Matthew McConaughey Says This Definition of Humility Gives Him More Confidence

Matthew McConaughey may be one of the most confident movie stars in Hollywood. He certainly played the suave leading man in his romantic comedies. Then he invested in his own “McConaissance” to take his career to the next level. McConaughey says the secret to his confidence is humility. 

Matthew McConaughey smiles in a blue suit
Matthew McConaughey | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

McConaughey spoke with Danica Patrick on her Pretty Intense podcast Jan. 16 about his autobiography Greenlights. Humility may sound like the opposite of confidence, but here’s how McConaughey interwove the two qualities.

Matthew McConaughey movie star attitude comes from being humble 

It takes a lot of confidence to be a movie star. Sometimes, that can be cockiness which could sabotage your mass appeal. McConaughy admitted he struggled wtih the concept of humility.

“I had real trouble with that word humility, being humble for most of my life,” McConaughey told Patrick. “I misinterpreted it, I think, for so long in that I didn’t know how to have confidence while I was still humble. Humble would be kind of that false modesty which is complete B.S., and actually arrogant, and condescending in its inverted way.”

What kind of quotes does Matthew McConaughey have?

Listen to McConaughey long enough and you will hear philosophical quotes worthy of his movie characters. Here’s a doozy about humble confidence. 

Matthew McConaughey wearing sunglasses and a beret
Matthew McConaughey | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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“When I heard a definition that humility and being humble is about admitting and knowing that you have more to learn, I went oh, now that I can purchase,” McConaughey said. “That I can still stand head high, heart high, shoulders back, look you in the eye, and carry forward, and understand that I’ve built things in my life and I’m carrying them with me. Now let’s go courageously into the future. Until I got that little click of what that word meant, my relationship spiritually was sort of on and off a little bit more.”

Giving thanks every day helps maintain humble confidence

McConaughey has a lot to be grateful for. Besides his career and financial success, he’s happily married to Camila Alves with three children. His family is close. McConaughey gives thanks every day to make sure he doesn’t lose sight of what’s important. 

Matthew McConaughey points on stage
Matthew McConaughey | Jerod Harris/WireImage

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I try to check in with a lot of gratitude. My daily practice is trying to be full of gratitude. I believe that actually gratitude can breed responsibility which is what I believe breeds freedom. The more things you’re thankful for, you’re going to have more things you’re going to tend to, that you’re going to give a damn about, that you’re not going to take for granted, that you’re going to maintain instead of just letting it break and buying a new one. Gratitude, that breeds that responsibility. If you start taking responsibility, I think the right responsibilities lead to true freedom. 

Matthew McConaughey, Pretty Intense, 1/13/21

Source: Danica Patrick Pretty Intense podcast