We all know men who are confident. But when we think of confidence, many of us are not sure how to define it. Confidence can come across in many ways. Some want to project confidence and come across as arrogant, others are obviously just pretending to be sitting on the throne of confidence in an attempt to mask their insecurities. True confidence is a rare trait, and those who have it are immediately recognizable as well as more likely to be successful.
In business, in relationships and in life, men who are confident always have an advantage over those who are uncertain of their abilities. The simple fact is, confident men make more money and do better in the dating world than those who do not.
So how does one learn to be confident? What habits and routines does one employ to reach that place of ultimate grace and true faith in oneself and abilities? We decided to ask 10 confident men which habits they employ to be so self-assured in the first place. Here is how they stay on top of their game.
1. They Trust Their Instincts
To be a truly confident man, one has to trust his own instincts. This is one of the main differences between being a true leader and a pretender. At the same time, this does not mean being impulsive — a confident man tends to be instinctual but still think things through.
Dr. Sivan Finkel, a top New York dentist who knows a thing or two about success and confidence, breaks this down: “I pay very close attention to my instincts and let them generally guide my overall life plan. At the same time, there’s an important distinction to be made: Being in tune with my instincts does not mean acting impulsively. That’s what animals do — the beauty of the human mind is our ability to think critically! My instincts hold a lot of weight to me, but I still look at every big decision logically from every angle before I act. Same thing goes for emotions. Someone smart once told me, ‘don’t react to your emotions, just observe them.'”
2. They See Everything As An Opportunity
Men who lack confidence often become daunted when faced with difficult tasks or things they are unfamiliar with. A man with confidence will face a challenge and look at a setback as an opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally.
Bill Beckler, co-founder of the successful travel startup AllTheRooms, concurs: “I help run a high-tech start-up. If something’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. The more nearly impossible, the better. There have to be obstacles on the path that have kept other people from going that route. Otherwise, we just haven’t yet figured out what makes it a bad idea, and once we’ve done it we’ll regret the effort. When we confirm it’s technically challenging enough to scare everyone else away, we get excited and we pursue it to completion.”
3. They Focus On What They Want
This may sound easy, but to a man who lacks confidence it is anything but simple. Confident men choose their own path and don’t waste time trying to please others.
Andrew O’Brien is the founder of the PR firm The Publicity Guy, and he has been featured on over 70 media outlets. “Confidence is key when it comes to focusing on what you want. It circles back to mentality; you have to believe that you are capable of getting what you want. The law of attraction is real, you attract your dreams by believing they’re possible,” he says.
4. They Take Risks
Confident men attempt to reach their goals even if it means they won’t be taking the safest route. It you are going to aim to accomplish your biggest dreams, you might end up spending a bit of time struggling financially. And a lot of people will doubt you. But a man who has true confidence shrugs this off and continues on his path.
Novelist Patrick Quinlan is one of those people. “When I was in my mid-20s, I decided I wanted to write novels for a living. So I started writing. I did this at night, after work and sometimes on weekends. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy. My family, friends, everybody. They thought I was wasting my time. A couple of people told me they were embarrassed for me. I plugged along, piling up hundreds of rejections — 500 or more. Yes, rejections. Finally, I signed a contract for my novel Smoked to be published in the United States two weeks after I finished it. Two weeks after that, I got a worldwide deal. I was 34 years old, and had been trying to get a publishing deal for eight years.”
5. They Learn From Their Mistakes
Even a confident man can make mistakes. We all do. But the difference is that confident men understand mistakes are part of living. They accept their mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Seth Leaf Pruzansky is the entrepreneur behind the Tourmaline Spring bottled water brand. “If we, as healthy confident men, make a mistake once and know it doesn’t ultimately serve us, we usually learn right away and correct [the mistake] by not repeating it. But what happens if we don’t learn and instead continue to repeat that same mistake over and over again? Usually, in that situation, we stop realizing that it is a mistake and it then becomes a habit,” he says.
“When you know better but don’t do better, you end up paying greater. At least I did. I discovered that the key to learning is paying attention and taking careful steps not to repeat the same mistakes. If you do tha, you might just find that attention starts to pay you. It may even pay you big time!”
6. They Show Empathy
There is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. Whether in business or in a personal relationship, it is important not to put others down to build yourself up. Being mean and acting superior shows insecurity, not true confidence.
Gene Caballero is the founder of GreenPal, a company that has been described as “Uber for lawns”. “One of the traits I have as a confident man is being empathetic. You need to have the ability to relate to your friends, employees, and family and be able to put yourself in the soul of the people around you to gain their trust. And gaining trust builds confidence,” he says.
7. They Act As The Prize Is Already Theirs
When you are a confident man, you already know you will succeed in whatever you try, whether it is getting that promotion or that date with the woman of your dreams. Of course, that does not mean you will not stumble on the way. But the end result is practically already assured.
“Growing a startup is a delicate dance. If you look at it objectively, you’re more likely to fail than to succeed. But fear and doubt cannot inspire a team, investors, partnerships, and customers. You need to declare some of your victories even while you’re still on the march or your army will falter,” says Beckler.
8. They Have A Strong Sense Of Self
What is confidence if not knowing and accepting yourself? If you are confident, you do not have the herd mentality and you are not just looking to fit in. You are comfortable with who you are and you own it.
“At 32, I know myself very well. And because so far I’ve proven myself to myself, at this point no one can sway me from what I know is right for me (career-wise, relationship-wise, etc.). I’ve also learned to have a healthy dose of skepticism towards the advice of others, because unfortunately most people have an agenda of their own,” says Finkel.
9. They Accept Change
No matter how confident you are, things that force you to change course are going to happen. Your confidence is not always going to be able to protect you from this happening, and when change does occur, accepting it is a true hallmark of self-assuredness.
Pruzansky says embracing change had a positive impact on his life. “I found that the more I resisted my situation, the more my resistance [lead] to tremendous suffering on a body/mind/spirit level. It was only when I surrendered, let go and stopped resisting change that my life improved. And it not only improved, it improved in positive ways that I could have never imagined! In my experience, accepting change is a major personal prerequisite to healthy growth,” he says.
10. They Take Care Of Themselves
Taking care of yourself is a must if you want to possess true confidence. This means different things to different people. To some confident men, it may mean hours in the gym. To others, it’s all about mental health.
“A confident man takes care of himself mentally before physically. He takes time to learn self-love and self-appreciation before looking to others for approval first. A confident man learns to approve of himself before hoping that others do,” says O’Brien.