10 Things Confident Women Never Do

Throughout job interviews, first dates, and new opportunities, chances are we've all heard the saying, "confidence is key." Those three little words often accompany the leaps in life we are destined to take — and yet conjuring the bravery and faith to take such bounds is easier said than done. Just how does someone become confident? Is it something that can be harnessed and grown over time? Are you born with confidence? It's easy to think no one has the answer, yet chances are we all know a dazzling woman at the top of her game, strutting through life with an air of sophistication and brilliance that can only be the result of confidence. How did she get there?

Of course, everyone is on their own journey, and self-discovery, reflection, and improvement come with time and effort. Whatever path you're on, and whatever your journey looks like now, you can take a cue from confident women. While there is a long list of habits that confident women follow on a regular basis, there are also some things they avoid at all costs.

Confident women don't put themselves last on their list of priorities

One crucial key to confidence — especially for women — is prioritizing your own needs. We live in a society that continues to see women as caretakers. From children to elderly parents to spouses and everything in between, it often feels that women bear the brunt of responsibility. And while it's not a bad thing to focus on the needs of others, it shouldn't come at the expense of yourself. 

One of the most important ways to build up your sense of self-worth is to practice some good old-fashioned self-care, while deconstructing the idea that self-care is selfish (because it definitely isn't). As noted by Tiny Buddha, women have been told for decades (if not centuries) that taking care of themselves and prioritizing their needs is selfish — and this couldn't be further from the truth. You cannot pour from an empty glass, and if women don't take care of themselves, many other aspects of their lives will suffer.

Another thing that makes confident women so dazzling and awe-inspiring is their ability to stand up for themselves — and this can only be achieved by prioritizing their own needs. Tiny Buddha further notes that when we don't care for ourselves, we're essentially informing others that they don't have to care for us, either. So repeat after us: Self-care is not selfish.

They don't have a desire to be popular

Oh, popularity — the hurdle that so many of us couldn't overcome in high school. If you felt as though you were always struggling to be one of the "popular kids," you're certainly not alone — and as noted by Psychology Today, the impacts of popularity permeate into adulthood. But when it comes to confident women, they simply don't have the time of day — popularity, after all, is a construct and only has the amount of power that we give it.

When we witness a woman navigating life with a firm hand, chances are she's not paying close attention to whether or not she's popular. In fact, she's likely aware that paying attention to popularity has more negative impacts than positive, which she certainly doesn't want creeping into her life. Psychology Today notes that popularity comes with a number of risks — anxiety, substance abuse, chronic loneliness, and depression are just some of the harmful results that popularity (and an unhealthy focus on it) can bring. In fact, a study entitled "Whatever Happened to the 'Cool' Kids?" found that those who focus immensely on popularity — especially throughout adolescence — often get "stuck" in their dissatisfying teenage years, not understanding that they need to step up to the adulthood plate. So, if you're aspiring to be like the confident women in your life, navigate your successes without an audience.

Confident women don't follow trends

We heard the collective shrieks of millennials when it was decided that low-rise jeans were back in style. Just as the dreaded design plagued 30-somethings throughout their high school years, seeing trends come and go can feel like an endless race with no finishing line. But do confident women tailor their closets to trends? Or do they find their own sense of style and allow their signature looks to do the talking? We'll let you guess which one.

As HuffPost notes, deciding not to follow the trends can actually come with a huge sense of relief, individuality, and — you guessed it — confidence. So what if crochet tops and low-rise mini skirts are trending? Just because Y2K is back in the headlines doesn't mean you have to alter your wardrobe to look like everyone else.

Think of the confident women you know and love — these could be women in your life, at your place of work, or even celebrities you look up to. When pondering the likes of Audrey Hepburn, her signature style immediately comes to mind — she didn't bend to trends, but rather found her iconic lane and made her look timeless. So find your style, tune out the trendy noise, and join the league of confident women rocking their own looks.

They don't squash their own feelings for the sake of others

There's something to be said about emotional honesty. Yes, it can be incredibly difficult to be vulnerable and share how you feel, but it's a vital skill that can enrich adult relationships. When it comes to confident women, they don't shy away from sharing their truth, a trait we can all learn from. Truly secure women don't reveal their true feelings to belittle someone else, but rather to create an open dialogue that will benefit both parties. Confident women don't squash their own feelings for the sake of others, but they also don't go around making the people they care about feel undervalued, either — it's a very fine line that can take time to master.

Of all the traits of a confident woman to incorporate into your own life, being truthful with your feelings — while being mindful about how you share — should be at the top of your list. And if you don't know where to start, Power of Positivity sheds light on the subject. While sharing your truth, don't make assumptions about the other person's response, and strive to have an earnest discussion in which you are both vulnerable. And while confident women certainly don't hold back, they don't make the mistake of cornering someone during a conversation. The clearer you are with your feelings, the better.

Confident women learn from the past, but don't regret their actions

We hate to break it to the perfectionists among us, but failure is a part of life. In fact, it's completely unavoidable, so you might as well buckle up and enjoy the highs and lows of life as best you can. And while that might be easier said than done, the confident women among us know that not only is failure a naturally occurring part of the journey, but it's also an amazing learning opportunity. What's more, the self-assured women we look up to don't regret their past actions, as that doesn't benefit anyone.

In fact, as noted by Psychology Today, feeling regretful about past actions — rather than learning from them — can have "damaging" impacts on the body and mind, as self-blame can trigger a plethora of issues. A hamster-wheel cycle of "repetitive, negative, self-focused, ruminative thinking" that is often associated with regret can quickly guide a person down the path toward depression. And more research reported by AARP found that regret can negatively impact the immune system and the body's hormonal balance, and can also result in chronic stress.

We all have cringe-worthy moments, and more significant interactions and setbacks that we'd rather not think about, but try to reframe the narrative and regard your past as a learning experience — the confident women around you surely do, and they're thriving as a result.

Gossiping is not on their radar

Just as confident women don't strive to be popular, the same can be said for gossiping, which is a no-no in a secure woman's book. When we think of the world's biggest gossip, we immediately think about Rachel Green and the "Friends" episode where she was challenged to halt her gossiping ways. While it can be fun — in the moment — to dish about the latest scandal among your friend group or unload to your gal pals about the latest tea at work, it's something that the confident women of the world avoid.

Gossiping isn't just catty and high school-ish behavior, but it can have a really damaging impact. Verywell Family notes that gossip can "destroy a person's self-confidence" and can significantly damage their self-esteem. Gossip can also result in extreme responses such as anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and disordered eating. What's more, the people doing the gossiping may not realize that what they're sharing with others can be life-altering (and not in a good way). Chances are the confident women and self-assured role models in your life aren't spending their free time dishing about the latest scandal or juicy detail — they're focused on their own path, well-being, and neutrality. No one wants to be the gossip that people can't trust.

They don't take things at face value

Confident women know their worth. That's just one aspect that makes them so inspirational, and yet a crucial stepping stone on the path to self-assurance is understanding that you can't take everything at face value. Women who walk through the world with direction and purpose understand that while people may not necessarily lie, they may not always tell the truth. A certain discernment is necessary at times, per HuffPost — and it's important to remember that as an aspiring confident woman, you are the only person who will really advocate for yourself.

Let's use a specific example that many women have faced throughout the course of their professional lives — being offered a position and negotiating pay. It's no secret that there is still a gender wage gap, and taking a salary proposal at face value might have women making less than their male counterparts. Unfortunately, women haven't exactly been encouraged to negotiate for themselves in the workplace, but confidence is key in this situation.

The New York Times put together a guide for women who are negotiating their salaries, and one of the first steps is knowing your worth. That mentality must be coupled with the understanding that standing up for yourself may result in people seeing you as "unlikeable" — but at the end of the day, that's their problem, not yours.

Confident women don't doubt their instincts

When faced with a difficult decision, it's often best to go with your gut, even if you're not 100% sure everything will work out. As any confident woman will tell you, the key is to trust your instincts, as doubting them even for a second can send you spiraling. There's a reason that trusting your intuition is the best course of action and a staple in any confident woman's toolbox. As Psychology Today notes, intuition is a result of past experiences intertwined with existential knowledge. This combination is vital when it comes to making decisions, often resulting in the "gut reaction" that many of us know.

However, there is a distinction — confident women who are secure in their own thinking know how to listen to their instincts, not just acknowledge them. Psychology Today further points out that the "key to mastering" the "sacred gift of intuition" is listening to your gut. The more you pay attention, and therefore act on your intuition, the more in tune you will be with your emotions, power, and self-confidence. Don't know where to start? Practicing mindful meditation is a great place to begin, as getting in touch with your own thinking and rhythm is vital. Confident women know that they'll never lead themselves astray — so don't doubt your instincts.

They don't hesitate or overthink

As a confident woman, a big part of trusting your intuition is the ability to charge forward with purpose and to not overthink your decisions. Steadfast women do not hesitate, nor do they ruminate over their decision-making process for days on end. If you want to follow in their footsteps, you should aim to see your actions through with diligence and remain confident in them.

While confident women make it a point to scratch overthinking from their to-do list, that's easier said than done. As noted by Forbes, about 73% of people between the ages of 25 and 35 are susceptible to overthinking, accompanied by 52% of overthinkers between the ages of 45 and 55.

Overthinking, worrying, and working yourself up into a tizzy can be easy to do when self-doubt and insecurity are at the center of your thought process. So how do confident women stop such self-destructive habits? Some of their coping skills include journaling, meditating, and spending time in nature. The next time you assert yourself and make a decision, try to do so with as much confidence as you can muster — if you're worried about how people will respond, remember that it's on them to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Confident women aren't chronic people-pleasers

People can be confusing creatures — emotions run wild, actions are impossible to predict, and everyone marches to the beat of their own drum (no matter how loud). With that in mind, it makes sense that there are people-pleasers among us — individuals who will do anything and everything to make the lives of those close to them as seamless as possible. And while it's lovely to be there for people when they need an extra hand, confident women are not chronic people pleasers — and you shouldn't be, either

As noted by James Madison University, helping people in their time of need can make you feel good for a brief moment, but endlessly needing to be, well, needed is an issue. People who have a tendency to bend to the needs of everyone around them may be avoiding confronting their own issues of self-doubt, anxiety, depression, etc. Furthermore, chronic people-pleasers are likely to ignore their own requirements (and that is something that confident women do not do).

As James Madison University notes, chronic people-pleasers could be neglecting themselves while developing feelings of passive-aggressiveness. You can only serve other people for so long, and there may even come a time when they start taking advantage of your kindness. Take a cue from confident women — set boundaries with those around you, even if they're the most important people in your life. Don't say sorry for things that aren't your fault, and make your priorities clear.