How to Improve Self Confidence

Two Methods:Incorporating Good HabitsBuilding on Your Successes

Having high self-confidence can help you succeed in many areas of your personal and professional life, but many people struggle with low self-confidence. Improving your self-confidence may seem difficult, but there are several simple things that you can do, such as using positive self-affirmations, challenging your negative thoughts, and trying new things. Keep reading to learn more about how to build self-confidence.

Method 1
Incorporating Good Habits

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    Build awareness of your negative thoughts and beliefs. In order to build your self-confidence, you will have to address some of your negative thoughts and beliefs. Keep a journal handy so that you can write down any negative thoughts and beliefs that enter your head throughout the day. Then, look over what you have written and try to determine where the thought or belief is coming from. Consider what you think might be causing you to have these types of thoughts and beliefs.[1]
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    Encourage yourself. Positive daily affirmations can help you to develop more self-confidence. Take a few moments every day to look at yourself in the mirror and say something encouraging to yourself. You can either say something that you believe about yourself or something that you would like to believe about yourself. It helps to write out your affirmations and place in a spot you will often see, like inside your wallet or the welcome page of your mobile telephone.[2] Some examples of positive affirmations include:
    • “I am an intelligent person.”
    • “I am a good father.”
    • “I have accomplished many important things in my life.”
    • “People enjoy spending time with me.”
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    Learn to forgive yourself. People with low self-confidence are often highly critical of themselves. One way that you can begin to conquer your inner critic is to learn how to forgive yourself when you make mistakes, just like you would forgive a friend.
    • The next time you make a mistake, take a deep breath and stop yourself from assigning blame or insulting yourself. Instead, practice saying something like, “I made a mistake, but that does not make me a bad person.”[3]
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    Congratulate yourself. Another way to improve your self-confidence is to congratulate yourself when you do something well and remind yourself of things that you have done well in the past. Giving yourself a little pat on the back now and then will help you to stay focused on your positive qualities and help build up your self-confidence.[4]
    • Keep in mind that you can congratulate yourself on everyday successes as well. For example, after a long day at work, you could say to yourself, “Way to go! You did a great job today!”
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    Make sure your expectations are realistic. Although having high expectations for yourself is not always bad, unrealistic expectations can set you up for failure and disappointment. If your expectations are too high or if they are not in line with your current situation, consider reevaluating them to reduce the possibility of failure.[5]
    • For example, if you have just graduated from college and you expect to have a job within a week of beginning a job search, you may end up being disappointed. Instead, focus on goals that are within your control, such as applying for a certain number of jobs per day.
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    Challenge negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are common in all people, but they may be even more common if you have low self-confidence. It is important to acknowledge and challenge any negative thoughts that you have in order to improve your self-confidence. Practice acknowledging the thought and then saying what you do not accept it.[6]
    • For example, if you have the thought, “I am stupid,” acknowledge that it is just a thought by saying to yourself, “I am having the thought that I am stupid.” Then, challenge the thought by replacing it with something positive like, “I am an intelligent person.”
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    Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Taking stock of your strengths and weaknesses can help you to get a more realistic view of yourself, which can be hard to do if you have low self-confidence. Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper and on each side make a list of 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses. Congratulate yourself for the things that you excel at and work on accepting your weaknesses.[7]
    • Try using a mantra to help you silence your inner critic. For example, you might repeat something like, "I am only human. I am doing the best that I can and that is all that I can do."[8]
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    Use visualization to improve self-confidence. Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you to develop your self-confidence. To use visualization, close your eyes and imagine a time when you succeeded at something or when you felt especially confident. Try to remember every detail of that moment, where you were, who was there, what was said, and how you felt. Replay this moment over in your head once a day to help build yourself-confidence.[9]

Method 2
Building on Your Successes

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    Try new things. Sometimes it is necessary to try new things in order to discover things that you excel at. Trying and succeeding at new things can also help you to build your self-confidence. Take class at your local community college, join a sports club in your area, or volunteer. Just make sure that whatever you try is something you want to try, but that is also completely new for you.[10]
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    Focus on yourself, not on others. You may have a habit of comparing yourself to others and getting down on yourself because your successes do not seem to be as good as other people’s successes. Work on stopping this habit. Instead of focusing on what other people have or do, focus on what you have accomplished.[11]
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    Take good care of yourself. Exercise, healthy food, rest, and relaxation are all important components in good self-confidence. By taking good care of yourself, you are sending your mind signals that you deserve to be taken care of. Make sure that you are devoting enough time to meeting your basic needs for exercise, food, sleep, and relaxation.[12]
    • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day.
    • Eat a balanced diet of healthy whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
    • Get 8 hours of sleep per night.
    • Set aside at least 15 minutes per day to practice yoga, do deep breathing exercises, or meditate.
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    Talk to friends about your self-confidence struggles. Sometimes talking to your friends can help you to see positive things about yourself that you may not have noticed. Telling your friends that you have been struggling with your self-confidence can also lead to a more positive and supportive network of friends.[13]
    • If you want to talk to your friends about your attempts to build up your self-confidence, start with something like, “Lately I have been struggling with low self-confidence, so I may not seem like myself right now.”
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    Talk to a mental health professional for more help. If you find that your self-confidence does not improve or that it is severely low, you may want to seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist may be able to provide more help than you can provide for yourself.[14]


  • Consider talking to a therapist for help with your self-confidence and any other mental health problems that you are facing.

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Categories: Building and Maintaining Self Confidence