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10 Actions to Improve Self-Confidence

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

When I was in grade school, I always get an award for being the "Most Behaved" in class. That made me think that being quiet, being polite and being obedient was always good. In the Philippine culture, we always have to respect the elderlies by not talking back and following their rules. That gave us the impression that we're not allowed to express our thoughts if someone is older or more experienced than us.

When I was growing up, I learned that my voice matters so I should say what I was thinking. But that also backfired me because the other people surrounding me started to question me and my attitude. I also experienced how to be discredited from the works I did. I thought maybe I was wrong. Maybe being confident also means being arrogant. So I decided to be nice all the time and just let things go. I tried to stay in the corner and avoided the attention of other people. I stayed quiet trying not to mind other people’s business.

Lately, I realized that those little things or habits that I did slowly destructed my self-confidence. Now, I wanted to get myself back up and just be who I really am.

actions to improve self-confidence

I listed down the 10 actions I do to improve my self-confidence. I'm also in the process of applying these steps in my daily life. I’m looking forward to see what would change in the next few months.

1. Positive thinking

As much as possible, I always want to surround myself with people who have positive aspects in life. I don't like hearing people saying negative things about others, constantly complaining, and just nagging all the time. I started befriending the people who have the can-do attitude because it makes me think that way too.

Although there were moments when I was having self-doubts, I decided to focus on what I can do. I know that I can excel in anything if I wanted to. I just have to focus on doing the things that I love and improving myself. Everyday, I try to become a better version of myself than yesterday.

2. Do not compare one's self with others

There was a time when I decided to deactivate all my social media accounts because I don't want anyone to know my whereabouts. It's also a way for me not to compare myself with others. Most of the time, we compare ourselves with our colleagues, schoolmates and peers in the same age group.

In social media, everyone's free to post a status about their lives. Sometimes, we see someone who just got his/her own house and car, travelled to different places, started a new business, got promoted at work, and received numerous awards. Because of this, we ask ourselves, "Why am I not on that level yet?", "Why am I not successful yet?", "Why am I still struggling when we both acquired the same degree?", "Why can't I do it?".

It gave me peace of mind when I decided not to compare myself with others. Whether I felt better or worse, I just want to get rid of the negative feelings like envy.

I also learned that we should only compare ourselves with our own self. We should always strive to be better than who we were yesterday. We are our own competition.

3. Don't care about what other people think

I was watching this TED talk about self-confidence one time and I remember the speaker saying "No one will believe in you, unless you do." Self-confidence roots in believing in ourselves.

I'm already busy thinking about myself and other important things, so why would I care thinking about what others think about me? Does it makes sense? Always remember that who we are now is the product of our own hard work and determination, not someone else's. We should not let others define who we are. We are the only ones who can define our true selves.

4. Self-affirmation

Recently, I've seen some videos where the mother is teaching her daughter self-affirmations like "I am beautiful", "I am confident", "I am kind", etc. I think that it's an effective way to remind ourselves of who we wanted to be or how we see ourselves.

For example, when I look myself in the mirror, I would tell myself that "I am beautiful". This helped me forget about my insecurities and walk confidently feeling beautiful. If I'm having trouble understanding some new concepts, I would tell myself that "I am smart", because I am. Then I would take a deep breath and start learning again with clear mind.

Maybe, if we tell ourselves "I am rich", we will find ways on how to get rich and educate ourselves about financial literacy.

5. Stop making excuses

When something goes wrong, we often find ourselves making excuses why it turned out that way. The worse is, we find someone to blame about the mistake we made. Instead of doing that, we should be honest in ourselves and learn from the mistake. Owning the consequence of our actions also gives us a sense of confidence that we can do it better next time. Stop the blaming game.

6. Accept compliments graciously

When someone tells us "You look good today", and we just say "Nahh, I don't really look good", "Stop joking around"; we're already thinking negatively about ourselves. It means that we don't acknowledge that we actually look good. Why can't we just say "Thank you" and learn to compliment others too? When we're recognized because of a good job that we did, we feel great right? So we should be grateful that others see our hard work. And we should learn how to praise others too because we know that it will make them feel good about themselves too.

7. Focus on finding solutions

There are times when we're stuck in a situation or a problem that we don't know how to solve. There are thoughts lingering in our mind like "I'm not good enough", "I can't do this anymore". As an engineer, I was trained to look for problems and propose solutions. Together with the can-do attitude, I always think that there's always a way to solve complicated problems. Just like in Mathematics, 6+4, 8+2 and 5+5 give us all the sum of 10. This shows that there are several ways or angles that we can look into and get the outcome we're expecting.

At the same time, we should not focus on the mistakes that someone did. Yes, it is part of the learning experience. But if that person is already aware of what he/she did wrong and we keep on pointing it out, they will just feel down or useless. Instead, help in lifting their spirits up to find the right way to solve the problem.

8. Get involved in discussions

I've been through the moments when I thought "I'm not needed in this conversation", "I don't have anything to contribute in this discussion", "I don't know anything about this topic". Staying quiet has been pointed out to me several times already, so I'm working on getting more outspoken. To do this, we also have to keep our focus on the discussion itself. We end up saying nothing when we're not really paying attention. Even asking questions or clarifications give us the sense of involvement and that helps us gain some confidence too. When we ask or answer questions, we learn how to speak up what we're thinking about. We should remind ourselves that "we matter". Our thoughts and opinions can influence others to contribute in doing something great.

9. Set the bar high

One of the things that give us more confidence is when we set the bar high. We do this when we set good expectations. If we think that we can get a perfect score in the exam, it also gives us the drive and motivation to study more. If we're just thinking that we might fail, we lose the eagerness to perform well. But we also have to consider that the expectations we set are realistic and achievable so we don't disappoint ourselves at the end of the day. Just like in setting goals, they should be SMART.

10. Practice makes perfect

Creating a habit will work if we do it repetitively. It's the same thing when we want to gain self-confidence. Let's say, I want to look smart and confident when I present during the exhibit. So what I would do is practice presenting and organize my thoughts until I get used to the words that I want to say. Repetition will make things come out naturally. I wanted to gain self-confidence in expressing my thoughts and improve my writing skills, so I decided to start a blog site and keep on writing.

Another good example is how the Filipino call centre agents communicate using the English language, even though they're non-native speakers. At first, no one's really perfect in pronunciation and grammar. But they do it almost every day at work and after few months or years, they gained confidence that they're really good in communicating in English.


Everything that I said are basically the things that I'm also telling myself to gain more self-confidence. It doesn't happen overnight. But if we start now, that makes a big difference already. But jumping into the suggested ways right away will not help if we don't know what the problem is. Of course, we also have to ask ourselves "Why am I not confident?", "What's holding me back?", "Who are the people who affect my decision-making?". If you find the answer, I'm sure you'll be able to formulate the best solution that can help you. My article is just a guide which I hope gives ideas on how you too can improve self-confidence.

Always remember, we start with just one step. Then we stick on the action plans and monitor the progress.


Sending Virtual Hug...

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