“When people are quietly confident, they get more done and what they achieve has a greater impact because they haven’t been talking about it as much as someone who is verbally confident,” says Corey Poirier, multiple-time TEDx speaker and founder of bLU Talks and of The Speaking Program.
“In terms of career impact, when people see that someone has quiet confidence, they trust that they will get the job done.”
People with silent confidence not only have more credibility with their boss and colleagues, but they are also more likely to get promoted, says Poirier. Because who wouldn’t trust someone who always makes things happen without having to say much?
If you’re wondering what that je-ne-sais-quoi looks like in action, there are a few indicators that someone possesses high levels of quiet self-assurance.
“When people are silently confident, they don’t over-apologize, they aren’t afraid to pivot or switch gears, they don’t try to over-explain or justify their decisions, and they seem to have a certain charisma or energy that people gravitate to,” says Poirier.
The good news is, you too can become the kind of person who projects a powerful vibe. Here are five ways to project silent confidence that speaks volumes.
Focus on actions and results
The first step to projecting quiet confidence is to focus on actions and results. It’s about showing, not telling.
“Silent confidence is when you don’t need to tell people what you’re going to achieve or do because you have the confidence that the actions will speak louder than the words themselves,” says Poirier.
Take a moment to reflect on your greatest strengths. What do your coworkers ask you for help with? Is there a common thread in the kind of praise you get? If you’re not sure, ask a trusted friend their opinion on what you’re particularly good at.
Then, make sure to show up at work in congruence with those unique abilities. Take initiative. Do more of what you’re good at. You’ll be amazed to see your confidence levels grow and might even start noticing others reacting to you in a different manner.
Focusing on actions and results is also about being someone who takes pride in delivering what’s expected of them. If you consistently perform well at work, you won’t need to say much to be perceived as competent — and confident.
Set and achieve mini-goals
Building silent confidence is also about creating self-trust. And you can only build self-trust if you keep your promises to yourself. If you consistently set unrealistic goals and fail to reach them, the opposite can happen: You start losing confidence.
Setting and achieving mini-goals is a great tactic to build your quiet superpowers. “Each time you achieve a smaller goal, you’ll have more confidence you can achieve a bigger one,” says Poirier.
He recommends rewarding yourself for reaching every small goal to build positive momentum. “When you set each mini-goal, also decide on a reward you will give yourself when you achieve it, which will create a desire to achieve more,” he says. “This will motivate you to continue on your path of achievement.”
Avoid empty boasting
Just like you’ve probably seen super confident people carry themselves and felt their magnetic presence, you might have been around someone with a fake, overly cocky confidence that seems to stem from overcompensation.
Bragging can be a sign of low self-confidence. And bragging about something before you’ve made it happen can be even more of a presence-killer, according to Poirier.
“If you brag about achieving something, you lose the power of achieving it in the first place. And if you talk about it before you attempt it, even if you do achieve it, you’ve taken away the impact of it because you already said you would. And if you don’t, everyone will know you didn’t do it,” he says.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, your achievements and your valuable contributions. But there is a big difference between self-acknowledgment and empty boasting.
True confidence is rooted in unconditional self-acceptance. It’s not about pretending to be perfect or aiming to always look professional and polished. And it does include embracing your flaws and accepting that you will make mistakes sometimes.
Building self-acceptance can take time and require sometimes uncomfortable inner work — it’s not easy to admit when we’re wrong or notice some of our areas of improvement — but it’s absolutely worth it.
When you give the parts of yourself you like the least grace and compassion, you feel liberated. And your coworkers will definitely notice it in your energy without you having to say a thing.
Own your decisions
Over-explaining yourself is a dead giveaway of insecurity. So is apologizing for what you think. If you want to project silent confidence that speaks volumes, start by owning your decisions and opinions.
The cornerstone of effortless confidence is being able to make decisions without relying on outside approval. It’s about being comfortable with others sometimes not understanding your choices. How do you achieve that? By taking more decisions on your own, more often — and not back-tracking.