The signs of a confident woman are hard to miss. You definitely know one when you see her — but do you see those signs in yourself?
When you walk into a room, do you feel confident like you own it?
Or do you tend to hide in the corner trying to fly under the radar or simply blend in with the crowd?
It can be hard to exude confidence as a woman, especially in our competitive, media-driven society that sends so many messages about who we are supposed to be and how we should look.
Fortunately, you can become a more confident woman by changing some of your mindsets and practicing the skills of confidence — skills that can be learned.
One thing that confident women have in common is the self-awareness to recognize their imperfections and even celebrate them.
They know their strengths, where they have room for improvement, and when to step back and let others take the lead.
You may be a confident woman in one area of your life, but signs of confidence in other areas.
So how do you become a self-confident woman in everything you do?
Let’s look at the traits that confident women often share and how you can increase your confidence to embrace just how kickass and amazing you are.
- Cocky vs. Confident
- Signs of a Confident Woman in a Relationship
- 29 Signs of a Confident Woman
- 1. She knows herself.
- 2. She knows her limits.
- 3. She knows when to say no.
- 4. She takes personal responsibility for her emotions.
- 5. She figures out what she wants.
- 6. She is of service to others.
- 7. She knows when to be first.
- 8. She is a lifelong learner.
- 9. She avoids procrastination.
- 10. She cultivates resilience.
- 11. She doesn’t follow the crowd.
- 12. She is bold.
- 13. She can spend time alone.
- 14. She accepts her reality.
- 15. She is kind to herself.
- 16. She keeps moving forward.
- 17. She dresses to impress.
- 18. She is assertive.
- 19. She recognizes and celebrates her uniqueness.
- 20. She develops her interests and talents.
- 21. She enjoys being independent.
- 22. She stays true to herself.
- 23. She doesn’t take things personally.
- 24. She asks empowering questions.
- 25. She seeks to improve the world.
- 26. She writes her own rules.
- 27. She develops a confidence ritual.
- 28. She embraces her purpose.
- 29. She practices self-love
Cocky vs. Confident
A cocky person, as the word implies, is like a cock or rooster strutting his stuff. Cockiness comes from insecurity and the need to show off and brag to feel more self-worth.
Confidence begins with a healthy sense of self-worth and a realistic acceptance of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It reflects a core of poise, self-assurance, and self-awareness, as well as a growth mindset and positive outlook.
Sometimes people view confidence in a woman as cockiness. A strong, forceful, opinionated woman often has to deal with misperceptions and gender biases that try to turn her strength into a character flaw.
Cocky men are more often given a pass as confident and strong. Confident women, however, are labeled as arrogant and brash. But women who are confident know the difference and can take these criticisms with a grain of salt.
Signs of a Confident Woman in a Relationship
Confidence is one of the most important qualities a woman can have. However, studies have shown that it doesn’t occur in women as often as men, which creates an obvious confidence gap.
Ironically, the most often cited quality both men and women look for in a romantic partner is confidence.
- Believing in your own value and self-worth, recognizing and appreciating your skills and positive traits, and viewing yourself as a “good catch” make you more attractive to a potential romantic partner.
- Recognizing that you are a competent, strong, and worthy person helps you better handle situations, especially romantic ones, in ways that women with low confidence simply cannot do.
- Strong confident women are independent and don’t rely on their relationship to define who they are.
- Once you find your confidence in a relationship, you won’t stand for things that you would have put up with before, and you won’t hesitate to move on from someone who doesn’t share your values and isn’t in line with your standards.
- Confident women don’t sell themselves short in their relationships, and they aren’t afraid to put themselves first.
Because a strong woman is fearless in everything they do, all of their relationships benefit because of it.
29 Signs of a Confident Woman
There are many traits that confident women share. You may recognize some of these signs in yourself, but there may be some you need to work on to improve your confidence.
If you want to know how to tell is someone is confident in your circle of female friends and acquaintances, read on.
1. She knows herself.
She has quiet confidence because she knows herself so well. She knows who she is and what she wants, and doesn’t feel the need to conform to societal norms.
Confident women don’t feel the need to fit into the cookie-cutter mold of other women and dress the same way, listen to the same music, or attend all of the same events. Instead, they do what makes them happy.
2. She knows her limits.
Because confident women know themselves so well, they also know their limits.
They know when they have too much on their plate and need to ask for help, and they are not ashamed to do so.
They recognize that they need to continue to learn and grow and don’t fear failure or challenges.
3. She knows when to say no.
Self-assured women know when to say no. They are aware when they’re not able to do their best work for someone who is asking for a favor or when saying yes might compromise their own values or priorities.
A strong woman doesn’t need to be a people pleaser in order to feel validated or worthy. She makes decisions on her own terms without compromising herself.
4. She takes personal responsibility for her emotions.
A woman with healthy confidence is able to own her feelings. She doesn’t blame friends or family for her emotional struggles.
She knows the only person who can improve her state of mind is herself, and she makes the effort to address her negative emotions and change her mindset.
When you are confident, you take responsibility for your life and your feelings. You deal with emotional issues that negatively impact those around you.
5. She figures out what she wants.
Sit down and ask yourself what you want out of life and what makes you happy.
You have to fight to discover your passion and get out into the world and live it, even if the idea of it scares you.
6. She is of service to others.
In order to be fulfilled, you need more than a great husband, job, house, and children. You need something that provides a sense of meaning in your work or personal life.
When you serve others through kindness and generosity, you will find the ingredients for true joy and satisfaction.
According to happiness researcher and bestselling author of The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, “Studies that I and others have conducted show that practicing kindness generates significant increases in happiness.”
These acts of service and kindness can be big or small, but they will make you a happier, more confident female.
Lyubomirsky believes that “when you are kind and generous to others, you start to see yourself as a generous person, so it’s good for your self-perception.”
7. She knows when to be first.
Don’t become so selfless that your automatic instinct is to put other people first and yourself second.
You have to remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to be available for others.
If you skip an activity that you truly enjoy (such as going for a run) to keep a date with your partner, it won’t benefit either of you.
Of course, there will be times you sacrifice your time or energy for others, but you make a choice to do this because you want to, not because you feel obligated or fearful of rejection if you don’t.
8. She is a lifelong learner.
Even after completing your formal education, your learning shouldn’t stop. Building your knowledge base and skills will enhance your confidence in a variety of areas.
Continue to strengthen your skills in your field. Reach out to other professionals or keep up your learning by attending seminars or reading books. Make it a point to soak up the knowledge of others.
Work to become an expert in one area in which others automatically turn to you for input and ideas.
9. She avoids procrastination.
That research paper or job application that you keep putting off? Get it done. Procrastinating drains your energy and makes you feel helpless and undisciplined.
It prevents you from reaching your true potential and becoming the strong woman you envision yourself to be.
The hardest part of any task is just getting started. Take a small, first step to get the ball rolling, and you’ll see that momentum carries you the rest of the way.
That first step also gives you a huge confidence boost!
10. She cultivates resilience.
If you’ve recently ended a relationship or you’re dealing with problems at work, look at these circumstances as opportunities to evolve rather than awful setbacks in your life.
The ability to move through any obstacles that you face with grace and being resilient enough to move on after a reasonable period of grief or pain shows that you believe in yourself.
Knowing that things will get better and that you have what it takes to improve your circumstances will strengthen your self-regard.
11. She doesn’t follow the crowd.
Be the woman who orders the salad at a steakhouse or supports the opposing team. March to the beat of your own drummer, even if it doesn’t win the approval or those around you.
Don’t worry about the naysayers and just surround yourself with your supporters.
The people you want in your life are those who love you for who you are and respect your independent thinking and beliefs.
12. She is bold.
Come up with big dreams, and then chase them. Ignore the negative voices in your head and from those around you telling you, “It can’t be done.” Do it anyway.
Anyone who has done something remarkable in life has faced their initial fear at some point.
The more bold actions you take, the more confidence you’ll have in your ability to make your dreams real.
A confident woman doesn’t think small. She dares the world to hold her back.
13. She can spend time alone.
For some women, spending time with a man in a romantic relationship changes their views and opinions to match his.
This shape-shifting to appease or please your romantic partner may cause you to lose your sense of identity.
Spend some time alone to redefine your personal operating system and develop your views without the influence of others.
Take a solo vacation or go on a meditation retreat to reconnect with your authentic self and bring her home with you to meet your guy!
14. She accepts her reality.
Life is always going to be messy. The sooner you accept this, the more you’re able to focus on the good rather than the bad.
Life presents you with challenges regularly, but your attitude about these challenges can make or break your confidence.
If you get swallowed up by despair or rage at the unfairness of it all, you feel powerless and small.
Confident women have the serenity to accept the things they can’t change, the courage to change the things they can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
15. She is kind to herself.
Many of the smartest women in history failed before they succeeded. But if you beat yourself up every time you make a mistake, you’ll be too bruised to try again.
Have realistic expectations of yourself, and if something goes wrong, use it as a lesson. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend who experienced a setback — with love and kindness.
Confidence means knowing that you are worthy of self-respect and compassion.
16. She keeps moving forward.
If you always dwell on your imperfections, your bad decisions, and mistakes you have made, you remain stuck in your limiting thoughts.
The past is the past. The future is a blank slate for you to design just as you wish. Shake yourself out of your malaise and try some new things.
Whatever you do, just keep moving forward one small step at a time and steer clear of negative thoughts and negative people.
Even small steps will boost your confidence.
17. She dresses to impress.
Changing your wardrobe can change your attitude. Dress the part of the person you want to be.
This will cause people to treat you like you are that person.
It also makes you feel more powerful, bold, and self-assured.
18. She is assertive.
Learn how to speak up for yourself. If you’re being disrespected, stand up for yourself. Be your own best advocate and communicate your boundaries.
You don’t need to be aggressive, but you can be firm and decisive.
Don’t allow people to treat you in a way that demeans or dismisses you. Let people know when they are out of line and that they have to stop. If that fails, walk away from the person, the job, or the situation.
You don’t need to compromise your self-respect, dignity, or values.
19. She recognizes and celebrates her uniqueness.
Everyone has their own unique DNA. Add your life experiences, talents, perspectives, and skills to that, and you realize that no one else in the world is just like you.
Celebrate your uniqueness and take pride in the places you have been and the places you are going.
20. She develops her interests and talents.
What are you passionate about?
Do you love traveling, cooking, running, or painting? Relish in the interests and skills you have.
Find hobbies that are compelling to you and pursue them with joy.
Sometimes when you love doing something, you might overlook the fact that you are talented at what you’re doing.
Your passions in life make you who you are. Develop them and share them with other people.
21. She enjoys being independent.
Who you are and your personal identity is what makes you a unique and valuable human being.
Being yourself is what other people admire about you and what makes you feel strong and competent.
You don’t need to be a lemming and follow the crowd. You don’t need to be defined by a man, societal expectations, or your friends.
Being independent sends out the message to others that you are wonderful and they are lucky to know you.
22. She stays true to herself.
If you nod in agreement to someone’s remark that you don’t like, you’re diminishing yourself.
If you change your opinion because you don’t want to offend, you’re undermining your intelligence.
If you’re uncomfortable in your clothes, they may not reflect your style.
Be the best person you are based on your inner values and personal judgment.
Don’t seek the approval of other people to make you feel whole. Be who you are, speak for yourself, and do what you want to do. This is your life after all.
23. She doesn’t take things personally.
Because you know how to keep things in perspective, you let the small things roll off your back. You have the ability to find the humor in situations that might cause others to bristle and get defensive.
You always see the light at the end of the tunnel and don’t sit around focusing on one bad situation.
You also know that you can’t control other people’s emotions and behavior, so you don’t take it personally when someone is rude or behaves badly.
You know it reflects more on their character rather than yours.
24. She asks empowering questions.
You ask questions related to your curiosity for life, your personal growth, and your interest in others.
In fact, you don’t mind allowing others to shine in the spotlight and will ask them questions that give them that opportunity.
You also ask questions of yourself to expand your self-awareness, such as, “What do I need to do right now that will make me happier?”
25. She seeks to improve the world.
How can you use your strengths to make the world a better place? You know you have something valuable to offer the world, and you feel compelled to share it.
Selflessness is a key principle for confident women because they know what they can do, and they want others to benefit from that.
26. She writes her own rules.
Don’t live by someone else’s rules because they claim they know what’s best.
Get out of your comfort zone and come up with your own rules. Become a leader, an initiator, and an early adopter.
Test out new ideas even if they might not work out the first time you try. Have the courage and resolve to break the mold.
27. She develops a confidence ritual.
Give yourself a pep talk when you need confidence, either before giving a speech at work or even leading up to a first date.
This may be reciting affirmations throughout the day or taking a quick five-minute break when things come up that you need to reflect on.
Exercise or meditation could be your confidence ritual. Or maybe journaling about gratitude or the positive things that happen during your day.
28. She embraces her purpose.
One of the most profound ways to build confidence is by defining the “why” of your life and everything you do.
Why do you think you were born? What do you want your legend to be?
When you take a job, make a big decision, start a project, ask yourself why you are doing this. What is the bigger reason behind your actions?
Knowing your “why” gives the motivation and self-assurance that you’re judgment is solid.
29. She practices self-love
This is the most important way to be an attractive, confident, kickass woman. While it sounds easy, you might not know how to do it.
But when you stop and think about, how can you love other people if you don’t love yourself? Love starts from the inside and moves out.
Through the practice of self-compassion, self-acceptance, gratitude, and realistic optimism, you can love yourself into a confident woman.
It can take time and effort to develop confidence in yourself, but it is worth the effort.
More opportunities will present themselves to you and other people will be attracted to you and enjoy being around you.
After all, you have what other people want in life, which is an open path to happiness.
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Self-confident women want to improve their confidence.
The fact that you’re reading this article shows you want to improve your confidence, and that’s an attractive and validating desire. You’ve come here with a foundation of inner strength that you want to build upon.
Even the most confident women have areas where they lack self-assurance or skill. Past failures or old baggage can interfere with their ability to feel on their game. But confidence in other areas allows these women to see where they are lacking and need to grow.
Being a confident woman is a work in progress. Use any confidence you possess as a guide to help you boost it in other parts of your life. If you generally think well of yourself and your abilities the sky is the limit.