How to Build Self Confidence
Five Parts:Cultivating a Good AttitudeDealing with EmotionsPracticing Self-CareSetting
Goals and Taking RisksGetting Help Building Confidence
Self-confidence, the combination of self-efficacy and self-esteem, is an essential part of
humanity. Self-efficacy is the internal sense, or belief that we can accomplish a variety of
tasks or goals throughout life. Self-esteem, is similar, but more related to believing we are
generally competent in what we do, and that we deserve to be happy in life. A person with
self-confidence generally likes herself, is willing to take risks to achieve her personal and
professional goals, and thinks positively about the future.  Someone who lacks self-
confidence, however, is less likely to feel that she can achieve her goals and she tends to have
a negative perspective about herself and what she hopes to gain in life.  The good news is
that self-confidence is something that you can build on your own!
Part 1 of 4: Cultivating a Good Attitude
Identify your negative thoughts.  Your negative thoughts might sound like this: "I
can't do that," "I will surely fail", "no one wants to hear what I have to say." This
inner voice is pessimistic and unhelpful and will hold you back from achieving high
self-esteem and greater self-confidence.
o The purpose of identifying your negative thoughts is not to dwell on them; it is
to become more self-aware so that you can begin to think more positively
Target negative thoughts and replace them with positive thought. As you pay
attention to your negative thoughts, turn them around to positive thoughts. This may
take the form of positive affirmations,  such as "I am going to try it," "I can be
successful if I work at it," or "people will listen to me." Start with just a few positive
thoughts a day.
o Try to change your negative thoughts into a corresponding positive thought by
twisting the way that you are thinking. For example, change I feel fat to I have awesome curves and Im taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle.
Refuse to allow negative thoughts to occur more often than positive thoughts. Eventually, your positive thoughts should be given more brain space than your negative thoughts. The more you counter your negative self-thinking with positivity,
the more natural this will become.
Maintain a positive support network.  Connect with those close to you, whether
they are family or friends, to keep your perspective uplifted. Furthermore, stay away
from people or things that make you feel bad. 
o Someone you call a friend may actually make you feel bad, if they constantly
make negative remarks, or criticize you.
o Even well-intended family members who weigh in with their opinions about
what you should be doing can be destructive to your self-confidence. o As you cultivate your own positive attitude and take steps to achieve your
goals these naysayers may become more evident. As much as possible, limit
your contact with them while you build your self-confidence.
o Take some time to think about which people in your life really make you feel
great. Make a goal to spend more time with people who are supportive and
Eliminate external reminders of your negativity. Avoid spending time around
things that can make you feel bad about yourself again. These might be reminders
from the past, clothing that no longer fits, or places that dont fit with your new goals of gaining confidence. Though you may not be able to get rid of every negative source
in your life, you can certainly think about how to cut your losses. This will go a long
way in building your self-confidence up.
o Take the time to sit down and think about all of the things that are bringing
you down, from mean friends, a career you don't much care for, or a living
situation that is almost unbearable.
Identify your talents. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which
you excel, and then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in
them. Express yourself, whether it's through art, music, writing, or dance. Find
something you enjoy and cultivate a talent to go with your interest.
o Adding a variety of interests or hobbies to your life will not only make you
more confident, but it will increase your chances of meeting compatible
friends as well.
o When you're following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect,
but you'll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self
Take pride in yourself. Not only should you feel proud of your talents or your skills,
but you should also think about the things that make your personality great. It can be
your sense of humor, your sense of compassion, your listening skills, or your ability
to cope under stress. You may not think that there's anything about your personality
worth admiring, but if you dig deep, you'll realize that you have plenty of admirable
qualities. Focus on them by writing them down.
Accept compliments gracefully. Many people with low self-esteem have difficulty
taking compliments; they assume that the person complimenting them is either
mistaken or lying. If you find yourself responding to a compliment by rolling your
eyes, saying, "Yeah, right," or shrugging it off, you should reframe your response to
o Take it to heart and respond positively. (Saying thank you and smiling works well). Let the person giving the compliment know that you really
appreciate it, and work to reach the point where you are able to truly accept
the compliment at heart.
o You can add the compliment to your list of positive attributes about yourself
and use it to bolster your self-confidence.
Look in the mirror and smile. Studies surrounding what's called the "facial feedback
theory" suggest that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to
register or intensify certain emotions. So by looking in the mirror and smiling
every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident in the long run.
This will also help you feel happier about your appearance, and to accept the way you
o Other people will likely respond to you well when you smile at them, so in
addition to making yourself feel happier, you may get a boost in confidence
due to the feedback you get from other people as well.
Part 2 of 4: Dealing with Emotions
Be comfortable with fear. You may think that people who are self-confident are
never fearful. This simply is not true; its just that self-confident people do not allow the fear they feel to stop them from acting.
o When you do feel fear, acknowledge the feeling, then ask yourself whether
you want that fear to stand in the way of your goal. As you become more
confident, you will begin to feel less paralyzed by fear.
o For example, fear may be stopping you from asking for a raise at your job.
Think about why you feel fearful: Do you think that instances of poor
performance will be brought up? Do you think you will lose your job
or seem ungrateful if you ask for a raise?
Then think of what you have to gain: You can make more money,
which may allow you to live more comfortably. You can feel assured
that you are doing a good job at work.
Assess the worst-case scenario: Could you lose your job? That is
extremely unlikely. Could they say no? That is possible, but you do not
really lose anything if this happens, and you still will have overcome
your fear by asking in the first place.
Overcome the fear and act. Once you have acknowledged and assessed
your fear, take action. Ask for that raise, and you may be rewarded for
overcoming that fear.
Be patient with yourself. Sometimes you go backwards to go forwards. Gaining self-
confidence does not happen overnight.  You might try something new and not meet
your goal. If possible, see what lessons are there. Not meeting your goal the first time
around is an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Self-confidence needs to be
nurtured and grown, a bit at a time. 
Strive for balance. Like everything else in life, building self-confidence is about
maintaining balance. Too little self-confidence can keep you from achieving your
goals and feeling good about yourself.  People with too much self-confidence often
face the same problem because they underestimate the time and effort needed to
achieve their goals. 
Stop comparing yourself to others. If you want to build your self-confidence, then
you have to focus on improving your own life for the better, not on making your life
more like your best friend's, your older brother's, or like those of the celebrities you
see on television. If you want to build up your confidence, then you need to know that
there will always be someone who is prettier, smarter, and richer than you, just like
there will always be someone who is less attractive, less intelligent, and less wealthy
than you are; all of this is irrelevant, and what is relevant is caring about advancing
your own goals and dreams.
o You may lack confidence because you're convinced that everyone else has it
better than you do. However, at the end of the day, it only matters if you're
happy by your own standards. If you have no idea what those are, then it's
time to do some soul searching before you move forward.
o Additionally, studies have found that spending time on social media often
encourages people to compare themselves with others. Because people tend to
post only their triumphs and not their realities of daily life, it can seem as
though the lives of others are more wonderful than your own. This is likely
not true! Everyone has ups and downs in their lives.
Recognize your insecurities. What does that voice in the back of your mind say?
What makes you uncomfortable or ashamed of yourself? This could be anything from
acne, to regrets, friends at school, or a past traumatic or negative experience.
Whatever is making you feel unworthy, ashamed, or inferior, identify it, give it a
name, and write it down. You can then tear or burn these written pieces to start feeling
positive on those points.
o This exercise isn't meant to bring you down. It's meant to make you aware of
the problems you're dealing with, and empower you to move past them.
Bounce back from your mistakes. Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most
confident people have insecurities. At some point in any of our lives, we may feel we
lack something. That is reality. Learn that life is full of bumps down the road. And
that often these insecure feelings come and go, depending on where we are, who we
are with, the mood we're in, or how we are feeling. In other words, they are not
constant. If you've made a mistake, the best thing you can do is to recognize it,
apologize, and make a game plan for avoiding it in the future.
o Don't let one wrong turn make you think you don't have what it takes to
achieve your dreams. Maybe you weren't a great boyfriend and your last
relationship ended in failure. This doesn't mean you're not capable of turning
your act around and finding love in the future.
Avoid perfectionism. Perfectionism paralyzes you and keeps you from
accomplishing your goals. If you feel like everything has to be done perfectly, then
you'll never be truly happy with yourself or your circumstances. Instead, work on
learning to be proud of a job well done instead of wanting everything to be absolutely
perfect. If you're in the mindset of a perfectionist, then you'll only be getting in the
way of a more confident version of yourself.
Practice gratitude. Often at the root of insecurity and lack of confidence is a feeling
of not having enough of something, whether it's emotional validation, material items,
good luck, or money. By acknowledging and appreciating what you do have, you can
combat the feeling of being incomplete and dissatisfied. Finding the inner peace that
accompanies true gratitude will do wonders for your confidence. Take some time
to sit and think about all of the things you have going for you, from your wonderful
friends to your health.
o Sit down and make a gratitude list, writing down all of the things you are
thankful for. Read it over and add to it at least once a week, and it will put you
in a more positive, empowering frame of mind.
Part 3 of 4: Practicing Self-Care
Take care of yourself. There are many small steps to this one action. It involves
maintaining your personal grooming by bathing regularly, brushing and flossing your
teeth, and eating tasty and healthy food. It also means making time for yourself, even
when you are very busy and when others monopolize much of your time.
o It may not seem this way, but when you take care of your basic needs, you are
telling yourself you deserve the time and attention it takes to practice self care.
o When you begin to believe in yourself, you are on the way to increasing your
Put care into your appearance. You don't have to look like Brad Pitt to start
building your self confidence. If you want to feel better about who you are and how
you look, then take care of yourself by showering daily, brushing your teeth, wearing
clothes that fit you and your body type, and making sure that you've taken time with
your appearance. This doesn't mean that superficial looks or style will make you feel
more confident, but making an effort to mind your looks tells yourself that you're
worth caring about.
Exercise regularly.  Part of taking care of yourself is getting exercise. For you,
this may mean a brisk walk outside. For someone else, it may mean a 50 mile bike
ride. Start where you are now. Exercise does not have to be complicated.
o Many studies have shown that exercise is essential to a positive outlook on
life,  and a positive attitude contributes to self-confidence. 
Sleep well. Getting 7-9 hours of sound sleep every night can help you look and feel
better. It can help you have a more positive attitude and more energy. Plenty of sleep
also helps you moderate your emotions and deal with stress more effectively. 
Part 4 of 4: Setting Goals and Taking Risks
Set small and achievable goals.  Often, people set unrealistic or unattainable
goals, and either become overwhelmed with the challenge or never get started. This
is a real damper for self-confidence.
o Gradually adjust your small goals to make the larger goal achievable.
o Imagine you wish to run a marathon, but are worried you would not be able to
achieve this goal. Do not go out and try to run 26 miles on the first day of
training. Begin where you are. If you are not a runner at all, set a goal to run
just 1 mile. If you can run 5 miles relatively easily, then begin with 6.
o For example, if you have a messy desk, perhaps it is too overwhelming to
think about cleaning the entire desk. Begin by just removing the books and
placing them back on the bookshelf. Even stacking the papers neatly to be
sorted through later is movement toward the goal of cleaning your desk.
Embrace the unknown. People who lack self-confidence worry that they'll never
succeed in an unpredictable situation. Well, it's time to stop doubting yourself and to
try something completely new, unknown, and different. Whether you're traveling to a
new country with friends or letting your cousin set you up on a date, making a habit of
embracing the unknown can help you become more comfortable in your own skin and
to feel like you're in control of your destiny or, rather, that you're okay with not being in control. If you find that you're able to succeed even in a situation you didn't
anticipate, then your confidence will go through the roof.
o Spend more time with people who are adventurous and spontaneous. You'll
soon find yourself doing something unexpected and feeling better about
yourself because of it.
Address your perceived weaknesses. There may be some things that you don't like
about yourself that you simply cannot change, such as your height or the texture of
your hair. However, there are likely many things that you view as weaknesses that
you can address with a bit of dedication and hard work.
o Whether you want to work on being more social or being better in school, you
can make a plan to succeed and begin to carry it out. While you may not end
up being the most social kid in school or your class valedictorian, you can go a
long way in building your self-confidence just by making a plan to start
changing for the better.
o Don't be too hard on yourself. Don't try to change absolutely everything. Start
with just one or two aspects of yourself that you would like to change, and
take it from there.
o Keeping a journal where you chart your progress in achieving your goals can
make a big difference. This will help you think about how well your plan is
working, and it can help you feel pride in the steps you have taken.
Seek to help others. When you know you're kind to the people around you, and are
making a positive difference in other people's lives (even if it's just being kinder to the
person who serves you coffee in the morning), you'll know that you are a positive
force in the world which will boost your self confidence. Find a way to make helping others a part of your weekly routine, whether you volunteer at your local
library or you help your little sister learn to read. The act of helping will not only
benefit others, but it will build your confidence because you'll see that you have a lot
o You don't have to help someone in your community to feel the benefits of
helping others. Sometimes, someone close to you, such as your mother or your
best friend, will need your help as much as anyone.