17 Confidence Building Tips to Boost Your Self-Esteem

17 Confidence Building Tips

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Imagine having the confidence to courageously pursue your wildest dreams.

To truly believe in yourself.

To know that, whatever life throws at you, you’ll be able to handle it. That – win or lose – your best is good enough.

Well, guess what my friends? You can!

Confidence isn’t some elusive quality that some lucky people are born with and others are not.

It’s a skill that can be learned and improved.

So, get ready to kick all those self-doubts, insecurities and limiting beliefs to the curb!

Here are 17 tips to increase your self-confidence so you can get more of what you want out of life.

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1. Shift your focus

confidence is a matter of perspective

Do you generally tend to focus on what went wrong and all the things you could/should have done better?

Stop that!

Your thoughts are powerful. So, choose what to focus on.

Shift your thoughts from negative to positive.

Instead of beating yourself up over your shortcomings or failures, try praising yourself for all your accomplishments.

Maybe even make a list of all the things you’ve done that you are proud of. Force yourself to acknowledge and dwell on those things more.

If you don’t think you’ve accomplished much, you’re not thinking in the right frame of mind. Everything is relative so try and keep things in perspective.

For example, consider that your eyes can distinguish approximately 10 million different colors – that’s amazing! Or that your brain has 2,500,000 gigabytes of storage space (for comparison, the largest storage capacity iPhone 11 only has 512GB).

 “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  – Albert Einstein

2. Know yourself & your why

your why will keep you motivated

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

How well do you know yourself?

Sometimes, the reason we lack confidence in ourselves is because we’re not really sure what we’re capable of.

In order to realize your potential, you’ve got to have confidence in your ability. And in order to have confidence in your ability, you’ve got to get some accomplishments under your belt.

But, what is it exactly that you want to accomplish?

In order to truly feel fulfilled, you must know your why. Why do you do everything you do? What’s the motivating force in your life? Essentially, what are you fighting for?

When you are passionate about something, you are willing to fight for it in spite of your fear or insecurities. Find what that “why” is for you and let that passion (not fear) fuel your actions.

Here are 71 insightful questions to help you get to know yourself better.

3. Change your limiting beliefs

conquer your limiting beliefs

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve talked quite a bit about limiting beliefs on the blog.

Your beliefs are so powerful!

They influence everything you do.

Because our brains are constantly inundated with information, they are forced to take shortcuts (heuristics) in order to continue operating efficiently.

For example, maybe you experienced failure of some form in your life.

Maybe you were rejected for a few jobs.

Or a few of your relationships didn’t work out.

Or some people betrayed your trust.

And so, your brain jumps to the illogical conclusion that that’s just how it is and that’s how it always will be.

It’s a survival/defense mechanism to help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

But, it’s important to remember that your thoughts are not facts.

Examine the reasons why you don’t go for that job, ask that girl out, or open up to that friend?

Could it be that you’re holding yourself back with limiting beliefs like:

  • I’m not meant to be rich/successful/happy
  • I’m not the kind of person who can ____.
  • People can’t be trusted.
  • I’m not worthy of love.
  • It’s too late/I’m too old to do ____.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • Check out this post for a more in-depth discussion of limiting beliefs that could be destroying your confidence and how to replace them with empowering beliefs. There’s also a free worksheet download to help you.

    Confidence Building Tip #4. Exercise 

    exercise to build confidence

    Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

    And I find that, the more I exercise the better I feel.

    If you haven’t been exercising regularly or you lead a sedentary lifestyle, this confidence building activity could be the key to your newfound confidence!

    Exercise can help you sculpt your body and improve your appearance, which goes a long way towards increasing your confidence.

    When you look good, you feel good.

    But, what I love the most about exercise is the way it makes me feel. When I exercise, I feel strong.

    And when I feel strong, I feel more confident.

    So, just get moving in any way that feels good to you!

    My recommendations: walking/running outside, weight-lifting, and yoga.

    *And of course, a healthy anti-anxiety diet goes hand in hand with this confidence building tip*

    5. Get rid of toxic influences to boost your confidence

    get rid of toxic people to boost your confidence

    Got any Debbie Downers in your life?

    How about any “one-uppers”?

    Or emotional vampires?

    Get rid of those people! Or at least limit your contact.

    If someone seems to always bring you down or suck the life out of you every time you’re around them, maybe it’s time to cut them out of your life.

    You don’t need anyone reinforcing your own negative self-talk and dragging you down.

    This may be one of the most difficult confidence building tips to implement, especially if you have already formed a bond with the toxic person.

    But it’s important to remember that this is your one and only (short) life to live. You don’t want to spend it caught up in someone else’s drama!

    6. Accomplish goals & celebrate your successes to increase your confidence

    celebrate your accomplishments to build self-esteem

    When you’re lacking confidence, you don’t believe in yourself.

    Your self-efficacy is low.

    You don’t believe in your ability to accomplish your goals.

    So, how can you convince yourself otherwise?

    Give yourself proof.

    Set a big goal (like a personal development plan) and tackle it little by little.

    Chunk it down into manageable, bite-size pieces.

    Each step of the way, every time you accomplish one of those mini-goals, celebrate your success.

    Your brain registers these small wins and it gives you the motivation you need to keep going.

    The more you accomplish, the more your confidence rises.

    The more your confidence rises, the more you set out to accomplish and the more you do accomplish.

    This confidence building tip is super important because here’s the thing – as humans, we tend to focus on the negative way more than the positive.

    This negativity bias makes us remember negative events more than positive ones. It's why we're more affected by negative events than positive ones.

    It also makes us risk-averse when it comes to decision-making. Which is not a good thing considering that getting outside your comfort zone is one of the keys to success.

    So, provide yourself with as much positive proof as you can to counteract that negativity bias and boost your confidence!

    Confidence Building Tip #7. Take risks/get uncomfortable/fail

    take risks

    This is probably the single most important confidence building tip on this list.

    If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to take risks. You have to be willing to get uncomfortable. And you have to be ok with failure.

    I love this quote from J.K. Rowling:

    “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.”

    Are you seeing your failures as learning opportunities and stepping-stones to ultimate success? Or are you letting them stop you from living a life you love?

    8. Experience new things

    experience new things travel

    If you want to build your confidence, you’ve got to get out there!

    Confidence comes from experience.

    When you try something new, and you succeed (or at least survive), you prove to yourself that you can do it!

    Which gives you the confidence to try the next thing.

    Try facing the things that you’re really afraid of. Think of what scares you the most and face that fear.

    You’d be surprised how strong you really are. So, test yourself. See if you can make it through one small battle at a time.

    The more you come out the other side unscathed, the more you will gain confidence.

    9. Focus on the present, not past mistakes to build confidence

    focus on the future

    When we have feelings of low self-worth or low self-esteem, we tend to ruminate on past mistakes.

    We obsess over every little thing we did wrong/ could have done better/ should have done/ shouldn’t have done, etc. etc.

    This goes back to that negativity bias. We can remember criticisms better than compliments, failures better than successes, losses better than wins.

    So, this confidence building tip is to focus on the present, not the past.

    Sometimes, we box ourselves in or allow ourselves to be boxed into a role – we identify as a certain “kind of person”, based on our own limiting beliefs or others’ inaccurate perceptions.

    Break free from that prison!

    You can be whoever you want to be. You are not handcuffed by your past actions or beliefs or mistakes.

    When you are true to yourself, your confidence will soar.

    Download your 17 Confidence Building Questions Worksheet!

    It's available in the Freebie Library, a regularly updated collection of free, downloadable content from the blog!

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    10. Social media detox/stop comparing

    social media detox for improved self-confidence

    “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Social media is the perfect breeding ground for insecurity.

    Seeing glorified snapshots of other people’s lives (true representations or not) can convince you that, in comparison, you’re not pretty enough, successful enough, popular enough, etc.

    Don’t allow yourself to get sucked down that rabbit hole of nonsense.

    The truth is that there will always be someone better or worse than you at any given thing. Always someone richer and someone poorer. Someone prettier and someone uglier. Someone smarter and someone less intelligent.

    I mean, think about it – there are over 7 billion people in the world - can't beat em all! 

    So, just focus on doing your best. Being the best that you can be.

    If you’re struggling with this, check out this social media detox article in which I talk about my inadvertent 3 month digital detox and how you can do a (perhaps less extreme) detox too.

    11. Body language

    body language boosts confidence

    Even if you don’t really feel confident on the inside, you can appear – and actually become more – confident through body language.

    When you hold yourself in certain ways, it sends signals to your brain that reinforce feelings of confidence.

    That’s why one of the most powerful confidence building habits you can adopt has to do with body language.

    Here are some tips for confident body language:

  • Smile
  • Make eye contact
  • Stand up straight
  • Point your chin slightly upward
  • Lean slightly forward
  • Slow down (your breathing, your speaking, your movements)
  • Don’t fidget or put your hands in your pockets
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Don’t cross your arms – be open
  • Confidence building tip #12. Slow down


    When we get nervous, our heart rate increases. Our breathing speeds up. We talk faster.

    Slow down.

    When you take your time, you appear more in control and more confident.

    Nervous behaviors like speaking quickly, fidgeting and darting your eyes around are signs of a lack of confidence.

    The best way to slow down is to practice deep breathing.

    There are several different types of deep breathing exercises to help you slow down, calm anxiety and feel more confident.

    Here’s a video that demonstrates 3 different techniques.

    13. Declutter Your Space and Your Mind

    clearing clutter builds confidence

    If your living space is cluttered, it can negatively impact your state of mind.

    Not only does mess cause stress, but it can also bring down your confidence.

    A relatively easy (and extremely rewarding) confidence building activity is decluttering.

    Start small. Tackle one room at a time. After you’ve decluttered, make sure everything is clean and organized. Then, decorate your space with things that make you happy.

    Your physical environment isn’t the only thing that can get cluttered and cause you to feel overwhelmed and down on yourself – your mind can as well.

    Have you tried doing a brain dump? It’s positively magical!

    Read this article for tips on how to do a brain dump. Free brain dump worksheet printables are included and are available in the Freebie Library.

    14. Self-Care

    self-care increases self-confidence

    Do you always put others first?

    Even when that means your own needs are neglected?

    If you aren’t practicing self-care, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to build your confidence.

    Especially for us HSPs and empaths, it can be difficult to take time for ourselves.

    But, remember that self-care is not selfish. It is essential for your well-being.

    In addition to eating healthy, exercising and meditating, you’ve got to fuel your mental, emotional and spiritual health as well.

    Learning new things, doing gratitude exercises, journaling, having a "self-care day”, treating yourself to a massage, and scheduling time off for yourself are all forms of self-care that can help to boost your confidence (and lower your anxiety).

    15. Affirmations Build Confidence

    affirmations build confidence

    Affirmations for self-esteem are a great way to build confidence.

    Your subconscious mind is basically a huge storage locker that contains all your memories, thoughts, beliefs, and basically everything that has ever happened to you.

    As you could imagine, this is way too much information to keep in the forefront at all times!

    So, your subconscious relies upon your conscious mind to direct it - it obeys without question.

    Hence, we can change our limiting beliefs and reprogram our subconscious mind through conscious thought/ messagesaffirmations.

    There are plenty of confidence building affirmations like:

  • I am enough.
  • I am in control of my emotions.
  • My confidence increases every day.
  • I am grateful for all that I have.
  • I believe in myself.
  • Confidence comes naturally to me.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am worthy of unconditional love.
  • Others see me as confident.
  • I love challenges.
  • See what works best for you. But, also give it a little time - it might feel uncomfortable saying some of these things to yourself at first. 

    16. Get creative to be more confident

    being creative makes you more confident

    Creativity, like confidence, is a skill that can be practiced and improved.

    If you think, “I’m just not the creative type”, think again! You can learn to be more creative.

    Allowing yourself to be creative is a great confidence building exercise.

    It’s an opportunity for you to express yourself and perhaps even surprise yourself.

    If you have trouble being courageous in your life, start by unleashing your creativity.

    Whatever you choose to do, you don’t have to share it with anyone else.

    Just be free enough to allow your creative juices to flow. It just might introduce you to your inner genius.

    Confidence Building Tip #17. Self-Compassion

    self-compassion is key to self-confidence

    If you want to build your confidence, be more compassionate towards yourself.

    Talk to yourself, encourage yourself and console yourself like a best friend would.

    Cut yourself some slack. None of us are perfect. We all struggle. We all fail.

    Instead of being critical or judgmental of yourself, try being understanding and compassionate.

    To get better at this, you may want to try mindfulness meditation.

    It will help you to be present and more aware of your feelings, thoughts and emotions.

    Acknowledging those things without being judgmental or getting swept up in negativity will help you to be more confident and at peace with yourself.

    Over to you … any confidence building tips I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

    *For more confidence-building tips, check out these motivational TED Talks on Confidence.

    Also, don’t forget to download your 17 Confidence Building Questions Worksheet.

    It’s available in the Freebie Library, a regularly updated collection of free, downloadable content from the 3D Success blog.

    Sign up to get instant access to this - and all the other- freebies!👇 

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    About the Author

    Kalliope Archondis, JD, LLM. 👋Hi! I'm Kalli, personal development blogger and Etsy shop owner. Check out our Self Care by 3D Success relaxation spa gift sets here.

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