How to Be More Confident at School

Three Parts:Building Yourself UpInteracting with Others ConfidentlyBuilding Academic Confidence

Maybe you feel shy or think that nobody notices you at school. You might want to try out for the school play but fear people will make fun of you or that you won’t be “good enough.” It’s hard to feel confident at school and with your peers, and you may even think that everyone has it figured out but you. It’s important to realize that everyone is learning who they are and nobody has it figured out yet. In the meantime, however, there are plenty of ways to build your confidence.

Part 1
Building Yourself Up

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    Believe in your yourself and your abilities. It’s easy to get stuck in negative thinking that you’ll be bad at something, or you’ll mess up, or that people won’t like you. Ignore all of these negative thoughts and choose to believe in yourself and in your abilities.[1] Even if you have doubts, go for it.
    • You might be scared to try out for a team you really want to join. Go to tryouts feeling confident in your abilities to play and to improve. Remember that you don’t have to be an expert to get on the team, you just have to be willing to improve.
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    Silence your inner critic. Sometimes you lack confidence at school because there’s a small voice that tells you, “you’ll mess it up” or “there’s no way those people will be your friends, you’re not popular enough.” When these critical thoughts come up, learn to turn off the critic. Choose not to listen to these thoughts.
    • Think of a recent experience where you felt embarrassed or low on confidence in school. Write down all the negative thoughts and messages you gave yourself during and after that experience. Then ask yourself, “where do all these negative thoughts come from?”[2]
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    Make positive self statements. Replace your negative thoughts with more positive thoughts when you talk (or think) to yourself. The way you talk to yourself and the thoughts you have about yourself affect how you feel and how you act.[3] Whenever you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not cool enough to sit at that lunch table, find a positive thought instead.
    • Instead of giving up on something, say to yourself, “I know I can get this problem, I need to keep working at it.”
    • Instead of feeling defeated after a loss, tell yourself, “I tried my best and I know that it’s impossible to win every time. It’s okay for me to lose.”
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    Focus on your possibilities. Maybe you feel like there is nothing you can do to feel more confident about yourself. You may have tried in the past but failed, so you believe you will always fail. This is not true! Think about all the possibilities you have to practice your confidence in all the different settings you can think of.
    • Practice a skill until you become excellent at it. This can include drawing, knitting, singing, or karate. Think about where you started and how you felt, and how you feel now that you are more comfortable.
    • Stand up for yourself, volunteer, follow through on something scary, learn something new, solve a problem, start a new club, or make someone happy.[4] You definitely haven’t tried everything yet.
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    Exercise. Exercising and being physically active can help you increase your confidence, bust stress, and help you feel good.[5] You may not like to play sports or go to the gym, but there are still plenty of ways to exercise without playing basketball or lifting weights. Play tag with your friends, dance, or take your dog for a walk each day. Even jumping on the trampoline counts as fitness!
    • You can also go swimming, go hiking or backpacking.
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    Accept your looks the way they are. You may have a lot of spots or maybe you have a birthmark in the most inconvenient place. So what? That's who you are, that's how you were born! Like yourself for you, and stop putting your body down.[6] There may be parts of your body you don’t like, but think about the parts that you do like. You may love the color of your eyes, the curliness of your hair, or your body build as naturally athletic. You don’t have to focus on the things you don’t like, but think about what you do appreciate.
    • It’s important to remember that your worth isn’t based on how you look. If people only value you for how pretty you are or how strong/handsome you are, they probably aren’t people you want as friends.
    • Remember that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and abilities. There’s no “wrong” body.
    • If you really care what people think about you, ask yourself why that matters so much. Why is it important to you to fit in or to be attractive?
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    Learn to appreciate your personality. Your personality is one of the main things that makes you, you! Do not change it because you think people want you to be somebody else. It’s way more important to be you. If you try to be someone you are not, there’s a chance the people you are acting for aren’t people who appreciate you for you. Be weird and be silly and be you! Choose the friends that enjoy who you are and let you freely express who you are.
    • Think about the things that make you you. Are you kind? Compassionate? Generous? Silly? A good rapper? Instead of being scared to show who you are, lovingly embrace all parts of you and don’t be afraid to show it. People tend to admire others who shine brightly in who they are.

Part 2
Interacting with Others Confidently

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    Ask for what you want assertively. If you have a want or a need, take action to meet it. Don’t hope that it will work out, be assertive in finding a solution. Say your wants and needs with authority, as if what you want matters. When making a request or fulfilling a desire or need, be prepared for any outcome. While you may have a desired outcome, know that several outcomes are possible, and learn to be okay with compromise.[7]
    • If you need a ride home, say so. Don’t beat around the bush or hint that you need a ride, put it out there and ask, “Can I get a ride home?” The worse that person can say is no, and you’ll have to ask somebody else.
    • Asking for things assertively may take some practice, especially if you’re not used to it or you feel shy. Start by asking your friends, then make requests from others like classmates or teachers.
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    Join clubs or sports. If you find a club or a sport that interests you at school, try out or join the club. Being in a club or sport allows you to be around other people who share similar interests as you, which automatically gives you a bond and something to talk about. [8] People may start hearing your name around and say, "Oh Amy is on the tennis team, and she is really good!" That's good attention.
    • Join something you like! If you aren't good at tennis, but you're really creative: join Art Club, Yearbook staff, or Prom Committee. No club is for losers, geeks, or freaks, because everyone can have fun in whatever interests them!
    • Being around other like-minded people may help you feel more confident in who you are.
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    Have hobbies and activities you enjoy. Have fun and pleasurable activities that you pursue on your own. Doing something you enjoy can relieve stress, build confidence, and create independence.[9] It’s nice to have a feeling of success in activities, but doing activities that are non-competitive can be fun too, like hiking. As long as you enjoy it, it serves a purpose and can make you feel happy.
    • Learn to paint, sew, do yoga, practice karate or dance. Practice music or make crafts. See what activities pique your interest and go do them!
    • Having hobbies and things you enjoy doing can help you feel a sense of accomplishment or happiness that can help you build confidence.
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    Follow the golden rule. Be nice to everyone you meet at school. Be careful not to gossip or say mean things about people behind their back. When you speak to people, be polite and kind.[10] If you get a reputation as ‘the nice kid’ that’s not so bad!
    • Remember to treat others the same way you want to be treated. Do you want other people saying mean things about you? Then don’t say mean things about other people. Do you want people to say nice things about you? Then speak well of people.
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    Laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you make a mistake, laugh at yourself! Make a silly comment and move on. You will undoubtedly make mistakes, and it’s better to accept that fact with a little humor than in total disappointment. Having a sense of humor and laughing at yourself can help you increase your overall enjoyment of life.[11]
    • You can even tease yourself here and there. If you’re self conscious about dancing, poke fun of your “two left feet”.
    • The more you can laugh at yourself, the less pressure you put on yourself to do everything right. When people see that you can laugh at yourself, they may think you are confident.

Part 3
Building Academic Confidence

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    Say new things out loud.[12] If you have problems remembering what you learn, say it out loud. Talk about the subject during passing period or try to teach your friend or younger sibling what you’ve learned. By saying things out loud, you help yourself build vocabulary about new topics and give yourself confidence to explore more freely.
    • Many people use this technique to remember people’s names. For instance, if you just met Rafael, you repeat his name (“Nice to meet you, Rafael.” or “Where are you from, Rafael?”) several times in order to help you remember it.
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    Begin tests with a positive entry point. You may panic when you receive a test and don’t know the answer to the first question. Doubt may wash over you, and you spend the rest of the test worrying you won’t know the answers to the other questions, either. When taking tests, scan the test and look for questions you positively know the answer to, and start with those.[13] That way you’ll feel confident about your abilities right off the bat, and feel more confident as you work through all of the test questions.
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    Organize your knowledge. Maybe you feel overwhelmed before a test and worrying about your grade makes you feel like all your knowledge is jumbled. Write out everything you know.[14] By writing it all out, you may realize you know more than you thought you did, which can help increase your confidence. .
    • You can make a list, clump similar items together, or color-code based on different subjects.
    • You can also use notecards to study. Write things out, draw pictures, do whatever it takes to help you remember.
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    Study with a buddy. Working with a friend or classmate can help you learn and retain information. Take turns asking questions to each other, explain new concepts, and “teach” each other what you’ve learned. This can be a fun way to learn and study for a test, without a lot of pressure.
    • You can each create a quiz a swap with each other.
    • Make a song or a skit as a way to learn or study.


  • If people can't accept you, they're not worth your time.
  • Be yourself and always stay true to yourself!

Article Info

Categories: Building and Maintaining Self Confidence