Need confidence-building exercises? Want activities that boost self-esteem for adults?
Confidence is one of those intangible things that are harder to define, but easier to feel. You have it, or you don’t. And when you’re lacking confidence, you feel defeated, and defeated before you even begin.
That’s why confidence is a key ingredient to success and achieving your goals in life or business. Without self-confidence, you cannot face and overcome the challenges and obstacles that are sure to come your way.
Psychology Today defines confidence as “a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly.”
Whether you’re lacking confidence in the classroom or the boardroom, these confidence-boosting activities will help you. With these 20 confidence-building exercises and self-esteem activities, you’ll start not only believing in yourself but taking action too.
20 Self-Confidence Exercises and Activities
#1. Speak Positivity to Yourself
Flip the script! Take your negative thoughts and transform them into positive ones. For example, if you find yourself thinking, I’m stupid, or I’m dumb, tell yourself the opposite, such as I’m smart, or I’m a genius.
By flipping the script and creating a positive affirmation, you rewire your brain and boost your confidence. While you might not believe your new thought at first, repeat your new mantra several times a day (preferably out loud), as many times as needed, until you believe it with all of your heart.
To amplify the effect, write down your affirmation and post it somewhere where you’ll see it every day, such as your bathroom, desk, or car. Say it out loud every time you see it. The more ways you can express and absorb your new thought, the easier it will be for you to believe it.
Your brain will believe whatever you tell it, so why not tell yourself something positive? Speaking positively to yourself will shift your mindset, build your confidence, and improve your self-esteem.
“By flipping the script and creating a positive affirmation, you rewire your brain and boost your confidence” — Nicole Starbuck, Certified Life Coach
Nicole Starbuck, Certified Life Coach
Nicole Starbuck is a certified life coach as well as a mental health blogger. She helps people around the world tap into their intuition, step into their power, and become the best versions of themselves.
#2. Celebrate Everything
As CEO of a very successful female-oriented direct sales company, my largest obstacle in developing leaders was dealing with women who lacked confidence and self-esteem.
One of the first lessons I shared is simple: “Celebrate Everything” — Every little accomplishment you have in your very simple day. Celebrate.
- Whether it is making the perfect sunny side egg or remembering to fill the gas tank. Celebrate
- When you arrive at the office 10 minutes early—Celebrate
- When you chose the right checkout line—Celebrate
- When you gain 5 lbs, Celebrate the abundance in your life.
- Of course, when you achieve any of your goals—CELEBRATE!
What happens when something goes wrong??? Celebrate the opportunity to learn and grow. Celebrate EVERYTHING!
“What happens when something goes wrong??? Celebrate the opportunity to learn and grow.
“Celebrate Everything” — Every little accomplishment you have in your very simple day. Celebrate” — Tiffany James. @UndercoverWear
Tiffany James is the founder and CEO of Undercoverwear, working to encourage women to embrace and enjoy their femininity and sexuality.
#3. Take One Small (Or Big) Action Step
When I want to build self-confidence, I silence the inner critic, set an action step, and just do it. Nothing builds self-confidence like action. But, action is hard when you have the voice inside your head stopping you from what you want to do before you even have a chance to do it.
How does one silence the inner critic to get to the action that fuels the confidence? The first thing you need to do is acknowledge the voice is there. Once you recognize it, talk to yourself more than you are listening to yourself. Say all the positive things you can imagine to counteract that negative voice.
And finally, create one small (or big) action step to move you closer to what you want and just do it! After you completed the action step you set out to do, acknowledge the awesome thing you did. Because YOU ARE AWESOME!
“After you completed the action step you set out to do, acknowledge the awesome thing you did. Because, YOU ARE AWESOME!” — Christy Pennison
Christy Pennison, Licensed Processional Counselor
Christy is a luminary, blogger, and speaker. She is also the owner of Be Inspired Counseling & Consulting and a board-certified licensed professional counselor. She works to inspire hope for change through counseling and consulting to help individuals of all ages move forward and live fully.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Tips for Improving Your Self-Confidence Quickly
#4. Question Your Inner Critic
One of the best ways to start building confidence is to start questioning your inner critic. Since your inner-critic is usually the loudest voice in the room, when it starts telling you that you might not be good enough, stop — physically stop — look yourself in the eye (mirror will do) and ask for proof.
What evidence is there that you’re not good enough? And if you start counting all the mistakes you’ve made or all the things you’ve tried and failed, tell yourself (out loud if you have to) that those stumbles are not proof you’ll stumble again.
You spend enough time allowing your inner critic to question your every thought without rebuttal. It’s time to give her a taste of her own medicine and tell her to shut up unless she can provide that proof.
“One of the best ways to start building confidence is to start questioning your inner-critic” — Naomi
Naomi Nakashima, Freelancer
Naomi works from home full time as a freelance B2B ghostwriter, specializing in social media and related topics. She’s dedicated to helping you become a highly paid freelance writer. Connected with Naimoi at Help Me Naomi.
#5. Look Into Your Own Eyes
One profound action-oriented exercise I give to my clients to build Self Love is:
Look into your own eyes in the mirror and say “I love you.” But here’s the kicker – resist the urge to break eye contact.
There is a natural desire to want to look away, but I encourage you to build up your confidence and self-esteem by regularly saying I love you to yourself as you look into your own Eyes.
Diana Gremillion, Life Coach
Diana Gremillion is a life coach living the life of her dreams in Hawaii. She struggled with weight and self-esteem for decades before she successfully broke the cycle of yo-yo dieting and stress eating using the tools and systems she shares with her clients.
#6. Embody Powerful Role Models
You must find powerful reminders every day of your own strengths and abilities, ways to boost your confidence, your self-esteem. Self-doubt does tend to creep in and you need to be able to remind yourself that you are STRONG, you are INVINCIBLE! You are a KICK-ASS WOMAN!
You are the only one in charge of YOUR journey, of YOUR awesomeness! One way of doing this is by embodying the personal qualities you admire in others – determining who your ROLE MODELS are. Embrace their positive traits as your own.
What is a role model? A role model is someone you aspire to be like; you admire their values, attitudes, and/or behaviors. A role model can be someone you know, or someone famous (alive or deceased).
How will this boost your confidence?
Simply! You see… you will soon realize that you only EASILY recognize qualities in others that are also in YOU.
As you realize you already have these positive qualities within yourself, the characteristics you so greatly admire in your role model… how can you not feel more positive, more confident?
You should also realize by now that someone looks up to you as a role model because of the positive traits you embody. Your positive qualities are having a positive impact on others.
Inspired? Feeling more confident? You are already making a difference in this world!
“As you realize you already have these positive qualities within yourself, the characteristics you so greatly admire in your role model… how can you not feel more positive, more confident? – Krista Hill @Life_Coach
Krista, Certified Life Coach
Krista is a Certified Life and Executive Coach/Brain Health Coach/Sport Psychology Coach who loves helping people take charge of their journeys. She shares her strategies to help people embrace life, prioritize happiness, and live the life they want. Her blog posts cover all sorts of topics such as resilience, self-care, motivation, and self-confidence such as UNBROKEN: Finding Your Inner Strength to Boost Confidence (Part I) – Overcoming Fear
#7. Adopt an Alternative Persona
Taking a leaf out of Beyonce’s book here is a great way to overcome anxiety-inducing social situations. Beyonce’s alter-ego, Sasha Fierce, was who she would pretend to be, or even become, whenever getting up on stage. Whenever I’ve had to talk at conferences, I’ve found this technique always works.
Imagine your alternative persona. This person can be whoever you want, but are the opposite of your fears. Stand facing a mirror in your room at home. Close your eyes, and envisage being that person. Open them, and practice talking to the mirror. Adopt this persona, and talk to yourself over and over, until you’re clear on who they are and how they behave. The more you practice, the more you’ll feel like you are that persona.
Do this every evening, alone, in your room or a quiet place. Constantly imagine you as your persona in the environment around you. Once you’re confident of who they are, how they talk, how they act etc, try becoming this persona away from your mirror. It will take practice, but over time you will be able to close your eyes, in any situation, and become the persona.
Because you are the other person, and not you, the fears of embarrassment, messing up, and anything coming back on you slowly, in time, fade. Whenever you need to become more confident, your persona can become that person for you, and not you.
“Imagine your alternative persona. This person can be whoever you want, but are the opposite of your fears.” @nomad_paradise
Dale Johnston, Content Strategist
Dale Johnson is the Co-founder & Content Strategist. Since 2016 he has been working remotely as a content marketer and publicist, has been featured in the likes of Forbes, Washington Post, and WSJ, and has traveled to, or lived in, 29 countries and counting. In his blog, Nomad Paradise, he helps travelers by sharing smart traveling tips, recommending gear, and curating resources for all travelers to use.
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#8. Extend Your Comfort Zone
As an entrepreneur, I’m all too familiar with confidence and self-esteem issues. So many new entrepreneurs (especially women) are often overwhelmed by feelings of imposter syndrome and being in over our heads.
I know for me personally, an exercise that really builds my confidence is completing comfort zone exercises. A while back I really wanted to work on extending my comfort zone when it came to interacting with strangers, so one of my comfort zone goals started as just making eye contact with everyone I walked by each day. Soon that grew to making eye contact with people I passed by and saying hello to five strangers each day. Then it became giving out five high-fives each day, etc.
Your comfort zone might look different and have different barriers, but the key is to take very small steps that are just outside your comfort zone, but not so far outside that they seem impossible. Slowly, through exercises like this, you can extend your zone of comfort. Soon you’ll be looking back and saying, “Wow, I can’t believe there was a time when that made me uncomfortable.”
Meeting these small comfort zone challenges has always felt like a huge achievement for me and made me feel so confident and proud. It allows you to see yourself as someone who is brave and always improving, which feels fantastic.
“I know for me personally, an exercise that really builds my confidence is completing comfort zone exercises.” — Meg Marrs, Safer Senior Care
Meg Marrs, Founders
Meg is the founder of Safer Senior Care. She was inspired to create a senior care resource after witnessing many elderly individuals struggle at home.
#9. Dress for Success
I found that as an entrepreneur, it was important to believe in myself in order to keep myself motivated lest I went down in a ball of flames. Anyone who has gone through the pressures of building a business from scratch will tell you that the two biggest things you need to have in order to see success are a belief in yourself and motivation.
They both come from a high level of confidence in yourself.
So, how can we do it? My single biggest tip that I can share with the public is to dress for success. Right, even when I was working from home, I would get up and get ready for work as if I was heading into a Bank station. For the ladies, I would go further to say that all the face masks and the nail polish are essential, men too so wishing. Looking good has you feeling good has you on point.
Dress nicely, feel comfortable in a suit. Know that you deserve it and own It.
Andrew is the director of Net Lawman which provides legal document templates and law-related services to individuals and businesses. Their goal is to make the law more accessible to everyone.
#10. Adopt the Right Body Posture
My #1 way to build confidence and self-esteem is to adopt the right body posture as often as you can while walking around or in your home.
The right body posture means two things in this context:
- You purposely “walk tall.” That is, with your back super straight – almost overconfident.
- You assume a “power pose,” like Wonder Woman.
For example, imagine you have an interview coming up and you are lacking confidence. Not only you will benefit from affirming to yourself daily:
- I can do this!
- I am the perfect fit for the role!
But also on the day of the interview (as well as walking tall) go to the restroom or somewhere private and assume a power pose, like Wonder Woman, and say: “My success is unavoidable!” You can also sit in the interview tall and confident.
Several studies have been done on the effectiveness of this technique. The right body posture can help in remarkable ways. You can try this technique in multiple scenarios and see your confidence and self-esteem soar.
“My #1 way to build confidence and self-esteem is to adopt the right body posture as often as you can while walking around or in your home…The right body posture can help in remarkable ways.”
New Age Spirituality
New Age Spirituality shares self-help, spiritual, and personal development tips, tools, resources, and recommendations.
#11. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a tool that helps you to envision what you want to be in your life. It gives a wonderful boost to your confidence to make things happen for you. A vision board is where you put pictures of your goals, short term, and long term. It is a way of telling yourself that anything is possible when you envision it and work towards it.
This vision board gives you the ability to discover things that make you happy, it allows you to love yourself. In this vision board, write about your biggest accomplishments that you are proud of. Write what you want to achieve and how you can work towards it. Make your dreams and success appear on that vision board.
Visualizing your vision board will make you feel great and build your confidence. It will remove your nervousness and make you feel relaxed. It brings you back on track when you lose balance. It helps you organize your thoughts and prepares you mentally for a better life. You will feel happier, motivated, and capable to achieve the goals you have set.
“This vision board gives you the ability to discover things that make you happy, it allows you to love yourself.” @RashmiByakodi, Best Of Nutrition
Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, Health & Wellness Writer
Dr. Rashmi Byakodi is a health and wellness writer, a dentist who aims to spread awareness about health, and the editor of Best for Nutrition. She believes that with a healthy lifestyle we can combat many issues in our lives, she strives to use her platform to help make that healthy lifestyle more attainable for all.
#12. Be Holistically Healthy
Self-confidence is something that every man and woman of every age and standing struggles with and it’s easy to see why. Being confident in one’s abilities makes it easier to connect with others and establish one’s individuality.
Although there are multiple ways to boost one’s self-confidence, I believe that keeping one’s physical, mental, and emotional health at bay is still the best way to boost your self-esteem. Thankfully enough, there are a handful of activities that help achieve holistic health such as living by good sleeping habits.
What most people don’t realize about sleep is that it helps balance out hormones that affect one’s mood and self-esteem, which in turn lessens a person’s risk of falling victim to anxiety and depression. Great sleeping habits partnered with exercise and a proper diet are bound to keep you holistically healthy, happy, and confident.
Simply put, taking proper care of your body makes you more prepared to embrace all the good things in the world.
“Simply put, taking proper care of your body makes you more prepared to embrace all the good things in the world.” — Simon Hansen
Simon Hansen is the homebrew expert and founder of Home Brew Advice, a company dedicated to providing quality content on the art of homebrewing and winemaking.
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#13. Find the Right Tribe
The one, action-oriented suggestion I have for building confidence and boosting self-esteem is to ensure the people around you, your tribe, is supportive and uplifting. So many times in life, when I didn’t believe in myself, I had my family and friends encouraging me and telling me I could do it.
It is more so important in life, to be able to have someone to confide in and admit, I don’t feel great about myself, and to be reassured every single time, without judgment that you’ve got this!
It might seem difficult at first because we often surround ourselves with toxic relations and this affects our self-esteem in a negative way. But I would say – stay on the lookout for those that smile at your little wins, congratulate you, speak highly of you (even behind your back), and who will truly be worthy of calling your tribe.
I’m a strong believer in the environment playing a huge role in our confidence, and that’s the one thing we should all be doing – living in non-toxic spaces.
“It is more so important in life, to be able to have someone to confide in, and admit, I don’t feel great about myself, and to be reassured every single time, without judgment that you’ve got this!” @VasundhraG
Vasundhra Gupta, Spiritual and Self-Care Writer
Vasundhra Gupta is a spiritual and self-care writer; she runs the blog, My Spiritual Shenanigans. Her purpose is to help people tap into their spiritual strengths and ground their power into Mother Earth. Her blog posts go over topics such as self-love and spirituality.
#14. Ask “What If”
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.
“If no one else is rooting for us we need to root for ourselves the way we would root for our best friend.” — Erica Tatum-Sheade @IntegratedMHA
Erica Tatum-Sheade, Licensed Psychotherapist
Erica is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Co-Owner of Integrated Mental Health Associates. She is a child, adolescent, and young adult specialist providing a safe place for her clients to explore their feelings and emotions without fear of judgment.
#15. Focus on Your Talents and Gifts
Building confidence can be done by combining three simple strategies.
One, figure out what you are truly good at. Discover your gifts and talents and what you bring to the world. I find it so encouraging to continue to uncover my unique perspective. You have a distinct way of looking at life and creating! Find out your gifts!
Secondly, challenge yourself to grow. Don’t just stop at recognizing your gifts, push yourself to develop those talents. It may be scary, but you will be amazed at all you can do! And you will increase your confidence as you try, fail and get up again!
Lastly, figure out the truth about who you really are. Who are you going to allow to speak into your life and tell you who you truly are? For me, I listen to God, my family, and a few close friends. Who are you allowing to speak into your life? Ditch the toxic people and surround yourself with people that are excited about your growth!
“Discover your gifts and talents and what you bring to the world. I find it so encouraging to continue to uncover my unique perspective.” @theReluctantCo3
Miranda, Vibrant Life Mentor
Miranda is an educator, speaker, and a vibrant life mentor. With her blog, The Reluctant Cowgirl, she shares personal growth and parenting advice for busy moms. She also shares tips on how to care for yourself and for the ones you love. Her article, 8 Steps Smart Moms Know on Making a Personal Growth Plan, is all about personal development and continuing to make progress both inwardly and outwardly.
#16. Keep Learning New Skills
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut as we get older, but it’s important to keep learning.
Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new is always good for self-confidence, even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable to start with.
Learning a new skill is a great way to do this. You’ll feel more accomplished and it will give you a new life focus too. You’ll most likely meet new people, and in doing so more confidence and increased self-esteem should follow.
What could you learn? Perhaps you could study something you’ve always wanted to learn even if you don’t actually apply it in a new job.
You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll feel as if you have more to offer other people too.
What about learning a language, or taking some art classes? How about a cookery course? Why not embark on the philosophy degree you never had the chance to do when you were younger?
And if you really want to learn about something obtuse like the eating habits of spiders – go for it!
“Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new is always good for self-confidence, even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable to start with.” Johanna, Lifestyle Fifty
Johanna is the founder of Lifestyle Fifty, a mature women’s guide for looking and feeling great after 50. She loves empowering women to feel their absolute best. Her blog covers topics ranging from fitness, personal style, and having fun.
#17. Remind Yourself that You’re Learning
One of my ongoing weaknesses is feeling like I don’t know enough. If I make a mistake, I become discouraged and begin to believe that I’m not good enough for the task at hand. One trick that I’ve trained myself to do is mutter a two-word mantra. This mantra reminds me that I am only human and that the skill will come when the time is right.
Are you ready? Anytime you begin feeling like you’re not good enough at something, repeat these words, “I’m learning.” You don’t need a disclaimer to it. You don’t need to remind yourself of how long the process is taking.
Simply find a private area (if possible), take a deep breath, and say, “I’m learning,” as you exhale. Do this as many times as needed. Everything you’ve accomplished up until this moment had to be learned along the way. This is just another learning opportunity for you to grow from too.
“Everything you’ve accomplished up until this moment had to be learned along the way. This is just another learning opportunity for you to grow from too.” @KyrabeStories
Kyndall is a personal development blogger for Kyrabe Stories. She uses her platform to help motivate and inspire those who are trying to break out of their comfort zones or those who are trying to fit in somewhere or those who just need a little encouragement in their lives.
#18. Fake it Until You Make It
I’m a big believer in the confidence strategy of “fake it ’til you make it.” When tackling a new task, you have to trick yourself into believing that you have the ability to do what you’re setting out to achieve.
You must make everyone around you believe that you have what it takes to accomplish your goal. By focusing on this outward display, the confidence actually seeps inward. The truth is, you do have what it takes—you just needed to get over your own fear.
By putting everything into this act of displaying confidence, you focus less on your worries and launch yourself forward into being successful. This strategy has worked for me time and time again, and I’m not naturally a confident person. With each success, your real sense of confidence will grow.
“The truth is, you do have what it takes—you just needed to get over your own fear” @stepstoself
Gina is a mom of four whose passion is helping other moms attend to themselves and live their best life. She’s learned the hard way the importance of self-care and believes in ending stigma around mental health struggles.
#19. Regularly Practice Gratitude
My #1 SINGLE tip for building confidence and self-esteem is GRATITUDE.
According to Psychology Today, it is scientifically proven that a regular gratitude practice improves self-esteem and increases mental strength.
When you are in a situation that is testing your confidence and self-esteem, express gratitude for the lesson you are about to learn. When you approach it with a strategy of gratitude, you shift your mindset from lack of confidence to being excited about the outcome, regardless of what it may be!
“When you approach it with a strategy of gratitude, you shift your mindset from lack of confidence to being excited about the outcome, regardless of what it may be!” @PinkFortitude
Holly Bertone, Bestselling Author
Holly is a #1 Amazon.com bestselling author, speaker, wellness expert, and founder of Pink Fortitude, where she transforms lives for women with chronic illness at home and at work. She uses her platform to inspire people to live a happier and healthier life.
#20. Put Your Focus on Others
When we teach our kids about confidence and self-esteem, we start in a very counterintuitive way. While it would seem like the focus would be on the individual, we actually teach our kids to focus on others.
Confidence and self-esteem have just as much to do with other people as with ourselves, so when we teach our kids to be grateful and to serve others, it shifts the focus. Once they’re “others-minded,” they can take the weight off of themselves.
This allows them to not be so concerned with themselves, and to put the focus on other people and that leads to confidence and it builds their self-esteem. Low self-esteem and self-confidence are often a product of thinking about ourselves too much. Shifting the focus eliminates a lot of that.
“Low self-esteem and self-confidence are often a product of thinking about ourselves too much. Shifting the focus eliminates a lot of that.” @sproutfreedom
Kalen is a financial coach, author, and the founder of Freedom Sprout. He helps parents raise money-smart kids. As a father of five, he believes children need financial literacy now to avoid financial struggles later. He’s written over 2000 articles, which have been featured all over the web, on outlets such as: Yahoo Finance, CNN Money, The Penny Hoarder, and WiseBread.
Get Your Self-Confidence Quotes
Why not add confidence quotes to your daily confidence-building exercises? Get your 10 FREE printable self-confidence quotes!
They’re perfect for your office, home bedroom, or wherever you need to find inspiration daily. Each design is black and white and features brushed ink letter detailing.
This download comes with 10 high-resolution graphics ready to be printed and posted.
Begin Confidence Building Exercises Today
Are you ready to become a confident person? To have the self-confidence you need to be successful in your life?
Whether in your boardroom, classroom, or everyday life, these confidence-building exercises can give you the boost you need.
Once you’re feeling more confident, the doubt, hesitation, worry, and fear you feel will fade away. The louder your confidence is, the less all that noise holds you back.
Don’t wait another minute, your dreams and goals require confidence. So start building it!
What daily confidence-building exercises do you use?
Last Updated on July 4, 2023