How To Build Your Confidence In 12 Straightforward Ways

Think of that person you know, the one we all know. He or she exudes an air of certainty, carries themselves with determination, and lives in a way that portrays spirit and tenacity. We all know someone like this, and we aspire to be like them.

These are family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors, bosses. Whether it’s you or someone you know, we can all zero in on that someone we’ve come across in our lives who is the epitome of self-confidence.

What is self-confidence?

Believing in your abilities, trusting in yourself and your potential, and having faith in your performance and skillset are all characteristics of self-confidence.

Self-confidence is an internal quality that we discover over time through our lived experiences. Consequently, no one is born with confidence; we are taught through circumstances and situations to trust and have faith in ourselves.

Self-confidence is a quality that is possessed by those people you see succeeding in the workplace, the ones receiving promotions and raises, the ones who are sure of their work and put forth their best effort knowing it will surpass expectations.

Why is self-confidence so important to success?

Success is a byproduct of self-confidence. You must be in possession of one in order to gain ownership over the other.

When self-confidence is lacking, it’s very difficult to find success in many of your endeavors. You must trust in yourself and your abilities in order to achieve what it is you are set out to accomplish.

Success and self-confidence go hand-in-hand; they coexist and are often dependent on each other. They fuel one another, building each other up and taking up more space simultaneously. Self-confidence leads to success and as a result, success leads to higher self-confidence.

What are the benefits of confidence? 

Self-confidence supports higher performance, elevated self-worth, more happiness in life, and less stress and worry.

When you have confidence in yourself, you are more likely to perform to a higher degree. You believe in your capabilities and put your full effort into what you do, knowing the outcome will be triumphant.

Healthy self-confidence leads to a stronger sense of self-worth. You hold yourself in more esteemed regard and you don’t allow others to treat you poorly. You respect yourself and protect yourself from mistreatment. You treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

Happiness and true joy stem from a strong sense of self-confidence as well. Because you believe in your competence, you trust yourself more and are better able to make decisions that will lead to happiness.

High self-confidence supports a decrease in stress and worry. Confidence is a powerful tool to combat worry and anxiety, and when the confidence is sturdy and unshakeable, stress and worry often dissipate.

Why do we lose self-confidence?

There are a few reasons we can lose our self-confidence over time.

When we perform poorly on a work or school assignment, when our partner or friend criticizes something about us or something we’ve done, when we aren’t able to follow through on a commitment, and when we let ourselves down by failing to complete a goal; these are all things that can lead to a decrease in self-confidence.

Sometimes a lack of self-confidence stems from childhood if you had overly critical parents, family members, or teachers. In this case, we are unsure and uncertain of ourselves at a young age and this can carry into our adult lives if there is no effort put forth to correct the lack of self-confidence.  

Can self-confidence be learned?

Self-confidence is a learned trait that we can absolutely sharpen and fine-tune through time and experience.

Everyone is born without confidence. We work throughout our lives to gain self-confidence. Even if we experience a blow to our confidence due to an extenuating life event or circumstance, through practice and consistency, we can mold our confidence up again.

Whether you’re starting out with absolutely no self-confidence or you’ve lost some along the way, here are 12 straightforward ways to build your confidence. 

1. Make a list of your past accomplishments, big and small

Now is the time to reminisce and bring to light all the things you’ve achieved throughout your life. This can include childhood accomplishments, things you succeeded at during your high school years, work achievements, or anything that feels like you successfully tackled with your own abilities.

Include everything you can think of, both big and small. This can be anything from scoring the winning touchdown in a college football game, earning a college degree or certification, and marrying the love of your life to winning a game of cards against friends, receiving an A on an assignment that was challenging, or learning to swim when you were 5.

Nothing is off-limits. Take the time to really think about what you’ve accomplished throughout your life and make a list so you can take a look back at it when you’re in need of a confidence boost. This is an excellent way to remind yourself what you’re capable of.

2. Celebrate small victories

Sometimes we just need to take the time to celebrate small wins. Whether you’ve just completed a crossword puzzle or put your 6-year-old to bed without them having a meltdown, you’ve achieved something and that is worth celebrating.

Even if it sounds cheesy, telling yourself “Good job,” “I’m awesome,” or “I did that really well” can go a long way in building your self-confidence. Giving yourself praise allows you to see the positive side of things, where you are actively searching for good results instead of dwelling on the bad.

3. Do things you know you’re good at as often as possible

We’re all so-so at one thing or another, but there is most likely a handful of things that you’re really good at, that you stand out above the crowd.

Maybe you’re extremely eloquent and have a way with words. Maybe you’ve mastered crochet and can make a blanket in a matter of days. Perhaps you’re successful in your job and are able to perform any task thrown your way.

Find the things you are good at and do them as often as possible. When you are good at something, you feel capable, and when you feel capable, you perform to the best of your ability, which is the recipe for building stronger self-confidence.

4. Try new things

Learning a new hobby or skill, teaching yourself how to cook, trying a sport for the first time, and educating yourself on current political and social movements are all ways you can flex your self-confidence muscles.

Learning new things allows you to build upon the skills you already hold. You’re able to practice what you’re already good at while mastering something new and exciting.

Trying new things can also bring you joy, which makes the action of attempting something foreign more fun. The fun flows right into self-confidence; when you’re having a good time, you’re not thinking so much about what’s going wrong, but you’re focused on enjoying yourself and being present in the moment.

5. Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to focus your performance and acknowledge your level of success with whatever it is you’re doing.

When you’re living in the present moment, you’re not thinking about what went wrong prior, and you’re not paying attention to what might not go according to plan in the future. You’re simply focused on the task at hand and you’re able to take note of your degree of capability.

Being aware of yourself and your actions leads to self-confidence because once you’re cognizant of your wins, you’re more equipped to bring them to light and acknowledge them for what they are, praising yourself and your successes along the way.

6. Nourish yourself properly

In order to feel confident, you must be properly nourished. Feeling your best allows you to perform at your best.

Fuel yourself throughout the day with balanced meals and snacks that provide you with the nutrition your body needs to function effectively and efficiently. Doing this will allow your brain to operate at its peak performance, and thoughts and actions will flow more naturally.

As the old adage goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you eat poorly, your body and mind will react poorly, and you won’t be able to carry out tasks to the best of your ability.

However, if you are properly nourishing yourself, your self-confidence will grow due to your capacity to think and act in ways that make you feel good about yourself and your abilities.

7. Exercise in ways that make you feel good

It’s no secret that exercise leaves you feeling exhilarated. This is especially true if the exercise comes in a form you truly enjoy.

Find ways to exercise that bring you satisfaction and happiness. Instead of forcing your body to move in ways, it doesn’t necessarily want to, explore different types of exercise that are more enjoyable and fun to take part in.

When you are exercising in a way that makes you feel good, you will as a result feel good about yourself. Exercise is scientifically proven to make you happier and build your confidence, not only because it gives you the power to have some control over how you look, but it makes you stronger and more agile. These are qualities that often bring about an abundance of self-confidence.

8. Recognize negative thoughts when they show up

We all have obtrusive thoughts, and we can’t always control how and when they show up. What we can do, however, is notice and recognize them when they make an appearance.

Acknowledging the negative thoughts you have about yourself gives you authority over them. You are able to distinctly pull them out of your mind and mull over them. You can ask yourself where the thought came from and why it may have popped into your head.

The key is to look at these thoughts objectively, without judgment. Just notice them, and rationally question them. Recognize they came from somewhere, for some reason, but don’t give them any credit.

By recognizing your negative thoughts and withholding power from them, you are able to gain more self-confidence because you feel a sense of control. You aren’t allowing the negative words to hang over you but are instead letting them come and go without affecting you in any way.

9. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

Once you’ve acknowledged the negative thoughts you have about yourself, you’re able to put a positive spin on them.

Replacing negative self-talk with a positive dialogue is a healthy and straightforward way to foster elevated self-confidence. Changing disheartening words to uplifting ones alters your thought trajectory and sets you up for victory instead of demise.  

Speaking to yourself in a brighter and more edifying way cultivates a more positive reality that in turn supports the development of a more secure level of confidence.

10. Get out of your comfort zone 

Build your self-confidence by allowing yourself to break out of your comfort zone. We tend to linger in our comfort zones because they are familiar; we know how to navigate them and know what to expect.

However, this is how complacency is born.

We sit comfortably where we know we’re safe and we know what’s coming. There aren’t any surprises, and we feel capable and equipped to handle known obstacles that come our way.

If we take the risk and release ourselves from these safe and cozy spaces, this is how we find what we’re truly capable of. You may find yourself in a situation that you didn’t think you’d be capable of handling, but you maneuver through the challenge seamlessly.

Proving to yourself that you are competent is a surefire way to establish more credibility for yourself, and by association, higher self-confidence.

11. Set goals, both big and small

Setting goals for yourself is an excellent way to grow and develop your confidence.

Set goals that are short-term and easily attainable, goals you know you’ll accomplish regardless of the challenges that may come your way. The small goals you achieve accumulate over time, and you begin to feel more capable and competent.

In addition, set long-term goals that may take time to complete. Set goals a month out, a year out, five years out, and establish checkpoints for yourself, ensuring that you’re making progress towards each goal. They may take time to achieve, but you will feel incredibly empowered once you are triumphant and reach your goal.

12. Accept your flaws

No one person is without flaw. As much as we’d like to change this, we can’t. We must simply accept it.

While we perceive flaws as negative characteristics, we have the choice of whether to view them this way or another. We can acknowledge our flaws and accept them but angle the lens through which we assess them.

Flaws can simply be viewed as qualities we inherently hold. They are simply just characteristics that make us who we are. They aren’t bad, negative, or unfavorable. They just are what they are.

When we choose to accept our flaws unambiguously, we command power over them. They are no longer holding us back from achieving great things. They aren’t getting in the way of our next success.

We can use our flaws to harness power and strength from within once we see them and understand them for what they truly are, and in this way, we continue building our reserve of self-confidence.

With these 12 straightforward tips, we can start building our self-confidence today without mitigation.  

woman giving a finger gun to the camera
Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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