action builds confidence. Take a step. Now is as good a time as any.


To your Game Changing Success,