7 Sure-Fire Ways to Exude Quiet Confidence

Most of us would love to feel a sense of quiet confidence. We’d love to know who we are, and feel comfortable sharing our unique gifts and most authentic selves with the world.

But that’s not always easy. It’s natural to feel anxiety when going for our dreams or trying new things, especially when they really matter to us. With so many outer voices eager to tell us what we should be doing, most of us have times when we worry about other people’s opinion rather than listening to our intuition.

For many years, I went for a two-mile walk everyday down a river path near our home. At the end of the path was a beautiful, tall, 200 year-old tree. I would find a spot facing the river, my back straight against the tree’s tall trunk and meditate before heading back home. 

When I was sitting there, all alone, my back against that strong old tree, I often felt a deep sense of connection, clarity, and quiet confidence. However, when I’d reenter the busy world, my quiet confidence would often fade away.

What I’ve learned over the years is that we don’t have to look outside of ourselves to develop this kind of confidence. We can find it within. It can also be easier than we think to develop quiet confidence. Here are seven things I’ve learned about quiet confidence, and action steps that can help.

#1: Positive Self-Talk Leads to Quiet Confidence


Quiet confidence comes from believing in ourselves.

The greatest factor in how confident we feel is our relationship with ourselves. Imagine being looked straight in the eye and being told by someone you respect and who really believes it: “You can do this. I believe in you. You are incredibly capable. Everything is going to work out.”

The power of someone’s quiet confidence in us is very powerful. The truth is, quiet confidence only comes when something within us awakens and echoes this belief back.

No matter what happens in life, there is a part of us that is incredibly resilient and powerful. We each have this power within, and no one can ever take it away. Knowing this is quiet confidence.

Pay Attention to Your Inner Voices

To develop more quiet confidence, pay attention to your inner voices. When you hear ones that are critical or make you feel insecure, pause. You might imagining turning down the volume to these inner critics.

Try to connect with a more peaceful loving voice instead. If a positive voice doesn’t come right away, invent one. Imagine what your most loving, ideal parent might sound like. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you also might imagine this as the loving voice of Spirit.

It can also be helpful to choose a mantra to say yourself when your Inner Critic starts talking. It might be something like: “I can do this. Everything is going to be okay.” Over time, this can become your own voice, the loudest one you hear.

Quiet Confidence Tip #1: Talk to Yourself with Kindness

#2: The Flow State Leads to Quiet Confidence

how to have quiet confidence
When we are in a state of flow we have quiet confidence.

The more we do activities that we love doing, the more we build quiet confidence. We all have things we enjoy or are better at than others. Then there are activities that, when we do them (whether we are “good” at them or not), we seem to enter another space. When we do activities that bring us joy, we often lose track of time or feel as if we find our groove. This experience is called flow.

Research shows that in flow, we connect with our egoless selves and often lose our sense of self-consciousness. We no longer care what people think. Instead, we are just focused on what we are doing for the sake of doing it, rather than to win other people’s approval.

The amazing thing is, after a flow experience, we often have a much stronger sense of self. Flow leads to quiet confidence because we know who we are and what we are capable of doing through firsthand experience. It also trains our brain to not look outward as a way of life, but to instead look inward–which is the heart of what quiet confidence is all about.

Do Something That Brings You Joy

The flow state gives us a direct experience of that part of ourselves that is unique and special within each of us that no one can ever change or take away. Getting into a flow state on a regular basis is the perfect strategy for developing quiet confidence, and living a happy life.

Choose something that brings you joy and has a high chance of getting into flow. Do it everyday. Keep it simple. (Think 5-10 minutes!) Over time, you will train your brain to make it a Flow Habit. If this idea interests you, join a Flow Challenge. Connect with others on similar journeys. My Free Flow Challenges are a great way to experiment with flow in your own life, supported by an accepting, creative community.

Quiet Confidence Tip #2: Choose a Daily Flow Habit

#3: Leaps Lead to Quiet Confidence

Quiet confidence can come from sports and taking healthy risks.
Quiet confidence comes from taking healthy risks.

Another key to gaining a sense of quiet confidence is facing our fears, getting out of our comfort zone and taking healthy risks. Whether the risk is a healthy one depends on whether it is taken for internal rather than external pressures, and how aligned it is with who we really are.

For me, going scuba diving for the first time was a risk like that. Learning to scuba dive felt scary at first, but ultimately gave me quiet confidence that filtered out into other areas of my life too.

Venture Beyond Your Comfort Zone

My husband and I had taken scuba diving lessons in an indoor swimming pool near our home. We traveled to the ocean to take our certification test, a very different experience than the predictable pool.

In those few moments when I was at the surface of the choppy water before going beneath for the first time, I was terrified. I considered my options—swimming back to the boat, treading water for the rest of my life, giving up scuba diving forever.

The scuba instructor came above the surface and said similar words in Tip #1. “You can do this. It’s all going to be okay. You are ready.”

Finally, I found the courage to descend. I will never forget how the sunlight looked, shining through the surface of aqua water, the tiny little bubbles from my oxygen tank, the soft sand as I kneeled on the ocean floor during that first open water dive.

As a result of facing my fears, I experienced some of the happiest times of my life beneath the surface of the sea. Each time we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, we gain a quiet confidence that can only come from really knowing ourselves well and moving to the other side of fear.

Quiet Confidence Tip #3: Take Healthy Risks

#4: Keeping Your Word Leads to Quiet Confidence

A woman trying to make a decision.
Making promises we can keep gives us quiet confidence.

Another habit that creates a sense of quiet confidence is making promises we can keep, and keeping the promises we make.

Who hasn’t said “Sure” without really thinking about if we have the time or want what is being offered. It can be really hard to disappoint others. It’s human nature to say no to things we aren’t really sure about, or to soften no by making another offer we might not really want to do.

Evaluate Your Commitments

The same applies to the promises we make to ourselves. How often do we promise ourselves, “Tomorrow I will do this differently” and then not follow through? Setting micro-goals make it easier to keep our promises to ourselves, even if distractions come our way.

Making promises we keep is a habit that can change our lives, and give us quiet confidence. Over time, we start to choose what we say more carefully. We promise less and as a result, accomplish more of what matters most.

Quiet Confidence Tip #4: Make Promises You Can Keep

#5 Working Hard Can Create Quiet Confidence

Rocky filled with confidence with his arm in the air
Quiet confidence comes from knowing we have practiced and prepared.

Our family loves the movie Rocky. Even in the early scenes of the movie, Rocky exuded quiet confidence as we saw him go through the motions of his everyday life.

Later in the movie, this quiet confidence seems to grow. His belief in himself prompts him to train hard, leading to that memorable scene where he ran up the stairs to the Philadelphia Art Museum, cheering when he got to the top.

Training is when the real fight happens. At the heart of preparing for something is having the courage to face our weaknesses and come up with a plan to overcome them in some way.

Train for What You Want

When we practice and prepare for something important in our lives, we gain the quiet confidence that comes from knowing we have done our best and are as ready as we can be.

Preparing isn’t important only with the big events in our lives, but also the small ones—planning our day, packing our bag, thinking things through. When we live in this way—practicing and preparing for whatever it is we want to experience–we give ourselves the gift of quiet confidence. We can look back and know, regardless of what happened, we truly did our best.

Quiet Confidence Tip #5: Practice and Prepare

#6: Softening Leads to Quiet Confidence

Girl hugging a heart pillow with a smile and quiet confidence.
Being kind to ourselves helps us develop quiet confidence.

The truth is, we don’t always keep our promises. We may not always prepare or practice enough.

I believe, no matter what, each person is always doing the best they can on any given day. Quiet confidence is always more about how we feel than what happens the moment we are on the stage.

If you’ve ever had a teacher or coach who has subscribed to the “break ‘em down” attitude, you know how that the voice of someone telling you, “Unless you do x, y, and z, and do it perfectly, you aren’t okay” can become your own inner voice, forever yelling reminders of how your best still isn’t good enough.

On the other hand, if you’ve ever had a person in your life who lit up when they saw you and exuded love and acceptance whether you had just hit a home run or a foul ball, then you know the energy of acceptance (and a true leader).

Accept Yourself Just As You Are

Approval-no-matter-what has a soft quality about it. It is relaxed. It exudes the message, “no big deal.” That is the voice of quiet confidence. When we are with a person who really loves us just as we are, we feel good even when we are not at our best. That’s because people like this energetically allow us the space to be all of ourselves.

We can be that type of coach for ourselves. Doing our best, enjoying the journey, and letting go of the result is a recipe for quiet confidence. The more we nurture the attitude, “it’s all okay, no matter what,” the more confident we become.

Quiet Confidence Tip #6: Take The Pressure Off

#7: Good Posture Leads to Quiet Confidence

Woman looking up at a tree in admiration
Standing tall can boost our confidence.

Finally, the last key to quiet confidence is one I learned from my walks in nature. Trees that stand the tallest get the most sunlight, and have a way of drawing us to them, like the tree I would lean back against during my daily meditations.

When people stand up straight and tall, they look more confident. Research shows this isn’t by accident–when we have good posture, we trigger the area of our brain that makes us feel more confident!

Listen to Your Body, and Adjust

A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology showed that when students were told to stand up straight or push out their chest, they had an easier time thinking of positive, empowering traits about themselves, and trusting those thoughts as compared to those who were told to slouch. Another study in New Zealand showed that people with better posture feel more enthusiastic, excited and strong. When all else fails, we can let our bodies do our emotional work for us.

Quiet Confidence Tip #7: Stand Tall

Next time you feel a wave of insecurity (as we all sometimes do) stand tall and remember you are each unique, special, and gifted, and have an amazing way of being that no one else has. I can’t think of a greater reason to feel quiet confidence than that!


Brinol, Pablo, Richard E. Petty, Benjamin C. Wagner, Body posture effects on self-evaluation; a self-validation approach, European Journal of Social Psychology, October 2009, 39(6):1053 – 1064

Nair, Shwetha, Mark Sagar, John Sollers 3rd, Nathan Consedine, Elizabeth Broadbent, Do slumped and upright postures affect stress response? A controlled, randomized trial, Health Psychology, 2015 Jun;34(6):632-41. doi: 10.1037/hea0000146. Epub 2014 Sep 15.

Photo credits: Avesun, littleny, Sergey Peterman, Syda Productions, Sandi Mako, Sofi photo, file404, Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock


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