How to be confident but humble is an interesting idea to ponder. Confidence and humility seem like two conflicting traits, but they actually provide the perfect balance to our personality.
Because without confidence, you have low self-esteem, and without humility, you act arrogant. So it’s important to know how to be both confident and humble.
In order to know this, we need to explore these character traits individually first.
- What is confidence?
- How do you show confidence without being arrogant?
- How do you exhibit confidence?
- So what does humility mean?
- What is the difference between being humble and having a low self-esteem?
- What is a humble person like?
- How do I become more humble?
- Confidence and humility
What is confidence?
According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
I like the word appreciation used in this definition. Let’s think of appreciation in another way. When you like somebody, you usually appreciate them for who they are. Maybe you like that they’re smart, athletic, funny, or just a really nice person.
I’d suggest to you that appreciating your abilities and qualities is basically liking yourself. And if you don’t like yourself, you likely don’t exhibit confidence either.
I like who I am as a person. And as a result, I generally feel confident in most situations with people. But it did take me time to figure how I liked myself, which maybe people don’t talk about enough.
Confidence involves liking how you are as a person. It’s not being the loudest, funniest, or smartest person in the room. I think that’s what a lot of us tend to think of as confidence. In actuality, confidence is just being you in the way you feel most comfortable. In the way that you feel fits you.
For some people, they generally like being loud and colorful in their personality. For me, I generally like being chill and relaxed in my personality.
Think about all of your interactions with people and the moments you were liking yourself the most. Was it when you were thoughtful, silly, energetic, or some other trait? Whatever the trait or traits were, that’s your comfort zone of confidence.
And this isn’t to say your confidence in yourself has to be based on only a specific set of traits. For example, sometimes I feel confidence in myself being loud and animated. The human personality is too complex to be boiled down to one or two things all the time.
But the core of how I feel my most comfortable and confident, is generally when I’m just being chill, thoughtful, and maybe a little silly. Take time to discover what that core is for you.
How do you show confidence without being arrogant?
It can be tricky sometimes, but there is a line between confidence and arrogance. The way that I look at it, confidence is liking who you are. Arrogance is expecting that everybody else should like who you are.
Expecting that everyone should appreciate how amazing you are and acting like you’re better than everyone else.
Now the tricky part is, it’s fine to express something you feel good about yourself with. For instance, I feel good about my writing. But you don’t have to constantly talk about how good you feel about your traits or abilities to other people.
A truly confident person let’s their traits and abilities do the talking for them. They let other people notice and appreciate those traits and abilities without having to tell them.
I don’t go around telling people I’m the most laid-back kind person in the world. Because firstly, out of 8 billion people in this world I’m probably (definitely) not. And secondly, most of the time I talk to people, they just realize I’m laid back and kind without me having to say something.
So when you let other people realize what makes you interesting and unique on their own, you display confidence without arrogance.
How do you exhibit confidence?
Showing confidence usually involves some smiling, standing tall, shoulders back, sitting with your arms and legs spread out to look relaxed, speaking in a loud enough voice for someone to hear you, and so on.
These are all things you can try doing to show more confidence. But I think the easier way this can happen naturally is when you just feel good about yourself.
You’re looking the way you like, you feel physically good, and you know how you like to be yourself. When you have all of these factors together, you tend to naturally do the things that show confidence. Because you actually feel like smiling, standing tall, and speaking up.
So what does humility mean?
The Oxford dictionary defines humility as having a modest or low view of one’s own importance.
I think of the word perspective when I see this definition. Being humble is recognizing that you’re filled with both strengths and weaknesses. To put it another way, knowing that as many positive traits you may have, you’re aware that you’re also flawed too.
As a result of being humble, you’re more able to empathize with other people. There was a time in my life I probably thought I was a really “good” person to the point of judging people for not being as “good”.
But it was when I made some of the same mistakes that I judged other people for, that I began to have more humility. Going back to that word perspective, I gained a greater understanding of how we all have figurative skeletons in our closets.
Because of that humble understanding, it helps us to try to be more forgiving and find ways to help people do better in life. That’s what makes humility a strength and not a weakness.
What is the difference between being humble and having a low self-esteem?
Humility can often get confused with having low self-esteem. Being humble is recognizing that you’re flawed and have weaknesses.
In contrast, having low self-esteem is only viewing yourself as having flaws and weaknesses, and rarely acknowledging your own strengths.
What is a humble person like?
When I think of examples of being humble, I think of a good team player on a sports team. For example, the quarterback of a football team tends to get a lot of credit for winning the game.
But instead of tooting their own horn. they often acknowledge all the people that they couldn’t have won without.
They acknowledge how good the offensive line played in blocking for them, how great the wide receivers were at catching the ball, how good the running back was, how great the coaches were, and so many other things.
A person with humility will always acknowledge and recognize the people that were a part of helping them be successful at achieving a goal.
A humble person will also acknowledge their failures and shortcomings when it comes to who they are. They’re open to people’s criticism and recognizing what they need to improve on, regardless of how much they feel they know, or what their status is.
Humble people don’t see themselves as better than anyone, no matter how much lower someone else’s status is compared to them. They give respect and kindness to people in a lower status just as much as they would someone in a higher status.
There are many other examples of how a humble person acts, but these are some of the main ways you can tell that someone lives their life with humility.
How do I become more humble?
To have more humility, you have to first recognize your own flaws. I recognize that I’m not always as nice, considerate, and selfless as I want to believe I am.
I know sometimes I can be unkind, inconsiderate, and selfish. Through being aware of that, I’m able to try to be a better person.
What also can help you to have a humble attitude is listening to others. At times you might to have to ask people to be really honest, because the people that care about you will sometimes try to avoid being too harsh for the sake of your feelings.
I think in some sense, everybody needs at least one person in their life they’re close with who isn’t shy about giving their opinions on anything and anybody.
I’m lucky to have a person like that in my life, because it keeps me from ever getting too high on myself and always improving, which is an advantage of humility
Another way you can practice humility is by being nice, respectful, and conversational with people who can’t offer you anything. When you can be just as respectful with someone who has nothing they can offer you, as you are with someone who can offer you anything, that’s a good sign you’ve become more humble.
How to be confident but humble
We’ve gone over what it means to be confident, and what it means to be humble. Now we just have to put both of these traits together.
To be confident but humble is to basically not allow yourself to be so confident that you think you’re better than everyone else, and so humble that you think you’re not as important as anybody else.
I’ve talked to people from many different walks of life. I’ve been both the person that was looked down on, and the person that looked down on someone for being different.
For the first part of that statement about being looked down on, you can remember this quote attributed to Elenore Roosevelt. “No can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think this line sums up what being confident is all about.
It’s feeling good about yourself, and not letting anyone make you feel down about yourself. For the most part I’ve gotten to that point in my life.
When you know who you are, and have figured out how you like to be yourself, any words people say with the intention of bringing you down don’t matter.
For the second part of my earlier statement about looking down on others, I think this quote by Charles Spurgeon sums up humility perfectly. “Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.”
When you overestimate yourself as a person, you underestimate others as people. As a result, your underestimation of others translates to a lack of caring for others.
When you make a right estimate of yourself, you’re more able to make a right estimate of others, which translates to being better at caring for all people.
Closing tips on being confident but humble
Now you know more about confidence and humility than you might have known about it before. And because you know more, now you can put it into action. Here’s a summary in 10 tips of what you can do to be confident and stay humble at the same time.
- Write down what you like about yourself and review it from time to time to feel good inside.
- Think about the moments you felt most confident and what you liked about how you were acting.
- Practice acting in that way in your next interactions with people.
- Work on your appearance and your physical health to feel your best so you can act your best.
- Brush off any destructive comments people make about you and choose to keep feeling good.
- Write down your weaknesses and flaws.
- Practice acknowledging other people’s help in your successes.
- Have compassion for those who are different than you.
- Communicate with kindness and respect to people who are of higher and lower status than you.
- Listen to people’s constructive feedback of you, and try to use that to be a better person.
Knowing how to be both confident and humble allows you to treat yourself well and treat others well too. It sounds like the best kind of world we could all strive to live in.
What ways do you practice being confident but humble? I’d be happy to hear your comments on the subject. It might be helpful to me and helpful to others reading this. I hope all of this advice will help you be a more confident yet humble person in the future.
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