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How To Build Self Confidence: Strategies To Boost Your Self-Esteem

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    Self-confidence is essential in achieving success in various aspects of life, including relationships, career, and personal growth. However, it is common for people to struggle with confidence, and this is not their fault. It is often due to not being taught effective strategies or being taught the wrong ones. In this article, we will you how to use effective strategies to build your self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    Why We Struggle with Low Self Esteem

    One reason why we struggle with confidence is due to a cognitive bias known as anchoring. This occurs when people rely too heavily on the first piece of information they receive when making decisions. This initial piece of information, or “anchor,” can then influence how people interpret and evaluate subsequent information. For example, if someone receives negative feedback on a project, they may anchor on this and start to doubt their abilities, even if they receive positive feedback later on.

    What we are Taught Doesn’t Help with Building Self Confidence

    When people are struggling with low self-confidence, simply being told to “just be positive” or “think positively” is not enough. This type of advice lacks substance and practicality. It is difficult to make real changes in one’s life without a clear plan of action or strategy. Similarly, being told to “talk yourself up” without specific examples or techniques can also be unhelpful, especially if one’s negative self-talk is deeply ingrained.

    Furthermore, these strategies fail to address the underlying causes of low self-confidence. Often, low self-esteem is the result of deep-seated beliefs and experiences that have been reinforced over time. Simply telling someone to “be positive” ignores the fact that these beliefs and experiences are often deeply rooted and require more intensive work to overcome. Instead, building self-confidence requires an approach that addresses these root causes, such as identifying negative thought patterns, challenging them, and practicing self-compassion.

    Woman smiling with black hair wearing a white shirt and fashionable blue suit sitting with her legs crossed and one hand under her chin.

    How to Build Your Self Confidence

    To build self-confidence, it is essential to provide specific and actionable strategies that people can follow. These include:

      1. Improve Your Outward Appearance

      Despite the latest politically correct discourse around outward appearances, how one looks plays a big role in confidence. Taking steps to improve one’s appearance, such as wearing clothes that fit well and flatter your body shape, can have a positive impact on your confidence level. Additionally, good grooming habits such as regular haircuts, shaving or styling facial hair, and maintaining good hygiene can also help boost your self-esteem.

      2. Develop Positive Self-Talk and Beliefs

      Another important strategy for building self-confidence is to cultivate positive self-talk and beliefs. Many people struggle with negative self-talk, which can hold them back from reaching their full potential. Negative self-talk can take many forms, such as criticizing oneself, doubting one’s abilities, and dwelling on past mistakes.

      To combat negative self-talk, it’s important to develop positive self-talk and beliefs. This can involve replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, and reminding yourself of past successes. It may also be helpful to practice affirmations, which are positive statements that you repeat to yourself regularly.

      3. Set Achievable Goals

      Setting achievable goals is another effective strategy for building self-confidence. When you set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them, you can experience a sense of accomplishment and pride that can help boost your self-esteem.

      It’s important to set goals that are realistic and achievable, rather than setting yourself up for failure. Start by setting small goals and working your way up to larger ones as you build confidence and momentum. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way, no matter how small they may be.

      4. Face Your Fears

      Facing your fears is another important step in building self-confidence. Many people avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable or anxious, which can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem. However, avoiding these situations can actually make your fears worse over time.

      Instead, try to face your fears head-on. This may involve taking small steps at first, such as speaking up in a meeting or trying a new hobby. Over time, you can gradually build up your confidence and tackle bigger challenges.

      5. Practice Self-Care

      Finally, practicing self-care is essential for building self-confidence. This means taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Some self-care practices include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking time to relax and unwind.

      Practicing self-care can help you feel more energized, focused, and positive, which can in turn boost your confidence and self-esteem.

      Biggest Mistakes People Make for Gaining Self Confidence

      There are several mistakes that people commonly make when trying to build self-confidence. These include:

      Comparing oneself to others: Comparing oneself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and lower self-confidence.

      Seeking external validation: Relying on external validation, such as praise from others, can be a short-term boost to self-confidence, but it is not a sustainable strategy.

      Avoiding failure: Avoiding failure may seem like a way to protect one’s self-esteem, but it actually prevents growth and can lead to lower self-confidence.

      Why These Techniques Will Build Your Self Esteem

      Building self-esteem is not a quick fix, but rather a gradual process that requires consistent effort and dedication. By taking steps to improve outward appearance, pushing oneself out of comfort zones, and practicing self-compassion, individuals can slowly but surely increase their confidence and sense of self-worth.

      It’s important to remember that building self-esteem is a journey, and setbacks and self-doubt may occur along the way. However, by continuing to practice these techniques and focusing on progress rather than perfection, individuals can measure their success in the months ahead. Increased confidence can manifest in a variety of ways, such as feeling more comfortable in social situations, taking on new challenges, and feeling less anxious or stressed in everyday life. By building self-esteem, individuals can also develop a more positive outlook on life, leading to greater happiness and fulfillment.

      80/20 Rule Applied to Quickly Boosting Self Confidence

      The 80/20 rule suggests that 20% of the effort can result in 80% of the results. Applied to boosting self-confidence, the easiest things people can start doing that will have a significant impact include:

      One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost self-confidence is by improving one’s outward appearance. When a person looks good, they feel good. This doesn’t necessarily mean one needs to conform to society’s beauty standards, but rather taking steps to improve one’s personal style and grooming. This could include getting a new haircut, updating one’s wardrobe, or investing in some new skincare products. By putting effort into their appearance, a person can feel more confident and positive about themselves.

      Another way to boost self-confidence is by pushing oneself out of their comfort zone. This could mean taking on a new challenge, trying a new activity, or speaking up in a group setting. By taking small risks and stepping out of one’s comfort zone, a person can experience small successes that will help to build confidence. With each small success, a person can become more comfortable taking on bigger challenges and feel more confident in their abilities.


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      Yes, Outward Appearances Will Increase Your Confidence

      The way we present ourselves to the world is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. When we take steps to improve our outward appearance, it sends a positive message to ourselves and others that we value ourselves and take care of ourselves. This can have a direct impact on our self confidence.

      Outward appearances can boost self-confidence in several ways. When you feel good about how you look, you are more likely to project confidence and positive energy to others, which can help you feel better about yourself. This can be as simple as wearing clothes that fit well and flatter your body type or practicing good personal hygiene.

      Man is a light green suit and silver tie standing in front of green trees.

      Improving your outward appearance can also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride. When you make an effort to improve your appearance, such as through exercise or healthy eating, you are taking control of your life and making positive changes. This can help you feel more empowered and confident in yourself and your abilities.

      Taking care of your outward appearance can also be a form of self-care, which can have a positive impact on your overall well-being. When you prioritize your own needs and take care of yourself, you send a message to yourself that you are worth the effort and attention. This can help build a sense of self-worth and confidence that extends beyond just your appearance.

      Biggest Things That Hinder Self Confidence Boosting

      While there are many effective strategies for building self confidence, there are also some things to avoid. For example, relying too heavily on external validation or comparing yourself to others can actually harm your self esteem in the long run. Additionally, avoid negative self-talk or putting yourself down, as this can reinforce negative beliefs about yourself.

      Seeking External Validation

      Relying too heavily on external validation can be harmful to your self-confidence because it puts your sense of worth in the hands of others. When you constantly seek approval from others, you may find that you are never satisfied with yourself and that your self-esteem is constantly fluctuating. This can also lead to a cycle of seeking validation from others, which can ultimately become exhausting and unfulfilling. It’s important to recognize your own worth and value, regardless of the opinions of others.

      Comparing Yourself to Others

      Comparing yourself to others can also be harmful to your self-esteem because it often leads to negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy. When you compare yourself to others, you are focusing on their strengths and your perceived weaknesses, which can make you feel inadequate and insecure. Instead, it’s important to focus on your own strengths and accomplishments and to recognize that everyone has their own unique journey and experiences.

      Talking Negative

      Negative self-talk can also reinforce negative beliefs about yourself, leading to a vicious cycle of low self-esteem. When you constantly put yourself down or engage in negative self-talk, you are essentially telling yourself that you are not good enough or capable enough. Over time, this negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and lead to a negative cycle of self-doubt and low self-esteem. It’s important to practice positive self-talk and to be kind to yourself, even in the face of challenges or setbacks.

      Woman in a purple jacket holding a black microphone giving a speech.

      Training and Classes for Increasing Your Self Esteem

      One great way to build self confidence is by taking a class or training that focuses specifically on improving self esteem. The Dale Carnegie public speaking course is one such example, as it helps people overcome fear and build confidence when speaking in public. In-person classes are generally more effective than online versions, as they provide the physicality of people around you to help boost your confidence.

      The Dale Carnegie public speaking course is an effective way to improve someone’s self-confidence because it focuses on teaching individuals the skills necessary to speak confidently and persuasively in front of others. The course emphasizes practical techniques for overcoming nervousness, building rapport with an audience, and delivering presentations with impact. By practicing these techniques in a supportive environment, participants gain a sense of mastery over their speaking abilities, which translates into greater confidence in other areas of life.

      The course is taught in-person, which allows participants to interact with other people and receive feedback on their communication skills. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may feel isolated or lack opportunities to practice their public speaking skills in real-world settings. By participating in the course, individuals can develop a sense of belonging and connection with others, which can further boost their self-confidence and self-esteem.

      Additional Reading and Books That Help With Building Self Confidence

      There are also many books available that can help you boost your self confidence. Some of the best books on this topic include “How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking” by Dale Carnegie, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, and “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. These books have been around for at least 25 years and are best sellers, so they have proven to be effective in helping people build their self esteem.

      How to Develop Self Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie

      Cover page of the book How To Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People By Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie

      “How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking” is a classic self-help book written by Dale Carnegie. It provides practical tips and strategies for building self-confidence and improving communication skills through public speaking.

      Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action by Susan Jeffers

      Cover page of the book Feel the Fear and Do it anyway by Susan Jeffers.

      “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers is a popular self-help book that encourages readers to embrace their fears and take action. It provides practical advice and techniques for overcoming fear and building self-confidence.

      The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

      Cover page of the Power of Positive Thinking

      “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale is a classic self-help book that emphasizes the importance of having a positive mindset in order to achieve success and happiness in life. The book provides practical tips and exercises for changing negative thought patterns and developing a more optimistic outlook on life.


      Building self confidence is essential for living a happy and fulfilling life, but it is not always easy. However, by following the strategies outlined in this article, you can begin to boost your self esteem and feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.

      It is important to remember that building self confidence is a process that takes time and effort. You may not see immediate results, but by consistently applying these techniques, you will begin to notice changes in how you feel about yourself and how you approach challenges.

      To measure your progress, keep track of small successes and celebrate them. Also, pay attention to how you talk to yourself and try to replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have setbacks or doubts. It is natural to struggle with confidence at times, but with the right tools and mindset, you can overcome these challenges and build a stronger sense of self.

      Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs. He can be reached at [email protected].


      Anchoring; Self-Confidence, Self-Improvement, Outward Appearances, Personal Development, Positive Reinforcement, Dale Carnegie Course

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