ReachOut.com uses cookies to give you the best experience. Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy.

Confidence can be a tough thing to build up. We've put together some handy tips to help you out. If you're still having a hard time even after trying these self-help ideas, don't worry! We’ve also listed the ways you can find extra support and work on boosting your confidence with the help of others.

This can help if:

  • you want to know more about self-confidence
  • you wish you were a more confident person
  • you want some practical steps to build your self-confidence.
Girl kicking soccer ball

What is a confident person?

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

A confident person:

  • does what they believe is right, even if it’s unpopular
  • is willing to take risks
  • admits their mistakes and learns from them
  • is able to accept a compliment
  • is optimistic.

Tips for building self-confidence

There are a number of things you can do to build your confidence. Some of them are just small changes to your frame of mind; others you’ll have to work on for a bit longer to make them familiar habits.

1. Look at what you’ve already achieved

It’s easy to lose confidence if you believe you haven’t achieved anything. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of in your life, whether it’s getting a good mark on an exam or learning to surf. Keep the list close by and add to it whenever you do something you’re proud of. When you’re low in confidence, pull out the list 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? Recognising what you’re good at, and trying to build on those things, will help you to build confidence in your own abilities.

3. Set some goals

Set some goals and set out the steps you need to take to achieve them. 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 aim for some small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done.

4. Talk yourself up

You’re never going to feel confident if you have negative commentary running through your mind telling you that you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Treat yourself like you would your best friend and cheer yourself on.

5. Get a hobby

Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, cooking or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.

If you’re not feeling better

Sometimes the quick fixes don’t help in the long term. If you’re feeling bad and things just don’t seem to be improving, it’s worth talking to someone who knows how to help. Professionals such as counsellors and psychologists can help you develop strategies to help you build up your confidence. They may also be able to help you understand any underlying problems that might be causing you to feel bad about yourself.

If you don't feel ready to speak to a professional, try taking a look at ReachOut Forums. Talking out your worries with a supportive community of people who have been through similar situations can be a really helpful way to build your self-confidence.

What can I do now?

  • Get personalised support for when you're feeling low with the ReachOut Nextstep tool.
  • Remember that it takes time and persistence to build your self-confidence. Learn more about self-talk.
  • Check out ReachOut Forums - a safe and supportive space to connect with other young people who have experienced and worked through self-confidence issues.