How do i gain confidence in myself

How to build self confidence | Confidence

Confidence can be a tough thing to build up. We've put together some handy tips to help you out. If you're still having a hard time even after trying these self-help ideas, don't worry! We’ve also listed the ways you can find extra support and work on boosting your confidence with the help of others.

What is a confident person?

Not everyone is born with an inbuilt sense of self-confidence. Sometimes it can be hard to develop confidence, either because personal experiences have caused you to lose confidence or because you suffer from low self-esteem.

A confident person:

  • does what they believe is right, even if it’s unpopular
  • is willing to take risks
  • admits their mistakes and learns from them
  • is able to accept a compliment
  • is optimistic.

Tips for building self-confidence

There are a number of things you can do to build your confidence. Some of them are just small changes to your frame of mind; others you’ll have to work on for a bit longer to make them familiar habits.

1. Look at what you’ve already achieved

It’s easy to lose confidence if you believe you haven’t achieved anything. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life, whether it’s getting a good mark on an exam or learning to surf. Keep the list close by and add to it whenever you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull out the list and use it to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you've done.

2. Think of things you're good at

Everyone has strengths and talents. What are yours? Recognising what you’re good at, and trying to build on those things, will help you to build confidence in your own abilities.

3. Set some goals

Set some goals and set out the steps you need to take to achieve them. They don’t have to be big goals; they can even be things like baking a cake or planning a night out with friends. Just aim for some small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done.

4. Talk yourself up

You’re never going to feel confident if you have negative commentary running through your mind telling you that you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Treat yourself like you would your best friend and cheer yourself on.

5. Get a hobby

Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, knitting or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.

If you’re not feeling better

Sometimes the quick fixes don’t help in the long term. If you’re feeling bad and things just don’t seem to be improving, it’s worth talking to someone who knows how to help. Professionals such as counsellors and psychologists can help you develop strategies to help you build up your confidence. They may also be able to help you understand any underlying problems that might be causing you to feel bad about yourself.

Want to chat with a peer worker who can listen to you and support you? Book a free, text-based session with ReachOut PeerChat.

If you don't feel ready to speak to a professional, try taking a look at ReachOut Online Community. Talking out your worries with a supportive community of people who have been through similar situations can be a really helpful way to build your self-confidence.

What can I do now?

  • Get personalised support for when you're feeling low with the ReachOut Nextstep tool.
  • Remember that it takes time and persistence to build your self-confidence. Learn more about self-talk.
  • Want to chat with a peer worker who can listen to you and support you? Book a free, text-based session with ReachOut PeerChat.

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13 Ways To Actually Build Confidence, From Experts

Where confidence comes from.

Confidence is self-trust in your skills, choices, and values. It comes from within yourself and feels like an inner knowing of your strengths and weaknesses while still thinking positively about yourself.

"Self-confidence comes from the information and ideas we take in through the world that support a positive perspective about ourselves," says licensed psychotherapist Rameya Shanmugavelayutham, LCSW. "Often we enter into the world with an abundance of self-confidence. Consider the young child who feels confident taking risks like jumping off the swings or dances without a care in front of a crowd. When a young child is affirmed and encouraged, they strengthen their sense of self and begin to hold cognitive schemas that confirm they are worthy, valuable, beautiful, intelligent, etc."

While many people often have a strong sense of confidence as a child, life often throws curve balls that can diminish confidence. Low self-confidence can feel like being unable to handle other people's criticisms or difficulty trusting yourself and others.

The great thing is, every moment is a chance to build evidence toward your self-confidence. To make up for what was lost, you can rebuild confidence over time through small and large moments that ladder up toward more self-trust. 

Notably, although they look similar on the surface, being shy or introverted does not equate to a lack of self-confidence. Shyness is a personality trait where some people are naturally timid around others. Being an introvert is also a personality trait, first described by Carl Jung as someone who prefers to turn inward to their internal world for reflection and insight. This is in contrast to extroverts, who prefer to engage with other people. (Here's a quick quiz to find out if you're an introvert or extrovert.)


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What causes low confidence? 

Just as you can build positive self-confidence, there are things that can erode it. According to Shanmugavelayutham, the way people are socialized and seen by those around them, in addition to difficult transitions in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, can all lead to lower self-confidence.

She says some factors that can contribute to a negative sense of self include:

  • Caregivers that are overly critical or reprimanding
  • Caregivers that limit a child's exploration
  • Feeling rejected by peers
  • Difficulties transitioning into a constructed idea of "adulthood"
  • Media representations and data from the world about what's "ideal" in a person

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Varying levels of confidence can also show up in different situations. You may feel very confident in math because you were socialized and praised to succeed in your academic studies. You may feel less confident when it comes to public speaking because you've previously received criticisms from peers and haven't yet processed their feedback in a useful way.

Again, the good news is that low self-confidence is fixable, and you are totally in charge of making it happen.

13 ways to build confidence:


Figure out where your lack of confidence stems from.

Finding the root cause for low self-confidence can provide a map of how to build up more positive self-confidence. A good place to start is through self-reflection and journaling.

Try this exercise to help you get to the possible root cause of your low self-confidence:

  1. For one week, record any low self-confidence thoughts or sayings that keep showing up for you. 
  2. For each thought or saying, ask yourself "Who or what told you that?" 
  3. Decide if you want to allow that voice to have authority over your thoughts in this stage of your life.
  4. Journal out your reactions and create a plan of action to move forward.

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If you're struggling with this, it can also help to work with a therapist or coach to identify and transform the unhelpful low-self-confidence thoughts.


Understand what self-confidence feels like for you.

Take some time to figure out what confidence feels like in your body. A good question to ask is "How will you know that you've reached a satisfactory level of self-confidence?" Perhaps you will start speaking up more at work. You might finally wear that outfit you've always wanted to. You may even introduce yourself to your crush at your co-working space. This will be different from person to person, so it doesn't have to make sense to anyone else. This is your personal measurement of confidence. 


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Align with yourself.

If you find yourself frequently using the word "should," (for example, I should be married by 30, I should have a house by next year, or I should have my life together by now), take a step back and reflect. Where is this "should" coming from?

Many of the "shoulds" in life stem from cultural or familial expectations. With all of these statements, it's helpful to always ask yourself: Is this what I truly want for myself?

You have the power to reclaim your life at any point. The more that you make decisions aligned with your true self and your desires, the more confident you will become in your decision-making.


Start small.

Most of us don't like experiencing a ton of change at once. A very important key for self-improvement work is starting small. 

Shirin Eskandani, life coach and founder of Wholehearted Coaching, says one way to build self-confidence is to make small promises to yourself and then follow through. "And the key word is small. Do things that are a stretch but also realistic for you. So perhaps if you're not a morning person, not committing to waking up at 6 a.m. every day to do a morning routine but instead trying out an evening routine."


Adopt a growth mindset.

A growth mindset encourages you to explore beyond your current skills and knowledge, keeping the possibility of improvement open. Instead of using phrases like "I'm not confident," just add "yet" to it, which transforms the old belief into "I'm not confident yet." This adds the qualifier that you are in the process of gaining skills to become confident.

A 2019 study1 found that growth mindset interventions led to better math grades for high schoolers and improved even more when students were immersed in environments that encouraged growth mindset principles. So it's worth exploring your new growth mindset with like-minded people.


Know you will fail, and that's OK.

We live in a failure-averse culture where people mostly just talk about their accomplishments. Rarely do you ever get to hear about people's accounts of failure. Understanding that failure happens and is a part of the process of living will help you to live more fully. 

"For a lot of us, we were usually taught that self-confidence comes from achievements," certified life coach and leadership coach Nicole Cruz tells mindbodygreen. "However, this means that when we achieve, we feel great about our abilities, but when we fail, our self-confidence takes a hit. I truly believe that self-confidence comes from our own thoughts about our abilities rather than external achievements. So that regardless of whether we succeed or fail, we have the power to retain our self-confidence."


Stand up to your inner critic.

Sometimes you might hesitate to trust yourself because you've received critical feedback from authority figures earlier in life, like parents, teachers, or community leaders, and you have adopted their criticisms as your own beliefs. But there comes a point when this feedback no longer serves your current life. Standing up to those old criticisms can unlock a new level of confidence.

"Confidence can also be built by rewriting the narratives in our heads about our worthiness. This involves identifying self-limiting beliefs and reframing them," Shanmugavelayutham explains. "Often the voice in our head that tells us we are not good enough is not our authentic voice but an aggregate of all the voices of those who have criticized us in the past. When we talk back to the inner critic enough, the confident inner-child that we lost touch with can reemerge."


Understand that emotions and feelings are temporary.

In the book Come As You Are, sex educator and researcher Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., writes, "Emotions are tunnels. You have to go all the way through the darkness to get to the light at the end."

Emotions go through a cycle of beginning, middle, and end. Although emotions can feel really intense in the moment, they are only temporary. At the very basic level, emotions are physiological responses to stimuli in your environment. If your Wi-Fi goes out right before your work presentation, you may experience an acute pang of stress. If you receive a surprise package from your sister, you may be overcome by heartfelt joy. If you get a text from your ex, you may feel a sharp streak of hot sadness. Whatever the stimuli and paired emotion, they're all data points to inform your next action step. 

In terms of confidence, any emotion like anxiety, stress, or fear that is holding you back from taking action is only temporary. Once it subsides, you can make your next move. As the saying goes, "Feel the fear and do it anyway."


Focus on what you can control.

"A lot of times, we base our self-confidence on things we actually have no control over—what other people think, the outcome of a project, others' reactions, etc.," Cruz explains. "To build self-confidence, we need to release our attachment to the things we can't control and start basing our self-confidence on what we do have control over. "

Take, for example, when you're working on a presentation, she says. You might invest a lot of energy into other people's opinions, the outcome of your project, or your peers' reactions to your work. To build self-confidence against things you don't have control over, Cruz advises to focus on the things you can control—for example, how prepared you are, your passion for the presentation topic, and how much work you've put into it. 

"Remind yourself of these things consistently and repeatedly until they become your new beliefs," she adds. 

Grounding yourself in things you can control, even just one aspect of your goal, will provide you with more stability to move forward. And remember: Building confidence builds more confidence. By starting in the places you have control over, you can ensure that you build confidence from a place of inner strength.


Build a like-minded community around you.

Research suggests that our views of ourselves are usually inaccurate. Whether you underestimate or overestimate your abilities, you can't create a more accurate level of self-confidence in isolation. You need to interact with your environment, hobbies, and other people to build confidence.

Curating an intentional environment to develop your budding confidence is crucial. Share your experience with a few close friends who are on the same self-development journey. Find resources in your community like therapists, coaches, podcasts, blogs, and books to help build a foundation for your new confidence.


Take a break from social media.

A 2018 study published in Europe's Journal of Psychology found that people who have lower self-esteem tend to gravitate toward building a "false self" on social media2, which can lead to an inaccurate sense of self and self-worth. So consider taking a break from social media to reconnect with the person you truly are, free from comparisons and trying to impress others. 


Cultivate compassion.

Cultivating a sense of self-compassion can help you to sympathize with yourself when you experience difficulties in life. This can help you turn away from negative, demeaning self-talk and toward more loving, nurturing ways to talk to ourselves.

"Compassion is key in cultivating self-confidence," Eskandani says in an email interview. "Holding on to past 'mistakes' or 'failures' really affects how confident we are. If we can be kind to ourselves and allow ourselves to let go of these moments, then we allow ourselves to trust ourselves." 


Find professional support

If building self-confidence has become a discouraging pursuit, it might be time to lean on professionals for some guidance.

"There are many ways to build self-confidence. One approach involves processing and uprooting the formative experiences that may have contributed to a negative sense of self. While this can be done through personal reflection and journaling, it can often be more effective when done in relationship with a safe support person such as a therapist," Shanmugavelayutham says.

The benefits of boosting your confidence. 

While it may feel unnatural and like a lot of work, there are plenty of benefits of building self-confidence, such as:

Building resilience to try new things

"Confidence is the life source for much of what we seek in life. It gives us the fuel we need to try new things and take risks," Shanmugavelayutham says. 

Better performance

Whether at work, in sports, or in personal endeavors, having confidence can help you accomplish tasks3 with more ease and, therefore, success. "Confidence in one area can beget confidence in other areas," Shanmugavelayutham adds. "Confidence has even been proven to be a higher predictor of performance than competence!"

Creating the life you want

"When we don't believe in ourselves, we tend to take actions that actually create the exact outcome we're fearing," Cruz explains. "By boosting our self-confidence, we can take actions and create outcomes that better reflect the incredible power that's within us.

Discerning other people's motives versus your own desires

In a study exploring the relationship between self-confidence and social interactions, economists note that, although many people tend to derive confidence from other people's compliments, other people benefit from your ability to produce. For example, a manager may praise your event-planning abilities because your efforts also make her job easier. You can be good at a lot of things, but with self-confidence, you'll be able to determine which things you want to become good at, not just build confidence in the things you get external praise for.

Making your own decisions according to your true self

When you're confident in yourself, Eskandani says, "you start making decisions that are in line with what you truly want. You listen less to the well-meaning advice around you telling you what you should do, and you start doing things that you truly want to do." 

The bottom line.


While most of us are born with a healthy level of confidence, life throws us challenges that can derail our sense of confidence. However, reclaiming that self-confidence is possible and worth every effort for living a more fulfilling life.

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How to become self-confident: 5 steps to the goal

August 9, 2015Inspiration

Self-hypnosis is complete nonsense. Let's be realistic, when was the last time it gave you confidence? Helped to lose weight? Get promoted? No options - NEVER. Of course, there are plenty of "experts" around who sell this hackneyed move: just say 50 times "I'm amazing, wonderful and I can achieve anything" and you will immediately become confident as a president. It works? No. So let's talk about methods that really help people gain self-confidence.



Before we dive headlong into building true self-confidence, let's take a step back and try to understand what confidence is.

Confidence is the knowledge that what you have will eventually become what you want and make you happier. This is a necessary condition for an idea to become an action.

Confidence is the ability to believe in yourself when a big deal is coming up, raise your hand when an interesting project comes up, or speak at a conference (and without any excitement!). Confidence is not a 100% guarantee that everything will always work out, but it helps you get out of your comfort zone, push your boundaries, and set the course for success.

Statistics confirm that success has more to do with confidence than competence. So here are five steps to self-confidence.

1. Fake Confidence

Strange as it may sound, the first way to learn to be truly confident is to imitate confidence. In the wild, some animals pretend to be brave in the face of danger. Pretend you too.

Self-hypnosis does not work. Our brain analyzes and compares our expectations with our experience and real life situation. If these two aspects do not match, the brain gets out of control and you begin to experience stress. Anxiety and negative thoughts appear, due to which all self-confidence disappears. So how can we be?

Better prepare for an exciting situation, rehearse in front of a mirror (pay attention to both tone of voice and facial expressions) and look at others positively, enjoy communicating with them. This will give the brain “reason enough” to believe that our positive attitude corresponds to a favorable external situation, and confidence will appear by itself.

2. Remember that you expect more from yourself than others from you

The good news is that the whole world will believe what you show. Thank God, no one can read your thoughts, know about fears and anxiety.

Bad news: you can misinterpret any sideways glance, any random word, any reaction of people to your actions, and then worry about this (far-fetched) reason.

In this case, psychologists recommend listening to your inner voice (don't get scared ahead of time, no one is going to persuade you to engage in self-hypnosis). Do a little experiment: for one week, write down what thoughts are spinning in your head (exact wording) when you lack self-confidence.

By simply recording and analyzing your inner dialogue, you will be one step closer to reducing and hopefully eliminating such thoughts entirely.

In addition, it is useful to write down and keep at hand a list of your achievements, experiences, events that made you feel significant, confident, understand that your actions are beneficial.

Every time your inner voice gets out of control, take a three-minute break, pick up a list, and remind yourself how good you can be. Present your brain with tangible evidence when you need extra reassurance.

3. Take care of your physical condition

I understand it's a cliché to say that you need to take care of your health, but this cliché didn't come out of nowhere. Have you ever wondered why, without exception, all successful leaders regularly go in for sports? If you overwork, eat fast food, sleep little, and lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, it becomes harder to show the world the best version of yourself.

You don't have to train until you drop for several hours a day: a 30-minute walk from work to home or climbing the stairs to the 10th floor can be enough to release endorphins. Start with small changes in your habitual way of life, gradually get used to them.

Difficulties and, accordingly, stress should be added to your life in very small portions. You need to circle yourself around your finger so that both physical and mental health are in balance.

4. Increase returns, change your internal dialogue

Do you know why most people's communication skills leave much to be desired? Because they are in their own thoughts. Instead of focusing on their interlocutor and demonstrating their disposition, they think how not to blurt out nonsense and what would be so smart to say next. The main reason for this behavior: they are poorly prepared.

It's almost impossible to be truly confident if you're not prepared enough to show your best side. Think about the people you are talking to. What do they really want? What's stopping them? How can you help them?

If you focus on helping your interlocutor, you will get rid of anxiety and get the same genuine interest in response.

Use this method to promote your services or if you want to impress at an event.

Spend time researching materials on the topic and your audience. Every hour spent on this activity will bring a disproportionate result. And what happens when you get a positive response? You guessed it, you'll gain lasting, genuine self-confidence.

5. Fail quickly, err often

A terrifying word that paralyzes even outstanding people and prevents them from achieving success - failure. It especially haunts those who are perfectionists by nature and are chronically afraid of doing something wrong.

But failures happen in our lives, it's just inevitable. In fact, if you are not mistaken, then you are not learning anything new. Remember Ramit Seti's saying more often: "It's not a failure - it's a test."

You're just checking that it won't work. And when you know this, you can move on and find ways that will lead to the desired result.

And the most important thing: once you come to your senses after another "failure", you realize that you do not feel empty. After all, it is this experience that helps you face your fears and achieve your goals in the future.

Tips and exercises for developing confidence

Confidence means an objective assessment of one's knowledge and skills. Without it, it is difficult to achieve your goals. Three components of self-confidence:

  • Feeling. Feeling of harmony and tranquility - "I know everything, I can do everything. "
  • Behavior. Demonstration of their knowledge and skills without words, facial expressions, gestures, appearance. For a teenager to feel confident, you need to behave accordingly.
  • Decisiveness. Courage in making decisions and following a given course.

To believe in yourself and become confident, you need to work on each of these components.

Feeling of confidence

Not to be confused with self-confidence! Imagine two friends. One is well versed in poetry, but never recites poetry, and the other considers himself a guru of mathematics, but attempts to "show off knowledge" rarely turn out to be successful. In the second case, there are self-confidence , since there is no objective assessment of abilities.

You can feel confident only if you are convinced of your knowledge and skills. Are you really good at what you have to do? Not? Fix it! So, many graduates of Foxford's home online school say that they felt confident in the exam, as they were well prepared.

When there is a strong base:

  • Tune in for success . Don't even think about failure. Imagine the applause after the defense of the project, the praise of the parents for the "five" and other amenities that await you when you cope with the task. This will help you gain a sense of self-confidence.
  • Don't give up. If things didn't go as you expected, or you still failed, this is no reason to despair. Mistakes add up to experience, and experience is a coin in the piggy bank of self-confidence.



Keep a “Success Diary”, write down any achievements, even small ones. For example: I did my homework 100%, I was the first to answer the teacher's question in the chat, and so on.

Take notes regularly. Firstly, it will demonstrate that you have something to be proud of almost every day, which already gives confidence. And secondly, at the moment when fears and doubts envelop you, you can open your diary, cheer up and feel self-confidence.

Confident behavior

When meeting a person, 90% of the impression about him is formed in the first 60 seconds. For a minute, he may not even utter a word, but the opinion about the interlocutor will already be formed.

The bad news is that the way you talk, gesture and dress really matters. The good news is that you can communicate self-confidence to others through non-verbal channels.

Tips for feeling confident:

  • Exercise . Without exception, all successful people take care of themselves. If you eat fast food, sleep little, and lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, it becomes harder to show the world the best version of yourself. You don't have to train like professional athletes. Daily morning exercises and evening walks are already enough to be in good shape and feel self-confident.
  • Watch your clothes and hair. No matter what style you follow, your appearance should always be neat. No more holey socks, dirty shoes, tousled hair and bad breath!
  • Use every opportunity to practice oral communication: phone calls instead of messages, stories instead of posts, reading competitions, regular phone calls with a mentor, and more.

Is there a model for you of a confident person who, in your mind, is never nervous or afraid of anything? Margaret Thatcher? Ivan Urgant? Perhaps your grandfather?

Source: / @Urgant_Show

Find a video of this person's speech and play it without sound. Scroll through the video several times. Pay attention to the posture of this person, his facial expressions, how he holds his hands, in what position he sits. Try to try these habits on yourself. If these confident gestures become a habit, you will automatically become more confident.

Confident actions

The last component of self-confidence is actions:

  • Get rid of perfectionism. Perfectionism is the desire to do everything perfectly, because of which people often give in to new challenges. We always expect more from ourselves than others from us. Do not chase the ideal, just do it!
  • Learn to control your emotions. When it is difficult to decide on any action, analyze your feelings. To do this, continue the phrase: "I feel ... because ...". This is a trick from Foxford's Emotional Intelligence course. By speaking your emotions, you take them under control, it will be easier to take action when you feel more confident.

Participate in a competition within the next month. The competitive process is a great opportunity to gain confidence. It can be a school competition, a sports competition or a creative competition.


How to help a child become self-confident

Study loads, psychological difficulties of growing up and transitional age can negatively affect self-esteem, so parents often worry about how a teenager can become self-confident, how they can help him with that.

Here are some tips that will help you: