Self-confidence is a slippery commodity.

One day you might be firmly in touch with your strengths; nothing can stop you. You’re feeling efficient, effective and prepared to take on whatever the world dishes out.

On another day, you might feel quite the opposite. The challenges and trials of life may leave you feeling timid, tired and incapable.

You’re Normal

If this ebb and flow of confidence sounds familiar, please know that it is normal to have these fluctuations. Daily life picks us up and knocks us down. We ride the wave; sometimes on top of it, and other days, beneath.

Simple Confidence Boosters

There are countless ways to work on building self-confidence. Even if you are skeptical at first, try some of these simple ideas and incorporate them into daily life to add to the foundation of your confidence level overall.

Write it down:

Start a list of your positive qualities and commit to writing down one entry each day. It might be easier to establish this routine if you set a particular time of the day to do it. Before bed, in the morning when you wake up; any time that you feel you’ll be able to remain consistent.

Say it out loud:

Sometimes we are reluctant to talk about our positive qualities for risk of seeming conceited. Let’s take a step back from that assumption and find a happy medium. Recognizing your own positive traits is a step toward better emotional health.

Practice the language of self-forgiveness:

Practice verbalizing your positive qualities, first out loud in your own company, and then with others whom you love and trust. Sit with the self-appreciation. Allow yourself to feel grateful for your strengths and abilities.

One of the most debilitating weapons that injures self-confidence is perfectionism. Practice talking to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one when they make a mistake or fail to be perfect. The language of self-forgiveness is powerful.

It reiterates that perfection is overrated and impossible and gives us room for growth in a way that perfectionism shuts down. Rather than allowing your self-confidence to plummet when you have not done well at something, try kindness.

“I like how hard I tried. It says a lot about my work ethic.”

If low confidence has been more of a struggle for you than average, and it seems to be a significant part of your life, it may be worth looking at more involved self-confidence work.

It might help to talk to a counselor about your self-perceptions. Sometimes talking to an objective, compassionate and confidential person can help you to determine the areas of self-confidence that need the most attention.  

Ask yourself if your challenges with confidence are concentrated in a certain area of life, or whether it encompasses a range of areas.

A counselor can also help correct negative assumptions you carry about yourself and get to the root of your values to determine ways to boost confidence about the things that truly matter to you.


  • Dr. Teyhou Smyth

    Performance Coach, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Keynote Speaker, Licensed Therapist (#115137)

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