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An in-depth guide to gaining self-confidence and feeling your best
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When you walk into a room, do you glow with confidence? Do you believe in yourself? If not, we're here to help you go after your dreams and tackle your fears. We'll tell you exactly how to gain self confidence so you can take the world by storm. It’s time to embrace life and conquer your goals, so let’s get started!

Things You Should Know

  • Focus on your strengths and celebrate your successes. Always compare your progress to your past self, not others.
  • Practice positive self-talk and hang out with people who support you.
  • Take really good care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and getting proper sleep.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone by going after your goals, trying new things, and facing your fears.
Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Practicing Self-Care

  1. 1
    Wear what makes you feel good. You look your best when you feel your best. So, ignore the trends and build a wardrobe that makes you happy. Trust us, your inner confidence will make you look amazing.[1]
    • If you’re into fashion, stick to the styles that work best for you.
  2. 2
    Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet helps you look and feel your best, so load up on fruits and veggies. On the other hand, limit how much junk food and sweets you eat because they’re less nutritious.[2] When you’re feeling great, your confidence can blossom.
    • For breakfast, you might eat yogurt with chopped up fruit or a bowl of oatmeal with apples or bananas in it.
    • At lunch, you might have a tasty turkey wrap with lettuce and tomato and a side of baby carrots. Alternatively, you might prefer a salad with a pouch of tuna.
    • For dinner, you could eat grilled veggies with fish served over a bed of rice or sauteed veggies with grilled chicken and a baked sweet potato.
  3. 3
    Exercise. When you take good care of yourself, you feel more confident and capable. For good health, exercise for 30 minutes a day most days a week.[3] Do something fun, like playing tennis, going for a walk with a friend, or dancing to your favorite music.
    • Schedule exercise into your day so you won’t forget.
    • Invite your friend or partner to exercise with you to make it more fun. Plus, that way you’ll have an accountability partner.
  4. 4
    Get proper sleep. According to experts, being properly rested actually helps you have more self confidence.[4] The average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep each night, while teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep. Follow a sleep schedule to help you get the sleep you need to glow with confidence.[5]
    • Ideally, go to bed and get up at the same time every day so it becomes a habit. You’ll fall asleep easier this way and feel ready to get up in the morning.
  5. 5
    Meditate every day. Having a calm mind improves your confidence because it helps you be more self-aware. Additionally, meditating teaches you to be non-judgemental when it comes to your thoughts.[6] It’s super easy to meditate, and you can do it anywhere. For guided meditations, try a free meditation on YouTube or use a free app like one of these:
  6. 6
    Practice gratitude. Recognizing all the good in your life helps you remember that you have a lot going for you. Start keeping a gratitude list to help you focus on the positives.[7] Every day, add at least 3 things to your list. When you’re feeling a moment of doubt, read through your list to help build yourself back up.
    • You might write, “My family, my cat, books, coffee, sunshine, my friends, good chocolate, etc.”
    • It’s okay to repeat things on your list. Just write down the first 3 things that pop into your head.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Learning to Love Yourself

  1. 1
    List your strengths. Everyone is good at something, so focus on areas where you’re the best. Write down everything you do well, and take pride in your talents. When you’re feeling down, read your list of strengths so you can remind yourself how amazing you are.[8]
    • Your list might include, “creative, helpful, smart, thoughtful, great dancer.”
  2. 2
    Celebrate your small successes. Recognizing your accomplishments helps you see how truly amazing you really are. Even small milestones on your journey to success are important. Take a moment to enjoy your achievements and the progress you’re making toward your goals. Take pride in things like:[9]
    • Completing a project.
    • Baking an amazing pie.
    • Taking the first step toward a goal.
    • Winning an award at work or school.
    • Getting a compliment on something you did.
  3. 3
    Use positive self-talk to counter negative thinking. We all have an inner critic, and it can totally derail your confidence. Luckily, you have the power to change negative thinking. Do your best to replace your negative thoughts with positive or neutral statements. Additionally, use positive affirmations to improve your self worth.[10]
    • “I believe in myself.”
    • “I can achieve my goals if I persevere.”
    • “I know I’m capable.”
    • “I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.”

    Counselor Trudi Griffin reminds: "A lack of self-confidence results from years of internalizing negative messages about ourselves, but what if every negative thing you've ever heard about yourself from an outside source is wrong? Take time to analyze those messages to clear out the ones that bring you down."

  4. 4
    Accept compliments gracefully. When someone compliments you, it means they recognize something amazing about you. Don’t let your inner critic dismiss their kind words. Instead, smile and thank the person for the compliment. You deserve it![11]
    • Say, “Thank you so much!” or “Aw, that’s so nice.”
    • Try to offer them a compliment in return, like “You look great, too.”
    • You can add the compliment to your list of strengths about yourself and use it to bolster your self-confidence.
  5. 5
    Stop comparing yourself to others. You are one-of-a-kind, so you’re not going to be like everyone else. Plus, you’re only seeing a snapshot of other people’s lives, so any comparisons you make aren’t fair. Instead of using others as a measuring stick for success, use your past self. That way, you can focus on creating a life that makes you happy.[12]
    • Try to remember that what you see on social media is just the highlights of someone’s life. You usually don’t see the bad days and moments of self-doubt.
  6. 6
    Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. A good support system helps you stay focused on your best qualities. Identify the people in your life who leave you feeling awesome after you spend time with them. Make plans with friends and family members who make you feel good and who offer encouragement to you.[13]
    • Call a close friend or family member when you’re feeling down.
    • Ignore the “shoulds” you’re overly helpful family members tell you. Stay focused on what you want in life.
  7. 7
    Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself well, and be forgiving when you slip up. We all make mistakes, so cut yourself some slack. Try talking to yourself like you’re speaking to your best friend. You’re just as worthy of compassion as anyone else.[14]
    • “I’m doing my best, and that’s all I can do.”
    • “Everyone makes mistakes. It’s no big deal.”
    • “I’ll just treat this as a learning experience. Next time, I’ll do better.”
  8. 8
    Do things you enjoy. Following your passions makes you feel unique and accomplished, which builds your self confidence. Plus, you deserve time to invest in what makes you happy. Schedule time to pursue your hobbies and hang out with your friends.[15]
    • Make art.
    • Take a cooking class.
    • Go out with friends once or twice a month.
    • Get brunch.
    • Play a sport.
    • Start a band.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

  1. 1
    Set and pursue realistic goals. Your dreams are totally within reach, and feeling confident can give you the motivation to pursue them. Choose a goal you want to work toward, and then break it up into smaller steps. Start working toward your goal today so you can create the life you want.[16]
  2. 2
    Try new things. New experiences broaden your horizons and help you realize everything you’re capable of doing. Make a list of different things you want to try, like bungee jumping or running a 10k. Then, get out there and have some fun checking items off your list.[17] Here’s a list to get you started:
    • Take an art class.
    • Climb a rock wall.
    • Eat Korean barbeque.
    • Say “hi” to 10 strangers.
    • Bake enchiladas.
    • Stay overnight in a haunted house.
    • Ride a bike along a sea wall or boardwalk.
  3. 3
    Let go of perfectionism. No one is perfect, so why hold yourself to that standard? Set expectations for yourself like you do for your BFF. You probably cut them some slack, so do the same for yourself. All you can do is your best, and it’s okay if your best fluctuates from day to day.[18]
    • Everyone starts as a beginner, so don’t expect yourself to be “good” at everything right away. Keep going, and you’ll get where you want to be.
    • Sometimes you just have to release things into the world. Your painting, novel, or homemade banana bread might not be “perfect,” but it’s better to let people enjoy your creations than to hide them away.
  4. 4
    Treat failures as opportunities. It sucks majorly when you fail at something. At the same time, it’s a natural part of the path to success. Literally everyone copes with failure, even the most successful people in the world. When you fail, take a lesson from your experience and try again. In the end, it’ll all be part of your success story—and you’ll have the confidence to do anything.[19]
    • Let’s say you signed up for a marathon but ran out of time to train for it. You know for next time to give yourself more time to prepare for the race, and you’ll also be a better runner than you were when you first started.
    • Similarly, maybe you tried out for a play but got an ensemble role instead of the lead. You’ll learn a lot as part of the ensemble, and you’ll likely get feedback that you can use to improve your audition next time.
  5. 5
    Face your fears. It’s easy to let your fears stop you from doing what’s most important to you. When you push past fear, however, your confidence grows, and it gets easier to do what makes you happy. Just take that first step to confront one of your fears. Trust us, it’ll get easier as you become more confident.[20]
    • You might be afraid of public speaking. Join a Toastmasters club, join the debate team, or sign up to do a reading at an open mic.
    • Maybe you’re afraid of talking to people you don’t know. Challenge yourself to talk to 5 people you encounter everyday, like the cashier at the grocery store and the neighbor you pass on a walk.
    • Perhaps you’re afraid your writing isn't good enough. Attend a writers workshop and share something you wrote aloud.
  6. 6
    Help others. Being a positive force in the world boosts your self-confidence. Make a positive impact by doing random acts of kindness and by lending a helping hand. If you have the time, volunteer for a cause that’s really important to you, like feeding people in need or helping animals.[21]
    • You don’t have to do anything major to help others. Just being there for your family and friends can be enough.
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Expert Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question
    Where does self confidence come from?
    Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC
    Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Moshe Ratson is the Executive Director of spiral2grow Marriage & Family Therapy, a coaching and therapy clinic in New York City. Moshe is an International Coach Federation accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He received his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Iona College. Moshe is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
    Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Expert Answer
    It's a bit like the question of the chicken or the egg. How can you be confident if you're not confident? Being confident has to do with being your authentic self as you maneuver through the world. That can come from tapping into your inner resources, such as the values and qualities you like about yourself.
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About This Article

Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS
Co-authored by:
Professional Counselor
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. This article has been viewed 9,163,221 times.
60 votes - 91%
Co-authors: 241
Updated: December 25, 2022
Views: 9,163,221
Article SummaryX

To build self confidence, replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts like "I can do this" and "I'm beautiful the way I am." Try to focus on the things you're talented at, and realize that you don't have to be good at everything. You can also build more confidence by spending time with friends and family members that make you feel good about yourself. Finally, avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on being the best version of yourself instead. For more ways you can build self confidence, like exercising regularly, read the article!

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Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 9,163,221 times.

Reader Success Stories

  • Gerry Brennan

    Gerry Brennan

    Jun 25, 2017

    "Excellent article. The bottom line is to stop worrying what people think and comparing, because basically they are..." more
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