How to build self-confidence

A lack of self-confidence comes in many shapes and forms, and learning how to build confidence is an ongoing project for most of us – we are all a work in progress! Here’s some tips that you can use to learn how to build self-confidence.

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.

Five friends sitting together outside, smiling and laughing.

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.

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.

Remind yourself of your personal strengths and talents

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.

Set some realistic goals

Set some goals and write down 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.

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.

Make time for your hobbies

Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, knitting 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.

Want to chat with a peer worker who can listen to you and support you? Book a free, text-based session with ReachOut PeerChat.

If you don't feel ready to speak to a professional, try taking a look at ReachOut Online Community. 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?

  • Write your list of strengths and talents, or get cracking on some goal setting!

  • Hear how TikToker Ben Stubbs bounces back with confidence.

  • Want to chat with a peer worker who can listen to you and support you? Book a free, text-based session with ReachOut PeerChat.

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Confidence