Self-confidence has a massive impact on every area of a successful life. It underpins all of your positive experiences, assists you in coping with adversity and ensures you appreciate the good times.
When you value yourself and your skills (self-confidence or self-esteem), you’ll have better relationships, feel more equipped to handle challenges, be better able to manage your fears and doubts, have increased performance, feel more motivated, find greater peace of mind and experience far more happiness and success in life.
In short, your life improves in every possible way when you build greater self-confidence. This is very closely linked with developing high self-esteem since it also has a massive positive impact and the methods for improving it are similar. Although the two are slightly different ideas, since they’re both enormously beneficial for anyone trying to lead a happy and successful life, we’ll treat them as one broad concept for this article.
It’s about learning to value your skills and developing a genuine faith in and respect for yourself.
Maintaining a healthy, realistic and positive view of yourself isn’t about simply tooting your own horn or being arrogant. It’s about learning to value your skills and developing a genuine faith in and respect for yourself. This is not to say you should ignore your shortcomings - just that you can accept them and still be a happy, confident person.
When you put all of that together, spending some time on developing high self-confidence is a no brainer. It’s worth your time to develop a skill that will make your life easier and more rewarding in every way.
But how exactly do you go about building exceptional self-confidence?
What does it take to develop excellent self-esteem?
There are a ton of great things you can do. To help you find which methods work for you, we’ve collated some of our favourite articles on self-confidence and self-esteem - from why you should want it to how you can get it!
Peter Economy, also known as The Leadership Guy, wrote a helpful short article on five powerful ways to boost your confidence.
Five Powerful Ways To Boost Your Confidence
Confidence gives you the power to conquer the world. Here's how you can learn to be confident in all you do…
Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. They face their fears head-on and tend to be risk-takers. They know that no matter what obstacles come their way, they can get past them.
Self-confident people tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren't going so well, and they are typically satisfied with and respect themselves.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have this kind of self-confidence, every day of the week? Guess what? You can.
Self-confidence can be learned, practised, and mastered - just like any other skill.
"Low self-confidence isn't a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practised, and mastered - just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better." Barrie Davenport
It comes down to one simple question: If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to?
Try some of the tips listed below. Don't just read them and put them on the back burner. Begin to practice them daily, beginning today. You might have to fake it at first and merely appear to be self-confident, but eventually, you will begin to feel the foundation of self-confidence grow within you. With some time and practice (this is not an overnight phenomenon), you too can be a self-confident person, both inside and out, whom others admire and say "Yes!" to.
1: Stay away from negativity and bring on the positivity
This is the time to evaluate your inner circle, including friends and family. This is a tough one, but it's time to seriously consider getting away from those individuals who put you down and shred your confidence. Even a temporary break from Debbie Downer can make a huge difference and help you make strides toward more self-confidence.
Be positive, even if you're not feeling it quite yet. Put some positive enthusiasm into your interactions with others and hit the ground running, excited to begin your next project. Stop focusing on the problems in your life and instead begin to focus on solutions and making positive changes.
2: Change your body language & image
This is where posture, smiling, eye contact, and speech slowly come into play. Just the simple act of pulling your shoulders back gives others the impression that you are a confident person. Smiling will not only make you feel better but will make others feel more comfortable around you. Imagine a person with good posture and a smile and you'll be envisioning someone who is self-confident.
Look at the person you are speaking to, not at your shoes - keeping eye contact shows confidence. Last, speak slowly. Research has proved that those who take the time to speak slowly and clearly feel more self-confident and appear more self-confident to others. The bonus is they will be able to understand what you are saying.
Go the extra mile and style your hair, give yourself a clean shave, and dress nicely. Not only will this make you feel better about yourself, but others are more likely to perceive you as successful and self-confident as well. A great tip: When you purchase a new outfit, practise wearing it at home first to get past any wardrobe malfunctions before heading out.
3: Don't accept failure & get rid of the negative voices in your head
Never give up. Never accept failure. There is a solution to everything, so why would you want to throw in the towel? Make this your new mantra. Succeeding through great adversity is a huge confidence booster.
Low self-confidence is often caused by the negative thoughts running through our minds on an endless track. If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you're not good enough, aren't attractive enough, aren't smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are becoming what you are preaching inside your head, and that's not good. The next time you hear that negativity in your head, switch it immediately to a positive affirmation and keep it up until it hits the calibre of a self-confidence boost.
4: Be prepared
Learn everything there is to know about your field, job, presentation - whatever is next on your "to conquer" list. If you are prepared and have the knowledge to back it up, your self-confidence will soar.
5. For tough times, when all else fails: Create a great list
Life is full of challenges and there are times when it's difficult to keep our self-confidence up. Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of all the things you are proud of accomplishing.
Once your lists are complete, post them on your refrigerator door, on the wall by your desk, on your bathroom mirror - somewhere where you can easily be reminded of what an amazing life you have and what an amazing person you are. If you feel your self-confidence dwindling, take a look at those lists and let yourself feel and be inspired all over again by you.
You can find Peter’s original article here…
Steve Errey, writing for Life Hack, created a fantastic (long!) list of techniques you can use to build your self-confidence. Here’s what he came up with…
63 Ways to Build Self-Confidence
Confidence is a tool you can use in your everyday life to do all kinds of cool stuff, not least to stop second-guessing yourself, manage your fears and become able to do more of the things that matter to you.
But not many people realise that their self-confidence works just like a muscle – it grows in response to the level of performance required of it. Either you use it or you lose it. That’s why I’ve given you 63 ways to grow your confidence so that you can become a giant.
1. Learning is a good thing, so sign up for that evening class and enjoy it.
2. Get out of your head by asking your partner or best friend what you can do for them today.
3. Hit the gym. The physiological effects will leave you feeling great.
4. Go to a networking event and focus on how you can be helpful to other people rather than being nervous about your stuff.
5. Get crystal clear on the things that truly matter to you. If they’re not in your life, you need to bring them in.
6. Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then write down how you can remove, minimise or diminish each one.
7. Look at a great win or success you’ve experienced and give yourself credit for your part in it. Recognising your achievements is not egotistical, it’s healthy.
8. Next time you’re at a social event, don’t just stick with the people you know – go and have a conversation with someone you don’t know and you never know what – or who – you’ll discover.
9. Next time you talk yourself out of doing something (a party invite, a challenging project or whatever else), say ‘What the Hell’ and go do it anyway.
10. Do one thing each day that makes you smile (on the inside or the outside).
11. Look for the patterns of thought that take you to a place where you start second-guessing or over-thinking. Now imagine that your best friend went through the same thought process and ended up holding themselves back – what would you want to say to them?
12. Ask out that girl or guy you fancy the pants off (only if you’re single, don’t want to get you into trouble).
13. You have to keep your mind well fed, so write a list of 20 things that keeps your mind feeling nourished and make sure you’re giving them room in your life.
14. Stop playing different roles and squeezing yourself into boxes based on what you think people expect you to act like.
15. Learn to catch yourself every single time you tell yourself that you can’t have, won’t get or aren’t good enough to get what you want.
16. Take yourself off auto-pilot – make deliberate decisions on what really matters to you.
17. Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself and look for a way that that inner dialogue can be improved. Ask yourself, “What would make this easier?”
18. Scared of looking silly? You and everyone else. It’s no biggie so don’t let it stop you. Say it with me – “It just doesn’t matter.”
19. Don’t think for a second that you can’t be confident. There are already loads of things you do with natural self-confidence, you just have to notice them and get familiar with how it feels. Look for the things you do where the question of whether you’re confident enough never arises.
20. Listen to your doubts but be ready to make deliberate decisions once you’ve heard them. Sometimes your doubts are there to let you know what you need to prepare for, so you can use them to your benefit as you move forwards.
21. Think of a time when it felt like a whole bank of switches in your head flicked to the on position and you were firing on all cylinders. What were you doing and what’s the reason it felt so great?
22. You’ve got a whole bunch of outdated rules that determine what you do, don’t do, should do and shouldn’t do. These rules limit your thinking and limit your behaviour. Tear up your rule book and notice how free you are to make great decisions.
23. Do you get annoyed with yourself because you didn’t make the most of something or stepped back from an opportunity? Don’t beat yourself up because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Instead, be brutally honest and ask yourself what you gained from the situation and what you lost out on. Based on this win/lose balance, what’s a different choice you can make next time?
24. If you’d already done everything in life you’d have no need to be scared. Don’t ever think that being scared means you’re not confident, it simply means you’re going somewhere new.
25. If there’s someone in your life who puts you down or makes you feel small, you owe it to yourself to let them know that you expect something different from now on. You deserve better.
26. Flirt. It’s a harmless way to play around with connecting with people and having fun.
27. Reveal a little bit of the real you in a relationship that might feel like it’s in a rut.
28. Acknowledge and welcome all of your experiences – the good stuff as well as the bad stuff. It’s all equally valid and hiding things away because you don’t like them is just creating conflict.
29. Always recognise that you’re more than a match for any situation you might find yourself in, no matter how tough the going gets.
30. Don’t get swept up in the drama of what’s happening right now, look for more useful ways of engaging with what happens in your life.
31. Don’t automatically give in to the instant pay-off – it often means you’re selling yourself short.
32. When you feel like stamping your foot and yelling “I deserve better than this!”, take a step back and say “I can BE better than this.”
33. Confidence sometimes means admitting you’re wrong – always be ready to hold your hands up and change your mind.
34. Trust your instincts. They know what they’re talking about.
35. Fear is a way of letting you know that you’re about to stretch yourself and grow your confidence. That’s a good thing, so use it to take yourself forwards rather than run away.
36. Imagine you’re visited by a successful, confident, attractive and vibrant version of you from the future, a version of you who’s everything you hope to be. What do they want to tell you?
37. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself – sometimes the most confident thing to do is ask for help.
38. Take a chance on something tomorrow. Anything, big or small, just take a chance.
39. You need to be around people who make you feel like YOU, so spend more time with the people who support and encourage you and less with those who undermine you.
40. Stop struggling against the things you don’t like in your life – create a congruent environment around you that flows and allows you to be you.
41. No man’s an island, and you need to be a part of the world you around to feel confident. What can you participate in that’s important to you?
42. Forget the pros and cons – do something bold in the face of your challenges and fears.
43. Work on developing the skills you need to win at the things that matter to you. What can you practice that would radically improve your chances of winning?
44. The body is a mirror for the mind, so shifting your body into a confident state can have surprising results.
45. Don’t get disheartened or demotivated when you get to 90% with something you’re working on – push through and you’ll see that the last 10% is where the magic happens.
46. Keep comparing yourself to others? Stop it, don’t try to validate yourself through comparison – you’re just peachy as you are.
47. Put your head above the parapet at work and speak up if there’s something you think could be improved or if you have an idea you think has legs.
48. If there’s something you’ve been struggling to understand for a while, stop trying to understand it. Accept it just as it is, fully and wholly.
49. Shy with new people? Not a problem, there’s nothing wrong with being shy and it doesn’t mean you’re not confident. Just don’t overthink it, start beating yourself up or thinking you’re less than because you’re shy – the more you think like that the worse it gets.
50. Your environment directly impacts your self-perception, so if you’re surrounded by clutter, paperwork and rubbish put a morning aside to clean up your stuff and get organised.
51. Write yourself a list of the amazing things you’d love to do in your life and make a start by simply looking into the first one or two things that leap out at you.
52. Don’t make your happiness or self-worth dependent on being in a relationship or being validated by someone else. Find your inherent value first, and your relationships and confidence will be immeasurably better.
53. Your strengths can be used to overcome any of your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses but they only undermine your confidence if you let them.
54. The longer you leave that big thing on your to-do list the more it’ll drain you and the bigger it’ll seem – get it done and free yourself up.
55. What golden threads, themes, patterns and passions have always been in your life? If those things aren’t present in your life right now, you need to shift your priorities.
56. Your body image does matter because if you have a bad relationship with your body you won’t be feeling confident in yourself. Get trim if you need to, just make sure you get along with your body.
57. Being confident is an ongoing process. It isn’t a goal or an end-point that you reach and then stop. Keep playing to the best of your ability and your confidence will always be there to support you.
58. Try a new path. The well-trodden paths of your life can easily turn from familiarity to apathy and disconnection. A new path wakes you up.
59. Don’t say “Yes” to taking on a task simply because you don’t want to rock the boat – you can politely decline requests you can’t meet and don’t need to create an excuse for it.
60. Look at the people you respect who seem confident – don’t copy them, but identify what it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from it.
61. Make a plan to do something, then make deliberate choices to follow through. Seeing progress gives you important self-reinforcement.
62. When you feel yourself focusing inwards and becoming paralysed with doubt or fear, switch to focusing outwards on what you can engage and interact with.
63. Still beating yourself up for failing or screwing up? It might not be a barrel of laughs but it’s not going to help you get through it. Much better to recognise that everything, whether it turns out or not, is how you practice living a rich life.
Make a plan to do something, then make deliberate choices to follow through. Seeing progress gives you important self-reinforcement.
You can find the original article here…
Leo Babauta, from Zen Habits, also wrote a post about boosting self-confidence. This one is personal, well-considered and dotted with some great quotes.
25 Killer Actions to Boost Your Self-Confidence
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E.E. Cummings
One of the things that held me back from pursuing my dreams for many years was my fear of failure … and the lack of self-confidence that I needed to overcome that fear.
It’s something we all face, to some degree, I think. The key question: how do you overcome that fear?
By working on your self-confidence and self-esteem. Without really thinking of it in those terms, that’s what I’ve been doing over the years, and that’s what helped me finally overcome my fears, and finally pursue my dreams.
I still have those fears, undoubtedly. But now I know that I can beat them, that I can break through that wall of fear and come out on the other side. I’ve done it many times now, and that success will fuel further success.
This post was inspired by reader Nick from Finland, who asked for an article about self-worth and self-confidence:
“Many of the things you propose make people feel better about themselves and actually help build self-confidence. However, I would be interested in reading your input in general on this topic. Taking time out for your plans and dreams, doing things another way than most other people and generally not necessarily “fitting in” can be quite hard with low self-confidence.”
Truer words have never been spoken. It’s near impossible to make time for your dreams, to break free from the traditional mold, and to truly be yourself if you have low self-esteem and self-confidence.
As an aside, I know that some people make a strong distinction between self-esteem and self-confidence. In this article, I use them interchangeably, even if there is a subtle but perhaps important difference … the difference being whether you believe you’re worthy of respect from others (self-esteem) and whether you believe in yourself (self-confidence). In the end, both amount to the same thing, and in the end, the actions I mention below give a boost to both self-esteem and self-confidence.
If you are low in self-confidence, is it possible to do things that will change that? Is your self-confidence in your control?
While it may not seem so, if you are low in self-confidence, I strongly believe that you can do things to increase your self-confidence. It is not genetic, and you do not have to be reliant on others to increase your self-confidence. And if you believe that you are not very competent, not very smart, not very attractive, etc. … that can be changed.
You can become someone worthy of respect, and someone who can pursue what he wants despite the naysaying of others.
You can do this by taking control of your life and taking control of your self-confidence. By taking concrete actions that improve your competence, and your self-image, you can increase that self-confidence, without the help of anyone else.
Below, I outline 25 things that will help you do that. None of them is revolutionary, and none of them will do it all by themselves. The list certainly isn’t comprehensive. These are just some of my favourite things, stuff that’s worked for me.
And you don’t need to do all of them, as if this were a recipe … pick and choose those that appeal to you, maybe just a couple at first, and give them a try. If they work, try others. If they don’t, try others.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1: Groom yourself
This seems like such an obvious one, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and a shave can make in your feelings of self-confidence and your self-image. There have been days when I turned my mood around completely with this one little thing.
2: Dress nicely
A corollary of the first item above … if you dress nicely, you’ll feel good about yourself. You’ll feel successful and presentable and ready to tackle the world. Now, dressing nicely means something different for everyone … it doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a $500 outfit but could mean casual clothes that are nice looking and presentable.
3: Photoshop your self-image
Our self-image means so much to us, more than we often realize. We have a mental picture of ourselves, and it determines how confident we are in ourselves. But this picture isn’t fixed and immutable. You can change it. Use your mental Photoshopping skills, and work on your self-image. If it’s not a very good one, change it. Figure out why you see yourself that way and find a way to fix it.
We have a mental picture of ourselves, and it determines how confident we are in ourselves. But this picture isn’t fixed and immutable. You can change it.
4: Think positive
One of the things I learned when I started running, about two years ago, was how to replace negative thoughts (see next item) with positive ones. How I can actually change my thoughts, and by doing so make great things happen. With this tiny little skill, I was able to train for and run a marathon within a year. It sounds so trite, so Norman Vincent Peale, but my goodness this works. Seriously. Try it if you haven’t.
5: Kill negative thoughts
Goes hand-in-hand with the above item, but it’s so important that I made it a separate item. You have to learn to be aware of your self-talk, the thoughts you have about yourself and what you’re doing. When I was running, sometimes my mind would start to say, “This is too hard. I want to stop and go watch TV.” Well, I soon learned to recognize this negative self-talk, and soon I learned a trick that changed everything in my life: I would imagine that a negative thought was a bug, and I would vigilantly be on the lookout for these bugs. When I caught one, I would stomp on it (mentally of course) and squash it. Kill it dead. Then replace it with a positive one. (“C’mon, I can do this! Only one mile left!”)
“Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Sun Tzu
6: Get to know yourself
When going into battle, the wisest general learns to know his enemy very, very well. You can’t defeat the enemy without knowing him. And when you’re trying to overcome a negative self-image and replace it with self-confidence, your enemy is yourself. Get to know yourself well. Start listening to your thoughts. Start writing a journal about yourself, your thoughts about yourself, and analyzing why you have such negative thoughts. And then think about the good things about yourself, the things you can do well, the things you like. Start thinking about your limitations, and whether they’re real limitations or just ones you’ve allowed to be placed there, artificially. Dig deep within yourself, and you’ll come out (eventually) with even greater self-confidence.
7: Act positive
More than just thinking positive, you have to put it into action. Action is the key to developing self-confidence. It’s one thing to learn to think positive, but when you start acting on it, you change yourself, one action at a time. You are what you do, and so if you change what you do, you change what you are. Act in a positive way, take action instead of telling yourself you can’t, and be positive. Talk to people in a positive way, and put energy into your actions. You’ll soon start to notice a difference.
8: Be kind & generous
Oh, so corny. If this is too corny for you, move on. But for the rest of you, know that being kind to others, and generous with yourself and your time and what you have, is a tremendous way to improve your self-image. You act in accordance with the Golden Rule, and you start to feel good about yourself and think that you are a good person. It does wonders for your self-confidence, believe me.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
9: Get prepared
It’s hard to be confident in yourself if you don’t think you’ll do well at something. Beat that feeling by preparing yourself as much as possible. Think about taking an exam: if you haven’t studied, you won’t have much confidence in your abilities to do well on the exam. But if you studied your butt off, you’re prepared, and you’ll be much more confident. Now think of life as your exam, and prepare yourself.
It’s hard to be confident in yourself if you don’t think you’ll do well at something.
10: Know your principles & live them
What are the principles upon which your life is built? If you don’t know, you will have trouble, because your life will feel directionless. For myself, I try to live the Golden Rule (and fail often). This is my key principle, and I try to live my life by it. I have others, but they are mostly in some way related to this rule (the major exception being to “Live my Passion”). Think about your principles … you might have them but perhaps you haven’t given them much thought. Now think about whether you actually live these principles, or if you just believe in them but don’t act on them.
11: Speak slowly
Such a simple thing, but it can have a big difference in how others perceive you. A person in authority, with authority, speaks slowly. It shows confidence. A person who feels that he isn’t worth listening to will speak quickly because he doesn’t want to keep others waiting on something not worthy of listening to. Even if you don’t feel the confidence of someone who speaks slowly, try doing it a few times. It will make you feel more confident. Of course, don’t take it to an extreme, but just don’t sound rushed either.
12: Stand tall
I have horrible posture, so it will sound hypocritical for me to give this advice, but I know it works because I try it often. When I remind myself to stand tall and straight, I feel better about myself. I imagine that a rope is pulling the top of my head toward the sky, and the rest of my body straightens accordingly. As an aside, people who stand tall and confident are more attractive. That’s a good thing any day, in my book.
13: Increase competence
How do you feel more competent? By becoming more competent. And how do you do that? By studying and practising. Just do small bits at a time. If you want to be a more competent writer, for example, don’t try to tackle the entire profession of writing all at once. Just begin to write more. Journal, blog, write short stories and do some freelance writing. The more you write, the better you’ll be. Set aside 30 minutes a day to write (for example), and the practice will increase your competence.
14: Set a small goal & achieve it
People often make the mistake of shooting for the moon, and then when they fail, they get discouraged. Instead, shoot for something much more achievable. Set a goal you know you can achieve, and then achieve it. You’ll feel good about that. Now set another small goal and achieve that. The more you achieve small goals, the better you’ll be at it, and the better you’ll feel. Soon you’ll be setting bigger (but still achievable) goals and achieving those too.
15: Change a small habit
Not a big one, like quitting smoking. Just a small one, like writing things down. Or waking up 10 minutes earlier. Or drinking a glass of water when you wake up. Something small that you know you can do. Do it for a month. When you’ve accomplished it, you’ll feel like a million bucks.
16: Focus on solutions
If you are a complainer or focus on problems, change your focus now. Focusing on solutions instead of problems is one of the best things you can do for your confidence and your career. “I’m fat and lazy!” So how can you solve that? “But I can’t motivate myself!” So how can you solve that? “But I have no energy!” So what’s the solution?
Another trite one. But it works. I feel instantly better when I smile, and it helps me to be kinder to others as well. A little tiny thing that can have a chain reaction. Not a bad investment of your time and energy.
Related to the “be kind and generous” item above, but more specific. It’s the holiday season right now … can you find the time to volunteer for a good cause, to spread some holiday cheer, to make the lives of others better? It’ll be some of the best time you’ve ever spent, and an amazing side benefit is that you’ll feel better about yourself, instantly.
19: Be grateful
I’m a firm believer in gratitude, as anyone who’s been reading this blog for very long knows well. But I put it here because while being grateful for what you have in life, for what others have given you, is a very humbling activity … it can also be a very positive and rewarding activity that will improve your self-image.
Gosh, I seem to put this one on almost every list. But if I left it off this list I would be doing you a disservice. Exercise has been one of my most empowering activities in the last couple of years, and it has made me feel so much better about myself. All you have to do is take a walk a few times a week, and you’ll see benefits.
Exercise has been one of my most empowering activities in the last couple of years, and it has made me feel so much better about myself.
21: Empower yourself with knowledge
Empowering yourself, in general, is one of the best strategies for building self-confidence. You can do that in many ways, but one of the surest ways to empower yourself is through knowledge. This is along the same vein as building competence and getting prepared … by becoming more knowledgeable, you’ll be more confident … and you become more knowledgeable by doing research and studying. The Internet is a great tool, of course, but so are the people around you, people who have done what you want, books, magazines, and educational institutions.
22: Do something you’ve been procrastinating on
What’s on your to-do list that’s been sitting there? Do it first thing in the morning, and get it out of the way. You’ll feel great about yourself.
23: Get active
Doing something is almost always better than not doing anything. Of course, doing something could lead to mistakes … but mistakes are a part of life. It’s how we learn. Without mistakes, we’d never get better. So don’t worry about those. Just do something. Get off your butt and get active — physically, or active by taking steps to accomplish something.
24: Work on small things
Trying to take on a huge project or task can be overwhelming and daunting and intimidating for anyone, even the best of us. Instead, learn to break off small chunks and work in bursts. Small little achievements make you feel good, and they add up to big achievements. Learn to work like this all the time, and soon you’ll be a self-confident maniac.
25: Clear your desk
This might seem like a small, simple thing (then again, for some of you it might not be so small). But it has always worked wonders for me. If my desk starts to get messy, and the world around me is in chaos, clearing off my desk is my way of getting a little piece of my life under control. It is the calm in the centre of the storm around me.
“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney
Find the original article here…
Neel Burton, a psychiatrist and philosopher writing for Psychology Today, penned this great article with practical ways to build self-esteem and confidence.
17 simple suggestions for building confidence and self-esteem
Self-esteem is affected by physical ill-health, negative life events such as losing your job or getting divorced, deficient or frustrating relationships, and a general sense of lack of control. This sense of lack of control is often particularly marked in people who are the victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or discrimination on the grounds of religion, culture, race, sex, or sexual orientation.
Sometimes poor self-esteem can be deeply rooted and have its origins in traumatic childhood experiences such as prolonged separation from parent figures, neglect, or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. If you think this is a particular problem for you, speak to a mental healthcare professional. Therapy or counselling may enable you to talk about such experiences and try to come to terms with them. Unfortunately, therapy or counselling may be difficult to obtain, and may not be suitable for everyone.
Low self-esteem can predispose you to developing a mental disorder, and developing a mental disorder can in turn deliver a huge knock to your self-esteem. In some cases, low self-esteem is in itself a cardinal feature of mental disorder, for example, in depression or borderline personality disorder. The relationship between low self-esteem and mental disorder is complex, and a person with a mental disorder is more likely than most to suffer from long-term low self-esteem.
People with long-term low self-esteem generally see the world as a hostile place and themselves as its victim. As a result, they feel reluctant to express and assert themselves, miss out on experiences and opportunities, and feel helpless about changing things. All this merely lowers their self-esteem even further, and they end up getting caught in a downward spiral.
Thankfully, there are several simple things that anyone can do to boost his or her self-esteem and, hopefully, break out of this vicious circle. You may already be doing some of these things, and you certainly don't need to do them all. Just do those that you feel most comfortable with.
1. Make three lists: One of your strengths, one of your achievements, and one of the things that you admire about yourself. Try to get a friend or relative to help you with these lists. Keep the lists in a safe place and read through them regularly.
2. Think positively about yourself. Remind yourself that, despite your problems, you are a unique, special, and valuable person, and that you deserve to feel good about yourself. Identify and challenge any negative thoughts that you may have about yourself, such as ‘I am a loser’, ‘I never do anything right’, or ‘No one really likes me’.
3. Pay special attention to your personal hygiene: for example, style your hair, trim your nails, and floss your teeth.
4. Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
5. Eat good food as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Make mealtimes a special time, even if you are eating alone. Turn off the TV or radio, set the table, and arrange your food so that it looks attractive on your plate.
6. Exercise regularly: go out for a brisk walk every day, and take more vigorous exercise (exercise that makes you break into a sweat) three times a week.
7. Ensure that you are getting enough sleep.
8. Manage your stress levels. If possible, agree with a close friend or relative that you will take turns to massage each other regularly.
9. Make your living space clean, comfortable, and attractive. Display items that remind you of your achievements or the special times and people in your life.
10. Do more of the things that you enjoy doing. Do at least one thing that you enjoy every day, and remind yourself that you deserve it.
11. Get involved in activities such as painting, music, poetry, and dance. Such artistic activities enable you to express yourself, acquire a sense of mastery, and interact positively with others. Find a class through your local adult education service or community centre.
12. Set yourself a challenge that you can realistically achieve, and then go for it! For example, take up yoga, learn to sing, or cook for a small dinner party at your apartment or house.
13. Do some of the things that you have been putting off, such as clearing out the garden, washing the windows, or filing the paperwork.
14. Do something nice for others. For example, strike up a conversation with the person at the till, visit a friend who is sick, or get involved with a local charity.
15. Get others involved: tell your friends and relatives what you are going through and enlist their advice and support. Perhaps they have similar problems too, in which case you might be able to band up and form a support group.
16. Try to spend more time with those you hold near and dear. At the same time, try to enlarge your social circle by making an effort to meet people.
17. On the other hand, avoid people, places, and institutions that treat you badly or that make you feel bad about yourself. This could mean being more assertive. If assertiveness is a problem for you, ask a healthcare professional about assertiveness training.
Five quotations about self-esteem and self-confidence
“Adversity and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless.” Scott Hamilton
“Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.” Jack Welch
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller
“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” Lao Tzu
“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” Anonymous
You can find Burton’s article here…
Jaime Kulaga, writing for Forbes, published a great article that outlines ideas for building confidence. It’s short, but provides an example of how to execute each idea so you can jump right into putting them into practice!
How You Can Build Your Confidence, And Keep It
Many of us have limiting beliefs about ourselves in at least one area of our lives. These limiting beliefs lead to a decrease in confidence. You may be an expert and thriving in one area of your life, but in other areas, you may lack confidence for a variety of reasons.
Often we know that to be successful we must be more confident, but the question is, how can we gain confidence, and keep it?
Use Caution With Your Self-Talk
You may have gotten stuck on thinking the same things about yourself for so long that you aren’t aware of tools that make your self-talk more positive.
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Lisa M. Hayes
Person 1: I don’t think I can do this. I failed last time. I always mess up. I’m not sure I’ll make it. Maybe I wasn’t made for this.
Person 2: I got this. I will nail it. I will succeed. I’m so proud of myself. I knew I would get this far.
Between Person 1 and Person 2, who do you think will achieve their goal? This is not a trick question. The answer is Person 2. The messages that you repeatedly send to yourself day in and day out reflect your ability to see opportunity - the willingness to act on this seen opportunity - and ultimately your success.
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Lisa M. Hayes
Action: Stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating. Cut your negative thoughts immediately and replace them with words that are positive and confident. The more you repeatedly send positive messages to yourself, the more confident you will become.
At some time, we have all tried to act like someone else. The one thing that we found: we could not be them. Their past is different, their biology is different, and there is a lot you don’t know about what they’re portraying to the world.
Exhausting energy on trying to be something that you’re not, or fighting day in and out for someone else’s approval will minimize self-confidence. When you compare yourself, you are now set in a direct line for failure and feelings of guilt. These feelings only push away confidence.
Action: Shift the attention that you’re wasting in comparisons back to you and your goals and you will instantly see an increase in self-confidence.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
You have to work for your confidence. To do this, you have to analyze what you’d like to avoid. If you lack confidence in speaking up during business meetings, then you need to start speaking up during business meetings. Instead of just shouting something out during a meeting, go ahead and create a plan for what you want to say and have your notes in front of you. This way you will be more prepared for the uncomfortable situation ahead. The more you speak up during business meetings, the more opportunities you have to work on your confidence in this area of life and the less uncomfortable that action will be.
Action: This week, step out of your comfort zone three times. The more frequently you step outside your comfort zone, the quicker this type of behaviour will become a habit. Life outside your comfort zone offers more opportunities - and more successes. More personal success means more self-confidence.
Do you want to boost your confidence? Then work out. Exercising will make you feel better about yourself, give you more energy and encourage better life choices and a better attitude. Exercising helps your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. A portion of our confidence comes from how we feel in our skin, how we think we look and how healthy our body feels inside. Confidence is a mind and body state.
Action: If you have not already done so, plan and start an exercise routine this week. If you don’t have time to exercise, identify three areas in your life where you can cut 10 minutes. Take that 30 minutes to exercise.
Ninety per cent of serotonin is produced in our gut. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us happy. Poor diets may encourage depressive feelings. These negative feelings only drop self-confidence. Do your best to stay away from frequenting antibiotics, processed foods and high sugar and carb diets. If you are eating healthy, you will increase your mood toward all things, including yourself.
Action: Name one food that you can eliminate from your diet and one food you can add to your diet that would make you feel better about your overall health. Implement this for at least one week and see if the diet change impacted your mood and confidence levels.
The staff at The Mayo Clinic (a very well respected medical practice and medical research group in the USA) have also published their thoughts on increasing self-esteem. Here’s what they had to say…
Self-esteem: Take steps to feel better about yourself
If you have low self-esteem, harness the power of your thoughts and beliefs to change how you feel about yourself. Start with these four steps to healthier self-esteem.
Low self-esteem can negatively affect virtually every facet of your life, including your relationships, your job and your health. But you can take steps to boost your self-esteem by taking cues from types of mental health counselling.
Consider these steps, based on cognitive behavioural therapy:
1: Identify troubling conditions or situations
Think about the conditions or situations that seem to deflate your self-esteem. Common triggers might include:
- A work or school presentation
- A crisis at work or home
- A challenge with a spouse, loved one, co-worker or another close contact
- A change in roles or life circumstances, such as a job loss or a child leaving home
2: Become aware of thoughts & beliefs
Once you've identified troubling situations, pay attention to your thoughts about them. This includes your self-talk - what you tell yourself - and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas.
3: Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking
Your initial thoughts might not be the only possible way to view a situation - so test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be plausible.
Be aware that it can be hard to recognize inaccuracies in thinking. Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions.
Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions.
Also, pay attention to thought patterns that erode self-esteem:
All-or-nothing thinking. You see things as either all good or all bad. For example, "If I don't succeed in this task, I'm a total failure."
Mental filtering. You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation. For example, "I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realize I'm not up to this job."
Converting positives into negatives. You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don't count. For example, "I only did well on that test because it was so easy."
Jumping to negative conclusions. You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example, "My friend hasn't replied to my email, so I must have done something to make her angry."
Mistaking feelings for facts. You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, "I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure."
Negative self-talk. You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humour. This can result from overreacting to a situation, such as making a mistake. For example, "I don't deserve anything better."
4: Adjust your thoughts & beliefs
Now replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with accurate, constructive thoughts. Try these strategies:
Use hopeful statements. Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you think your presentation isn't going to go well, you might indeed stumble through it. Try telling yourself things such as, "Even though it's tough, I can handle this situation."
Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes — and mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're isolated moments in time. Tell yourself, "I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a bad person."
Avoid 'should' and 'must' statements. If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting unreasonable demands on yourself — or others. Removing these words from your thoughts can lead to more realistic expectations.
Focus on the positive. Think about the good parts of your life. Remind yourself of things that have gone well recently. Consider the skills you've used to cope with challenging situations.
Relabel upsetting thoughts. You don't need to react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, think of negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy patterns. Ask yourself, "What can I think and do to make this less stressful?"
Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. For example, "My presentation might not have been perfect, but my colleagues asked questions and remained engaged — which means that I accomplished my goal."
You can find the original article on the Mayo Clinic website…
Dr Mary Ellen Copeland, writing for Psych Central, created a great list of practical tips for building self-esteem. It’s short but jam-packed with excellent things you can start on right now.
Tips for Building Self-Esteem
In my work, I sometimes feel that there is an epidemic of low self-esteem. Even people who seem to be very sure of themselves will admit to having low self-esteem, a feeling that often makes them unhappy and keeps them from doing some of the things they want to do and being the kind of person they want to be. In fact, they may say that low self-esteem causes or worsens, their bouts with depression and anxiety.
I know this has been a big factor in my life. I feel that I am always working on raising my self-esteem and that I will always need to do that.
There is no single way to build self-esteem. There are many different things you can do to work on this issue, and I, myself, am always on the lookout for new ways to raise self-esteem. This article will describe some of what I have learned to date.
Right now you have an opportunity to do something that will help you to raise your self-esteem. Once every four years, you can vote for the person you would like to be the next president of the United States. You also have the opportunity to vote for other national, state and local officials. Regardless of the outcome of the election, informing yourself about the candidates and voting for the ones who support issues that are important to you can make you feel good about yourself, raising your self-esteem.
Begin the process by thinking about the issues that are most important to you—education, health care, the environment, taxes, defence spending, etc. If you don’t know how you feel about these issues, read some related articles and talk with people who have the information you need. Then, when you know how you feel, find out which candidates support your views. Then vote for those candidates. If you feel strongly about certain candidates and have the time, you may want to volunteer to help them with their campaigns. Activism will give your self-esteem another boost.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Another way you can build your self-esteem is to take very good care of yourself. You may take very good care of others and put your care last. Or your life may be so busy that you don’t take the time to do the things you need to do to stay healthy. You may feel so badly about yourself that you don’t bother to take good care of yourself.
Some of the things you can do to take good care of yourself include:
- Eating three meals a day that are focused on healthy foods—fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole-grain foods and rich sources of protein like chicken and fish.
- Avoid foods that contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine and food additives. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you may want to avoid them.
- Getting outside and exercising every day.
- Spending some time each day doing something you enjoy.
- Spending time each day with people who make you feel good about yourself.
- Have regular check-ups with your health care providers.
Change Negative Thoughts about Yourself to Positive Ones
Work on changing negative thoughts about yourself to positive ones. You may give yourself lots of negative self-talk. Many people do. This negative self-talk worsens your low self-esteem. You can decide now not to do this to yourself. That’s great if you can do it. However, negative self-talk is often a habit that is hard to break. You may need to work on it more directly by changing these negative statements about yourself to positive ones. Begin this process by making a list of the negative statements you often say to yourself.
Some of the most common ones are:
- Nobody likes me.
- I am ugly.
- I never do anything right.
- I am a failure.
- I am dumb.
- Everyone is better than I am.
- I’m not worth anything.
- I’ve never accomplished anything worthwhile.
Then develop a positive statement that refutes the negative one. For instance, instead of saying to yourself, “Nobody likes me” you could say, “Many people like me”. You could even make a list of the people who like you. Instead of saying, “I am ugly”, you could say “I look fine”. Instead of saying, “I never do anything right” you could say “I have done many things right.” You could even make a list of things you have done right. It helps to do this work in a special notebook or journal.
When you have developed positive statements that refute your negative statements, read them over and over to yourself. Read them before you go to bed at night and when you first get up in the morning. Read them aloud to your partner, a close friend or your counsellor. Make signs that say a positive statement about you and post them where you will see them–like on the mirror in your bathroom. Then read them aloud every time you see them. You can think of some other ways to reinforce these positive statements about yourself.
Get Something Done
Low self-esteem is often accompanied by a lack of motivation. It may feel very hard to do anything. It will help you to feel better about yourself if you do something, even if it is a very small thing. You may want to keep a list of possibilities on hand for those times when you can’t think of anything to do. Things like: cleaning out one drawer, washing the outside of your refrigerator, putting a few pictures in a photo album, reading an article you have been wanting to read, taking a picture of a beautiful flower or a person you love, making the bed, doing a load of laundry, cooking yourself something healthy, sending someone a card, hanging a picture or taking a short walk.
Make a List of Your Accomplishments
You may not give yourself credit for all that you have achieved in your life. Making a list of your accomplishments will help you become more aware of these accomplishments. It will also help change the focus of your self-thoughts to positive ones. You can do this exercise again and again, whenever you notice your self-esteem is low.
Making a list of your accomplishments will help you become more aware of these accomplishments. It will also help change the focus of your self-thoughts to positive ones.
Get a big sheet of paper and a comfortable pen. Set the timer for 20 minutes (or as long as you’d like). Spend the time writing your accomplishments. You could never have a paper long enough or enough time to write them all. Nothing is too big or too small to go on this list.
This list can include things like:
- Learning to talk, walk, read, skip, etc.
- Planting some seeds or caring for houseplants
- Raising a child
- Making and keeping a good friend
- Dealing with a major illness or disability
- Buying your groceries
- Driving your car or catching the subway
- Smiling at a person who looks sad
- Taking a difficult course
- Getting a job
- Doing the dishes
- Making the bed
Have you ever noticed the good feeling that washes over you when you do something nice for someone else? If so, take advantage of that good feeling by doing things that are “nice” or helpful to others as often as you can to build your self-esteem.
Watch for opportunities that come up every day. Buy your partner some flowers or even one rose. Send a friend a greeting card. If someone you know is having a hard time, send them a note or give them a call. Go out of your way to congratulate people you know on their achievements. Visit a patient at a nursing home or hospital or someone who is “shut-in.” Play with a child—read him a book, take her for a walk, push him on the swing. Do a chore for someone that might be hard for her or him like raking the leaves or mowing the grass. You may even want to volunteer for an organization that is helping others, like a heart association or AIDS project. I’m sure you can think of many other ideas.
Other Quick Things You Can Do to Raise Your Self-Esteem
Following is a list of other things you can do to raise your self-esteem. Some of them will be right at one time, while others will work at another time. There may be some you choose not to do - ever.
You may want to post this list on your refrigerator or in some other convenient place as a reminder.
- Surround yourself with people who are positive, affirming and loving.
- Wear something that makes you feel good.
- Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums.
- Make a collage of your life.
- Spend 10 minutes writing down everything good you can think of about yourself.
- Do something that makes you laugh.
- Pretend you are your own best friend.
- Repeat positive statements over and over again.
You can add more ideas to this list as you discover them for yourself.
Work on raising your self-esteem may go on for the rest of your life. However, this is not a burden. The kinds of things you do to raise your self-esteem will not only help you to feel better about yourself but will improve the quality of your life while energizing and enriching it.
The full article can be found here…
Corey Malinowski from Inspyr published a list of the benefits of self-confidence (always good to have a reminder!) and used the second half of the article to provide tips on how to be confident. It’s concise but makes some excellent points.
7 Reasons Why People With Confidence Succeed
Do you want to get ahead in life? Do you want to take the risks that can help you achieve your dreams?
Of course you do.
And gaining confidence may allow you to do both.
Confidence may seem like a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your life. It can help you get that promotion you’ve been after, or get a date with that person you’ve had your eye on.
A high self-confidence will impact your work life, your home life, and even your nightlife. Here are just a few benefits of having high self-confidence…
The Benefits Of Self-Confidence
1. You’ll be less stressed out. When you don’t have to worry about whether you did something right or not, you will be ridding yourself of a whole ton of stress.
2. You’ll perform better. Whether you’re completing personal or job-related tasks, you will do a better job when you are confident in what you’re doing.
3. You won’t spend your life avoiding conflict. When you believe in yourself, you’ll be able to tackle all problems and challenges head-on–something you wouldn’t even dare to attempt if you had low self-confidence.
4. You’ll have more free time. Though it’s good to double-check, you won’t be checking your work over and over and over again if you’re confident in what you can do.
5. People will like you more. When you believe in yourself, it shows. And people love that. You’ll make a great impression because you’ll seem more competent, and people will be reassured in your presence.
6. Your life will be more exciting. You’ll take chances and risks instead of just sliding by. You’ll live life on the edge because you know you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
7. You’ll bounce back after failure. You’ll deal with rejection better, and it won’t sting nearly as much. You’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get right back into the game.
How To Be Confident In Yourself
Having high self-confidence may have many benefits, but how can you make that happen? It’s not something you can just turn on and off. That being said, there are several tips that can help you learn to believe in yourself, no matter what.
Here they are:
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Write a list of strengths and weaknesses, and keep the same number of each. For every negative thing you can think of, there will be something positive to match it. This will get you in the habit of looking for strength in yourself every time you find a weakness.
2. Set goals for yourself. Set short term goals that you can achieve, and not just long term goals. By achieving your goals you will feel better about yourself, and about what you can accomplish in the future.
3. Live in the now. Make sure when you think of yourself, you judge yourself based on who you are right now, not who you were. Do not lament not being able to do something you used to, and be happy about what you can do now that you could not before.
4. Stop measuring your success based on the success of others. Do not compare yourself to others. Remember: for each thing they do great, they have a weakness to match. Each person is unique and has his or her strengths and weaknesses, including you.
5. Work on your happiness. Ever feel extra down on yourself when you’re in a bad mood? It happens to everyone. When you are genuinely happy, you will feel better about your life and yourself in general.
6. Determine what you want your future to look like. Figure out what you want to do with your life. If you do not know what you want, you cannot figure out how to achieve it. You cannot be confident in your actions if you are not sure what they are serving to achieve.
7. Allow yourself to revel in your successes. Create a list of things that you have accomplished. Add to the list whenever you accomplish something and review it often. This will provide regular, positive reinforcement in your life.
Self-confidence is essential if you want to live your best life. Life will be better in so many ways when you start believing in yourself. You can either be your own worst enemy or your own biggest cheerleader. What’s it gonna be?
Find the original article here:
There you have it - 139 fantastic tips you can use to start building your self-confidence skills!
We strongly encourage you to begin - there’s nothing like positive action to make you feel good about yourself.
So pick a strategy and start - right now.
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