If you read any of Gregg’s books, or many of the blog posts or pages on this site, you see the word “confidence” quite often, and you’re probably wondering why on earth we harp on confidence so much. It’s Kirbie today, and I’m going to start off by clearly defining what confidence is:
Confidence is knowing what you are good at, what kind of value you bring to other people, and being able to behave in a way that conveys your confidence to those around you.
Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance – something that is easy to do! Arrogance comes about when you believe you are better at something than you really are, but you act as if you’re providing more value than you really are. Confidence is hot. Arrogance is not.
Studies have shown that men are more attracted to the confidence a woman exudes with a smile than they may be to her overall attractiveness.
In the study cited above, men and women were both found to prefer a confident partner. Confidence makes a person seem more trustworthy – in other words, when you’re confident, men will believe your dating sales pitch!
Here are a few ways you may unknowingly be showing your lack of confidence
Giving reasons for things that happen
Let’s say you are walking up to meet your new guy and you trip over something. Someone who lacks confidence will immediately begin with “There must be a bump in the carpet there!.” A confident person will probably chuckle and say “oh well” IF they say anything at all!
Giving reasons for poor performance
Imagine you and your guy are out on a bowling date – you manage to bowl a 75. Your man may say something like – “Wow 75! You’re like a bowling pro!” Whether it’s a high score for you or a low score, a low confidence individual may say something like “Weeelllllll I had a blister on my thumb and my shoes were too tight”. Someone who has great confidence will probably say something like “YAY ME!”, IF they say anything at all! I might note that this type of criticism from him shows his lack of confidence!
Compensating for Inabilities
Nobody, and I mean nobody, is good at everything, despite their desire to be. A person who lacks confidence expects herself to be good at everything and tries to compensate when confronted. For example, let’s say one of your girlfriends says “Girl you look really beat today!” If you’re a confident individual, you may just say “Yea I had a rough night” or something like that. A person who lacks confidence might say “I’m never tired! I don’t need sleep!”
Body Language is Everything
We’ve all heard about using body language to our best advantage. This goes for confidence as well. That arms-folded, legs crossed body language not only shows you as being closed off, it indicates a lack of confidence. Confident people reserve this position for when they’re absolutely freezing OR they have been offended. It really says something when you use it right!
This kind of goes back to our poor performance above. Perfectionists don’t feel that they can ever make a mistake. This is a dangerous mindset. It can cause you much turmoil and stress. It can even be debilitating to some individuals. Facing an environment where failure may occur can be paralyzing for some folks. This goes back to not having enough confidence to believe in your abilities to overcome mistakes. Confident people know mistakes are part of life. Rather than sweat mistakes, they realize that a mistake is a learning opportunity and they move on.
Inability to Accept a Compliment
If someone pays you a compliment, how do you react? Do you get embarrassed and uncomfortable? If so, this shows a lack of confidence. The confident person will hear a compliment and simply say “Thank you”. Nothing more, nothing less.
Maintaining Eye Contact
If you lack confidence, you probably find it difficult to maintain eye contact with someone. In a relationship, this can be very detrimental as maintaining eye contact helps build intimacy and shows you are paying attention. When you don’t want to maintain eye contact, you are really indicating that you don’t want someone to look too far past your façade.
I once knew someone who took more than a year to buy a car. At the time, I couldn’t understand it, but now I get it. Poor guy (still) can’t make a decision to save his life. This is a typical experience for people who lack confidence. They don’t believe in their ability to make a decision about even the most basic things, so the biggies, like a car, can be paralyzing.
This list of signs is not complete, but these are the highlights. Look through and think honestly about your own life. Do you do any of these things? You don’t have to do all of them, and I think most of us can see ourselves in one of them, but the trick now is to identify whether or not you do lack confidence, so that as you build your confidence back up, you will see it in your actions – and so will others!
If you’d like to get more help with your confidence, read Comfortable in Your Own Shoes