Written by Karl Perera, BA, MA, DipLC - Any purchase you make helps support my work on this website
According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report (2016), 85% of women lack self confidence, largely because of their appearance. In the US, those who have less confidence earn on average $28,000 less per year (Drago 2008). As someone who has helped many people to improve their self confidence through coaching, I am going to offer you my best tips for building your self confidence.
The self confidence tips that work best require you to leave your comfort zone. The best ways to build self confidence involve focusing on your achievements, improving your body language, setting realistic goals and celebrating milestones along the way.
From the many self confident tips I could include here, I have decided to list the most effective and often neglected areas where you can make progress. If you follow my advice and focus on these tips each day, you will gradually build your self confidence and improve your life beyond what you are able to do now.
Grab my Audio CD – “A More Confident You“, which includes 60 minutes of my top tips for building your self esteem and self confidence. (Downloadable).
So let’s get started with my top 12 tips for building unstoppable self confidence…
1. Look for a Role Model to Inspire Your Confidence
Look for a model (someone who has positive self confidence) and observe them carefully. How does this person act that makes him or her seem confident? If you act confidently you will feel more self assured, (according to an article in Health Psychology). Sometimes a smile is all you need, but there are other steps you can take to feel more relaxed in any situation.
2. Reflect on Your Successes and Achievements
Take the time to reflect on and celebrate your successes as they happen. This will change your focus from failure to success, which is a winning mentality! If you do find yourself thinking about how you failed (or better, haven’t succeeded yet), look at what you did right and how you could improve next time. This thinking will make you more positive and will boost your self confidence.
One important area which can be a major problem for people is dealing with others. If this is an issue for you, try these tips for improving your confidence in relationships.
3. Set Realistic Goals You Can Achieve Confidently Step By Step
Now that you have reflected on your successes so far, this self confidence tip takes you one step further in planning for your next achievements. Goal-setting is a great way to build self confidence if you do it the right way. It is actually, as this study found, feedback from successes that boosts self confidence.
- Enjoy the excitement of an amazing new journey to unstoppable self confidence.
- Finally understand the steps you can take to build your confidence.
- Believe in yourself more.
- Experience the motivation of setting goals that matter to you.
- Enjoy a positive sense of hope and optimism in your own future.
- Enjoy the benefits of visualisation.
- Get your Confidence Master Plan Now! It's free!
Set achievable goals for yourself and break up challenging tasks into smaller steps. Achieving these steps on the way to your larger goals will help you believe that you can succeed. This positive mentality will boost your confidence over time.
Reward yourself when you succeed no matter how small the achievement. Remind yourself that you are moving forward with determination and that you are one step closer to achieving your goal. Give yourself credit.
4. Improve Your Body Language So You Feel and Look Confident
By changing your body language, you can send off a more positive message to others about the kind of person you are. The aspects of body language that help you look confident, according to Elizabeth Kuhnke in her book Body Language: Learn How to Read Others and Communicate with Confidence, are posture, eye contact, expression on the face, and the gestures you make.
Kuhnke also explains that if your body language is positive, you will look more confident and others will respond to you more positively. This will help you to actually feel a lot more confident which will reflect in how you act.
So, always smile and stand up straight. Your posture and smile will project confidence and you will feel better able to cope with anything. You will also find that others respond to you better and this will give you an added boost. This is especially important with public speaking.
5. List the Things You Like About Yourself
Think carefully and I’m sure if you are honest, you can list a few things that you like about yourself. A couple of questions to ask yourself if you need some suggestions…What do your friends like about you? Are you reliable? What are your strengths at work? Is there anything you like about your appearance? What are your strengths? Is there anything positive you like about your personality? What can you do well? Do you have values which others admire?
You may need help with this, and it’s here in this course “Beat Your Inner Bully”. Check it out and see how it will help you develop self belief and confidence today.
The above questions can help you find things to put on your like list, but I am sure you can think of many other things to write. If you are feeling brave, ask others what your strengths are.
Listing these will help build your self confidence, and also change your thinking from negative to positive.
6. Thoroughly Prepare for Challenging or Difficult Tasks You Face
There’s is a saying that success is nine tenths preparation and one tenth luck. So, it pays to be well prepared, even over-prepared to ensure that the odds are in your favour. The fact that you know your stuff and are absolutely prepared will boost your confidence and also increase your chance of success. This will also make any challenge that little bit less stressful, so you can relax more.
This study published in the Advanced Medical Education Practice Journal confirms the importance of self-confidence and how preparation helps build confidence for nurses in their final year of studies.
7. Develop New Skills and Improve Existing Ones
This is related to the last point about preparation because if you know with certainty that you have the knowledge and skills for the job you will be filled with confidence. Self doubt will melt away as you acquire and develop your skills.
Developing skills and learning will also have the extra benefit of gaining respect from others who will acknowledge your expertise and knowledge. At work, this could result in promotion or added responsibility and once you get experience using your new skills, you become more valuable in your career and opportunities open up.
Learning new skills is necessary in this fast-paced world and can really boost your confidence, so always take an opportunity to learn more.
8. Develop the Ability to Relax in Even the Most Challenging Situations
Work on your relaxation skills. Being relaxed multiplies your confidence and improves your performance.
When you experience challenging moments or thos ocasions you feel fearful of, relaxing will enable you to control your negative emotions and project positivity. Breathing is a major part of being able to relax because controlling your breathing controls your body’s reactions to what’s going on around you. This relaxation technique based on your breathing is explained fully in my article on this page. Try the technique as it will really help you in stressful situations where you need more confidence such as giving presentations or speeches.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Don’t be over competitive or compare yourself with others. Be yourself and accept that life is not a race against others. Your self confidence depends on you and your personal needs. Set your own standards and allow yourself to overcome challenges at your own pace.
10. Face Your Fears and Overcome Them
You should face your fears and go beyond your comfort zone. This is the only way to know what you can really achieve in life. The success you have, no matter how small, will boost your self belief. Avoiding the things you fear will give them power and hurt your confidence. No pain, no gain!
Fears grow with negative thinking and if you avoid the things which scare you your confidence will drop. Know what you fear most at work or in general life and confront that fear by gradually taking on the fear and overcoming it.
For example, giving presentations is a common fear but being successful at them will bring many benefits to you both professionally and personally. So, first speak in a small group and raise a question or two. Gradually try speaking up in more difficult situations, and when you are ready, say goodbye to your fear, do a presentation. Each successful attempt you make, the better you will feel about yourself and your fear will reduce and your confidence will rise.
11. Use Self Help Tools to Boost Your Self Confidence
Many people try this but fail. Let me try to help you to choose and utilize self help tools in the correct way so that you can succeed in building your confidence rather than waste time.
There are so many sources of self help!
Use any tools available to you to improve your performance. These include books, courses, seminars, videos and information available on the internet. Try using a journal to plot your successes as they occur. And when things don’t go as planned, note down what went wrong and how you can improve next time. It is so important to write these down and begin to focus on improvement and achievement no matter how small. You can learn to become confident, I promise – so start today!
12. Change Your Thinking
Your thinking. Negative thinking to be exact. If you think negatively, you will be easily put off by what happens to you or by what others tell you.
One of my biggest self confidence tips is to read inspirational quotes that help you to believe in yourself. There are plenty of wonderful examples of suitable quotes online and off. Repeating these quotes can turn them into affirmations which help you to change your beliefs and way of thinking. Putting quotes where you can read them is helpful and this is why you see motivational posters in companies everywhere. Words are inspiring.
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- Dove. 2016. New Dove Research Finds Beauty Pressures Up, and Women and Girls Calling for Change. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-dove-research-finds-beauty-pressures-up-and-women-and-girls-calling-for-change-583743391.html
- Earley, P. C., Northcraft, G. B., Lee, C., & Lituchy, T. R. (1990). Impact of process and outcome feedback on the relation of goal setting to task performance. Academy of management journal, 33(1), 87-105.
- Nair, Sagar, Sollers, Consedine, Broadbent. 2015. “Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial.” Health Psychology Journal. 34(6):632-41. doi: 10.1037/hea0000146
- Porter, J., Morphet, J., Missen, K., & Raymond, A. (2013). Preparation for high-acuity clinical placement: confidence levels of final-year nursing students. Advances in medical education and practice, 4, 83.
Website Author and Editor Bio
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.