Many people want to know how to build self-confidence. In this article, I covered 8 practical steps that will help you achieve it.

First thing first, what does “self-confidence” even mean? The word confidence comes from a Latin word “fidere” which means “to trust.” Self-confidence is having trust in yourself! I really like what Marshall Goldsmith, a mentor and a well-respected executive coach, said, “Confidence is a belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do. But it’s more than that – it’s a belief in your own abilities. It’s not arrogance – it’s strength of character. It’s an understanding that you can succeed.”

Why self-confidence matters

The importance of self-confidence can’t be emphasized enough; self-confidence is vital in almost all areas of our lives. Students with high self-confidence perform better at school and also enjoy higher job satisfaction in life. Business owners with high self-confidence think more positively about the future and are more willing to take risks to achieve goals, while career professionals articulate their thoughts and ideas more concisely and with clarity and furthermore increase their efficiency and performance.

Self-confidence enables you to be more assertive with less anxiety, communicate better, do more, deal better with conflict and setbacks, and ultimately, regardless where you are in your career, empowers you to show up as the highest possible version of yourself. When you are confident, you will also influence others and help them gain confidence.

8 ways to help build self-confidence

  • Dress nicely and appropriately

My first ever career advice from my first supervisor, Karen, was to dress nicely and professionally to work each day. Without truly knowing the reasons, I’d followed her advice and invested a big chunk of my salary in buying business suits in the next few months after I started my job. Later I understood that dressing nicely didn’t only make me feel good and polished, it actually gave me the needed confidence boost to start out my career in a brand new professional environment.

  • Know yourself and stop comparing yourself to others

I know, with the easy access to social media, many of you are constantly consumed by the images your friends project on the social platforms. Honestly speaking, do you generally have a good feeling about yourself while seeing successful weight loss or luxury vacation photos from your friends? We don’t think about it much, but these images and posts actually and unconsciously have a negative impact on us. Perhaps it’s us feeling envious, or “the grass is greener on the other side” kind of mentality. Either way, human nature pushes us to compare ourselves to others all the time, whether we like it or not.

Every person is unique, creative and resourceful, and that includes YOU! One way to build self-confidence is to get to know yourself. My strength-based coaching approach focuses on knowing yourself, and maximizing your success through the strengths you already possess (and this applies to, yes, everyone). When you believe in yourself by focusing on your innate quality and strengths, your confidence soars, which ultimately increases the overall productivity and satisfaction in your life. 

  • Turn off your inner critic

I’ve had the privilege to work with quite a few “perfectionists.” Are you one? If so, I know you strive for perfection in everything you do, but oftentimes your perfection actually prevents you from taking action or completing your goals because of your high and unnecessary expectations. Realizing the voice of your own inner critic and accepting “the perfection out of the imperfection” is a way to turn off your inner critical voice and build your self-confidence.

  • Give yourself grace

Remember to be kind to yourself when you make a mistake or experience setbacks. There’s no smooth sailing in life, so be sure to extend grace to yourself when you navigate through challenges so you can rest a bit, then pick yourself right back up.

  • Reminisce about your past achievements

When you know you can do it and you’ve done it in the past, that assurance will boost your confidence to another level. Keep a list of achievements on hand. When you need a little confidence boost, the list will serve as a reminder and your positive affirmation partner.

  • Recognize and deal with your imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome involves doubting your own abilities and competence and feeling like a fraud. This doubt creeps in especially when you face challenges or uncertainty. It’s crucial to recognize when it happens, reflect what you’ve accomplished, and draw your confidence in your abilities and achievements.

  • Set SMART and smaller goals

On the contrary to being perfection, set realistic and achievable goals. I’ve written about it and you can read more here. 

  • Surround yourself with positive influence

Henry Ford said, “if you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you are right,” which says the power of our mind. Whether it’s people, thoughts, attitudes or behavior, surround and immerse yourself in positivity. Positive people will influence your thoughts and attitudes, and furthermore builds your confidence.

You don’t have to be perfect to be confident. The truth is that no one is immune from setbacks or failure in life. Self-confidence doesn’t mean you won’t fail, instead, when you start building your self-confidence over time, it will help you handle challenges, pick yourself up and keep moving again. If you find yourself not having the self-confidence you need in life, schedule a time and let’s talk.

About Faye Weng

About Faye Weng

Your Online Life and Career Coach

Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.