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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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It)

4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It)

Are you someone who has succumbed to the victim mentality trap? Ask yourself, when bad things happen, do you take responsibility for them, or do you blame other people or the world?

If it’s the latter, you likely have a problem with the victim complex. When challenges occur in life, it’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you and assume that the world is out to get you.

It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself occasionally when life gets tough. However, if it gets out of hand, it’s easy to start floundering in victimhood.

It is impossible to be the driver of your life if all you do is play the victim card. In the end, this is the fastest way to lose your power. You have two choices: believe that life is happening for you or to you.

What Is a Victim Mentality?

People who have a victim mentality believe that life happens to them rather than for them. As a result, they are quick to feel victimized when something doesn’t go as planned.

Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize or consider themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others.

At its core, a victim mentality is a form of avoidance. It’s a way of saying, “I refuse to take any responsibility for myself or my life.”

As a result, you may avoid stepping outside of your comfort zone, making difficult decisions, or doing anything to improve the state of your life. In short, you remain stuck and paralyzed by fear. I think we can all agree that this sounds like a bad place to be.

Steve Maraboli said it best:


“The victim mentality will have you dancing with the devil, then complaining that you’re in hell.”

Unfortunately, there is a huge payoff to adopting this mindset. You are given the space to have a pity party, to ignore messy emotions, and to get sympathy from others. The fact that there are benefits of being a victim makes it difficult to move away from this habit.

It’s only when you are ready to shift your perspective and see the events of your life as fully in your control that you can step into your power.

How Do I Know If I Have a Victim Mentality?

Let’s look at four signs that you have a victim mentality and find ways how to break free from it.

You Catastrophize All Your Problems

Individuals who catastrophize problems are always thinking the worst. Catastrophizing your problems is when you allow yourself to believe that even the smallest inconveniences are the end of the world and can be a sign of victim syndrome.[1]

If you always assume that the worst will happen, the Universe will listen to you and give you precisely what you’re asking for. The next time you catch yourself thinking about how awful something is, work to put your experience into perspective.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” This will help remind you that the outcome may not be as bad as you expect it to be.

You Feel Powerless

One of the hardest things to deal with when you live with a victim mentality is feeling helpless. When bad things happen, it’s easy to feel like you have no control over the situation.

When you find yourself in one of these situations, focus on the things that you can change. Finding something that you can control can help you feel like you have some of your power back, and that’s a big step.


Another way to break free from feeling powerless is to practice saying no. You don’t have to do everything that is expected of you. It is okay to put your own needs first.

You Engage in Negative Self-Talk

Self-doubt is intimately connected to a victim complex. Once someone falls for the victim mentality, they will subconsciously self-sabotage their best efforts so that they are congruent with their conscious mind.[2]

If you believe that you aren’t worthy, you will always feel as if the world is out to get you. Destructive beliefs will nourish victim behavior to the point where putting yourself down becomes the norm.

You Think That the World Is out to Get You

If you feel like the world is constantly trying to hurt you or make you miserable, you know that you have spiraled into victimhood. Life isn’t out to get you. In fact, it’s always trying to work in your favor if you choose to adopt a growth mindset.

Sometimes things will happen in life that are out of your control. It’s your job to decide how you are going to respond to those events. When you start seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, you start noticing that life is forcing you to level up, which is a blessing in disguise.

How to Stop a Victim Mentality

The first step to breaking out of a victim mentality is understanding and accepting that you have one.

The next step is to shift your thoughts from feeling like a victim to realizing that you are a survivor. It’s incredibly freeing when you realize you are no longer a victim of your life circumstances.

If you want to be a true survivor, you’ve got to focus your attention less on safety and security, and more on developing positive self-beliefs.[3]

Survivors know that they are the CEOs of their lives, meaning that they take full responsibility for everything that happens, both good and bad. Also, instead of seeing the world through a black and white lens, survivors are open to new ways of thinking and behaving if it will support their growth and evolution.


1. Identify and Challenge Limiting Beliefs

Beliefs are conditioned perceptions that are built upon old memories of pain and pleasure. These memories are based on how we have interpreted and emotionalized our experiences over time.[4]

If these beliefs are disempowering in their nature, they lead to self-sabotage and a feeling of helplessness. If you want to stop being a victim, you first have to identify the critical inner voice that created feelings of victimhood and injustice.

When did feelings of self-pity, low self-efficacy, and false blame first take shape in your life?

A victim mentality can usually be traced back to one’s childhood, as a survival mechanism or as a learned behavior that we observed from our parents.

When you start to understand why you feel the way you do, you take responsibility for thoughts and realize that you have the power to change and shift the narrative from one of a victim to a victor.

For this to really work, you’re going to have to build up the courage to take action. For help with this, check out Lifehack’s Free Guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Life

When you take responsibility for your life, you take ownership of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You design life on your terms because you know that you have the power to create your reality.

The moment that you stop blaming the world is the moment that you shift from victim to victor. All of a sudden, life starts working in your favor because you chose to show up for yourself.

3. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

A victim mentality is grounded in a feeling of lack, as if there is never enough of something. The opposite of lack is abundance, which is where gratitude comes into play.


The quickest way to stop being a victim is to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Make a habit of asking yourself, “What am I grateful for today?”

Gratitude is simply the conscious acknowledgment of what brings you joy in the present moment. When you stop obsessing about your own stuff and look at the bigger picture, you start to realize how lucky you really are.

Take a look at these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

4. Think Positive

A victim complex thrives on negative thoughts. The best way to shift from victim to victor is to change your thinking and take care of your mental health. Instead of looking for the bad in something, find the silver lining amidst every challenge.

Your thoughts create your reality. When you start focusing on the good, you attract more positive things into your life.

That is the moment at which you will open yourself up to live an abundant life of positive growth and change that has the potential to transform your life.[5]

In the words of Martin Seligman,

“Optimism is very valuable for a meaningful life. With a firm belief in a positive future, you can redirect your life towards what’s most important.”

Final Thoughts

If you’re tired of playing the victim, decide that you are ready to become the master of your life and then act on it. You are capable of great things if you believe in yourself and act on your beliefs. Now is the time to take back control of your life and move away from the destructive victim mentality that has been holding you back.

More on Thinking Positive

Featured photo credit: Remy_Loz via


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