How Do You Build Self-Confidence?

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How Do You Build Self-Confidence?

By: Skye Thomas

Years ago while running an at-home daycare, I came to realize that we're all born with an innate sense of self-confidence. Every single child under the age of five that I have ever observed has had a strong self-confidence in at least one area of their life. Most kids had confidence in all areas of their lives. It seems to me that they systematically lose that confidence and it's replaced by an inner critic. Quite often it's the child's home life, but sometimes it's the schools, neighborhood kids, extended family, or some other person who unknowingly destroys the child's belief in themselves. Children have to be told they aren't good enough, strong enough, smart enough, talented enough to accomplish whatever it is they're trying to do. Unfortunately, most of us are told exactly that. So, how do we rebuild that sense of self-confidence?

The first thing I want you to do is to imagine that you had an ideal loving emotionally supportive childhood. Think about what kind of person you would have been if you had been raised to believe in yourself and in your natural gifts and talents. What were those gifts and talents? What were you really good at? What kinds of activities came easy for you? Now write down a list of talents, traits, attributes, and gifts that you loved and probably excelled at before you were convinced that you weren't any good at them. Choose items from that list for the next step.

Self-confidence is broken a piece at a time. So you're going to rebuild it a piece at a time. Pick things from your list and plan out tiny baby steps. Were you meant to be a great artist? Then start out by doodling. Just start carrying a pencil and paper around with you and allow yourself to absentmindedly doodle little pictures. Eventually, allow the passion to find it's way through you and you will begin to draw bigger and better, adding paints or whatever medium you were always meant to use. Were you supposed to be a musician? Then start humming little tunes in your head, begin playing around with an instrument. If it's possible, carry an instrument around with you and whenever you're bored or have some downtime, just sit and absentmindedly allow your fingers to play with it until the music within you begins calling to you again. Whatever the thing, pick something from your list and begin to play with it without paying a lot of attention to being perfect or talented or anything else. Just hold the tools and space out awhile so that you can get out of your own self-consciousness and just play with the tools. Nobody has to know if you don't want them to.

Repeat this process as much as you can. Keep picking up pieces of yourself on that list and adding them back into your sense of self. Don't wait until you've become really good at the first new skill before picking up another one. Just play with each item on your list as the mood crosses you. There's no need to beat yourself up for not being super talented because in reality all you are doing is simply playing with toys that remind you of your childhood. Allow your inner child, inner teenager, inner artist, inner musician to simply play. Eventually, you will come to realize one day that you do have natural gifts and talents and that will go a long way towards building your self-confidence.

That's all good and well if your confidence problems center around skills, but what if your lack of self-confidence happens to be in the interpersonal relationships area? Are you painfully shy? Too afraid of rejection to even reach out to connect with others? Do you beat yourself up for not looking just so? Depending on the severity of your self-sabotaging belief system, you may want to get a professional therapist to help you with this. If it's not too bad, but you have less self esteem then you would like to have, then ask someone that you trust to help you with this part. Ask your friend to point out examples of other people who look or act like you. For example, if you think you're fat and everyone says you're not, then have your friend point out to you other people who are built like you. Have them compare your figure to someone famous. Chances are they won't say Orson Wells! Few people are really horribly fat. Eventually, it'll sink in that you are not really as fat as you think you are. If you're really worried that people will think you're stupid or dull when they first meet you, then have your friend rehearse with you so that you can feel comfortable making small talk with new people.

What if through practicing a new skill or through working on social skills and your personal image with a friend, you find out that you need to actually work on something? Maybe you do have a few pounds to lose. Maybe you need singing lessons. Okay, so be it. That's not a reason to quit moving forward with building upon your fragile new sense of confidence. Just go get the help, the lessons, the workout routine, the coaching or whatever else it is that you need to continue moving forward. There will always be teachers and coaches of some sort because there will always be people reaching beyond where they already are. The only problem with a low self-confidence is that we stop giving ourselves permission to learn new things. The fact that we don't know how to be or do everything perfectly is not a good reason to lose confidence in ourselves. As long as you can play at new things and can learn, then you are able to improve and grow. At some point, turn around and look at how far you have come. Pride will show itself.

Copyright 2004, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge

About The Author

Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow's Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. She became a writer in 1999 after twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, astrology, personal growth, motivation, and parenting. Her books and articles have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. After years of high heels and business clothes, she is currently enjoying working from home in her pajamas. To read more of her articles, sign up to receive her free weekly newsletter, and get free previews of her books go to


Princess Dubrough 29.10.2011. 16:52

How can I build self confidence in myself? Are there any tips how I can build self confidence in myself? I want to believe I can do everything by myself like learning how to drive a car or work in an office doing office work like everyone.

Princess Dubrough

Admin 29.10.2011. 16:52

By doing and succeeding at things you find difficult to do! That gains you true confidence. After you've taken driving lessons, and gotten your license, do you think you will feel better?....

You see, anything difficult you overcome, will give you more self-confidence.
Also believing in yourself helps. Tell yourself you can do it. Whatever "it" is!!


Bubbles 31.05.2010. 00:27

How can we build self confidence without being over confident? How do we build self confidence, but not become coincided?


Admin 31.05.2010. 00:27

Compliment your self, maybe once or twice a day, look for things that you like about your self. When someone compliments you, take it don't disagree with them. Look for positivity in your life and reassure your self that they heavily outweigh the negativity. But remind your self that no one is perfect, including your self, meaning that you have flaws and should learn to except them because as cheesy as it sounds everyone is perfect just the way they are.


Midnight_rose 26.04.2009. 13:10

How can i build self confidence? Well, i've heard that guys like confident girls, but its not the only reason i want to build self conifidence.
Yes i spend ages on my hair, make up etc, but im never ever happy with how i look. I always think i look ugly compared to everyone.
I also always think i am going to fail exams, etc..
So how can i build self confidence in how i look, and just generally?


Admin 26.04.2009. 13:10


Pits4Me 06.03.2006. 19:46

What are some real ways to build self confidence? I need to know real ways of building self confidence. I am in a relationship and I think my lack of self love is starting to effect our relationship. This guy means the world to me so any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.


Admin 06.03.2006. 19:46

First move. Get that comment, i am aloser out of the about column. Assess whats good in u. u arent an addict,an alcoholic or an insensitive creature. People love u. u r liked bysomeone. they have expectation from u which means u have capbilities. Keep ur chin up., and move on with life.


Saif11795???? ???? 22.02.2011. 15:25

Ramadan: How do I build self confidence and esteem? Im a boy of 15 and Im known as quiet and shy and I hate it..I need to build self confidence and self esteem fast because it is getting me down. I pray Salat 5 times a day and make dua but is there anything else I can read?

Saif11795???? ????

Admin 22.02.2011. 15:25

y'know what? sing in the shower!

watch comedies like allah made me funny and aman ali and then find your inner comedian... think of your own jokes and make people laugh!

i'm 15, and i've had my fair share of low self esteem too but when people tell you that you're funny, or that you make them happy, it boosts your self image.

what's your talent? writing, sports, speaking, humour? find it! use it! expand on it! make something of yourself :D

if you have low self esteem but you still have faith in God, you MUST be an awesome person IM TELLING YOU. YOU ARE AWESOME :D smile a bit ;) look in the mirror :D thank God :D


i hope my ramblings of crapp make u feel better :L


-?Blue parrot?- 14.09.2012. 22:10

How do you build self confidence? I just thought of starting this because I do not have self confidence. I always worry about how skinny I am which is why I'm scared to talk/smile at girls. How do you build your self confidence?

-?Blue parrot?-

Admin 14.09.2012. 22:10

This is what I did;
Stop worrying. When you start, do something to take your mind off things. Don't care what people think of you. Even if you do care, do not act like you do. Tell yourself you don't care. Once a week record how your feeling, fold the paper and place them in a drawer you hardly go in to. After a few months, return back to the first one you wrote and you'll see how much you've changed. Then you can improve on the things that haven't changed. Exercise, build muscle. Style your hair differently. Just do everything that will make you comfortable with who you are.


G Man 27.08.2011. 23:32

How to build self confidence (short question, seriously)? Hi guys. I'm 16 years old (male). I need some help building my self confidence. Sometimes, I am not able to believe in myself especially when I am taking on new things like making new friends and doing simple things like walking to a store to buy something for someone.
I also get shy when I meet new people when the real me is a fun to be with and random person.

Basically, what I'm asking for are tips on how to build my self confidence. Please don't hesitate to help me out if you can. Thanks a lot.

G Man

Admin 27.08.2011. 23:32

Don't stress about it too much. Sometimes confidence will come with age. 16 is a very difficult age. The best thing you can do is don't worry about what others think of you. Do what you like to do and pursue your hobbies and interests. Confidence will come in time especially if you start enjoying life. Traveling to other countries is a great way to increase confidence. Find something you're good at and interested in and mainly CONCENTRATE ON THE POSITIVES. Go to the gym and WORK OUT. This helps your mental state tremendously. I guarantee that you will feel a lot better after a month or two in the gym. Try new things and GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Act different than you normally do. How would you act if you knew life was only a dream? Be an actor and play different parts in life. I know that sounds crazy, but just give it a try. HAVE FUN WITH LIFE. Don't take it too seriously. Again, DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS MAY THINK OF YOU. This may be hard at first, but with practice it will get much easier. You can act however you want. This is your life so take charge of it. Life is a game, you make the rules, play it the way you want to. Visualize confidence, meditate, work out, travel, learn new subjects, have fun. There's a million options, but it's all your choice. You alone choose to be shy or outgoing.


annonymous 01.10.2012. 21:02

How do I build self confidence in myself? Myself, I'm confident but when it comes to bullies or bitches wanting to start drama, I get stuck and don't know what to say, besides being the wiser person and keeping my thoughts to myself. But I don't want that. I don't want people thinking they can trample over me just because I wont speak up for myself besides me saying a few words. Sometimes, I end up crying because I get really frustrated. I'm tired of looking like the weak person who can't stand up for herself. What can I do to build more self confidence in myself?


Admin 01.10.2012. 21:02

when it comes to bullies and bitches best thing to say to them is i dont give a f*** what you think keep your opinion you yourself thank you. just know that you are a good person a person who doesn't put others down to make yourself feel better.


babang 18.01.2013. 16:01

What's the point of having self confidence if you are ugly? People tell me that i need to build self confidence and tell myself im beautiful. But why lie to yourself you are beautiful when you are really not?

Does anyone agree?


654654654654 26.03.2011. 21:06

What are some good ways to gain more self confidence? I am 30, over weight, depressed all the time and always feel out of sorts. I've decided that it is time to retake control of my life. I am thinking about exercising and starting martial arts to build self confidence. Have you ever been in this situation? What things worked for you? Thanks in advance for all your answers.


Admin 26.03.2011. 21:06

Stop thinking about exercising, DO IT. Losing that weight will fix a lot of things, plus once you get into exercising, you will love it. You'll feel better, sleep better, have more energy and motivation... it's great. I started doing it this year. :) So yes, exercise, go go go! But I struggle with confidence too. You might need to go see a mental health professional to work out some of your issues... that's what I need to do, too. :/ It's healthy to get things off your chest to someone who can really help and give you a new way to look at things. Sometimes a big change is good... job, location, friends? I think the martial arts idea is cool. Good luck, man! Let's make 2011 the best year of our lives, mk? :)


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