We’ve all seen what self confidence looks like, whether it’s someone else we’ve seen radiate with confidence, or whether we’ve felt it ourselves. Now I’m sharing the self confidence tips that can help you to harness that confidence and apply it to help you through any situation.
Whether you consider yourself a confident person, or if you’re just looking for more positive things to add to your day, these self confidence tips are the first step in taking your negative self-talk and turning it into positive thoughts.
What Is Self Confidence?
It might seem pretty obvious, given that you’re here, that you know already what self confidence is, however in my experience, a lot of people believe they understand it, but are a little off the mark.
Self confidence and self esteem are often used interchangeably but they are different.
Self confidence is your belief or faith in your own abilities and skills. It’s an outward portrayal of yourself and can change from situation to situation.
Self confidence can be built quickly and can be directed towards a specific situation, or can also be more generalized.
Self esteem is your own sense of self. It’s how you feel about yourself and your place in the world. It’s more about how you appreciate and value yourself and is often a result of influences from life experiences, interactions with others, and emotional maturity.
Self esteem usually takes longer to develop and change, and often requires a number of inputs to establish, especially if starting from a place of low self-esteem.
Why Do We Need Self Confidence?
Self confidence is part of almost every aspect of our lives and is far more important than we think.
While some people believe that confidence comes with an extrovert personality, and therefore introverts are less confident – this isn’t always the case and therefore regardless of your personality type, we should all be working towards increasing our self confidence daily.
Your self confidence affects things like your levels of fear and anxiety, can increase your motivation, improve your relationships with others, help you to develop resilience and cope with difficult situations, and can lead to you having a stronger sense of self and higher self-esteem.
Low self confidence, on the other hand, can increase anxiety and fear, lead to low self-esteem, decrease motivation and productivity, have negative impacts on your relationships with others, increase susceptibility to depression, and can seriously impair career and professional development.
Are Self-Confidence Tips Going To Be Enough?
While I am a firm believer in positive self-talk as a method for improving our self confidence, there are times when it just won’t be enough, and that’s okay.
There are times when a lack of self-confidence comes with mental health concerns and seeing a professional to help you through this is going to be the best way through.
It may not be the only way, but small steps with the right people supporting you will help you overcome a lack of confidence that is associated with mental health conditions, as opposed to using positive self-talk to overcome a tough time.
An important thing to remember is that it’s okay to have a bad day, it’s okay to have low confidence every now and then, we all do, but if you find your low self-confidence is more of a long term concern, then getting help by a professional, that is specific to your situation, is going to be the best thing in the long run.
How To Build Self Confidence
We know that self confidence is our belief or faith in our own abilities and skills, but this isn’t just skills like changing a tyre or painting a picture.
This is the belief or faith in your ability to do anything you set out to do, or to use the skills you have, or want to acquire, to confidently go about anything you set out to do in life.
So, how do we build that up?
Contrary to popular belief, self confidence isn’t something you just have. Your belief or faith comes from somewhere, which means we can create more of it.
Oftentimes this belief or faith comes from positive reinforcement. That is, ‘I’ve done it before, I can do it again’.
This is great, but how do you get there?
These are some of the best self confidence tips that you can use in any given situation, to help you increase your confidence, use positive reinforcement, and help you to get to the ‘I’ve done it before, I can do it again’ stage.
Use these over and over again, self confidence is something you need to work on regularly to keep up, and these self confidence tips can be used anytime:
1 – Give Yourself A Pep Talk
This is a really simple one, and it’s about building yourself up in your own head.
Self-talk or mental talk can be the most powerful thing we have, and we often don’t realize how much of an effect it has on our behavior.
By simply giving yourself a pep talk, you can boost your confidence and give yourself the encouragement needed to go after any goal, no matter how big or small. Sometimes it’s the little things like this that can make the biggest difference.
Self-talk is something that needs to be positive, encouraging and empowering. Self-doubt has no place in this equation.
2 – Focus Only On The Good
Negative thoughts have a very powerful effect on us, so learning to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones can be extremely helpful.
Oftentimes, we focus too much on what we’re not going to do and what might go wrong, rather than focusing on the good things that will happen if we give it our best shot.
To help you with this, try to think of the following:
– What is good about this particular situation?
– How will I benefit if I succeed?
– How will my friends and family benefit if I succeed?
This can quickly help shift your thoughts from negative to positive and start building that confidence.
3 – Use Positive Words
Positive words and positive affirmations can be a powerful thing, and the words we use to describe our lives and ourselves can have a great impact on how we feel.
When we’re talking about ourselves or thinking about things that happened in our past, try to use as many positive words as possible.
For example: instead of saying “I failed”, try saying “I learned”. Instead of saying “My team lost”, try saying “We put up a great fight”.
This can help you feel better about yourself and your circumstances and will definitely help build confidence and improve self-esteem.
When talking about present or future, use terms like “I’m learning to” instead of “I don’t know”, or “I can’t”.
Also using terms like “I get to” instead of “I have to” can have a huge impact on the positivity we surround ourselves with.
4 – Smile (Even If You Don’t Mean It)
Smiling might seem like a simple thing, but it can have an enormous effect on our emotions, attitudes, and behaviors.
When you smile at somebody or something, your brain automatically sends out signals that make them feel more positive about the situation.
It literally triggers off dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, all neurotransmitters that are responsible for happiness, decreased anxiety, and generally feeling good.
If you’re in a situation where you need an instant self confidence boost, smile.
The best part is, you don’t even have to mean it for your body to get to work for you!
This is seriously the best example of fake it til you make it.
5 – Stand Straight With Good Posture
The way we hold our bodies has a lot of influence over our self confidence.
In fact, studies have shown that how people hold themselves can affect everything from their hormone levels to their inclination towards risk-taking behavior.
Science undoubtedly agrees, our posture can make a difference in our confidence, how people see us, and ultimately how we see ourselves.
Standing or sitting up straight with your shoulders back, for example, has been shown to lead to increased levels of testosterone and decreased levels of cortisol.
The effects of these hormones on our physiology include increases in energy and feelings of empowerment and decreases in fatigue and feelings of stress.
If you’re in a situation where you need a confidence boost, check your posture.
6 – Think, Speak, Engage
Think before you speak. Speak clearly. Engage in follow-up conversation.
This may seem like some common sense advice, but it is usually easier said than done.
When we’re nervous about a situation our mind tends to go into overdrive, leading us to think too much and say too little (or alternatively, overcompensate by saying every little thought that runs through our minds).
The best way to combat this is simply by being aware of your thoughts and what you are saying. Think before you speak.
If you find yourself in a situation where your mind is racing, try to take a step back and calm yourself down by breathing slowly and deeply. Once you have collected your thoughts, put your knowledge into action using positive language instead of negative.
7 – Stick To Your Strengths
Everyone has someone or something that they are good at.
Think of what you are good at, your skills and talents – the things that bring you joy.
You have strengths just as much as any other person on this planet does.
If all else fails, stick to these strengths. Self confidence comes easiest when you are doing what you love and doing it to the best of your abilities.
Remember how self confidence comes a lot from the idea of “I have done it before, I can do it again” – you can apply this to your strengths in order to build your self confidence.
Then, gradually add other aspects to expand your self confidence into different areas.
8 – Remember, Most People Are More Worried About Themselves Rather Than You
This can be a little hard to remember, but if you keep it in the back of your mind it can be a really effective way to increase your self confidence.
Many people are so caught up in their own lives and problems that they barely even take notice of what other people are doing. They’re too busy trying to protect themselves and worry about their own issues.
This thought helps you to stop focusing on what other people are doing, and stop comparing yourself to others, and just focus on your amazing self.
9 – Dish Out The Compliments
I’m not talking about lying to make someone feel good, but telling the truth when you see something great in another person.
It’s hard to know what makes people tick, and it’s even harder to say nice things without coming off as disingenuous.
Remember that everyone goes through uncertainties and self confidence issues at one point or another.
The nice thing about complimenting others is that not only does it make them feel good, but also you are reminded of your own amazing qualities.
When you compliment others regularly, it also makes it easier for you to accept a compliment without feeling awkward.
10 – Shift The Focus
There are two ways to do this. You can shift the focus of a conversation to a topic you are more confident talking about, or you can shift the focus onto someone else.
The key to this technique is to focus on something you are comfortable with.
You can even start by asking another person a question about the topic and if the conversation goes well, ask more questions and take control of the conversation.
If it doesn’t go so well (or isn’t an option at all) try focusing on someone else by asking them questions about themselves.
This technique takes the focus off of you, which can help improve your self confidence because instead of thinking “what will I say next” or “how do I look” – you are focused on answering the other person’s questions and talking to them.
11 – So What?
A good way to ground yourself in a situation is to ask yourself… so what?
What’s the worst that could happen. Really?
Say you fumble your words when talking to someone you respect and who is important to you. So what? What’s the worst that could happen?
Do they think you’re nervous? Or do they think you’re not as smart as you want them to?
So what? Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.
Asking yourself ‘So What?’ can help so much when you’re putting yourself outside of your comfort zone too.
12 – Get Comfortable Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
While self confidence comes from the “I’ve done it before, I can do it again” mindset, it’s also important that you expand on that otherwise your self confidence will be limited to one area.
If you want to grow your self confidence, push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Whether it’s talking to strangers every day or joining a sports team, you need to force yourself into situations that are outside of your comforts zones.
This isn’t about making yourself feel so uncomfortable that you feel sick, but remind yourself, you’ve been in uncomfortable situations before and you’ve managed them well, you can do it again.
13 – Use Positive Affirmations For Positive Self Talk
I absolutely love positive affirmations and firmly believe we should be using them on a daily basis, especially affirmations for self-love and positive self-talk.
Remembering that self confidence comes from our belief and our faith in ourselves and our abilities, using positive affirmations helps to reinforce positive beliefs about ourselves and override negative ones.
Using positive affirmations daily helps you to work on your self confidence every single day in such a simple and easy way.
Doing this means that the next time your confidence is challenged, you’ll have the solid foundation of self-belief built up by the positive affirmations and positive self-talk to overcome that thought.
14 – Believe Great Things Are Happening For You
Self confidence is all about our beliefs and one of the best ways to cement a positive belief system is to believe that great things are happening for you.
Many people often believe, whether consciously or not, that the world is out to get them, or conspiring against them.
We hear it all the time in the negative ways they talk ‘this always happens to me’, ‘that’s just my luck’, ‘I would never be so lucky’, they reinforce to themselves that bad things are always happening for them.
But what if you flip the script?
What if you actually believe that great things are happening for you? That the world is actually working hard for you.
This can be a great self confidence tip because when we believe that great things are happening for us, then we have a greater belief in ourselves too.
15 – Surround Yourself With Successful People
Have you ever heard the idea that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?
Who do you spend most of your time with?
If you want to increase your confidence, surround yourself with people who are successful and confident.
Whether we realize it or not, we often reflect the energies of those around us. If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, they will emanate the confidence that comes with success.
This means, in turn, we will reflect more of our own confidence.
16 – Work Daily On A Healthy Self-Esteem
Here’s the deal, you can’t be 100% confident in yourself if your self-esteem is not at a healthy level.
Self-esteem and self confidence are often used interchangeably but they’re two different things. Self-esteem refers to how we feel about ourselves as a whole where self confidence refers to how we feel in specific moments and situations.
So if you want to be confident, work daily on your self-esteem and build yourself up in a healthy way.
Faking confidence (which is okay by the way) can only get us so far. We need the self-esteem to back it up.
17 – Set Goals You’re Proud Of And Share Them
Do you remember being told when you make a wish you have to keep it a secret otherwise it won’t come true? Somehow this message also made its way across to goal setting.
When we set goals, we’re often too shy to share them, or feel somewhat ashamed of how big and audacious our goals are that sharing them is just too scary.
I believe the opposite.
Sharing your goals with others acts as a great motivator, it makes you accountable for them, and more importantly it acts as a powerful self confidence tip because of the implicit understanding of which you are held up to when you make a goal public.
18 – Use Small Goals As Quick Wins
When it comes to building confidence, small quick wins are the way forward.
Success breeds success and in this case, success breeds confidence when we achieve smaller goals which move us towards our bigger goals.
It almost seems too easy to be a self confidence tip but setting ambitious yet realistic goals is a great way to boost your beliefs about yourself.
Not only do we gain a sense of personal satisfaction from meeting or beating our own expectations, we learn that we’re capable of achieving great things.
When our self-esteem is low, it can feel like goal setting isn’t even worth the energy but when you do set goals and achieve them, you will become more confident in your abilities. Self belief grows with every goal met.
19 – Overcome The Fear Of Failure
Do you ever feel like you won’t be able to accomplish something because you might fail?
I know I do.
Every time I start up a side project, one of the first things that pop into my mind is ‘what if it fails’. It can hold us back from so many opportunities and experiences in life, just by thinking about a potential failure.
But what if that fear of failing isn’t a real thing? What if it actually means that we might not fail but succeed beyond our wildest dreams?
What if, by trying to avoid failure, we are actually missing out on so many experiences and opportunities without even knowing it?
Self-belief increases with every challenge we overcome.
In order to boost our self confidence, we need to let go of the fear of failure and learn to enjoy the feeling of success.
It doesn’t mean we aren’t scared of failing, it just means that we do it anyway.
20 – Take A Break From Social Media
This one may seem like the easiest fix to increase confidence but it’s actually a very important one.
Self-belief comes from within so it has to be genuine. When you post on social media, ask yourself if you are posting for you or your friends.
If the answer is ‘friends’ then stop and think about why that is.
If you are constantly trying to get validation from others on social media, who are you looking for approval from? Your friends of course.
Self-belief comes from within so if you’re trying to build it through external factors, then your foundation won’t be very stable.
What’s more is that social media can lead us to feel inadequate, less significant, and even envious of others.
Take a break from social media if you can, it will help you get in touch with yourself and increase your self-esteem. Take the time to get to know who you really are.
21 – Learn The Power Pose (And Other Body Language Tricks)
There is solid scientific evidence that body language affects our minds and behavior.
How you hold yourself has a direct impact on how you feel about your body, your mind, and the world around you.
When we are confident, we tend to take up more space with our bodies which leads to us looking bigger and feeling stronger than when we fold in on ourselves.
This is why our self confidence increases when we take up space, even if it feels uncomfortable at first.
Self-belief comes from the inside so if you have good body language – it’s all in the mind!
If this interests you, I highly recommend watching Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on her power pose experiments.
22 – Get Excited About Learning New Skills
Learning something new is an amazing way to increase self-belief and stay motivated.
Not only that, but we all require a break from our existing skills and knowledge. Learning something new will help you feel refreshed as well as boosting your confidence as you grow as a person.
23 – Be Kind To Yourself
We’re our own worst critics. Self-belief comes from within so it has to be genuine, but we often try and build ourselves up by tearing others down.
By being kind to others, we can also learn how to be kind to ourselves.
When you find yourself in the situation of feeling like you aren’t good enough for something or someone – stop and think about how you would treat others in the same situation.
If you wouldn’t treat a friend that way, then why are you treating yourself that way? Self-belief is an inside job!
24 – Take Control Of Your Life
When we lack self-belief it’s usually because we don’t have control over what happens in our lives.
A sign of not being in control of our lives is the feeling of overwhelm, like there’s too much happening all at once and all we can do is react.
Taking control of your life, bit by bit, puts you back in the driver’s seat and puts you in charge, which naturally makes you more confident.
Knowing that you’re in control, and that you’ve got this, adds to the “I’ve done it before, I can do it again” mentality that comes with self confidence.
25 – Remember Small Changes Achieve Big Goals
Often we think that big self confidence leads to creating big goals…
But we all have doubts every now and then about our ability to achieve something huge, which is why it’s important to break down big goals into small achievable tasks instead of feeling overwhelmed with the idea of changing our whole lives.
Just by waking up one day and deciding that you are going to achieve your goal, whatever it may be, is a huge achievement in itself.
But that’s not going to get you over the line.
Small consistent steps towards your goal are what lead to big huge goals being achieved.
A house isn’t built in a day, it happens truss by truss, brick by brick, tile by tile.
The same goals for our goals.
As you go, achieving these small goals will build on your confidence and as your confidence grows, so does your motivation to keep going with your goals.
It’s a win, win situation!
Self confidence is a complicated thing. It’s something we all struggle with at one point or another and it can be difficult to figure out how to get more of it when you’re feeling low on the scale.
Self-confidence comes from within but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some help available outside as well.
The self confidence tips we shared dont’ need to all be done at once. Pick one or two that resonate with you the most and work towards mastering them.
As you keep going, you’ll find your confidence grows more and more, and by using these tips, you’ll be able to get through any situation.