How to Be More Confident in Yourself

Today I’d like to give a quick follow-up to the post on how to skyrocket your self-motivation.  One of the things I touched upon was the idea of being confident in your ability to achieve a goal.  Success starts by believing in ourselves.  In a way it’s a self fulfilling prophecy.  When you say that something can’t be done, it becomes easy to give up on a goal and quit.

The question is – “How do you become more confident in yourself?” Unfortunately this isn’t a question that can be answered in a simple blog post… in fact you could write an entire course on this subject.  With that said, I’d like to talk about two quick techniques for increasing your self-confidence…

#1 – Remember your Past Achievements

First, I’d like to talk about the importance of remembering your prior achievements.  We’ve all accomplished something in our lives.  The problem is it’s easy to forget everything we’ve done when trying something new.  People often feel unconfident because they’re afraid of looking foolish or embarrassing themselves.  The trick is to use what you’ve done in the past as a reminder that you can develop confidence in a new skill.

I recommend making a list of your accomplishments.  These could be anything that makes you feel good and proud of what you’ve done in life.  This list is for your eyes only – So don’t feel like you have to exclude anything simply because it might not impress others.

As an example, here is what I would include on my list:

  • Finished a marathon at age 16
  • Was a captain of two sports in high school & college
  • Graduated college with psychology degree, then earned a master’s degree in business management
  • Served two years in the United States Air Force before being honorably discharged
  • Built two successful Internet businesses and now currently working on my third
  • Traveled through Europe on my own for seven months

Once you’re written everything down on a list like this, review it a daily basis.  I know this sounds corny, but these are great reminders of past successes.  This exercise definitely gives a psychological boost during those times of doubt.

#2- Remember that Confidence is a Skill

Think back to when you first learned to drive a car.  I bet you were nervous as hell.  Perhaps you felt like one wrong move would lead to a disastrous car crash.  Personally, I was extremely shaky during the first few weeks of driving – Maybe because I accidentally drove my brother’s car through the garage when I was younger (Long story).

Now think about what it’s like to drive a car today.   You probably do it on autopilot – Without even thinking about how you’re doing it.  You just get into a car, turn it on and go.

One of the secrets to confidence is repeated exposure.  When first learning a skill, it’s hard to feel confident.  But once you’ve had a lot of practice things become second nature.  You no longer worry about being good at a skill because you’ve done it successfully dozens of times before.

What about failure?  Well, I believe in the concept of “failing forward.” There’s nothing wrong with failing.  In fact, I think one of the best ways to learn a skill is to do it badly a number of times.  I know it’s not fun to feel like a novice with a new skill.  But if you can get over that sense of embarrassment, failure is a great way to learn something.

How do YOU Become More Confident?

In this post, I gave two techniques to be more confident in yourself.  My question is how confident are you?  Were you born with a natural amount of confidence?  Or have you had to work on this area of your life?  If so, what tricks can you recommend to others?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.

40 thoughts on “How to Be More Confident in Yourself”

  1. Hi Steve:
    This is a form of self therapy to create confidence. I believe in it. Nature has made human as a “whole” or complete and we can find solutions to better our body and mind within that is spiritually. This week I am going through the same scenario. I entertained some relatives and we watch family movies this week end. That reminded me of my past, and everyone stressed on it too, and now that past is building my present confidence.

    As you have said in the post, creating a list of achievements is even a more organized therapy. I completely agree with you and I am sure it works too.

    Only the best


    • Fran,

      Your past is always “around” in your present. People have a choice to either let it hold them back or use it and grow. Hopefully reading here is like you and using it to grow!

      Thanks for a great comment!

      Have a wonderful day!

  2. Steve,

    Simple but highly effective techniques to be more confident. I so agree with you on the part about confidence being a skill that anybody can develop with repeated exposure. I see this in my own life.

    Creating a list of accomplishments is a great idea. I personally like the ‘Just do it’ approach without worrying too much on the outcome. This might not be the best approach but seems to work for me.

    Thanks for the great insights.

    • “Just Do It” has to be one of the great ad campaigns in the history of ad campaigns. With three simple words they were able to capture the spirit of confidence, entreprenuership, success and everything else I can think of.

      Next to “I Love you” “just do it” may be the single greatest three word phrase I can think of.

      I guess you can see I totally agree with you on using the “just do it” approach! 🙂

  3. Fran,

    Many people do not know that confidence is not only a learnable skill, but that is the primary method people acquire it. People see confident people and think they are born with it, but most are not.

    At best the really confident people may be able to grow the skill faster. Like any skill natural ability plays a part in it, but anyone at all can build their confidence if they just take the steps.

    • Brendan,

      You got it. definitely like self affirmation. It just gives people a concrete example to think on. Many people think they have cone “nothing” but most of us have serious accomplishments if viewed through the eyes of others. It is just a matter of fishing those ideas out and reminding yourself of them daily.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Great points, Steve. I think another important form of self confidence is being confident in your future. Your suggestion to make a list of your accomplishments in your past and reading it every day reminds me of something I read in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. He recommends doing the following:

    1. Figure the exact amount of money you desire.
    2. What will you give in return for this money?
    3. Establish a date goal.
    4. Develop a plan and begin at once.
    5. Write this all out.
    6. Read it in the morning and every evening

    I think that if you 1) do this and read it every day, and 2) write out your achievements and read them every day, you’ve got a powerful recipe for confidence in yourself and confidence in what you’re doing.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • I read, “TAGR” a while back…good stuff.

      Those plans are excellent. Besides knowing what good things you have done in the past, it is also essential to have a firm fix on what you desire in the future. Great point and wonderful comment for continuing the conversation.

      Some really good additional info out their for anyone who hasn’t checked out Napoleon Hills book. (which you all should do)

  5. I think both your techniques are useful. My number one technique is to learn to tolerate uncertainty. If we do anything that even slightly stretches our comfort zone it can start to stir feelings of anxiety. Being able to tolerate such feelings, see them as natural and not run away from them can be a big turning point.

    • That is a good point. One thing I have always thought is that when you feel that *slight* anxiety, you know you are in the right ballpark. You are doing something that will at least help you grow your comfort zone, because you are slightly out of it.

  6. “Confidence is a skill”

    Excellent point. We too often compare ourselves with others that we want to be like, and I think it’s natural to assume that those people that we admire were always that way. We overlook everything they had to do to get to the place that they are today. Once you take away the idea that you have to be “special” or “born with it”, then you open the door to the possibility that you can achieve it to- if you are willing to put in the work.

    I enjoyed this post- thanks!

    • Christy,

      Very true. It is always easy to look and see how confident someone seems (doesn’t mean they “are”) and assume it is easy. No one ever sees what it takes for them to get there.

      Thanks for a great comment and stopping by!

  7. Hi Steve,

    Very nice post. I personally had to work on my confidence for many years, it is as you say a skill that is learned. Remembering our past achievements is crucial. Whenever I’m down, I think back to how I got what I wanted and how I achieved my goals and my confidence level grows. Another way that really helps is that we have to love ourselves. Many people are not confident because they think there is something wrong with them, so loving ourselves is necessary. Thanks for sharing

  8. Good post, Steve.
    I just wrote a post on failure so this resonates for sure.

    Remembering those past achievements is a good way to remind yourself that you are skilled and have the ability to accomplish things. Now something I’ve given a lot of thought to but it makes sense.

    I’ve always had a level of confidence that allows me to lean into something and give it a go without too much fear of failure. One of the things I’ve had to overcome, and still have to remind myself about, is over thinking things. Sometimes it’s best to jump on in there and try something new out instead of trying to be certain that every last detail is covered.

    You cannot fully learn things unless you experience some errors or a level of failure, it’s the best teacher we have because of the level of discomfort it brings. 🙂 Fear, on the other hand, can paralyze and keep some from even attempting certain things.

    Reading the previous comments, Just do it, is so appropriate and I agree, that is an all-time great slogan.

    • I have always believed that confidence is one of the BIGGEST factors of success. The more success and confidence I get the more I really believe that is true. Maybe that I even underestimate it as “one of the…”

      I absolutely agree about failure being a teacher too. People are scared to fail, but a failure is just, “one thing that doesn’t work” as Edison famously said.

      Well said, I shall be over to read your failure article soon! 🙂

  9. I need to be comfortable with my skills because I know I’m great at them but the thing that trips me up is actually displaying them to other people – I always have the doubt of “what if it’s not good enough” although I know that it is and will blow people away.

    Just need to find confidence overall. Just start putting it to work and eventually let it guide me – like what you said about driving a car 🙂

    • Murray,

      I know what you mean. I think we all get a little hesitant. Even if you “know” you are good, there is often a feeling of, “who the hell am “I” to claim I am an expert.

      I have had a fair bit of success with a few things, but I always feel uneasy labeling myself as a “master” or “expert” some times I do wish there was a checklist you could sign up for (do x,x and x… get it certified by another party and then get an official EXPERT stamp) Then it would be a tangible achievement that is indisputable (like having college degrees) rather than just an opinion.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Super accomplishments buddy and thanks for your service!

    My confidence was very low as a child, teenager and for most of my adult life. It wasn’t until I developed a burning desire to succeed that I lost many of my self-conscious tendencies and replaced with faith-filled acts.

    Super advice on imagining past conquests. Experience these feelings in mind and you can recreate in other areas of your life.


    • I think a lot of people had issues with confidence as a child/teen. I know I certainly did. It got better as I grew and I certainly made a lot of improvements in college, but we all can improve likely.

      You seem very confident and full of energy now. That is awesome. With a “burning desire to succeed” confidence is a requirement. (IMO) so good job building it up.

      Thanks for the comment, Ryan

  11. Hi Steve,

    These are nice and useful techniques for improving your self-confidence at short notice.

    I was not born confident and had to learn how to be confident through exposure, experience and of course through books.

    I just want to add that with regards to past achievements, some people may feel that they have not achieved anything worth remembering. They don’t feel that they have done anything to be proud of. At moments like these, it helps to examine the simple things they could take for granted. It helps to remind themselves of how they might possess a skill or knowledge that others do not have. If they can teach something to another, this should be counted as an accomplishment even if they do not feel proud of it.

    Failure is the path to success. We should accept failure and mistakes as part of the learning curve and the price we pay to succeed. Doing so will reduce our aversion of it and help us to attain success sooner. The important point isn’t to merely fail, but to learn from your mistakes. When you fail, it is merely a reminder that the actions you are engaging in, isn’t producing the desired results you want. The only thing to do is to adjust those actions until you get it right. When you focus on the solution and not the problem, confidence comes about naturally.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

    • It seems pretty common that many people struggled to build their self confidence. This should be a good thing for people who still have issues to know.

      You are 100% right. It is very easy to look at yourself critically and think “i have done nothing” You need to really think about it because most people have done some awesome things.

      I graduated from a small schools for both of my college degrees. I do not piss and moan because it wasn’t harvard/yale or prestigious schools. I graduated and it is something I am proud of. It is all how you view things.

      Failure IS a path to success. Absolutely!! People shouldn’t fear failure, but embrace it. You nailed it. Do not fear it …just learn from the mistakes.

      Thanks for a wonderful comment!

  12. Remembering past achievements to me is also one of the best ways to increase confidence. Another way is to just act confident.. change your posture, breathing, and eye contact so you just exhude confidence

    • That is true too, and could easily be #3. ” Fake it til you make it ”

      Confidence is perfect for that. Most people know what confidence looks like in body language, posture etc. No matter how unconfident people seem if they do their best to act confident it helps. Do it enough and suddenly one day you ARE confident.

  13. Steve,

    Just so love this post. It is really inspiring.

    I have a problem on ups and down confidence 🙁

    But i guess that is normal?

    I hope i will get often my confidence by applying your tips above.

    Thanks for this.

    • Kimi,

      I am very glad you like it! 🙂

      Everyones confidence has highs and lows. It is the nature of the beast. Just always strive for more highs. Just reading through these comments it is obvious that many of the comments (successful and confident people) have had issues with it too. I am sure 90% of confident people out there feel they had to “work” to get there.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Have a wonderful day!

  14. “That is true too, and could easily be #3. ” Fake it til you make it ”

    Confidence is perfect for that. Most people know what confidence looks like in body language, posture etc. No matter how unconfident people seem if they do their best to act confident it helps. Do it enough and suddenly one day you ARE confident.”

    Now that’s my motto! Just take a step, any step and plow forward even if it feels like jumping off a cliff:) No one needs to know how you feel on the inside, it’s what you’re able to project that counts.

    • Good point about feeling like it is jumping off a cliff. It is a scary prospect to pretend at confidence you don’t have. But like jumping into the deep end, nothing teaches you to swim quite as fast.

  15. I like your point that confidence is a skill. I find I am confident about some things because I know I’m excellent at them. Some of this comes from feedback from others, but a lot of it’s just knowing I am an expert in that area. On the other hand, there are lots of areas that I don’t feel much confidence in at all, mostly because they’re new to me, and I find them difficult.

    I think that’s true of a lot of successful, confident people. I’m sure Steve Jobs would feel awkward in a weight lifting contest. 😉

    • It is tough, but sometimes trying to be confident about the things you are unsure of can help you get better really fast.

      Now there are limits of course, walking into a hospital and trying to BS your a way into having people believe in you is unlikely to happen. (and shouldn’t) But being confident about areas where you do have “some” skills can be very beneficial.

      Certainly there would be some situation that inspire no confidence at all. But even there confidence can be an important factor. Having the confidence that you can learn the topic with speed and precision for instance. Even this can show.

  16. Hey Scott, awesome post. I agree wholeheartedly with number one. We have all been confident in certain situations. We can tap into those resources to help ourselves be more confident in future situations.

    Confidence IS a skill, and we all have it to some degree depending on what we are doing. Confidence is about feeling capable, even when you are uncertain of how things may end up.

  17. I definitely can understand why it is hard to have confidence as a child and teenager. Especially, a teenager. It is such a hard time, all the way around, and it is often further into your adult life where you even have a clue as to who you are.

  18. First marathon at age of 16? Wow!

    I completed my first at the age of 35 and I’m still following that path.

    When I bring these experiences to gaining more confidence, I have noticed that whenever I “win myself”, I get an huge confidence boost. Just can’t get enough 🙂

    Sports is a great thing for this, but anything really, that challenges me at first, but which I still manage to do.

  19. After suffering some disappointing grades in graduate school, I came home following convocation suffering from a lack of confidence. To help rebuild my confidence I made a list of areas, or subjects, that I felt I was weak in. I then prioritized them and focused on improvements in sequential order, including testing myself. With each successful improvement my general self-confidence grew. Great public resource, thanks.

  20. Very nice picture Steve 😀 As it reminds me of the Tom & Jerry cartoon lol!

    Being self-confident is a huge factor that builds up the success we want. Lack of this important thing and we’re setting ourselves to failure. And without self-confidence, it will be a perma-failure! Me, personally, I always imagine the person I want to become. I imagine the freedom this business offers me once I go pass the line of being a novice. I know it takes time, but it’s too late for me now to give up 😉

    Thanks for writing this post, glad I found it in your archives man!

    Have a nice day.

  21. The two techniques you’ve shared are very much necessary to those people who lucks of confidence or immediately lower their self esteem if something had happened. Sometimes when I can feel that I have low self confidence I immediately convince my self to do other stuffs that can bring it back.

Comments are closed.