Confidence can often seem like something you’re born with. You’re either confident or you’re not, right? Wrong.
While confidence may be referred to as a personality trait, it’s actually something you can learn over time. Here’s what you need to know about confidence and personality typing, including the three most confident types and tips on how to become more confident if you’re not one of them.
What is confidence anyway?
Confidence is the feeling of being sure about yourself and your abilities—not in an arrogant, superior way, but in a secure way. You know you have the ability to meet life’s challenges and succeed.
However, when we’re talking about confidence, it’s important to draw a line between inner confidence and outer confidence.
Many people who appear outwardly confident can actually be lacking in inner confidence, while people who may seem shy and low in confidence can have a deep and powerful inner confidence that guides them through life.
Outer confidence is about how you act in the world, including:
- Your appearance
- Body language
- The way you talk
- Your actions
Inner confidence is about how you think about yourself, including:
- Believing in yourself
- Believing in your abilities
- Being self-reliant
- Trusting yourself
In almost every situation, it’s inner confidence that matters. Being comfortable with who you are gives you a rock-solid foundation as you make decisions and tackle life’s challenges. When you’re confident on the inside, this can help you to appear more confident on the outside. It is easier to come across as confident to others when you trust yourself and believe in your abilities.
Three extra confident personality types
Some personality types are often seen as more confident than others. Here are the top three most confident personality types in the Enneagram although, as you will see, their confidence manifests in different ways.
Enneagram Type Eight
Arguably the most confident personality type is the Enneagram Eight. Eights are known for being self-assured, independent and extremely self-reliant. Their natural confidence helps them succeed as leaders, but they can sometimes come across as arrogant and dominating. It’s certainly true that Eights have big egos (some bigger than others).
Enneagram Type Seven
Charming, passionate and always optimistic, type Sevens are one of the most confident personality types around. They go through life with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm and their inner confidence means they’re always looking for the next adventure, rarely feeling the need for the security and routine that other personality types do.
Enneagram Type Three
Polished and charismatic, type Threes are one of the types that most exude confidence. This Enneagram type is known for being ambitious, driven and goal-oriented. In social settings, they typically play to the crowd and are acutely aware of how they appear to other people. This means they often seem to be the most confident people in the room—but it may be for show. Threes often fear that they’ll end up a failure, so their inner confidence can sometimes be lacking.
Tips for improving your confidence whatever your personality type
If you want to learn to be more confident, there are some simple steps you can take to build up your confidence over time. Here are four tips to help you get started.
Write a list of everything you’re good at
Sometimes, building up your confidence starts with reminding yourself of your abilities, including your strengths, skills and best qualities. To build up your inner confidence, try an easy journaling exercise where you write down everything that you’re good at.
Think about your experiences, abilities and what makes you uniquely you. If it helps, try taking a personality test for a more detailed insight into your strengths. Though it might sound overly simple, journaling is a form of self-care. This exercise can help you get more clarity on what makes you special and give you a foundation from which to build up your confidence.
Learn from the people around you
Do you find that you lack confidence in social settings? Try learning from the people around you to help you appear (and feel) more confident. What does that look like in practice? Choose your most confident friend—the one who radiates confidence—and observe how they interact with people.
For example, notice their body language. It’s probably upright and open with their arms uncrossed, they will likely make eye contact with the people they’re talking to and speak clearly and calmly. They probably ask questions and listen to the other person, keeping the conversation flowing.
When you’re ready, try to practice these actions yourself. Start small and open up a conversation with just one person. You might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but the more you can practice being confident, the easier it will become.
It might sound silly but many of the most confident people you know had to learn how to be that way. Everyone starts somewhere.
Ask for help from a friend
If approaching people on your own seems too daunting right now, ask for help from a friend instead. Choose a confident friend and buddy up with them in social settings. They can help to introduce you to more people, kick start conversations, and back you up if things get awkward.
Sometimes, knowing you have a friend there to help can give you the confidence you need.
Talk to people you trust
If you’re going through a period of low confidence, it can be helpful to talk to people you trust. Often there’s a reason that people are lacking confidence and it might not reflect the reality of the situation.
For example, if you’re lacking in confidence in your career, talk to your friends or trusted colleagues to hear their perspective on the issue. You’ll probably find you’re not doing as badly as you think you are.
If you’re lacking confidence in a relationship, talking to your partner or a friend can help you to see the situation more clearly. Maybe that person you’re dating is more into you than you think they are!
Getting an outside opinion can help you to see an issue in a completely different light, giving you the chance to get a new perspective, and potentially a much-needed confidence boost.
Get more confident with practice
If you’re ever worried that you’re not confident enough, remember that confidence isn’t an innate personality trait. Confidence is something that can be learnt, worked on, and built up over time. Anyone can learn to be more confident, it just takes practice.