Self-confidence: 14 tips & 10 sayings
More self-confidence, that’s what many people would like to have. When you’re insecure yourself, it seems like you can never become more confident. But the good news is: you can learn that, too! We’ll show you how.
A confident demeanor can bring many benefits. However, sometimes it is difficult to be confident. You can follow our tips below to build self-confidence.
Self-confidence, self-awareness, self-assurance – which is it?
Most of the time we understand the terms self-confidence, self-assurance, self-esteem, and also self-worth to mean very similar things.
However, they differ in detail: Self-confidence first of all just means knowing as much as possible about yourself.
Self-worth means to consider oneself valuable. Both then result in self-confidence or self-assurance: the ability to give yourself credit for something and to appear confident. The good thing is that all of these skills support each other.
Another often-used word for self-confidence is "self-consciousness".
Some people seem naturally endowed with unshakable self-confidence. Others constantly struggle to appear more confident. We’ll show you 14 tips and exercises you can do to boost your self-confidence.
Build self-confidence with these 14 tips and exercises
You can use our following tips and exercises 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 their body posture. However, it also works the other way around: the better your posture is, the more confident you feel, and that contributes directly to self-confidence. Therefore, make sure you have an upright posture:
- stand up straight
- take your shoulders back and down: Gaze straight ahead, not at the floor
- take big and strong steps when walking
Get to know yourself
Self-awareness, in the literal sense, means first of all being aware of yourself. So you need to know as much as possible about yourself. 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. Already the big milestones will certainly make a long list of successes, not to mention the small everyday successes.
- Interrogate yourself every now and then and find out why you act in a certain way. What is behind it?
- Get to know yourself with the basic feeling of loving curiosity, not as a judge or critic.
Do something significant
Doing something important, that raises self-esteem tremendously. Therefore, make sure that you do something significant. This could be educating your children, or a job that benefits other people, a volunteer work or a helpful blog.
No matter how you implement it, contribute something 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-esteem. It’s about repeatedly – preferably daily – doing things that are difficult for you. Exceed your limits over and over again, leaving your comfort zone.
One step is all it takes; you don’t have to bungee jump with a fear of heights. But you might just go up a few more steps on the observation tower than you’re actually comfortable with.
You know best where your own comfort zone lies: Everything that you can do easily, that is not particularly challenging for you, lies within your comfort zone. Everything that makes you feel insecure or anxious, and everything that you have to overcome, is outside your comfort zone.
The beauty of the comfort zone is that every time you step outside it, it widens a little more. And that means: Your scope of action, your personal freedom and the knowledge of what you can achieve become bigger and bigger. And that boosts your self-confidence.
Empower yourself with a strong environment
It is of great importance for your self-confidence with which people you surround yourself. Do they support you 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 about your self-esteem, you should build a strong 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.
Conversely, of course, this also means that you should banish from your life anyone who keeps draining your energy. If you can’t do that, at least reduce the contact until you can handle it well. Again, because it’s so important: don’t underestimate the value of a good environment.
Care for yourself
Self-esteem and self-worth 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:
- Know your boundaries and make sure they are respected.
- Provide yourself with everything you need: rest and relaxation, good nutrition, adequate exercise, exciting new experiences, enough sleep, and so on.
- Give yourself comfort when something doesn’t go well, and pat yourself on the back inside when you succeed. Be kind to yourself.
Silence the inner critic
Are you also one of those people who constantly criticize themselves in their thoughts? What many do not know: You yourself are in control of what you think. If your inner critic becomes active again, you simply send him away. Be energetic: no one has the right to treat you badly, not even yourself.
This exercise might be quite unfamiliar at first, but it is very effective for your self-confidence: Say something nice to yourself at least once a day, preferably out loud. For example, it might go like this, "Markus, I like you because you just never give up." You’ll see how good that feels.
You can build up a positive mindset with affirmations, for example. Here, you transfer guiding principles into your (sub)consciousness through repetition.
For more self-confidence – smile
This exercise works anytime, anywhere, and immediately makes you feel a little better, even in difficult situations. Just smile. This will improve your charisma and ensure that feelings of happiness are released and you are in a good mood.
Learn to say no
If you have low self-esteem, you’re easily manipulated and taken advantage of, and that lowers your self-esteem even further. Break this cycle by saying no in a friendly but firm way when you need to be persuaded to do something again.
Finish a Project
This exercise is very helpful for giving yourself more credit: Pick any project that is close to your heart (it can be something small) and implement it.
The important thing is to see it through to the end, even if there are difficulties in between. Finish the project and then be happy about what you have accomplished.
Set big goals
Allow yourself to think big. What else do you want to achieve? What dreams are 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 skin
While you may not be completely happy with your appearance, there’s a lot you can do to feel more comfortable in your 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 like: wear jewelry and/or makeup, even if you don’t have anything special planned.
- Think about a new hairstyle. 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 good self-confidence.
Be patient with yourself
The road to self-confidence is not something you can do overnight. You will 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!
Uplifting sayings for more self-confidence
Many scholars, philosophers and other great personalities have dealt with self-confidence throughout time. Their experiences and advice can help you further build your self-confidence today.
- "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." (Buddha)
- "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)
- "If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." (Unknown)
- "No one is perfect: Happiness is to know your limits and be happy with them." (Romain Rolland)
- "If you want to live in peace with yourself, you have to accept yourself as you are." (Selma Lagerlöf)
- "You have to keep finding your way through the little thoughts that annoy you to the big thoughts that strengthen you." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
- "Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears." (Joseph Rudyard Kipling)
- "It is our qualities we must cultivate, not our idiosyncrasies." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
- "There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so." (William Shakespeare)
- "We cannot live better than in seeking to become better." (Socrates)