Inspiration Print 5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence Everyone Struggles With Trusting in Their Abilities By Amy Morin, LCSW Updated April 04, 2019 More in Self-Improvement Inspiration Happiness Meditation Stress Management Spirituality Holistic Health Brain Health Technology Relationships View All Self-confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. Self-confidence is important to your health and psychological well-being. Having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you become successful in your personal and professional life. Benefits of Self-Confidence When you believe in yourself, you’ll be more willing to try new things. Whether you apply for a promotion or sign up for a cooking class, believing in yourself is key to putting yourself out there. When you feel confident in yourself, you’re able to devote your resources to the task at hand. Rather than waste time and energy worrying that you aren't good enough, you can devote your energy to your efforts. So ultimately, you'll perform better when you feel confident. For example, if you feel confident about a presentation you’re going to make, you’ll focus on delivering your message to your audience. If however, you lack confidence in your ability to communicate, you may worry that no one is listening to you or you might be preoccupied with messing up. Consequently, you might struggle to concentrate and you may stumble over your words—which may reinforce your belief that you are bad at giving presentations. Fortunately, there are things you can do to boost your self-confidence. Whether you lack confidence in one specific area or you struggle to feel confident about anything, these strategies can help. 1 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Hero Images / Hero Images / Getty Images Whether you compare how you look to your friends on Facebook or you compare your salary to your friend’s income, comparisons aren’t healthy. In fact, a 2018 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found a direct link between envy and the way you feel about yourself. Researchers found that people who compared themselves to others, experienced envy. And the more envy they experienced, the worse they felt about themselves. It can be a vicious cycle. Pay attention to times when you compare your wealth, possessions, skills, achievements, and attributes. Thinking that other people are better or have more will erode your confidence in yourself. When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition. How to Stop Constantly Comparing Yourself With Others 2 Take Care of Your Body It’s hard to feel good about yourself if you’re abusing your body. Skimping on sleep, eating an unhealthy diet, and refraining from exercise will take a toll on your well-being. Studies consistently show physical activity boosts confidence. A 2016 study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment found that regular physical activity improved participants’ body image. And when their body image improved, they felt more confident. Make self-care a priority. When you’re feeling at your best physically, you’ll naturally feel more confident about yourself. 3 Practice Self-Compassion Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. Speaking to yourself harshly, won’t motivate you to do better. In fact, studies show it tends to have the opposite effect. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Personality found that self-compassion contributes to more consistent confidence. Thinking, “Everyone messes up sometimes,” as opposed to, “I’m so stupid. I ruined everything,” can help you feel good even if when you don’t perform as well as you hoped. Rather than beat yourself up or call yourself names, try speaking to yourself like you’d talk to a trusted friend. Cut yourself some slack, laugh at yourself, and remind yourself that no one is perfect. Self-Compassion Exercises 4 Embrace Self-Doubt Sometimes, people put off doing things—like inviting someone on a date or applying for a promotion—until they feel more confident. But sometimes, the best way to gain confidence is by doing. Practice facing some of your fears that stem from a lack of self-confidence. If you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself or you think that you’re going to mess up, try it anyway. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare or practice, of course. If you have a big speech coming up, practice in front of your friends and family so you’ll gain some confidence. But don’t wait until you feel 100 percent confident before you proceed. You might never get there. Embracing a little self-doubt might actually help you perform better. A 2010 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that athletes who embraced their self-doubt outperformed athletes who were 100 percent confident in themselves. 5 Perform Behavioral Experiments When your brain tells you that you have no business speaking up in a meeting or that you are too out of shape to work out, remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t always accurate. And sometimes, the best way to deal with negative self-talk is by challenging those statements. Try doing things that your brain tells you that you can’t. Tell yourself it’s just an experiment and see what happens. You might learn that being a little anxious or making a few mistakes isn’t as bad as you thought. And each time you move forward you can gain more confidence in yourself. A Word From Verywell Everyone struggles with confidence issues at one time or another. But if your self-confidence issues interfere with your work, your social life, or your education, seek professional help. Sometimes, low self-confidence stems from a bigger issue, like a traumatic event from the past. At other times, it may be a symptom of a mental health problem. And it is possible to have too much confidence. If you’re overly confident in your abilities, you might not take action. Being overconfident about your ability to ace a test might prevent you from studying. Or assuming that you don’t need to practice a presentation could cause you to be unprepared. So it’s important to have a healthy dose of self-confidence that helps you perform at your peak. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Luo Y, Cai H. The Heritability of Implicit Self-Esteem: A Twin Study. Personality of Individual Differences. 2017;119:249-251. Neff KD, Vonk R. Self-Compassion Versus Global Self-Esteem: Two Different Ways of Relating to Oneself. Journal of Personality. 2009;77(1):23-50. Sani SHZ, Fathirezaie Z, Brand S, et al (2016) Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 12:2617–2625. Vrabel JK, Zeigler-Hill V, Southard AC. Self-esteem and envy: Is state self-esteem instability associated with the benign and malicious forms of envy? Personality and Individual Differences. 2018;123:100-104. Woodman T, Akehurst S, Hardy L, Beattie S. Self-confidence and performance: A little self-doubt helps. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2010;11(6):467-470.