The Self-Confidence Ultimate Guide

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Do you struggle with self-confidence? I know I do. Having a low level of self-confidence could possibly explain why I have a more reserved personality. But, I’m not a social psychologist so I’m not going to pretend like I have the answer.

With that being said, I am interested in knowing how others have such high levels of self-confidence. That’s why I decided to do some research and see what others have to say about being more confident.

The information I’ve gathered was very eye-opening for me and it is my hope that you feel the same by the end of this post.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Self-confidence: Man sitting on hood of car.

Stop caring about what other people think of you (to an extent)

This section is going to be full of golden nuggets. When it comes to building self-confidence, freeing yourself from the opinion of others plays a huge part.

So, I’m going to break this concept down further into bite-sized chunks so that it’s easier to take in the information.

I recommend bookmarking this post so that you can refer back to it whenever you need to.

Self-confidence: Young woman wearing backwards cap.

Fake it until you make it

You may not have much self-confidence at the moment if any at all, but there’s nothing wrong with pretending that you do. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “fake it? What if somebody realizes or knows that I’m pretending to be confident?”

So what? It’s your life and you can do whatever you wish (as long as you’re not harming anyone or yourself). Just think about it; what’s so bad about pretending to be more confident than you really are?

Will becoming more confident in yourself ruin somebody else’s day? Is it going to hurt someone else’s feelings? Are other people going to think less of you? Of course not!

Most importantly, nobody else will even know you’re faking it. If anything, they’ll be attracted to this new energy that you’re putting out. Confidence attracts. We’ll talk more about that later.

Self-confidence: Man with beard looking out window.

Just DECIDE to be more confident

It can’t be that easy right? From what I’ve gathered, yes, it is that easy. Self-confidence is essentially a decision you make.

If at any moment you decide to BE confident, then guess what? You’re confident my friend! What’s key to understand here, is that deciding to be confident doesn’t actually mean you’ll FEEL confident.

You’ve probably realized that this sounds like the same thing as “fake it until you make it”, and you’re 100% right. The difference here though is that it becomes more clear on what it means to “fake it”.

If you don’t like how it sounds to “fake it”, then just BE it. A simple change of words suddenly gives that concept a lot more power and credibility.

Self-confidence: Woman laughing holding sparkler.

Don’t give too much power to the opinions of others

Want to know how you can easily destroy your self-confidence? Well, you do that by prioritizing the opinions of others over your own. You never want to place too much value on other people’s thoughts and opinions while neglecting your own.

Your own thoughts and opinions hold just as much value as anyone else’s. Obviously, you can’t expect your thoughts to be as credible and respected about a certain matter if you have zero knowledge or experience in said subject, but that doesn’t make you any less of a person.

The whole point here is to be mindful of the level of importance that you’re placing on the thoughts and opinions of other people in fear of not being accepted.

Self-confidence: Man wearing backwards cap, overlooking city.

Feedback is important

You can still listen to what others have to say about a matter and consider it more like feedback. This can help you be more aware of your own faults if you’re in the wrong about something.

However, you should only reach this conclusion if you agree with their opinion and not just because they have an opinion.

This requires a certain level of maturity on your part as well as honesty. You have to be able to take constructive criticism as it’s an important element of personal growth.

You just have to learn the difference between honest constructive criticism and what is simply empty opinions that have no value.

Self-confidence: Woman with hand on face.

Compare the opinions of other people to your own and how you feel

Everyone has an opinion. Sometimes, if we’re not being mindful of our own feelings, we can allow other people to severely damage our self-confidence.

A key part of “not caring what others think” has to do with the concept of comparing opinions. In my own opinion, there’s a fine line between comparing other people’s opinions to our own.

How? Well, if you run with the idea of “not caring what others think” without doing so responsibly, then you’ll come across as an arrogant jerk who only thinks and cares about yourself.

On the flip side, if you ignore the concept of “not caring what others think”, then you put yourself at risk of damaging your self-confidence by basing all of your life’s decisions to please others. You essentially become a “people-pleaser”.

Self-confidence: Man thinking.

Self-confidence requires a balanced mindset

In order to prevent yourself from falling to either end of those extremes, you’ll need to develop a balanced mindset.

You need to have a balanced attitude when it comes to weighing the opinions of others. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re overvaluing or undervaluing the opinions of others.

As with most things in life, balance is key, and in matters like this, it’s no different.

Self-confidence: Woman looking up, thinking.

Caring too much about what others say or think will destroy your self-confidence

If you know someone that cares too much about what other people think of them, then pay attention to how that mindset affects their life.

Normally, it will always have a negative impact on that person’s overall happiness? Why is this so? Well, it’s because they’re living their life in a way to avoid rejection.

Their self-confidence goes out the window with a mindset like this. They’ve chosen to live a life of putting their own values, thoughts, and opinions in the backseat.

This kind of mindset kills any chance of developing self-confidence as long as the person continues to go down this path.

Self-confidence: Young man outside thinking.

Keep your own mindset in check

How you perceive others can also impact your level of self-confidence. For example, let’s say you struggle with self-confidence and you tend to judge other people.

You may not make it known that you’re judging them. It could all happen silently in your own head. What you may not realize is that this habit can cause you to think that everyone else is judging you as well.

This in turn leads to a bad cycle of judging others and assuming others are also judging you, which negatively impacts your self-confidence.

So how do you combat this? By changing the way you think, most importantly, how you think about others.

Self-confidence: Young woman sitting outside, thinking.

Thinking differently will lead you to being different

If you don’t think negatively of others, then the thought of other people thinking or feeling some negative way towards you will rarely cross your mind. This, in turn, will give you a new sense of freedom.

You won’t feel like you’re bound by the chains of judgment as you once were. You’ll start to see the good in people instead of their flaws and weaknesses.

Not giving this kind of negativity room in your mind to operate will also allow you to live more freely since you’re far less likely to NOT do something just because you’re afraid of what someone else might think of you.

This change in mindset will eventually lead to a newfound level of self-confidence that you didn’t have before.

Self-confidence: Group of friends sitting on hillside, laughing.

Be kind and polite

Being polite and kind are two very important characteristics to have when trying to build up your self-confidence. Without either of these, your confidence can be interpreted by others as arrogance.

Nobody wants to hang around someone who’s full of themself. Self-confidence goes hand in hand with respect, both to others and yourself.

You show respect to others by listening to their opinions about a matter, and you show respect to yourself by not having your life dictated by the opinions of others.

As we learned earlier, balance is the key to all of this. You can develop a powerful aura of confidence without being rude and disrespectful, all the while attracting the respect of those around you.

Self-confidence: 2 hands holding peace sign.

Love and respect yourself so that you can do the same to others

Unless you love and respect yourself, you won’t be able to reciprocate that to others. This doesn’t mean that you have to be conceited and brag about yourself.

It just simply means that you have to learn to appreciate yourself, and not be submissive to easily controlled by others. Set some boundaries for yourself and don’t allow anyone to come and cross those boundaries.

Self-confidence: Man walking through trail in forest.

Don’t allow people to boss you around

If you tend to think of other people as being “above” you, then you’ll tend to feel like you need to explain yourself and defend your actions to them.

This is a sign of insecurity and a major drain on your self-confidence. Unless the individual is in a position of power or authority, then you absolutely are not obligated to give a reason or explain anything.

So, the next time that someone, who’s not in a position of power or authority, asks you to explain yourself or defend your actions regarding a matter, just know that you simply don’t have to.

Unless of course, you were up to no good and causing trouble; then it would only be natural for someone to confront you and demand an explanation.

Self-confidence: Woman sitting on chair drinking wine.

Self-confidence is an attractive force

Not caring what others think of you attracts others. When people realize that their thoughts, feelings, or opinions have no power over you, it attracts them.

Basically, the simple fact that you don’t care about what they think of you actually makes them want to have your opinion about something they’re doing.

Again, just to clarify, not caring about what others think of you doesn’t mean that you have permission to be rude and disrespectful. It just means that you don’t allow the direction of your life to be dictated by others. You control your own destiny.

Self-confidence: Man standing in front of bush.

Find validation from within

We learned earlier that we must learn to love and respect ourselves. Another part of that is finding validation from within yourself. Basically, you don’t need to seek the approval of others to validate what you feel or believe.

Look, I get it. We as humans are social creatures who yearn to fit in with a community that we want to be accepted in. That’s totally normal. However, as with all things, there needs to be a balance.

You don’t want to end up on either end of the community validation/approval spectrum. Meaning, you don’t want to be a social hermit on one end and a puppet on the other.

Learn to believe in yourself and understand that you have the ability to give yourself acceptance for the things you believe and care about. It’s great to be accepted by others, but not at the expense of your own self-respect.

Self-confidence: Woman standing in crowd.

Most people feel the same way you do

Believe it or not, most people are just as insecure as you are. They’re also too busy worrying about their own problems to worry or care about what you’re doing.

A lot of times we get too deep into our own heads and trick ourselves into thinking that others are going to notice us doing something weird or dumb, but the truth is, most people won’t notice or care.

Sure you may get a weird look or a harsh remark, but who cares. They don’t pay your bills and they’re absolutely capable of being weird and making mistakes just as much as you, if not more. So don’t worry and just be you.

Self-confidence: Young man overlooking lake.

It’s your life – you’re in control

It’s important to realize that what someone else thinks or says about you holds no actual weight and has no effect on your life. Your life will continue on as it always has regardless of what others may say, think or feel about you.

If someone thinks negatively about you, then that is a clear indicator that they’re not someone that you would want or need in your life, to begin with.

The only opinions of you that should matter or hold any weight are from those individuals who are the closest to you and who you share an equal amount of respect for.

Also, in reality, most of the people (strangers) that you’ll come across either won’t remember you or even notice you. That alone should give you a sense of freedom. So, don’t let your level of self-confidence be controlled by total strangers who are here today and gone tomorrow.

Self-confidence: Woman wearing purple lipstick and smiling.

You won’t FEEL confident at the beginning

Not caring about what others think is more of a decision you make and not something that you’ll naturally feel led to do. You won’t wake up one morning and magically have a great level of self-confidence.

It all starts with a decision. When it comes to our feelings, we all desire acceptance and wanting to fit in. That’s just a natural trait of a human being. We are all social creatures by default.

Rejection, however, is something that we all don’t want to experience. But, rejection is also a natural part of life. That doesn’t mean that rejection isn’t painful because it in fact is and can leave a lasting and damaging impact on someone’s life.

However, you can mitigate that damage by deciding to not care what others think and not depend on your feelings. Self-confidence starts with a decision.

Deciding to be confident will result in positive outcomes and results. This in turn will slowly, but surely, do away with worrying about what others think of you. That happens because you’ll develop the ability to simply not care.

Self-confidence: 2 young men talking.

Learn how to analyze the opinions of others

Developing the ability to know when someone is honestly trying to give you advice and looking out for your best interest is super important. Not caring what others think doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk.

That’s why it’s important to learn how to analyze the opinion of others so that you can correctly interpret it. You don’t want to be that guy/gal who always interprets things people say the wrong way.

Everybody is not out to get you or wanting you to fail. This world is full of really amazing people. Improve your communication skills along with your self-confidence and you’ll naturally attract these great people into your life.

Another great tip is to care more about how you treat and make others feel than what they think or feel about you. That doesn’t mean you’re going to let others walk all over you. Instead, it means that you actually care about people. That alone is an attractive force in its own right.

Self-confidence: Group of friends overlooking city.

Analyze your network

The company you keep also plays a vital role in your level of self-confidence. If you’re hanging around people who always feed you with negativity then it will be almost impossible to be self-confident.

For example, if you have a dream of starting your own business and you tell those you hang out with about your idea, and they come back at you with a bunch of negativity, that’s not a good sign.

At that point, it should be super clear that it’s time to find a new group of individuals who will feed you with positivity and support rather than telling you about all the things that could go wrong.

Build a network of people who will uplift you and look out for your best interests and for who you’ll also do the same. Having a positive network of individuals that you know and trust can be a powerful asset in your life.

Self-confidence: Man walking on bridge.

Try something new often

During my research on building self-confidence, I’ve always come across the idea of trying or learning something new. This really resonated with me because I remember a point in my life where I felt useless.

I felt that way because I didn’t really have any valuable skills. I was working dead-end jobs for low pay, and the bills were piling up. I then ended up living in my in-law’s basement along with my wife and child for a few years.

This period of my life was very humiliating and depressing. Not because of who I was staying with, because I truly do love my in-laws, but I just felt useless.

As I thought things couldn’t get worse, I ended up losing a job I had on the week of Christmas. So, I was broke and jobless. I swore to my wife and myself that this would never happen to me again.

That’s when I decided to learn how to code, and to make a long story short, I ended up getting my foot in the door at a tech company. I officially had a real career, making more money than I ever did and all while having no college degree.

So, if you’re at a point in life right now where you’re feeling useless, trust me when I tell you, you totally have the power and ability to change that. Learn some skills and take back control over your own life.

Self-confidence: Woman sitting with arms wrapped under her legs.

Remind yourself of what makes you great

No matter how trivial it may seem, find something that you love or at least somewhat like about yourself, and remind yourself of it whenever you feel down.

You may not like how you look, but you know that you are always kind to people. Well, take hold of that personality trait and use it to positively reinforce good thoughts about yourself whenever you feel down.

Everyone has something great about themselves. You know yourself better than anyone. Just think about anything you like about yourself and use it to remind yourself about what makes you special.

Self-confidence: Man working out.

Workout and get fit

I totally need to take my own advice here but, getting fit not only benefits your health, but it will give a serious boost to your self-confidence as well. You’ll feel more energetic throughout the day as you get more fit, which will allow you to accomplish more tasks and goals.

This will then lead you to feel more confident because you start to notice all the things that you’re accomplishing on a daily basis. You won’t feel so tired and sluggish anymore and you’ll feel a whole lot better at the reflection you see in the mirror.

All of this is great for boosting your self-confidence. Also, as you continue to get more fit, your body transforms more and more, which will present an obvious outward physical change that others can see. This will actually help to inspire those around you because a fit body is a clear sign that you’re a hardworking individual who gets results.

Self-confidence: Student graduation.

Remind yourself of any accomplishments that you have

I remember sitting and thinking to myself one day, of how far I’ve come in my own personal life. I’m not rich or anything. I’m just a regular dude. However, it feels good to remind myself of how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished up to this point in my life.

As I mentioned earlier, I had no skills and worked nothing but dead-end jobs my whole life. I suffered from depression and had nothing good going for me aside from family.

I remember one day I was doing security at a college graduation ceremony. I hated my job with a passion, but I had bills to pay. So, I was outside directing traffic all the while seeing a crowd of happy people.

I watched families gather together to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of their sons and daughters. I would hear the names of each graduate being called up to receive their degree. All the while I was out roasting in the sun knowing my life was going nowhere and fast.

I told myself, “one day, that’s going to be me”. Fast forward a few years later, and I too had my college graduation moment. Mind you, I didn’t receive a college degree, but a certificate for Web Design & Development.

It may not be as worthy as an actual degree, but that moment felt amazing to me and that certificate helped to get my foot in the tech industry.

So, no matter how small your accomplishments are, always be proud of them and let those fuel your self-confidence because, if you accomplished those things, you can definitely accomplish a whole lot more.

Self-confidence: Woman sitting on bed with books flying around her.

Find and choose a hobby

Along with learning a new skill, it’s become clear that having a hobby is also beneficial for your self-confidence. Hobbies are activities that allow you to learn something new, get good at it, and distracts your mind from the cares of this world, if even for a little while.

If you need any help in finding a hobby, check out this list of hobbies from Wikipedia.

However, if you were to ask me what hobby I would personally recommend, it would have to be reading books. There are a ton of benefits to reading books. The obvious benefit is the increase in knowledge. To me, increasing knowledge is an easy step to take towards boosting your self-confidence.

So, go to the library, or whip out your credit card and order a book from Amazon and start building up that knowledge. Obviously, I’m referring to non-fiction books. As for what genre I recommend, that would be in the personal development space.

Self-confidence: Man with glasses wearing lack shirt in dark background.

Don’t fear failure

It’s perfectly fine to fail at something. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Guess what? If you fail at trying this new thing, it’s OK! Just learn what went wrong and use that newfound knowledge to your advantage.

At worst, you’ll learn what NOT to do next time, which actually increases your future chances of success. Failures are simply learning opportunities, and learning is a great thing. Learning is how you grow and improve. Nobody has ever improved at anything without learning.

Also, understand that there will always be someone who is better and faster than you at the thing in which you’re trying. Just accept it and look at those individuals as inspiration and teachers. Learn from them so that you too can improve.

Use these humbling moments to see what you need to work on and then find out how you can improve those areas of weakness. Then, put in the work and practice every day.

It’s totally normal to not feel confident when trying something new since you don’t know what to expect. The unknown freaks people out, which is natural. Just do your best, continue to learn, and you’ll eventually grow and improve.

Self-confidence: Closeup of woman's Hazel-colored eyes.

Only worry about things that you can control

You may not realize it, but worrying about things outside your control makes you feel useless and helpless, which results in damaged self-confidence. You cannot control the relations between two opposing countries, but you can control relations between yourself and your neighbor.

I get it, some neighbors are impossible to deal with, and that’s ok. We don’t live in a perfect world, which means not every circumstance can be controlled perfectly. Even situations close to home like that can be out of your control.

However, your eating habits are well within your total control. Nothing goes into your belly unless you take the action of eating something. So, if you currently don’t have the best of diets, then you can definitely change that.

Eating healthy obviously has positive outcomes. You’ll feel better and it’ll give you the boost of energy you need to take the next step which is getting fit. All fitness buffs say that the bulk of your results comes from your diet and not the reps you put in the gym.

So, again, only give your attention and focus to things that you can control, and don’t stress or worry about anything outside of your control.

Self-confidence: Man outside looking up.

Develop the habit of positive self-talk

Another simple way to boost your self-confidence is to speak positive words to yourself. Those of us who who struggle with self-confidence tend to have a bad habit of speaking negative things to ourselves.

We may not truly believe in ourselves or our abilities to accomplish great things. Even simple accomplishments can seem out of our reach. But, I want you to know that all of that can change by simply telling yourself positive stuff.

It’s going to seem weird at first and probably feel like you’re wasting your time on doing something dumb, but it works. The more you speak positive words into your life, the more you start to believe it. Once you start to believe it, the easier it will be to make that decision to be confident.

Self-confidence: Woman sitting in car thinking.

Stop overthinking

Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” for any situation. Then, when you realize what the “worst case scenario” actually entails, you’ll realize its actually not that big of a deal.

This should help to put you more at ease. 99% of our daily decision-making opportunities fall into this category. The 1% that have life or death consequences is something that everyone struggles with, so self-confidence plays no part there.

This ties in perfectly with a lesson we learned earlier about only worrying about things that are within your immediate control. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by something that hasn’t happened yet, you’re most likely overthinking about something that’s totally out of your control.

Conclusion

We learned a lot of great information today when it comes to self-confidence. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing about it. Comment down below what you liked best about today’s post and feel free to share any other tips that you feel would benefit the community.

Also, don’t forget to share this on your favorite social media platform, as I would greatly appreciate it!

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