How do you build self-confidence and self-esteem?
What exercises build self-confidence at work?
Confidence and the opposite, a lack of confidence, can directly impact your life in so many ways. It can be the defining factor in your success or your lack of even trying.
It’s the special ingredient that enables you to believe in yourself. It’s the fuel of your motivation and the courage to put yourself out there. Whether leaving your comfort zone or just trying something new, confidence is required.
And it’s not all mental either, confidence manifests itself in your physical movements and appearance. From that bounce in your step, how you present yourself, to making eye contact, having a confident and a firm handshake.
Together with self-esteem, you can build a winning combination. Self-esteem is “your overall opinion of yourself — how you feel about your abilities and limitations.” You need both!
Are you confident? Do you wish you were a more confident person? What about self-esteem? Do you have a healthy level? If you’re looking for ways to improve your self-esteem keep reading.
I reached out to 30 top experts, including therapists, counsellors, authors, social workers and coaches, asking, “What’s your #1 tip for building confidence and self-esteem?” This is there advice for how to build self-confidence and self-esteem. May these tips hep you become your most confident self.
Find a Way to Take Action
Did you know that building confidence is all about taking action and finding ways to make getting started easier? It’s all about building habits that take you to step by step from low-confidence to high-confidence. You’ve got to hack your mind and get yourself to start moving, even if when you start you don’t feel so confident. What’s powerful about this is that as you get moving, you start to build up your confidence levels.
- Be Confident in Small Things
- Take It One Step At A Time
- Set a Goal with Small Milestones
- Gain More Competence
- Take a Walk in Nature
- Get Yourself a Win
#1. Be Confident in Small Things
Building confidence requires the forming of new habits. One single strategy that works for me to build confidence is to practice being confident in small settings. Small settings are places that I already feel comfortable in but might be hesitant to raise a specific topic. A confident-building exercise in such a case would be to speak about the topic, standing with poise and speaking fluently.
You can call it challenging yourself. By challenging yourself you are intentionally putting yourself in uncomfortable situations while being prepared for any result. Not everyone will get the point that you are trying to make but that’s okay because little by little the rejection or acceptance that you are facing will change you.
Practice this simple act every time you get the chance. Speak in situations where you would otherwise be quiet then give yourself a pat on the back each time.
Over time, you will see a shift in your confidence level and how you show up in the world.
“One single strategy that works for me to build confidence is to practice being confident in small settings” @faithnturtles
FaithNTurtles is a lifestyle blog about wellness, caring for dreadlocks (locs), using holistic tools, and living life the best way we know-how. Shanice shares tips for Becoming Your Ideal Self and Living Your Ideal Life.
#2. Take It One Step At A Time
Two crucial things will help you build self-confidence and self-esteem. No matter what you choose to do, take one step at a time, and if you feel like “failing” – rinse and repeat.
The truth is that trying to better yourself all at once will only discourage you and make you feel miserable. Take one step at a time. Choose something challenging yet, achievable. Do that task as many times as possible until it becomes a habit you’re comfortable with. Then, take the second step.
Self-confidence is a skill. Like every other skill, it takes time and effort to develop. And it’s normal to make mistakes while mastering a skill, right? Don’t make a huge deal out of it. Just “rinse and repeat”. Start all over again. This time you’ll be better, I promise. The most important thing when building self-confidence and self-esteem is not to do it fast and be perfect but to feel the change, to grow with the experience, and simply be stubborn enough to make it happen.
“The most important thing when building self-confidence and self-esteem is not to do it fast and be perfect but to feel the change” — Rachel Jo, Doctor For Love
Rachel Jo, Doctor For Love
Rachel is a blogger, dreamer, procrastinator, and lover of everything soul-touching. Her mission is to make you laugh, provoke your thoughts, light up your day and inspire you to fall in love with life and yourself. She shares 17 Ways To Build Up Your Self-Confidence and Boost Your Self-Esteem.
#3. Set a Goal with Small Milestones
My single strategy is setting a goal and achieve it no matter how long it takes. To reach the goal, plan small targets to hit, which gives a sense of achievement along the way. If you only set a big goal without small milestones, it reduces your morale and eventually leads to giving up.
In your journey, don’t forget to celebrate small successes. Your big goal will not come easily and can take a long time. Don’t give up. To track small targets, use a tool where you can constantly come back and check your progress. The tool can be a notebook or a to-do app such as Trello.
Whatever it is, make sure it is approachable whenever you want. Once you are set, focus on your plan and don’t listen to any criticisms or judgments from others. They are simply useless. It could be lonely, boring, and tough. Be patient. Once you hit your first target, you are on the right track. This simple strategy helped me to achieve both my career and personal goals.
“In your journey, don’t forget to celebrate small successes. Your big goal will not come easily and can take a long time. Don’t give up.” — Peter Song
Peter is the founder and author of the Haki Review Mashup blog. His aim is to share unbiased reviews and provide accurate information to visitors looking to buy certain products. Along with his blog, he is an AWS-certified solutions architect and machine learning engineer with 7+ years of experience.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 17 Self-Confidence Journal Prompts
#4. Gain More Competence
If you’re looking to build confidence, the number one thing you need to know with that *confidence comes from competence*. You may have heard the phrase fake it til you make it, but when it comes to confidence, it just doesn’t work like that.
Whatever you’re looking to get more confident at, whether it’s basketball, public speaking, or dating, you need to do that activity repeatedly. Confidence comes from competence, and competence comes from practice.
If fear is paralyzing you from taking action and beginning to practice, you can use prolonged exposure therapy to start will the least frightening version of what you want to get confident at and building up to the actual activity.
Take dating, for example. If your end goal is to be able to ask someone out who you’ve never met before, the first step towards that could be something like talking a bit longer to a waiter or waitress when they’re taking your order.
“Confidence comes from competence, and competence comes from practice.” — @counselingatx
Louis Laves-Webb LCSW, Psychotherapist
Louis Laves-Webb LCSW, LPC-S, a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas. He is recognized by the State of Texas as a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Supervisor.
#5. Take a Walk in Nature
Want to get your head clear about something? Want to re-connect with yourself? Want to get your creative juices flowing? Want to change your attitude? Want to give your body a little exercise? Want to get in touch with nature? Want to relieve some stress? Want to gain confidence? Go take a walk.
It is such a powerful cure-all and it’s free. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone for a walk and just felt totally rejuvenated during and after it. It’s a fantastic way to get unstuck and wake your senses back up! I live in Los Angeles and getting out and going for a walk or hike in nature has really helped me to stay grounded, confident self-aware, and in balance which is crucial for someone with a busy schedule.
“Want to gain confidence? Go take a walk. It is such a powerful cure-all and it’s free.” @gbrianbenson
G. Brian Benson, Best-Selling Author
G. Brian Benson at Award-Winning & #1 Best-Selling Author, Actor, Coach, TEDx Speaker, Radio Personality, Creative, and 4x Ironman Triathlete.
#6. Get Yourself a Win
One way I improve my confidence level is by personal successes. The more I ‘win’ the more I feel I deserve to win. Wins can be as simple as getting up with my alarm and making the calls I intend to make that day. When people keep the promises they make to themselves they are quicker to believe in themselves.
Many people believe it only matters if it applies to keeping the promises to others. More important though is keeping the promises you make to yourself. If you let yourself down over and over again, your subconscious tells you you don’t deserve success.
Start with yourself, and end with others.
Angela is the Senior Marketing Director at the World Financial Group. She is dedicated to helping families have the options that are best for them. She believes that anyone can win at whatever level they want in life.
Get Out Of What’s Comfortable
If you want to build self-confidence and self-esteem, you’ve got to stretch yourself beyond what’s comfortable. It’s out there in the unknown, in the new, in the unfamiliar where we gain confidence. One step at a time, we push ourselves and with each small victory, our confidence grows. The following confidence-building exercises help you do just that.
- Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
- Practice Uncomfortable Things
- Overcome Your Fears
- Practice Vulnerability
- Share Your Insecurities
- Voice Your Opinions
#7. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
My #1 way to build confidence and self-esteem is getting comfortable doing things that make me uncomfortable.
This could mean anything from networking and meeting new people to taking on new responsibilities that really challenge me. The lack of confidence often comes from being in situations you’re not familiar with. However, as you continue being in these situations and eventually overcome each of them, you build confidence.
This confidence stems from learning how to react and tackle new problems, but also realizing that you’re now familiar with many different situations. As a result, when it comes to the normal day-to-day, you have more “coolness” and know that if anything new comes your way you know how to handle it.
As a personal anecdote, when I was a fresh graduate I was uncertain of my own abilities and strengths. It was only after I pushed myself taking on a new role at a company and new responsibilities did I begin learning a lot about myself and how to deal with new challenges as they come.
“As you continue being in these situations and eventually overcome each of them, you build confidence” @smrtincometoday
David is the owner of Smart Income Today where he helps aspiring entrepreneurs build an online business that gets them excited. Previously, he led growth at a company and managed a multi-million dollar marketing budget. He helped them see double-digit growth that helped secure $22M in fundraising.
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#8. Practice Uncomfortable Things
My top tip for building confidence which in turn will positively impact self-esteem is to practice, practice practice. Doing the thing that you are afraid of or lack confidence in over and over again, even when at first it feels uncomfortable, will build your self-confidence.
Take me for example. Growing up I was painfully shy. I knew what I wanted to do at an early age, be a psychologist and help people. But how could I do it if I was too shy to be around people or speak to them? I slowly pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. One small step at a time, like talking to a new person, being in a small crowd, then later a big crowd, etc. All of this leads to more comfort and confidence in talking to people. So much so now speak in front of crowds of hundreds of people.
Pushing myself, practicing the things that made me uncomfortable initially lead me to greater confidence in doing it and improved my overall self-esteem as a result. This tip is not exclusive to shyness or public speaking. It can be applied to anything. Start by creating a hierarchy list, from easiest to most difficult, related to the area in which you want to improve. Then work your way up starting with the easiest to the hardest. It may take time but you will grow and feel better in the process. And who knows, it may become a part of your life’s purpose and mission, as is the case for me.
“Doing the thing that you are afraid of or lack confidence in over and over again, even when at first it feels uncomfortable, will build your self-confidence.” @DrCCJackson
Dr. Catherine Jackson, Licensed Psychologist and Certified Neurotherapist
Dr. Catherine Jackson (aka Dr. J) is a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist who works in private practice in Chicago, IL. She is passionate about working with children and also is a Board Certified Coach who provides health coaching.
#9. Overcome Your Fears
My #1 tip for building confidence and self-esteem is to face your fears. We all have fears – big and small – but some are more debilitating than others. It doesn’t help to try and attempt to face your biggest fear from the get-go. In doing so, you might cause yourself more trauma and end up feeling even more resistant to overcoming it.
Rather, take baby steps toward your fears, starting with those that seem most manageable and easy to overcome. For example, if you’re afraid of being alone, you may want to start by going to lunch by yourself. Next time, you might take a long drive by yourself.
Each time you take one more step toward overcoming your fears, you’ll build more confidence in yourself and ultimately cultivate greater self-esteem that can be used in all areas of your life.
“Each time you take one more step toward overcoming your fears, you’ll build more confidence in yourself” — Casey Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Casey, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Casey is a holistic health and wellness coach with a master of arts. Her goal is to help people realize that they don’t have to settle, but can have the best life they imagine.
#10. Practice Vulnerability
A big part of building confidence is practicing vulnerability. This doesn’t mean having to expose your most raw self to strangers. It’s about being willing to take a risk on something that matters to you and develop the ability to deal with the outcomes. When you take these chances it starts to create an authentic belief in yourself.
Practicing being vulnerable can be something as simple as just telling a friend about something you love like a band of favourite food. When you share any part of yourself with the world, whether it’s positive or negative, you’re opening up and seeing how the world will respond.
By getting little wins through these acceptable risks you start to learn about what is okay to do in the world. Practice this enough and before you know it you’ll start to think of yourself as a person that can tackle anything the world throws at you.
“It’s about being willing to take a risk on something that matters to you and develop the ability to deal with the outcomes.” — Dr. Clinton Moore
Dr. Clinton Moore, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Clinton Moore is a Clinical Psychologist and the founder of Cadence Psychology – a clinical psychology practice operating in North Sydney, Australia with a focus on change. With over 10 years of experience working with a variety of clients in Sydney, Australia, his main areas of expertise are anxiety, relationships, and self-esteem.
#11. Share Your Insecurities
Realize that EVERYONE has their Insecurities. So share yours!
When I opened up about my alopecia, I got so many emails and comments from people (many of them strangers), telling me about their own self-esteem issues, things that they were ashamed about, and that they lived in fear of other people noticing. I realized then how human beings – no matter where we’re from or what we look like or how we act – all share this trait: we’re all insecure about *something*. And as soon as we bring these insecurities into the light, we give them less power.
So my tip is this: share your insecurities. Talk to a friend, talk to a stranger, whatever it takes. Even say them out loud to your reflection each morning, or write them down…because getting them out of your head and into the real world is one of the best things you can do! You don’t have to hide or to keep your insecurities secret. Sharing is caring, true – but it’s also an amazing source of healing.
“We’re all insecure about *something*. And as soon as we bring these insecurities into the light, we give them less power.” @ladyalopecia
Emma, Lady Alopecia
Emma, known as Lady Alopecia, created her website to support people like herself with alopecia. She’s had the condition on and off since the age of 11 and is now using her platform to help others fight their own “Battle of the Bald”.
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#12. Voice Your Opinions
One of the best tips for building your own confidence and self-esteem is to voice your opinion in arguments instead of always agreeing with everything. When you’re low on confidence, you may find yourself bending over backward to avoid conflict. You should be doing the opposite: voice your opinion even – or especially – when it conflicts with others because this is a great opportunity to learn to face your fears.
This may sound unactionable, so here’s a personal example:
I recently heard some of my colleagues discuss how much they hated the last season of Game of Thrones. These were colleagues I knew a little but didn’t speak to on a regular basis. I actually really enjoyed the last season, and I think it was great television. So I just decided to enter their office, with the intention to just disagree with them. I told them how the long night contained amazing action sequences and that some storylines had a beautiful ending.
What happened in the end? Two colleagues agreed with me, and the third agreed to disagree. My goal wasn’t to get them to change their mind, my goal was just to voice my opinion in order to practice my self-esteem. If you look at it that way, this was a massive success!
“When you’re low on confidence, you may find yourself bending over backward to avoid conflict. You should be doing the opposite: voice your opinion…” — Hugo Huijer
Hugo Huijer, Mental Health Coach
Hugo is a mental health coach that focuses on quantifying happiness. By quantifying something as abstract as mental health and happiness, he’s able to coach others into a life in which happiness is fully understood. In addition, he runs Tracking Happiness, a platform to help people learn how to become the happiest version of themselves possible. Here’s how happiness can lead to confidence.
Change Your View Of Others
Those who lack confidence, who have low self-esteem, are often wrapped up comparing themselves to others. So much of your confidence can be measured or weighed against others, how you compare to them, and they to you. This is unhealthy thinking and a major problem and the source of jealousy and envy. To build your self-confidence and self-esteem you’ve got to shift your perspective of others.
- Focus on Helping Someone Else
- Become More Empathetic
- Tune Out Other People
- Realize Comparisons are Futile
- Stop Comparing Yourself
- Refuse to Take No For An Answer
#13. Focus on Helping Someone Else
One of the most important aspects of building self-confidence and self-esteem is to have the ability to ask “what if” instead of allowing ourselves to go straight to the “what if I fail” or “what if I’m not good enough” our what-ifs need to be “what if I succeed” “what if I am good enough.”
Becoming our own cheerleader and replacing negative limiting thoughts with growth thoughts helps us to understand we have the ability to succeed. If no one else is rooting for us we need to root for ourselves the way we would root for our best friend.
It’s not as simple as just thinking happy thoughts and it will work out but thinking growth thoughts and you will find the courage to push past the hard stuff and release the negative limit thoughts that keep us stagnant and unable to grow. Having high self-confidence is understanding even if I fall I get up and I learn to do/be better, bumps and all.
“Shine your light on someone else and slowly you will start building your confidence” — Vanessa Gowora
Vanessa teaches people how to pursue a dream so powerful that it burns within them and how to earn a full-time income while making an impact on the world. She shares the Secret to Confidence and Self-Esteem.
#14. Become More Empathetic
My #1 way to build self-confidence and self-esteem is to become more empathetic. Empathy is the way to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, to be able to see THEIR reality.
Two important things are happening at that moment!
First, you realize that everyone has their own experiences, beliefs, values (which is justifying why we do things this way and not another one) so you become more open-minded and more relaxed about people’s judgments. When they are judging, it’s all about them and not you!
Second, you less take things personally. You understand that everyone is trying to have their needs met! It’s never really about you!
From now on, pay attention to others. Try to understand what’s going on inside someone else’s head. This person has been through some stuff and this is the reason why she’s reacting like this. It’s really not against you! 🙂 You are good enough, nobody’s better than you, just be in that moment and observe. This will change everything you’ll see 🙂
“My #1 way to build self-confidence and self-esteem is to become more empathetic.” — Tamara Pflug
Tamara Pflug, Certified Life Coach
Tamara is a certified life coach and personal development expert, she’s the owner of Personal Development Zone. She’s passionate about helping millennials (like her!) reach their full potential and become more self-confident. Through her blog and podcast, you can learn how to bring your hidden confidence out and start living the life you want to live! Learn how to have your own back in each and every situation of your life with Tamara’s This is Confidence Course.
#15. Tune Out Other People
Boost your self-esteem by – first – tuning out the voice of others around you. How the heck are you supposed to do that? With your focus. Instead of focusing on those perceptively judgemental voices around you, focus on activities that make you feel good.
Spending your energy on activities that make you feel empowered – like working toward a life goal, for example – builds confidence because you ARE DOING IT!
So the next time your mother-in-law tells you that you should wear more make-up or be a better housekeeper, don’t spend the rest of your day fussing about – getting angry, then sad, then just feeling plain crappy like maybe you SHOULD be better at these things. Shut her voice down by focusing on that painting you’ve been wanting to finish. Shut her voice down by writing that novel.
And shut down ALL those types of voices by building your business. Tune the negativity out. Do what makes you happy. And watch your success, confidence, and self-esteem blossom!
“Spending your energy on activities that make you feel empowered – like working toward a life goal, for example – builds confidence because you ARE DOING IT!” @renzeerose
Renzee is a millennial mama of two precocious pre-teens from Oregon and an obsessive bibliophile and writer. She established www.countyourwords.com to help overwhelmed single-mommas develop and execute a guilt-free plan to achieve non-momma dreams without feeling like a crappy parent.
#16. Realize Comparisons are Futile
“There is always someone taller, blonder, thinner, richer or funnier. There is, however, nobody in the world just like you.” — Kirsty Anne Ferguson
Comparisons eat away at confidence and exacerbate self-judgement. I prefer to be my biggest ally. Using my differences like little bits of armour I carry around as reinforcement. They remind me not to care too much about the distraction of others.
The angst and energy wasted by attempting to be the same, having to be the very best or needing to fit in can be redirected to more purposeful and personal aspirations. Rather than striving to be the best or the same under a benchmark that others have set, I prefer to commit to the things I want to do.
Some folks appear immune to the criticism they are bombarded with on social media, the bullying at school, the glass ceiling, or discrimination in the workplace. On the other hand, I am just as sure they are not. As I did, they stopped looking at their competition, at negative comments, trolls, and criticisms. They stopped worrying about their level of education, their unusual look or lack of experience. A newfound sense of confidence and direction replaced the suspicion and distraction the practice of comparison evoked.
‘Block’ is a social media function I consider a friend. Use it liberally.
“The angst and energy wasted by attempting to be the same, having to be the very best or needing to fit in can be redirected to more purposeful and personal aspirations.” @KirstyPinstripe
Kirsty Anne Ferguson
Kirsty Anne Ferguson is an interview expert and coaches executives, CEOs, ex-Olympians, media, and airline pilots worldwide. Her business, Pinstripe Solutions, is an interview prep business for aviation professionals globally.
#17. Stop Comparing Yourself
When you are surrounded by other people, you can’t help but notice them, pay attention to them, think about what their life is like. But a lot of the time, this can be a recipe for longing, sadness, insecurity, jealousy, or despair…
Who do you compare yourself to? Those who are better off than you, or worse off? How does comparing yourself to others make you feel? Does it make you think less of yourself?
In life, there will always be those who make more money than you. Who has a better relationship than you. Or better health. A better job. Or a more interesting life. A bigger house. A faster car. All sorts of luxuries you wish you had. They can jet off on a vacation to wherever their heart desires. Or eat at the most expensive restaurant in town. There will always be that coworker who dresses better than you, or that celebrity you see on TV who has the perfect body and flawless skin. People will have more friends than you, more skills than you, all sorts of things that you wish you had but don’t. You look at these people and you feel inadequate.
But there will also always be those who make less money than you. Who have no friends or family to support them. And are in terrible health. With no job, no interesting life, no house, no car, no luxuries whatsoever. They can’t go anywhere they dream of going and are stuck eating the same cheap food every meal of the day. If they’re lucky enough to have more than one meal that day. They wear the same old clothes every day and don’t even look at themselves in the mirror anymore. If you look at these people, you feel grateful.
It’s impossible to not compare yourself to other people. But it is possible to choose who you compare yourself to. Ignore all those people who are more fortunate than you and make you feel terrible about yourself. Think about those who are less fortunate. As soon as you notice what they struggle with, you’ll realize that you actually aren’t that unfortunate yourself. In fact, you’re probably better off than most people on this planet.
Stop comparing yourself to those who have more than you! The point is that you are satisfied living the life you were given. So go on, appreciate what you have and watch your life transform!
“Stop comparing yourself to those who have more than you! The point is that you are satisfied living the life you were given.” @gypsyenergysec
Milana Perepyolkina, BestSelling Author
Milana is an international bestselling author who focuses on creating wellness and well-being for the people around her. She offers healing sessions and has a blog that covers topics such as mindfulness and personal development. Connect with her at Gypsy Energy Secrets.
#18. Refuse to Take No For An Answer
One specific strategy I personally use to help build my own confidence & self-esteem: I simply don’t take “NO” for an answer! I’m fully aware that not every household embraces self-worth or self-love. I was raised in a household that was full of love and light.
My parents instilled in both my sister and me that we could do anything. That we were capable and competent human beings that had the power to change a bad situation or at least work towards change. When a business or even a CEO such as myself tells me no, I don’t throw a pity party and give up! This rejection has now made me stronger. My confidence levels are now increasing one notch at a time.
My self-esteem has not faltered due to a person telling me no. I understand that in life you will get a rejection, you will definitely get disappointed or even discouraged at times. But, use that rejection as your weapon! Use that big fat “NO” as a big fat “Yes”.
Yes to what you ask? (Glad you asked!) Use that “NO” to light a fire in how you approach people and situations. Use that “NO” to encourage your mindset to never take no as a final answer. I reach out to celebrities for my blog brand all the time and I have received rejection. But, what this does for me is that it helps me form a tougher skin, it helps me build my confidence.
It tells me “Go hard, or go home” and I will not be dismayed. I have a business empire to build so that “NO” has to lead me to many more blessings because it gave me the reality bite I needed to be successful.
You can look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re amazing every single day, but until it becomes a mindset behavior. You’re just looking in the mirror talking. Let the rejection turn your direction! Use it to empower you! Use it as a footstool to stand upon so when you are feeling in doubt and fearful.
You have this “NO” to remind you of how far you’ve come and I guarantee you’ll see the power of “NO” as a tool instead of an enemy. Not a setback. And also remember: YOU ARE A FREAKING GODDESS! SO GO OUT THERE AND SHOW THEM THAT YOU’RE UNSTOPPABLE AND UNBREAKABLE! It’s all you boo!
“Let the rejection turn your direction! Use it to empower you! Use it as a footstool to stand upon so when you are feeling in doubt & fearful” @Skinandculture1
Missie loves to write stories about lifestyle, culture, and celebrities. She also has a blog in which she discusses a variety of topics, all coming from the heart and soul as a way of self-expression. Connect with her on the Skin and Culture Blog.
Take Care of Yourself
If you want to build self-confidence and self-esteem, you’ve got to start taking better care of yourself. Embracing self-love helps you to build self-worth, which helps you to feel like a more confident person. Someone who loves themselves doesn’t compare themselves to others, doesn’t worry as much about failure, or suffer from a low sense of worth. These confidence-building activities are all focused on helping you, take care of yourself!
- Do What You Want To
- Express Your True Self
- Change the Words You Use
- Be Self-Compassionate
- Repair the Relationship with Yourself
#19. Do What You Want To
I think that the best way to build real, life-long confidence is to detach from the idea that you must BE someone, that you must DO something, that you have some special destiny or purpose.
The only thing you can know for sure is that you exist, destiny and fate be damned. But this is good — it means you’re a blank slate. Every day, every minute, every second, you can choose to be whoever you like, regardless of your past.
It means that you can BE anyone, DO anything, and CREATE any purpose. When you get rid of expectations, you’re finally free to be who you want to be. And when you’re doing what YOU want, you’ll naturally be more confident and have higher self-esteem.
“When you get rid of expectations, you’re finally free to be who you want to be… you’ll naturally be more confident and have higher self-esteem.” @Mike_R_Blanke
Mike is a writer and is known for his expertise in marketing and personal development. He’s also the owner of the blog, Get Your Gusto Back where he uses his knowledge to help people reignite their inner fire and create the life they dream of living.
#20. Express Your True Self
Acknowledge and express your true self. Oftentimes we put on a mirror face – a pretend version of ourselves we want others to see. But doing so has a negative impact on our subconscious as it supports the idea that something is indeed wrong with our appearance. Take that mirror face off. Masking our so-called flaws no longer serves us. We are only as strong as our weakest thoughts.
So, we must consciously will our minds to welcome only positive vibes and in doing so strengthen our lives. Focus our energy on the good in life, our features, not our flaws. There’s negativity all around us and it may be hard to see the light of positivity. Clear the lenses. Wipe away the negativity clouding your journey so as to better view the possible paths along your Life Road.
Ready to take on the positivity challenge? It’s simple really: Negate the negativity with positivity. Remove the weight of negativity. Replace that negative mindset with positivity… it’s lighter, more durable, and serves you by giving you strength rather than draining your strength away.
“Wipe away the negativity clouding your journey so as to better view the possible paths along your Life Road.” @docPEACEofmind
Peace is a doctor of pharmacy, a transformational speaker, an empowerment guru, and a radio show personality. Her mission is to help women get unstuck by defining their purpose and to help wellness experts leverage their expertise to create online-based businesses. Connect at Doctor Peace of Mind.
#21. Change the Words You Use
If you struggle with confidence surrounding your way of eating, then one of the biggest steps forward you can take is to examine the language you use to describe your way of eating. This means examining both the words that come out of your mouth and your internal thought processes.
The words you use actually have the power to influence the genes that regulate physical *and* emotional stress. Instead of dwelling on the negative concerning your food, focus on the positive and use optimistic words. Doing this will stimulate certain areas of the brain (specifically the ones that move you to act).
Over time, this actually begins to change your brain leading to a change in the perception of yourself AND others. For example, remove the words diet or dietary restriction from your vocabulary and replace them with a way of eating. Then, when you think or tell others about your way of eating, you’re primed to intentionally view it as a form of self-care.
“The words you use actually have the power to influence the genes that regulate physical *and* emotional stress.” — Sharon, The Helpful GF
Sharon, The Helpful GF
Sharon is a full-time Grad Student earning her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics with credentials to become a Registered Dietitian. She is passionate about helping others transition into a gluten-free life without stress or overwhelm. Her platform offers all sorts of gluten-free recipes, tips, and resources at the Helpful GF.
#22. Be Self-Compassionate
My #1 Tip for building confidence and self-esteem is practicing self-compassion.
So many people, especially girls and women, have negative self-talk, which dramatically limits their potential, reduces happiness, and can lead to depression. Self-compassion is the act of treating yourself like you would a good friend. And it is definitely something that takes practice. You’re retraining your brain to think differently, and after years of doing it one way, it takes patience to make that new connection fire smoothly and naturally.
Once you do something triggering (like saying the wrong thing, not getting the job you wanted, being late for a meeting, etc), and *before* letting your self-talk run wild (I’m so dumb, I won’t ever get a job I love, I suck at being on time, etc), instead, try to ask what would I say to my friend in this situation?
That check on yourself can lead to awareness of your feelings. Once you notice your feelings, treat yourself with compassion through nurturing words and self-kindness. This practice of self-compassion has shown to increase confidence, proactivity, responsibility for one’s actions, happiness, and a reduction in stress and depression (so many things). Plus, when you’re kind to yourself, you also show others more compassion. It’s a win-win.
“This practice of self-compassion has shown to increase confidence, proactivity, responsibility for one’s actions, happiness, and a reduction in stress.” — Allison, Mindfulness Teacher
Allison Dundovich, Mindfulness Teacher
Allison is a mindfulness teacher and also has a company that makes modern meditation pillows and writes about meditation and mindfulness. She uses her platform to spread happiness to as many people as possible. Her blog, Bloom Mindfulness goes over topics such as practicing mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion.
#23. Repair the Relationship with Yourself
My tip for anyone dealing with this is to concentrate on repairing the relationship with yourself.
If we are judging ourselves for mistakes we’ve made in life and there are internalized negative beliefs of, “I don’t matter,” or “Something is wrong with me,” or even “I’m not lovable,” then that a major problem.
The way we think about ourselves directly relates to how we are treated by others. Then we take it personal that we must be less than because that other person doesn’t see our value.
We have to remind ourselves that something could be going on inside the other condemning people versed a character flaw in us. Self forgiveness is key to re-establishment a positive relationship with “us!”
Speaking 5-6 affirmations out loud daily helps repair our self worth, which in turn boosts our self esteem!!
Remind yourself of your beauty, that, “I did my best.” Or “I deserve to be happy again.” Even, “I matter!” And we do matter!
Speaking quotes, song lyrics or even bible scriptures out loud over yourself counteracts all of the negative, self-loathing narratives we store in our subconscious.
We gotta clean up the way we talk and think about ourselves Boo!! Then we can simply learn how to cultivate self-love again…or maybe for the first time ever!!
“We have to remind ourselves that something could be going on inside the other condemning people versed a character flaw in us.” — Tony White, Psychotherapist
Tory White, Registered Psychotherapist
As a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, Registered Psychotherapist, Independent Contractor, National Speaker, and Biblical Counselor, Tory White has a passion to help others. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and is EMDR Trained. Tory has been encouraging and coaching women in relationships for over 14 years.
Shift Your Mindset
Confidence is very much a mindset! To build self-confidence and self-esteem you’ve got to shift your mindset to confidence. Thankfully with these confidence-building activities, you can become more confident by changing the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself. Don’t let the past or the present hold you back.
- See “Failures” as Experiments
- Own Your Past Mistakes
- Change the Narrative
- Remember Past Success
- Recognize Your Worth
- Embrace Fully Who You Are
- See the World as a Blank Canvas
#24. See “Failures” as Experiments
Treating my “failures” as experiments instead of actual failings has been life-changing. I’ve had “failed” relationships, “failed” business ideas, and “failed” life goals.
However, instead of seeing them as failures, I decided to start thinking of them as experiments. What went right and what went wrong are all just data points that I can collect and use for the future. I can forgive myself and try again, knowing that I have gained knowledge to do better in the future and wisdom from why things went wrong in the first place.
“Treating my “failures” as experiments instead of actual failings has been life-changing” — Rachel, Radical Strength
Rachel, Personal Trainer
Rachel is a personal trainer who loves to EAT and LIFT things, who hopes you’ll join her in finding out the ways in which we can LIFT EACH OTHER UP and become more real with ourselves about how we want to live and spend our days. She shares 5 Body Flaws Totally That are Normal.
#25. Own Your Past Mistakes
Own your past mistakes and accept them as an extension into the journey guiding your future to give you a mature way of thinking, a broader perspective of narrow-minded views, and an open-minded approach to work through your next level of challenges.
If you conquer at a lower level then you are equipped to face the challenges at your next level. If you were strong enough to face what was behind you then you are strong enough to face what lies ahead of you.
“If you were strong enough to face what was behind you then you are strong enough to face what lies ahead of you.” @ICANLADY
Shannon Battle, known as the “ICANLADY” is a world-class woman of faith, courage, persistence, and vision. She spreads her message of I CAN to youth, entrepreneurs, business leaders, ministries, and media to awaken and empower hope for those with lost and delayed dreams. She is the founder and CEO of Family Services of America helping to house over 800 foster children in residential homes.
#26. Change the Narrative
I think there are the conventional answers to this question like prepare, practice, be consistent, keep track of your progress and be proud of your tiny wins. But there are some unconventional answers that you can try as well.
Confidence and self-esteem are mindsets so if you can convince yourself of these mindsets, you’re more likely to build confidence.
- Accept mediocrity – strive for excellence, but be content with mediocrity.
- Expect Less and achieve more – lower your acceptations and be pleasantly surprised by how much you can exceed them.
- Surround yourself with people who build your confidence – find those key people who have always lifted you up and latch onto them
Confidence is a story you tell yourself. These are ways to change the narrative.
“Confidence is a story you tell yourself. These are ways to change the narrative.” —Jordan Gross
Jordan Gross, Author
Jordan Gross is a son, grandson, writer, speaker, guide, editor, and soon-to-be therapist. He is a Northwestern and Kellogg School of Management graduate where he studied absolutely nothing to do with writing. He’s a former startup founder, restaurant manager, and soccer goalie. A solopreneur, podcast host, and 2x TEDx speaker, he is also the #1 bestselling author of Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness and The Journey to Cloud Nine.
#27. Remember Past Success
When you find that you are lacking confidence, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself “When have I been in a difficult situation like this before, and succeeded?”
For example, if you are about to give a speech when have you given a presentation before, and it went really well? If you need to have a tough conversation with a friend, when have you had tough conversations before with someone that you care about?
Once you have identified a situation where you previously succeeded, then ask yourself what it took for you to do well in that earlier situation, and what did you learn from it that can help you in your current situation.
This can give you a boost to your confidence and self-efficacy, as you realize that you have been in this situation (or something like it) before and things worked out just fine. If you can’t remember when you have been in a similar situation, this is a great time to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, colleague, or mentor.
Sometimes, we have a hard time remembering our past successes, but our support network and champions around us will help us to remember who we were at our best, and they can remind us about those times when we soared.
“Once you have identified a situation where you previously succeeded… what did you learn from it that can help you in your current situation.” — Lisa Sansom @LVSConsulting
Lisa Samson, LVS Consulting
Lisa Sansom is a leadership coach and has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology. She founded LVS Consulting to create positive organizations and great places to work. She offers coaching and workshops to help people become better leaders and managers to create a positive workspace where everyone thrives.
#28. Recognize Your Worth
Sometimes all we need is a shift in focus from habitual negative thoughts and stories to recognizing our worth. This exercise from my book may seem deceptively simple, but in practice, you may find it a challenge! If it is, just know that it means it holds value for you and keep going. Sit down and write out 10 things that are great about you. As you do this exercise be kind to yourself and try not to repeat any points by rephrasing them.
Now read through them – have you listed things that are mainly about helping other people? You can have up to 5 that are about how you are kind or helpful to others, but the others have to be exclusively about you, i.e.; “I know how to have fun” or “I have a great sense of humor”. Also, do not include superficial things, for example, “I make $ a year”, just qualities about you as a person.
You can do this exercise every day when you are working on your self-esteem, as well as every now and then for a top-up. The easier you find it the higher your self-esteem probably is.
“Sometimes all we need is a shift in focus from habitual negative thoughts and stories to recognising our worth.” — Suzanne Wylde, Holistic Coach
Suzanne Wylde, Holistic Coach
Suzanne Wylde is a holistic coach and alternative therapist who has been working with clients for over 10 years and has written a book on self-development called The Art of Coming Home which includes a chapter on working on Self-Love and Self-Esteem.
#29. Embrace Fully Who You Are
It’s easier said than done to embrace who we are, but after a while, we will have to stop running from ourselves. When we focus too much on viewing others, we can easily disdain who we are while placing others on a pedestal.
Perhaps, we do this because others have accomplished something we wish to accomplish, but the reality is that all people have insecurities including those we idolize. When we begin to look at ourselves as human beings, who are intentionally made by God with a unique blueprint; we realize that we are priceless because there is no one else just like us.
At that point, we can begin to celebrate ourselves including our weaknesses. When we make a mistake; we can give ourselves grace. Instead of speaking negatively about ourselves; we can speak positive affirmations over ourselves.
I pray a prayer called the identity prayer to remind myself of who I am and my personal worth. It’s really a prayer of affirmation that reminds me that my worth and value come from something greater than me and that’s God.
In summary, shifting our thinking and taking the focus off of others, while celebrating ourselves and our uniqueness will help to increase self-confidence. That’s how you build self-confidence and self-esteem!
“At that point, we can begin to celebrate ourselves including our weaknesses. When we make a mistake; we can give ourselves grace” @Intercession4aG
Russelyn Williams, Author
Russelyn Williams is the author of “The Single Christian Woman’s Guide” and the visionary for “Intercession For A Generation”, an award-winning young adult blog and ministry website. Her content focuses on life and relationship lessons from a Biblical perspective, with a special reach for singles and single women in particular.
#30. See the World as a Blank Canvas
As a woman business owner, designer and yoga teacher of many years in NYC, I’ve definitely come up against the regular struggle of confidence and overcoming imposter syndrome. Though I think that cultivating self-esteem and finding your power best comes from a balance of practices, one that tends to have a lot of benefit for me comes from a practice rooted in
Buddhist philosophy. When I practice seeing the world as a blank canvas— every person, every object, every interaction — as pure potential, I get to choose seeing the world around me as funny, as beautiful, as full, knowing that all that is coming from me, my Self, my root. The more beauty and awesomeness I practice seeing around me (or the more beauty I place on the
things around me), the more I know I am capable of cultivating even more and that is completely empowering. To know that I make my own reality is a powerful thing—not easy, but powerful.
You can also think about it like planting seeds— the more attention and nurturing you give to seeds that nourish this empowered way of seeing, the more of those seeds can blossom. It all comes down to what you nurture, and when I feel like I am nurturing a Self that is creating a better world, I can be less caught up in my own insecurities.
You can start this practice by walking down the street and noticing how people seem to you— do they seem happy? Excited? Sad? Worn out? This often is a reflection of how I am actually feeling. Try seeing everyone you pass as a little bit of magic, as a teacher, a work of art— it’s kind of like your own secret way of infusing more joy into the world. That little do-good secret gives me a little confidence boost throughout the day.
“To know that I make my own reality is a powerful thing—not easy, but powerful.” — Alana Mayer, The Dawn Studio
Alana Mayer, The Dawn Studio
Alana is the Creative Director and Sustainability Lead at The Dawn Studio where they work to create ethical undergarments
Start Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Aren’t these such amazing ways to focus on improving confidence levels? Whether you’re focusing on taking action, stretching comfort levels or embracing self-love, the key is to take it one step at a time.
No one is expecting you to suddenly wake up with confidence levels at 100% tomorrow! Be compassionate with yourself, and take your time!
Self-confidence is a journey, one you can start today.
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The next time you’re lacking self-confidence return to one of these confidence tips to help you!
How do you build self-confidence and self-esteem?
Last Updated on October 9, 2021