(Originally printed on Elite Daily)
I once dated a guy who brimmed with authentic confidence. From the start, we had chemistry and I quickly formed a pretty solid crush on him.
He was in charge of his businesses, took care of his health and enjoyed a positive outlook of himself and those around him. I already had butterflies each time we went out, but then, one night, he blew me away.
We chatted over a glass of wine and I made a joke about my tiny studio apartment. Without missing a beat, he jumped in and made a crack about his “tiny penis.” What? A man making fun of his own tiny penis?
My world was so rocked by his unselfconscious ability to make fun of his most precious man part that I was suddenly wildly smitten. I didn’t care how big his penis was because his balls were clearly gigantic! I was obsessed.
It can, of course, be argued that this man’s moment of self-deprecating humor was just a method to lower his expectations.
Yet, from our perspective, it was the cherry on top of an already abundant chocolate sundae of self-esteem. He could be so real because he knew an inch or two wouldn’t make or break him.
Posturing, puffing out his chest and acting “bigger,” aren’t necessary. He displayed courage to express the truth as he saw it, however risky, unsightly or teeny that truth may have been.
We call this “acting from inner authority,” and it is the first of five ways we define authentic confidence.
Confidence is the sexiest attribute out there. It’s the quality that cuts through age, beauty and economic status. Fortunately, it is available to all. Read on to see how we define it and how you might add more of it to your life.
Yes, applying these principles of confidence will up your magnetism and help others become instantly smitten.
And, they will also make your life more awesome. So, give yourself a little more; you’re gonna love way you feel.
1. Confidence is the ability to act from your inner authority
Most of us get easily swayed by others’ opinions, expectations and what we are “supposed to” do, say and feel. Confident people don’t.
Confident people make decisions from their inner authority, regardless of the outcome or consequences. This doesn’t mean they are immoral or unethical — it’s actually far from it.
Confident people have a respect for others, including themselves. They show it by taking action from their true instincts, not from expectations. If they do go with the grain, they check in with their inner authority first.
Lesson: Check in with yourself before making decisions. Avoid getting caught up in trying to please others by saying the “right” thing or being the “right” kind of person.
Speak what you know to be true under all circumstances. You have the strength to manage any opposition.
2. Confidence is the ability to feel safe being vulnerable
Acting tough actually connotes weakness of character. Confident people are not afraid to express their fears, tell others when they are hurt and let people know about their deeper ambitions, dreams and hopes.
Confident people can show their soft underbellies without fear. Those who lack confidence do all they can to deny their “weakness” and hide it in dark corners of their hearts and minds.
But, someone who is truly self-assured knows the judgment of others or the disappointments of life will never define them. They would never give up their power to outside forces.
Lesson: Allow yourself to be exposed. Cry if you’re in pain, express your authentic disappointments and let others in on the real you. Avoid locking up your heart; it isn’t necessary. Your underbelly is an asset.
3. Confidence is dressing to impress yourself
Confident people tend to look confident. They accept that we live in a visual world and use this to their advantage. They appreciate the reality of their physical body types and dress it accordingly.
Not trying to hide features, they wear clothes that fit, highlight assets and make statements. Not trying to overcompensate, they avoid baring a distracting amount of skin. Confident people dress to express their real selves.
Lesson: Dress yourself as if you’re the lead character in your own smash hit movie. Be real about your body; accept its unique beauty and human flaws. Honor your physical self by adorning it joyfully. Allow others to see you. Stand tall.
4. Confidence is having the strength to remain enthusiastic
Hate, criticism, negativity and disapproval of others are cheap expressions from a person who needs to bolster his or her own weak sense of self.
It is easy to turn “cool” and pessimistic in order to protect against disappointment. Confident people don’t need these strategies; they are able to maintain a youthful sense of joy about life.
If disappointments come their way, they know they can handle them. There’s no need to preempt tragedy. Confident people keep their excitement about life intact, regardless of circumstances or events.
Lesson: Show confidence by being bravely enthusiastic. Let others witness your joy, excitement and delight. Avoid protecting yourself with cynicism. Love fully.
5. Confidence is being on your own path
Confident people know and feel that their lives have purpose. They use their talents, explore their interests and are engaged with the world in a way that reflects their authentic values.
Because they genuinely love the lives they’ve built for themselves, they don’t need others to provide them with a feeling of value and meaning.
This keeps them centered and self-reliant. They will connect with people who enhance their experiences and remove those who block them from walking their paths.
Lesson: Build confidence by living your values. If you hate your job, take action toward finding work you believe in. Consciously make friends who inspire you. Engage in life-enhancing hobbies.
Take pride in the specific way you walk your path. When your life has worth, you feel self-worth. Self-worth equals self-confidence.