Have you ever wondered, How can I be confident in myself?
If you struggle with low self-esteem and/or self-doubt, here’s something you need to know:
People aren’t born naturally confident. Most people work at it, building up their confidence “muscle” over time.
Self-confidence is like a muscle because you can strengthen it through practice, repetition, and positive reinforcement. And when it comes to confidence building, your mindset has A LOT to do with it.
The great news is, you can learn confidence. What a game-changer, right?
Check out these 13 tips, with confidence building exercises to help you skyrocket your self-confidence and own your amazingness.
1.) Visualize Your Most Confident Self
Practicing visualization is a great way to leverage your most powerful weapon (your mind!), change your self-perception, and become the confident you, you desire.
Start by imagining the most confident version of yourself. Create a detailed, highly specific picture in your mind. What does that you look like? How are you dressed? Where are you? How do you talk, think, act?
Put as much thought and energy into fleshing out the intricacies of this version of you as if to breathe it into being.
Confidence building exercise: Take out a notebook and write down a detailed description of your most confident self. Write for at least 10 minutes and don’t think too much about it. Just write down what you see and don’t question it. Let your imagination go wild.
2.) Utilize Affirmations
We tend to believe what we tell ourselves, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what our inner voice is saying.
If your inner voice is negative, doubting, or judgmental, using affirmations can actually retrain your brain to think more positively.
If you’re not familiar with affirmations, they’re positive statements that help you set an intention for who you want to be and how you want to feel.
Try reciting an affirmation like “I am confident and courageous” to yourself (silently or aloud) whenever you’re struggling in the confidence department.
Repeat the affirmation over and over to yourself as often as you can, and over time—it’ll become an unconscious belief!
Confidence building exercise: Look up positive quotes and affirmations on Pinterest or Google. Write down the ones that speak to you and meditate on them daily. You can write them out over and over as part of your morning routine, or spend a few minutes looking in the mirror and reciting them. This is going to make you feel good and help shift your energy.
3.) Question Your Inner Critic
If that little naysayer in your head is really giving you grief and making you question everything about yourself, try challenging it with a direct question like: “Where’s the evidence of that?
”Taking a logical approach to the truthfulness of that voice is not only illuminating, but can very quickly identify and help you call “bullsh*t” on the negative self-talk.
Confidence building exercise: Write down something negative you’ve been telling yourself that’s hurting your self-confidence and then write down the factual evidence (no opinions!) that this is true.
4.) Leave Your Comfort Zone…Regularly
A great way to become more confident is to spend more time doing the things you’re feeling insecure about!
It sounds counterintuitive, but embracing our fears is how we work through them. When you do things you’re scared of, those things lose their power over you.
So if you’re afraid of public speaking, for instance, volunteer to read at an open mic night or take the lead on that next work meeting.
And remember: that feeling of discomfort isn’t forever. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the easier it’ll get.
Confidence building exercise: Write down one action you will commit to taking to move outside of your comfort zone.
5.) Hit The Books
Likewise, if you’re feeling unconfident in an area you’re not particularly knowledgeable in, devote some time and effort to increasing your competency in that area.
Take a class, join a group, listen to a podcast, visit the local library, or scour the almighty Google to learn more about the topic you’re feeling unknowledgeable about.
Regular practice and study will put you on the path to self-assuredness in no time.
Confidence building exercise: Write down one area you’d like to increase your competency in and the steps you’ll take to do so.
6.) Change a (Small) Habit
There’s nothing like making positive change in your life to give you a newfound sense of confidence!
So think of a habit you’d like to change and tackle it. It can be anything, but make it small and specific so you set yourself up for the best possible success. For example, instead of saying something like “I will go to bed earlier,” say “I will be in bed by 10 pm every night so I can get a full eight hours of sleep”.
Once you’ve mastered it and feel the high of accomplishment, you can move on to something larger.
Confidence building exercise: Write down one small habit you want to change and tackle it.
7.) Celebrate Your Victories
Another easy way to boost your confidence is by recording your wins.
Grab a notebook and aim to keep a daily log of three to five small and large wins you experience each day. The practice of writing your victories down will further ingrain them in your brain.
Plus, you can refer back to all your accomplishments when you encounter rough days (as you will—we ALL do!) to see how far you’ve come and how much you have to be proud of!
Confidencebuilding exercise: Write down three to five recent wins in your life (large or small).
8.) Help Someone
Helping others is a great way to gain more confidence. Leveraging a personal strength to help someone else 1.) shifts your focus away from your perceived shortcomings to areas you excel in and, 2.) gives you the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life (both of which can do wonders for improving your self-image!).
Give some thought to your top strengths and how you can use those strengths to benefit others.
Act as a mentor to a friend or loved one. Put your strength to use in a volunteer setting (check out VolunteerMatch.org for ideas). Or consider how you can monetize your strength as a tutor or teacher.
Confidence building exercise: Make a list of your strengths and ways you can leverage them to help others.
9.) Take Time For You
Self-care may not be something that immediately jumps to mind in relation to confidence building; but in truth, it’s hard to feel good about yourself if you aren’t meeting your basic needs.
Your self-confidence is a barometer of your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social health. So make sure you’re adequately tending to yourself by getting enough movement in, creating space for yourself, connecting with others, making time for personal hobbies, etc.
Confidence building exercise: Write down five ways you’ll practice self-care.
10.) Walk the Talk
If you don’t feel confident yet, there’s a lot to be said for dressing the part you want to play.
Think about the “you” you visualized in step one and put that vision into action.
Dress in a way that makes you feel like a million bucks (this can be different to everyone, so go with what feels good to you!), pay attention to your posture (the taller you stand, the more confident you’ll feel), and speak clearly and self-assuredly.
Confidence building exercise: Write down what “walking the talk” means to you.
11.) Say Sayonara to Comparison
Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s the thief of confidence. When you spend all your time comparing yourself to others, you open the door for self-doubt. You start to question your own abilities and talents. It’s no good!
So make a point to unfollow or keep your distance from anyone in your life that you’re engaging in unhealthy comparison with.
Confidence building exercise: Make a list of people you’ve caught yourself engaging in unhealthy comparison with and actions you’ll take to protect your boundaries.
12.) Enlist a Cheerleader
No, we don’t mean the acrobatic kind! We’re talking about the people in your life who are positive, encouraging, and inspire you to be the best version of you.
Surrounding yourself with people who support, uplift, and “get” you is an excellent motivator and confidence booster.
Confidence building exercise: Write down who your cheerleaders are and why.
13.) And Last But Not Least…Smile
It may sound silly, but practice flashing that winning grin of yours the next time you’re struggling in the belief department.
The power behind the human smile has been the subject of many studies, and it’s been shown to make us feel better and seem more competent, among other things (Google “The Hidden Power of Smiling” by Ron Gutman and see what pops up).
You’ll be surprised at the internal shift you can create through this simple act!
Confidence building exercise: Next time you’re feeling insecure, try smiling. Notice how the act of smiling changes your feelings about the situation.
And there you have it—thirteen tips to boost self-confidence and improve self-esteem! I’m smiling right now, are you?