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Self-confidence: 14 tips & 10 sayings

More self-confidence, that’s something many people would like to have. If you’re unsure of yourself, it may seem like you can never become more confident. But the good news is: it’s something that can be learnt! We’ll show you how.

Having a confident demeanor can bring with it a whole host of benefits. However, sometimes being confident can be difficult. Follow our tips below to build up your self-confidence.

Self-confidence, self-awareness, self-assurance – which one is it?

Self-confidence, self-awareness and self-assurance – the differences

Most of the time we understand the terms self-confidence, self-awareness and self-assurance, and also self-esteem, to mean very similar things.

However, they differ in the details:

Self-awareness, first of all, simply means knowing as much as possible about yourself.

Self-esteem means understanding your own worth. Both then lead to self-confidence or self-assurance: the ability to give yourself credit for something and appear sure of yourself. The good thing is that all of these skills support each other.

"Self-awareness" is also often used to mean "self-confidence".

Some people seem to be naturally endowed with unshakable self-confidence, whilst others constantly struggle to appear more confident. Read on to discover 14 tips and exercises you can do to boost your self-confidence.

No self-confidence? This may be the reason

Do you think you’re lacking self-confidence? There can be a number of reasons and causes for this. For example, you may be shy or reserved and as a result, others are convinced that you have no self-confidence.

Genes can also be responsible for a lack of self-confidence, but our childhood experiences are particularly significant: the first years of our lives are decisive in shaping how we think about ourselves later on. If you are seldom praised, often ignored or shown little love as a child, this can have a strong negative impact on your self-confidence.

If you have children of your own, you can lay an important foundation with how you raise them. Be sure to love your child unconditionally and not make the appreciation you show them dependent on performance. Listen to your child and forgive mistakes.

Under no circumstances should you laugh at your child or dismiss their feelings as unimportant or exaggerated.

Build self-confidence with these 14 tips and exercises

You can use the tips and exercises we’ve set out for you below to boost your self-confidence. Keep in mind that this can be a long process and doesn’t happen overnight.

Work on your posture

You can often tell how confident someone is at first glance by the way they carry themselves. However, it also works the other way around: the better your posture is, the more confident you feel, and that has a direct impact on your self-confidence. Therefore, make sure you have an upright posture:

  • stand up straight
  • put your shoulders back and down and look straight ahead, not at the floor
  • take big, strong steps when walking
Get into the habit of checking your posture every now and then, such as when you pass by a shop window.

Get to know yourself

Get to know yourself

In the literal sense, self-awareness, first and foremost, means being aware of yourself, and so you need to learn as much as possible about who you are. There are several ways to do this:

  • Write down your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your list of strengths is at least as long as your list of weaknesses.
  • Let friends give you feedback on how they perceive you. What do they think are your most outstanding qualities?
  • Make a list of all the things you have already accomplished in your life. Your big milestones will certainly give you a long list of successes, not to mention the small successes you’ve experienced in your day-to-day life.
  • Analyze yourself every now and then and find out why you act in a certain way. What lies behind your actions?
  • Get to know yourself with loving curiosity, not as a judge or critic.

Do something significant

Doing something meaningful does wonders for your self-esteem, so you should make sure that you tick such an accomplishment off – that could be raising children, pursuing a career that benefits other people, volunteering or writing a helpful blog.

No matter how you go about it, make a contribution to the well-being of others. Feeling like you’re making a difference, being important to other people, is incredibly good for you and boosts your self-esteem.

Get out of your comfort zone

This exercise is perhaps the most important when it comes to self-confidence. It’s about repeatedly – preferably daily – doing things you find difficult. Exceed your limits time and again and get out of your comfort zone.

One step is all it takes – you don’t have to head straight for bungee jumping if you have a fear of heights. You could, however, climb a few more steps up the observation tower than you’re actually comfortable with.

You know the boundaries of your own comfort zone best. Everything that you can do easily, that is not particularly challenging for you, lies within your comfort zone. Everything that makes you feel unsure or anxious, and everything that you have to bring yourself to do, is outside your comfort zone.

The beauty of your comfort zone is that every time you step outside it, it expands a little more. This means that the things you’re able to do, your personal freedom and the knowledge of what you can achieve keep growing and growing, and that boosts your self-confidence too.

On that account, try to find a way to leave your comfort zone at least a little bit every day if possible. If you like, you could keep a diary about it and celebrate your success stories.

Empower yourself with a supportive environment

Surround yourself with positivity for high self-confidence

The people you surround yourself with are of great importance for your self-confidence. Do they support and encourage you when something doesn’t work out right away?

Or do they constantly criticize you and make you feel small? Are they generally positive or do they wallow in self-pity, worry and other negative feelings?

If you want to do something for your self-confidence, you should build a supportive environment for yourself.

Of course, this won’t happen overnight, and it may not be easy. But it’s worth it: hardly anything builds you up as much as people who do you good and give you energy.

By the same token, this of course also means that you should rid your life of anyone who keeps draining your energy. If you can’t do that, at least reduce your contact with them until you can handle it well. We’ll reiterate once again, because it’s so important: don’t underestimate the value of a good environment.

Care for yourself

Self-confidence and self-esteem also have to do with how well you take care of yourself. You are responsible for making sure you are okay, no one else. Therefore, take responsibility for your life and take care of your needs. This means, for example:

  • Knowing your boundaries and making sure they are respected.
  • Providing yourself with everything you need: rest and relaxation, good nutrition, adequate exercise, exciting new experiences, enough sleep, and so on.
  • Give yourself some words of comfort when something doesn’t go well, and pat yourself on the back inside when you succeed. Be kind to yourself.

Silence your inner critic

Are you one of those people who is constantly thinking self-critical thoughts? What many do not know, however, is that you yourself are in control of what you think. If your inner critic raises their head, you simply send them packing. Be forceful: no one has the right to treat you badly, not even yourself.

Give yourself compliments

Give yourself compliments

This exercise might feel a little strange at first, but it is very effective for boosting your self-confidence: say something nice to yourself at least once a day, preferably out loud. For example, you might say, "Mark, I like you because you just never give up." You’ll see how good that feels.

You can establish a positive mindset with affirmations, for example, by relaying guiding principles to your (sub)conscious mind through repetition.

For a self-confidence boost – smile

This exercise works anytime, anywhere, and immediately makes you feel a little better, even in difficult situations. All you have to do is smile. This will improve your aura, trigger feelings of happiness and put you in a good mood.

Learn to say no

If you have low self-confidence, you can be easy to manipulate and take advantage of, and that lowers your self-confidence even further. Break this cycle by saying no in a friendly but firm way the next time someone is trying to coax you into doing something.

Complete a project

This exercise is very helpful for giving yourself more credit: pick a project that is close to your heart (it can be something small) and do it.

The important thing is to see it through to the end, even if there are difficulties along the way. Once you’ve finished the project, you can then be happy about what you have accomplished.

Set your sights high

Set goals for yourself, both great and small

Allow yourself to think big. What else do you want to achieve? What dreams do you have waiting to be fulfilled?

Allow yourself to have and achieve everything that is possible. You may not succeed overnight, but that doesn’t matter. Just keep practicing thinking a little bigger.

Make sure you’re comfortable in your own skin

While you may not be completely happy with your appearance, there’s a lot you can do to feel more comfortable in your own skin:

  • Take good care of yourself.
  • Wear clothes you feel comfortable in. If you don’t have enough of them, make sure that changes.
  • If you want to, wear jewelry and/or makeup, even if you don’t have anything special planned.
  • Think about styling your hair differently. Even that can make a big difference to your self-confidence.
  • Do sports! This will improve your body image, fitness, posture and figure, and all of this is very helpful for high levels of self-confidence.

Be patient with yourself

The road to self-confidence is not something you can complete overnight. You can make progress step by step, but don’t expect miracles. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your successes and keep at it. The journey is worth it!

Use positive affirmations for self-confidence

Positive affirmations can help you boost your self-confidence. You just have to repeat them regularly.

  1. I can. I will.
  2. I will not compare myself to others.
  3. I am choosing and not waiting to be chosen.
  4. I believe in the good things coming.
  5. I claim my desires. I hold great visions. I am ready to receive.
  6. My presence is my power.
  7. I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
  8. I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
  9. I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.
  10. I am courageous and I stand up for myself.

Uplifting sayings to boost your self-confidence

Over time, there have been many scholars, philosophers and other important figures who have dealt with the topic of self-confidence, and you can now draw on their experiences and advice to help you further build your self-confidence.

  1. "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." (Buddha)
  2. "What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our own mind." (Buddha)
  3. "If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." (Unknown)
  4. "No one is perfect: happiness is to know your limits and be happy with them." (Romain Rolland)
  5. "If you want to live in peace with yourself, you have to accept yourself as you are." (Selma Lagerlöf)
  6. "You have to keep finding your way through the little thoughts that annoy you to the big thoughts that strengthen you." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  7. "Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears." (Rudyard Kipling)
  8. "It is our qualities we should cultivate, not our idiosyncrasies." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  9. "There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so." (William Shakespeare)
  10. "We cannot live better than in seeking to become better." (Socrates)
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