As a man, you don’t gain real confidence from one day to the next.
Of course, anyone can puff out their chest, stand tall and feign confidence.
But real, unadulterated confidence and self-assurance? This comes from deep within; it comes from within.
To achieve this, you need to work on your daily behavior. And you have to get rid of certain habits that you have developed to please other people.
You have to live and exist for yourself first and foremost.
In this article, I’ll take you through the people-pleasing behaviors you need to let go of if you really want to achieve self-confidence.
Once you make the switch, you can expect a whole new world of confidence and swagger to open up to you.
Let’s dive in!
1) Constantly seeking approval
As established, true confidence comes from within – not from what everyone else says or thinks about you.
The constant need to seek approval is the behavior of an insecure man.
As your confidence grows, people’s opinions become more and more irrelevant.
While the insecure person may constantly question themselves and need the validation of others to gain a sense of self-worth, a confidante has an inherent, almost built-in belief in their abilities and decisions.
He is steadfast, he is adamant and he knows what he stands for.
And that’s all that matters to him.
For example, the less confident men may overshare on social media, posting topless selfies at the gym and the like, to get instant validation in the form of likes.
But anyone with common sense knows that abusing social media for likes screams insecurity.
The confidant, meanwhile, will not post often to gain admiration.
He’s comfortable enough with who he is internally and doesn’t need external approval from followers to feel better about himself.
See the difference?
2) Avoid conflict at all costs
While the insecure person wants to ingratiate themselves with everyone – even if it means sacrificing their dignity – the trusting person is comfortable enough with themselves to be able to express their opinions respectfully and eloquently.
They have no qualms about rocking the boat or ruffling a few feathers every now and then if it means getting their point across.
He has a solid foundation on which he stands, usually with an even sturdier set of values.
He will not often change his fundamental beliefs to temporarily please a few people.
He remains sincere; and while this may mean the occasional debate or disagreement, he will not often back down.
3) Doing too much or saying ‘yes’ to everything
I understand. Saying ‘no’ isn’t the easiest task in the world.
I mean, dealing with someone else’s disappointment is not an ideal scenario for anyone, no matter how briefly.
I used to have trouble saying a firm “no,” always worried and guilty about upsetting the other person on the spot.
So instead I would either half-heartedly agree, only to deviate later and cause even greater conflict; or I would say yes and jeopardize my own obligations.
This was low value behavior.
When I started learning to say “no,” my self-confidence started to soar.
I have learned to set healthy boundaries and value my own time and priorities.
And while my newfound ability to turn people away might have yielded a few more distorted expressions, so be it.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small price to pay.
Always prioritize self-care and personal growth.
Ignoring your needs can certainly erode trust over time.
4) Never take risks
Insecure men are often afraid to take risks. But this shouldn’t be the case.
Anything that has value in this life will always involve some risk – something the confidante is deeply attuned to.
They understand that rejection is a fundamental part of life.
Everyone, and I mean everyone – rich, poor, handsome, beautiful – has been rejected at some point in life.
Instead of using it as a permanent blow to the ego, and taking it as a deeply personal insult, they will use rejection as a learning experience, as a platform to bounce back stronger than ever.
Once you make the distinction, you can expect some big changes to follow.
5) Constantly changing to fit in
When you lack confidence, you tend to be hyper-aware of adapting to trends.
Whatever the latest outfit you see your favorite celebrity wearing on Instagram, you’ll almost immediately strive to replicate it.
But this isn’t exactly the most authentic behavior in the world.
And from my experience, authenticity and trust are virtually synonymous.
Truly confident men don’t want to dress or fit in like everyone else; they don’t live to be just a cog in the system.
They almost always embrace their uniqueness and individuality rather than trying to conform to what everyone else is doing.
They make their own path; do not follow those of others.
6) Excessive apologizing
A telltale sign of the man with low self-confidence? Serial apologies.
They apologize for every little thing that seems like human error.
Sometimes they will end up ‘regretting’ their practical existence.
Apologizing too much when you lack self-esteem makes sense…
You are so insecure about yourself that you might believe that everything you do or say is inherently wrong.
So I’m here to tell you to stop always having regrets! You are human and therefore susceptible to imperfection.
While it is crucial to be able to apologize when necessary, over-apologizing will invariably subconsciously erode your self-confidence.
Of course, be responsible, but at the same time avoid unnecessary remorse.
7) Not standing up for yourself
Confidence means being assertive when it counts.
You don’t remain passive, especially when your platform and voice can make a difference in your life or the lives of other people.
You see, most men will often take a passive or neutral stance on life’s controversial issues because they don’t want to upset people or shake up the status quo.
But this is not a problem if you have deep-rooted trust.
You want to put your foot down and stand up for yourself and others when necessary.
As the esteemed Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Confidential men are rarely neutral.
If you want to be more confident, remember: it is never too late to change.
Unlearning ingrained behavior is not easy by any means. Start small. Take it one day.
Celebrate your victories, both big and small; and fake it until you make it.
Sure, at first your new habits may not feel completely organic or natural.
Don’t get discouraged.
Over time, and with enough dedication and commitment, you will get to where you want to be.
And once you do, there’s no going back.
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