Have you ever wanted to achieve something so bad but were not sure whether you could, despite knowing you had the skills or knowledge required?

Have you ever wanted to grab an opportunity but were afraid that it was challenging and you could end up embarrassed if you failed?

These are some typical characteristics of low self-confidence.

Low self-confidence is a big hindrance to your life’s progress as it makes it extremely difficult for you to take risks—even the small ones. Without taking risks, you can never move forward.

Furthermore, any work which has fewer risks generally involves more physical effort but less pay.

For example, a laborer working as a loader has a job which is less risky and his mistakes can easily be corrected by those above him. His pay is also one of the lowest in the organization despite his use of a lot of physical strength.

A CEO on the other hand gets paid a lot and has a highly risky job. If he makes a bad decision and it’s implemented, huge losses will be incurred, jobs lost and many families affected, including his.

Jobs like those of the CEO or department heads do not need degrees only. For better performance in the day-to-day work, you need self-confidence too.

This article will teach you what self-confidence is, what lowers it, then guide you through the steps of building it.

There are examples which show you how you can implement what is discussed. You will end up standing out among your peers with virtually no situation being able to stop you.


Self-Confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. Being self-confident does not mean you are perfect in any way or have the right combination of abilities and skills to achieve your goals. It is simply about knowing what you can do by yourself, what you need help with and what you cannot do.

With self-confidence, you will set a goal, start working on it and eventually achieve it.

When challenges come up, you will be bold enough to either tackle them or seek help without feeling embarrassed about it.

When you carefully look at the definition of self-confidence given above, you will notice the word ‘trust’. This means that you have an assurance in yourself.

When you trust your abilities, you are not afraid of putting them to work. On the contrary, you seek opportunities to use them. It will be your joy to utilize your abilities for the satisfaction you get when you attain your goals.

The absence of this assurance causes fear. You become afraid that things may not go as well as you may want. If for example you want to start a business and are not sure about your abilities, you’ll be afraid of making losses, not being able to sustain yourself and joining the statistics of many startups failing within a year.

Low self-confidence makes you afraid of pursuing your dreams. You have a dream and picture in your mind how you will be successful with its achievement. You visualize how you will make it happen but when the time comes for the actual work, you simply shy away from it.

At times in an effort to encourage yourself, you postpone the dream to first build a certain required skill.

Sadly though, you rarely get to finish building this ‘required skill.’ Several years later, you realize in retrospect that you could be in a better situation had you worked on that dream.

What you need for success is self-confidence, not perfect planning.

Since we are looking at ways of building self-confidence, it will be good to quickly see what you should avoid so that you don’t cancel what you achieve.


There are four main things which when you do them, your levels of self-confidence reduce rapidly. It is therefore important that you steer clear of any of the below things:

Negative thinking

This is the surest way of undoing any progress you make.

Thoughts like how you have never been able to progress past a specific level of education or business growth, should not be allowed to run in your mind.

For example, instead of thinking how you have been stuck in one level for a very long time, think of what kind of help you need so as to improve.

If your mind can’t come up with any ideas, get some time and talk about it with someone who has had success in that area. Some questions you may ask are:

  • How long did it take you to grow past this level?
  • How much resources and of which kind did you use?
  • What steps did you take to grow?
  • What was the process of growth like?

The answers you get will help you realize that although you easily see other people’s success, you are never aware of the challenges they have faced. This contributes to why you think others are just succeeding and not failing.

Your mind is very powerful and it takes the cue from you on what to focus on.

When you direct it to focus on negative things, it does exactly that and delivers accordingly. The short video below explains this quite well.

Overly-critical people

These are the kind of people who simply never see much good in you. They are always pointing out to you and others in your presence, the mistakes you have made.

Their intentions are never to help but belittle or embarrass you.

They may even go to the extent of stating that you will never amount to anything.

Unfortunately, most of such people are influential in one way or another e.g. bully at school, unkind supervisor, harsh boss etc.

Since most of such comments are made in public, they may end up hurting you a lot as a result of the embarrassment you experience. Such people seek to build their profiles by intimidating others and so should be avoided.

Excessive focus on failures and weaknesses

Everyone fails at something and it happens more often than you may know.

This includes the most successful and admirable people you know. From being quarreled by the boss, getting stressed up by the kids to going through heart breaks, weaknesses manifest and failures happen.

What will enable you continue in your success path is having the right mindset towards failures and weaknesses. Failures help you learn important lessons in life while weaknesses keep you humble and open to receiving assistance.

While it’s important to know your weaknesses, focusing on them makes you see nothing but those weaknesses. This gives birth to a situation where you only know and remember your weaknesses and not your strengths. To stop or avoid this habit, keep in mind some wins you have had and the strengths which you exhibited as a result.

When a failure happens, take a look at the situation and understand why you did not win. Do this only once to learn and don’t dwell on it much. From there, remind yourself of your favorite wins and strengths and get the courage and strength to proceed. This is how you will be able to rise again no matter how many times you fall.


This is disregarding or ignoring your personal needs or wants. Apart from the basic needs of every human, you should also make yourself look and feel good. Buy nice clothes for yourself, properly groom yourself, make time for resting and enjoy your hobbies. Not doing these things means you do not love yourself and that is a sign that you don’t value yourself.

Considering that the people around you will be expecting you to do things for them, you will wear yourself out benefiting them while having nothing to show for the energy used. Also, very few people will be keen enough to notice when you are getting over-stretched and offer help.

People expect you to take care of yourself and so you should not be too available for them, otherwise you will get exploited. You can manage this situation by allocating time for yourself and sticking to it. This acts like a boundary and people will respect it.


“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell.

With the above background on self-confidence, let’s now look at how you can build it up and be on your way to a more successful and happier life.

There are 7 things which if you remember and do on a daily basis, you will see your self-confidence levels soar.

Moreover, continuing with them will form a good habit which will translate to a lifestyle of high self-confidence.

1. Be Yourself

Self-confidence can only be built from the point of knowing who you are.

When you know yourself, you cannot believe any lie said about you. For example, if you know you are wise, it is easy to dismiss the person who calls you a fool. You may not even need to respond to him.

Contrastingly, when you lack this knowledge, you become susceptible to lies. There are four things which you need to do in order to know yourself. These are:

Know your personality

Also referred to as temperament, this describes your inclinations and tendencies. It is important to know these so you can recognize how past mistakes happened. The best way to do this is by taking time alone and doing a self-analysis.

There is a popular personality test based on the theories of Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers which does a good job in identifying personality types.

After answering the questions in the test, you will know your personality type, suitable career choices and some famous people who are of the same type as you. You can find the test here.

Know your strengths

These are the things you easily excel in. They may vary from academic to social. Take note of them and look at the joy you get when manifesting them.

Some questions you may ask yourself so as to identify your strengths are:

  • What was my favorite subject in school and what did I love about it?
  • Which tasks do I love doing and can spend a lot of time in?
  • Which sporting activity do I love most and why?
  • What do I do differently from others?
  • What have I been complimented on by others?
  • What have I excelled in the past?

Know your weaknesses

Weaknesses do not mean you cannot achieve something because you have them.

Everyone, including your mentor, has weaknesses.

What you need to do is learn how to spot situations which make you vulnerable to your weaknesses then either avoid or seek help about them.

A careful look at your weaknesses will show you that some of them can be improved on.

Some questions to help you discover your weaknesses are:

  • What do I struggle most with?
  • What would I rather not do because I least enjoy it?
  • What have I been criticized for most often?
  • What activities do I always seek assistance for?

Affirm yourself

Self-confidence, just like everything else, grows when in a conducive environment. Your strengths are indicators of the truth that you have the most important raw materials needed to achieve your own goals.

Remind yourself of this truth with some sense of pride.

Write your strengths somewhere you will always see them e.g. the first page of your diary or save them in your phone.

Remember that your strengths are the evidence you can make your dreams come true. The only other thing you need is the desire to succeed, which you already have—otherwise you would not be reading this article.

2. Have a Winning Attitude

This is the belief that you are going to win in spite of any existing challenges. If the odds are against you, then you come up with a way of rising above them.

Now that you know your strengths and you are focusing on them, nothing can stop you. You will develop a winning attitude by doing the below:

Believe that you can achieve your goals

You are the one to set your goals.

If you ask someone to help you set goals for yourself, make sure you are comfortable with them, even though they should have a challenging aspect to them. They should not be too big as to intimidate you, especially as you start out in building your self-confidence.

They should be within what your strengths can achieve as this is the reason you believe you can achieve them.

Break your goals into smaller pieces

Regardless of the size of your goals, it is best to break them down. This makes them more manageable and small enough to be accomplished easily. When the task is easy to accomplish, you get excited at the thought of finishing it and you’re motivated to work on it.

When breaking down your goals, ensure they are distinct pieces such that you can work on them individually. Remember to put them in an order which will show your progress as you tackle them piece by piece. For example, if you are good at baking and want to commercialize this talent within 6 months, the smaller pieces of the goal can be:

  • Research on the products already in the market (types available, strength of the brands, consumption trends, customer preferences etc)
  • Research on requirements (machinery, licensing, number of staff, their skills etc)
  • Find the best location for the bakery (security, proximity to customers etc)
  • Hire the necessary staff
  • Acquire the bakery premises and machinery
  • Start production

The idea is to make the processes small enough to be doable within short periods of time. This maintains the motivation that comes with seeing that the tasks are small thus easy to work on.

Plan how to achieve your goals

As small as the pieces are, planning is still key. The best way is to plan ahead i.e. the previous night or first thing in the morning before embarking on the activities of the day. Estimate time requirements for each piece of the task and allocate accordingly.

Swing into action

With the plan in place, it’s now time for action. Set your mind on the first step of the task with a clear vision of the finish line. As soon as you finish it, congratulate yourself and get ready to tackle the next step. A common threat is to dilly-dally around the first step.

Resist this temptation by just starting to act as per your plan. Do not start thinking it over again. Starting a new project always has uncertainties and you may feel not adequately prepared. This is the most common challenge whenever you want to make changes to your life.

Take the first step and you will see yourself making progress.

Celebrate your victories

Whenever you manage to complete a task, appreciate your efforts and recognize that this proves you can do more.

This achievement brings excitement from within, giving you the motivation to tackle the next task. Part of this celebration can be rewarding yourself. You can do this in different ways depending on what you love e.g. cooking your favorite meal, watching a movie, visiting a friend etc.

 “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” – Thomas Carlyle

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone

While you can get inspiration from others, do not compare yourself to them. This is why you have a specific combination of strengths and weaknesses. To avoid comparing yourself to others, take note of the below:

No two people are the same

Strengths and weaknesses are determined by both genes and environment.

These differences are so prominent that even twins end up with major differences as they grow up. Things like preferences, individual fears, sibling rivalry etc contribute in forming strengths and weaknesses.

We are different for a reason

You cannot achieve success entirely on your own.

Once you are on your journey to success, you will realize that though doing what you do best, greater success demands that you team up with others who have strengths which can cover for your weaknesses. This will help you accomplish more. This is how teams tend to enjoy greater success rates. For this reason, people have to be different.

The below video shows how one person easily gets tired when doing everything alone but as soon as a team is set up, things flow better.

No two environments are the same

Having purposed to succeed, realize that the environment someone else is currently in is not necessarily the same as yours.

That means that there may be something else working in his favor which you are not aware of.

Therefore do not seek to be like him but understand your environment then maximize what you have.

Always believe fully in your abilities and those of your team members.

4. Associate with People Who Build You Up

You are building your self-confidence and so cannot afford to hang around people who continually focus on your weaknesses.

Whether in an organization or at a social level with a friend, stay away from such people. As you look for new associations, the below two things will help you spot and avoid wrong company.

Domineering people

These are people who use force to control you. They simply want you to do what they want done with no consideration of your feelings, workload or any other engagements. If you are in such a situation, you should change things quickly. If in an organization and you cannot face the person doing this, try engaging the HR’s office.

Manipulative people

These manipulative people also want to control you but through different means. They seek to influence you through underhanded tactics like abuse and deception. A common characteristic to look out for is the use of blame shifting.

Apart from this, if you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of an association, take a step back and analyze what has been happening. Always be ready to take suitable action for your own good.

Do not fall victim to the thought that you can help such people change their attitudes because that is usually one of the effects of the manipulation on an unsuspecting victim. If you find yourself thinking along such lines, it is time to cut off links. This is a sign you are already a victim, although you may not have known it yet.

5. Exercise Your Body

Physical exercise is helpful not only for your muscles but also for your brain. Below are three ways in which physical exercises help you build self-confidence.

Improved brain response

Studies have shown that exercises, especially aerobics, improve memory and learning abilities.

This is very important because your brain is at the center of everything to do with self-confidence. It is in your brain that you debate the lies and truths about who you are, thus affecting your self-confidence levels depending on how that debate goes.

Better looks

The most outwardly-visible sign of physical exercises is a more muscular physique.

Whether male or female, exercises help trim belly fat, tone the muscles and increase muscle size. These provide a healthy dose of self-confidence. The best part of this is that no one can contend against it, neither do you need to shout about it—it is open for all to see.

There is nothing as good as seeing yourself in the nice shape you always wanted to have or the muscles you always dreamed of.

Improved overall health

Generally, exercises are encouraged because they give you better health. Better health improves self-confidence in various ways.

For example, you feel more confident when you know that the rainy season does not cause you to suffer colds and flu, rendering you inactive throughout the season.

Staying healthy also gives you the assurance that you will live longer, stay stronger and therefore, have more time to enjoy the success you have built.

6. Exercise Your Talents

Your talents are the ones which give you your strengths. If for example among your strengths is a good voice, then you could be talented in singing; if one of your strengths is drawing well, then you could be an artist. You can exercise your talents in the following ways.

Go commercial

Commercializing your talents is a great way to build your self-confidence.

Using your talents ensures that the struggles are less than for others because you are doing what you are good at. Earning some money in the process not only serves as a reward but a confirmation that what you have is valuable and there are people willing to pay to experience it.

When going commercial, improving your talents becomes important otherwise the competition will be a serious challenge for you.

Do voluntary work

Voluntary work gives you great satisfaction since you see your talents improving the lives of others. You will be pleased with yourself when you put a smile on someone’s face.

Voluntary work also comes with a lot of appreciation.

7. Face Your Fears

The fears you have are responsible for your low self-confidence. When a situation comes up and you are required to do something you have not done before, just check inside you for signs that you can take the challenge. If you have been doing the above 6 things regularly, you will by now have believed in yourself enough to want to take challenges. Facing your fears means:

You will become unstoppable

Once you overcome one fear, you become courageous to fight some more. With more conquering, you become quite impervious to defeat.

Just as habits form after practice, the winning attitude which you have been practicing now becomes a natural part of you. At this point, you have built your self-confidence to the point that nothing can stand in your way.

You will become more attractive

This is because you have achieved what many have not.

People also tend to be attracted to those who are successful. Your success now becomes a source of inspiration to others.

Many will seek advice from you on how they can fulfill their dreams. As you become better, ensure you give a lot of counsel as that helps you get the fulfillment of using your achievements to benefit others.

You will receive recognitions and promotions

Looking around you, you have definitely realized that the people who get recognized and promoted are those most talented or productive.

Well, congratulations! Your latest victories have just ushered you into this category of people. Promotions here do not only refer to higher office positions but also to appointments to take leadership roles in the society.

Anywhere people need change and success, they will always look to those who have success defining their lives. With your name suggested, either by yourself or others (you can also seek promotions), you are setting the stage for more successes.


Self-confidence is all about what you believe regarding yourself. Stop having negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself and start focusing on what you are good at.

When you do this, you will start noticing some other positive qualities you have though never detected before.

As a summary, here are the things you need to do every day to build your self-confidence. They are in a list form so you can easily remember them.

  1. Be yourself
  2. Have a winning attitude
  3. Don’t compare yourself to anyone
  4. Associate with people who build you up
  5. Exercise your body
  6. Exercise your talents
  7. Face your fears

7 Actions You Can Take Every Day to Build Your Self-Confidence

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