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Everyone suffers from insecurities or the occasional lack of confidence. Especially when trying something outside of your comfort zone, like interviewing for a new job, starting college, or trying a new workout class, it’s easy to feel inferior to the other people around you.

But why does this happen? We each have our areas of expertise as well as skills we aren’t very good at. Why, then, do we allow our insecurities to get the best of us?

Having confidence does not mean thinking you’re better than everyone else. Confidence stems from our belief in our own abilities – that even though we may not be good at something now, we definitely have strengths to offer (or a chance to build new skills). Here are just a few habits of confident individuals.

1. They don’t put others down.
Cutting down others to build yourself up is like trying to build a skyscraper with a shaky or insufficient foundation. It simply doesn’t work! Instead, just worry about yourself.

2. They believe in their abilities.
Everyone has weaknesses, but each person has unique strengths as well. When approaching anything in life, confident people acknowledge their weaknesses but play up their strengths.

3. They look at new situations as a challenge.
Whether it’s your first day of a new job or your first day of college, confident people tackle new experiences with the utmost positivity. These opportunities thrown in front of you are ways in which you can learn about yourself and grow. Do not be afraid!

4. They don’t care about what other people think.
Quite the challenge, I know. I grew up as a ballet dancer, and this proved to be my greatest downfall when auditioning for ballet schools and companies. Of course you should try to present yourself in the best way possible, but after that, who cares what people are thinking about you? People are drawn to confidence and shy away from nervousness. So as long as you know that you’re working to the best of your ability, don’t worry about what others are thinking.

5. They have inquisitive minds.
Having confidence also means having the ability to take criticism and use it to your advantage. You must be open to new suggestions to be able to improve yourself. Confident individuals know that constructive criticism can only serve to help them.