Last Updated on January 15, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Build Confidence and Believe in Yourself

10 Proven Ways to Build Confidence and Believe in Yourself

Some people seem to be born with a rather plentiful portion of confidence. They appear to bounce along with a robustness that breeds envy and pop back up after they get knocked down. The good news is that you too can build confidence. It doesn’t matter if you lack it; it is still yours to experience now as you continue to work on growing it over time.

Learning how to build confidence is part of the process of evolving into ourselves. Here is how you can build your confidence.

1. Connect With Yourself

Confidence and connection go together since we are most confident when we are real. We aren’t trying to be someone else, please others, or living a life dictated by “should.”

We build and emit confidence when we are true to ourselves. To be true, get clear on your purpose and your values. Trying to embody the purpose and values of others will leave you feeling cheap and fake.

Ask yourself, what are the things that you know you really need and want.

Ask yourself what you want your legacy to be and what you want to be remembered for—by people you know and people you interact with only briefly.

Authenticity is also incredibly appealing to others. When you begin receiving positive feedback from others who appreciate the authentic you, a positive cycle will begin where your confidence improves how others perceive you and others’ perception increases your confidence.

2. Open up

Open up to the world and get curious about what’s happening around you. When we get curious, we become lifelong learners, which helps to quiet our inner critic.

With the learner present, we are not operating out of anxiety, fear, or worry. We are less likely to shut down our ideas, dreams, or plans.

Building confidence depends on openness. When we believe that options exist, and that gifts are to be found in challenges, we finds way to thrive.


We feel relaxed knowing we are living in the land of possibility. There is hope—a promise of what is to come. We are energized by what can be as we build confidence through growth and knowledge.

3. Notice How You Show up

Building confidence requires being yourself without apology.

Full permission to be you is about stepping into your greatness. It’s about being responsible for your impact, but not holding back. It’s saying to yourself that you matter and adding in self-care as part of your daily life.

Knowing that you matter builds confidence. The question then becomes how can you lean into that truth.

The best way to remember that you matter and ignite your sparks is to develop a daily grounding practice.

When we invite awe, wonder, and gratitude into our lives, we tap into that special knowing that lives inside us. Our sage selves become connected to the rest of us, and the rest of us becomes connected to something larger.

Another way to know we matter is to surround ourselves with people who truly care about us.

These people are a constant source of support and help you feel like the best version of yourself.

Do your best to cultivate these kinds of healthy relationships with friends and family members They are key to building your confidence.

4. Forget About Your Screw-ups

We all make mistakes, and the key when you want to build confidence is to learn from them instead of letting them make you question your self-worth.


Repair anything that needs fixing, apologize for anything that asks for a sincere “I’m sorry,” be part of the solution, and then let the screw-ups go.

Going over your mistakes is a great way to see where you get stuck, but going over them again and again doesn’t help you or anyone else. That kind of self-flagellation only harms your spirit.

The repeated critical review of yourself only makes for a less-than-ideal version of you. To build confidence you want to be your own kind, thoughtful teacher.

Adopt the personality of a wise old sage, who sees you as a beautiful, messy human. That sage would speak gently to you, not over-stating the lesson, and lead you to new insights with a sweet affirmation that you are whole and wonderful and capable.

The cool thing is this sage lives in you. Sit with it when your screw-up and see what it has to say that will help you build confidence.

Check out this article to find some ways you can learn from your mistakes in life.

5. Immerse Yourself in Creativity

When we create, we bypass the stuff that is going around in our heads that has us questioning ourselves—the thoughts that make us self-conscious, stall, and paralyze.

You might think you aren’t creative, but the more realistic truth is that you haven’t tapped into your creativity in a long time, so it feels lost[1]. It doesn’t matter if you are not an artist. We are creative with our thoughts, how we tell a story or a joke, arrange flowers in a vase, solve a problem, or help a friend.

To build confidence we want to be in our bodies as well as our minds, to be alive in spirit, not only analyzing up in that noggin of ours. Confidence asks us to be all in, and creativity helps get us there.

6. Dance Through Your Days

By approaching your days with the attitude that there are gems to be found, you are confirming that you are not managing your circumstances but leading yourself through your days, and that your life is important.


Think about when are preparing to take action. Are you reacting or creating? Is there a chance to bring in humor? What are you saying yes to?

Approaching things with the understanding that you have choices and can set yourself up for success even if the choices are limited lets you feel confident.

Ask yourself what you need to be successful, and make a list. It can have things like support, quiet time, a break, music, a deadline, a conversation.

Customize the list, and don’t assume that one list will serve all days or all hurdles.

You move from feeling like a victim to being the captain of your ship when you decide to dance through your days and not push through them. Building confidence counts on this perspective.

To help with perspective shifts take a bird’s eye view of what you feel you have no control over. Soak in that view and ask that bird what it sees.

You will see new ways of handling things. With wings out and the vantage point from 5,000 feet up, your confidence will soar because of the space, wisdom, and compassion you placed between yourself and your circumstance.

7. Embrace Failure

When we shy away from failure, we are attempting to prevent it. We go into protective mode.

The energy, thoughts, and actions that ensue from seeking to protect ourselves from failure undermines our confidence. We become wobbly and vigilant. Vigilance involves tightness—a contraction. In order to build confidence, we need to expand.

The only way we can do that is to take risks. We are designed for growth, so the more we move into finding, living, and creating from ourselves, the more we build our confidence.


Without risk, we stagnate. We repeat the status quo over and over again, not evolving.

Risk is a great teacher and forger. It’s a co-creator in forming our identity, as well as realizing our dreams. As a result, risk can build confidence.

The more we take risks, we develop resilience to when the risk doesn’t pan out. In trying to avoid failure we stay small[2].

Smallness is not what is going to get us where we want to go, nor is it going to build confidence.

8. Never Speak Against Yourself

You should always do your best to offer constructive feedback to yourself regarding your actions, but there is no need for judgment or harshness. Confidence is built with love; not false praise, but honest kindness that affirms and boosts.

Don’t be shy about celebrating your victories no matter how tiny. Confidence is built by letting your body and mind soak in what is going well—what you did that was awesome, what is special about you, etc.

9. Choose a Goal

When you choose goals that you want to work towards, you instill a sense of motivation that will push you toward the things you want to achieve. As you achieve big and small goals, you build confidence in your abilities to get to where you want to go.

Start with short-term goals and then create long-term goals. When you see a brighter future for yourself through what you are accomplishing, your confidence will soar.

10. Enjoy the Process!

Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you laugh and play while building your confidence, you will not only be more confident, but you will increase your joy.

Final Thoughts

Did you notice that these steps spell out confidence? If you’re feeling creative and motivated, try making your own acronym list with things you believe will help you build confidence in your daily life.


Each day, cultivate positive self-talk and be your own cheerleader as you work on becoming the best version of yourself. Everyone has to start somewhere, so choose one of the tips above and begin your own confidence journey.

More Tips on Building Confidence

Featured photo credit: Michael Kucharski via


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Adele Dujardin

Adele is an author, speaker, and coach who empowers others to lead from their creative wise selves, and have fun doing it.

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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.


“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.


Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”


Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”


“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.


How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via


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