How to build self-confidence

Confidence can be a tough thing to build up, so we've put together some handy tips to help you out. If you're still having a hard time - don't worry! There are other ways you can find extra support, and work on boosting your confidence.

This might help if:

  • You’re looking for ways you can become more confident
  • You want to know some practical strategies to become more confident
  • You’re not sure why you’re lacking confidence
Two surfer guys

Tips for building self-confidence

Not everyone is born with an inbuilt sense of self-confidence. Sometimes it can be hard to develop confidence, either because of personal experiences that have caused you to lose confidence, or if you suffer from low self-esteem.

There are a couple of handy things you can do to build your confidence. Some of them are just little changes to your frame of mind, and others are things you have to work on for a bit longer to make them familiar habits. 

1. Look at what you’ve already achieved

Sometimes it can be easy to focus on what you haven’t done. It’s easy to lose confidence if you feel like you haven’t achieved anything. Focusing on stuff you have done, big or small, can help you gain perspective on all your talents and abilities.

Write down a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life. Think of the things you have achieved, whether it’s getting a good mark on an exam or even learning to ride a bike. Keep this list close and add to it when you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull this list out and use it to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you've done.

2. Think of things you're good at

Everyone has strengths and talents, what are yours? Have a look at our fact sheet on strengths and work out how you can build on yours. Recognising what you’re good at and trying to build on those things can be a really useful way of building confidence in your own abilities.

3. Set some goals

Set some goals and aim to achieve them. By proving to yourself that you can get stuff done, you’ll prove to yourself what you’re capable of achieving. They don’t have to be big goals; they can even be things like baking a cake or planning a night out with friends. Just little things that can be ticked off a list and help you gain self-confidence in your ability to get stuff done.

4. Talk yourself up

You’re never going to feel confident if you have a negative commentary running through your mind telling you you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Have a read of our fact sheet on self-talk to get some handy tips on turning your negative self-talk around.

5. Get a hobby

Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. Do you like playing footy? Like building model trains? Think of some of the stuff you’re really interested in and commit yourself to giving them a go. Finding stuff that you’re passionate about will help you find stuff that you’re good at. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity you’re likely to be good at it as well.

If you’re not feeling better

Sometimes the quick fixes don’t help in the long term. If you’re feeling really bad and things just don’t seem to be getting better, it might be worth going to talk to someone who knows how to help. Professionals like counsellors and psychologists have some really good strategies that can help you build up your confidence. Not only that, but they may be able to help you find the underlying problem that might be causing you to feel bad about yourself. 

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 24 February, 2016
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