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How to build Self confidence - increase self esteem and self worth

Updated on June 29, 2011

What is Self-confidence or self esteem?

Self-confidence is the positive attitude about self and our abilities. It enables us to face life with all its surprises and handle them well. Self confidence comes from having control over self, our thoughts and our lives. Self-confidence influences us to plan and achieve our goals despite obstacles, without fear of failure. Even though some of our goals may not have been achieved, we continue to be positive, and look forward to other opportunities as we believe in ourselves. It also influences the way in which others perceive us and react to us.

Self-confidence is related to the word ‘self esteem’ or 'self worth' widely used in psychology. Self-confidence means that one is confident about oneself. The word confidence comes from the word fid which in Latin meaning faith; simply put, it would mean having faith in one’s self, or believing in one’s own ability to accomplish things. Self-confidence is the sum total of our self worth. The way we think and feel about ourselves, our abilities, our achievements, our appearance, our social standing, how we think others view us, all add up to our level of self-confidence.


Qualities of a self confident person

It is easy to recognize a self confident person - they will look right into your eyes, smile, they are easy to be with, they handle conflict, take criticism and negative pressure in their stride, they are emotionally well balanced. The dictionary meaning of the word introduces one more dimension to self-confidence. In addition to belief in yourself and your abilities, it adds ‘does not doubt self’. This is a very important characteristic of self-confidence, a person who does not doubt himself.

Self confidence is an attitude

Self-confidence or self esteem is the product of our perception and interaction with people, our perception of circumstances, of how others view us and how we value or esteem ourselves. This is an attitude which develops pretty early in life and by the time we are in our twenties our basic beliefs and attitudes are fairly set but not always fixed. It may sometimes be colored by gender, social class or major life events like loss of parent/s early on in life etc. It is a learned behavior, learned through experience and interaction with people and situations. Therefore, the good news is that any thing that is learned can be unlearned. This means that lack of self-confidence can be addressed.

Tips to build your self-confidence or self esteem or self worth

Accept and love yourself. It is the first step in developing self-confidence. Unless a person understands his/her strengths and weaknesses and accept him / her for who he / she is, it would be unrealistic to expect others to love them.

Alter your judgment of yourself. Remember no one is perfect.

The greatest invention or discoveries have often come from mistakes. Learn from your mistakes.

Focus on your positives; reaffirm yourself of your strengths. This is called power affirmation or positive affirmations.

Counter negative thinking. This is the most important key to building self confidence.

Grooming and dressing well is very important. Take care of your appearance, others observe this first and form impressions about you.

Carry your self tall and erect, make sure your body language does not speak ill of you.

Look at yourself in the mirror and smile, this is the sign of a confident person; keep a cheerful countenance as this attracts others to you. Practice makes perfect.

Overcome habits that are annoying or unacceptable to self and others goes a long way in building your self confidence.

How to gain self confidence and self esteem?


Educate yourself especially in areas where you need to polish your skill sets. Keep in mind that no shortcoming or weakness will remain if you decide to work on it.

Have a personal vision , set realistic goals and focus on winning. Break down your goals into smaller achievable ones. Focus on winning that is the trait of a self-confident person.

Be assertive not aggressive, saying no is not wrong, but say it well and without offense.

Speak slowly and focus on clarity in expression, think and rehearse in you mind before you respond, this will project you as a person with clear thinking.

Be positive, a self confident person always asks why not? So use the ‘why not’ approach in what appears to be a difficult situation.

Don’t give up, persistence brings results and results reinforce self confidence.

View every opportunity as a chance to practice your skills.

Don’t take criticism personally or don’t internalize criticism; take it as a suggestion to improve yourself.

Be thankful for what you have, this helps to develop a positive attitude towards life.


Improve your self confidence and self esteem


Do not shy away from people, join small groups and start conversations, slowly you will feel more confident in a larger group.

Be encouraging towards others, this will make others positive towards you.

Learn to accept compliments gracefully, don’t dismiss them off. Be generous in complimenting others when you see good work.

Never show signs of nervousness when you speak Smile, no matter how you feel, and soon you will be able to actually take things lightly.

Put creative ability to good use and this will enable you to express yourself effectively and grow in confidence.

Never doubt yourself; doubting yourself is like working against you. Over come all self doubts with positive thinking and power affirmations.Remember that self confidence is about having faith in yourself.

Believe in yourself. If you don’t do it, no one ever will.

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    • profile image

      peter 3 years ago

      Can't believe this document is a free internet page. Its an amazing page, So much good and useful information in its articles. And everything is put into clear, easy to understand and relate with, sentenses (English is my second language) thank you. God bless you

      I've been trying this for a week and I will never back off again . I, have notice an incredible change in me. By only changing mi own perception of negative things/thoghts and working in my self afirmation, confidense self stem

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      @ Jeresteem , thank you and I apologize for missing your comment.

      @ Silvia, I hope this would be of some help to your daughter. I am so sorry for your loss and my best wishes to you and your daughter. God Bless.

    • profile image

      Silvia 5 years ago

      This was an amazing article. I was looking for some wise words for my daughter who had struggle with low self esteem. Yesterday I dropped her off to college and at night she was already down about her self confidence. She is such a beautiful young woman, but her self confidence has been a problem since her little sister passed away eIght years ago

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      Chris Achilleos, Thanks for the read and the comment. I appreciate it very much. Self belief is the corner stone for building self confidence. Have a great day!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Excellent tips sofs, I really enjoyed reading this well written hub. It is very important that be believe in our selves and help others to do so as well. Voted up!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      Tony, Thanks again. I truly appreciate the time you have taken to read and comment. I will be there to read some of your hubs soon.. Have a beautiful day :)

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      Deepunetfish, thank you for stopping by, leaving a comment and sharing it. I appreciate your kindness very much. Welcome to Hubpages . Have a lovely day. God Bless.

    • profile image

      Deepunetfish 5 years ago

      very much useful, vited up and sharing in social media

    • Tony L Smith profile image

      Tony L Smith 5 years ago from Macon

      Good hub, I love the way you broke down the steps or thoughts into short paragraphs, this made it easier to read, each one being a nugget to eat, Useful suggestions

      thanks again, Tony

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 5 years ago

      Thank you... I take it that you are saying superb or something to that effect! Have a wonderful day.

    • profile image

      nazma 5 years ago

      supper

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      Chandramani Das. I am so glad that this article has helped you in someway to regain your self-confidence. Thanks for letting me know and taking time to comment. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      Chandramani Das 5 years ago

      It gave me Self Confidence. Thanks for this Big tips I really use this tips in my life.Thanks So Much......

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 5 years ago

      Melis Ann, thank you for the read and comment. Yeah, would have been good to have got these lessons early in life but I believe it is never too late. I appreciate this very much. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      This is a great checklist to use when teaching your own kids - for wouldn't it be great if this thinking was forged into us early?? Thanks for the info!

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 5 years ago

      Great compliment there..Thank you, and I truly appreciate that.

    • myloxyloto profile image

      myloxyloto 5 years ago from Somewhere dreamy

      Great hub! Great hubs like this are probably the reason why I'm getting more and more hooked into HubPages. :)

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 5 years ago

      Thank you Toni Brit Toni, there are more genuine people who care than we would ever know. You are right about that, you reap what you sow and sowing good words, thoughts and deeds comes back to you sometime or the other :)

    • Toni Brit-Toni profile image

      Toni Brit-Toni 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Cool Hub, always good to read that there are genuine people out there that care for others and think outside of the little box we all live in.

      Personally i think it always helps making other people feel better about them selfs which in return helps yourself feel better about what you do.

      :)

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 6 years ago

      Thank you Eiddwen.. for your kindness in sharing this on FB so that others may be helped. Your kind words and action bless me...may God bless you abundantly... have a blessed day !!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      I haven't come across this one till now but i am glad that i did. A brilliantly written and very well presented hub.

      I am sure that this one will benefit many who read.

      I am posting it onto my Facebook page.

      Take care and I wish you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      @ Angel I am glad that you have found what works for you, good going.

      @ Agobind, sorry,I seemed to have missed your comment, yes self-confidence building is indeed a brick upon brick process. Thanks for the comment.

    • agobind profile image

      agobind 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hi, i like your article. Thank you for highlighting the point and the comment. It is true, building self confidence is indeed a brick upon brick process. I don't believe in self-confidence in seven days. This inside out process, it does take time and effort. I truly appreciate and value your comment:) Thanks.

    • profile image

      angel 6 years ago

      great article.

      From my point of view , to build self confidence, one should take time to write down all the best things that he has in himself, reading them and reminding himself about his uniqueness EVERYDAY. In this way, he will be able to convince his subconcious mind that he is wonderful and this can bring up his self esteem level.

      He can decide all the areas that he wanted to improve and take the right action.

      I always read some articles about self development to improve myself more.

      I think this article might give people more info on how to improve self esteem.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Hi Dynamics, thanks for sharing your experience. You can never have enough of self confidence and self esteem can you? I am glad that you found it well thought out and written post.

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great! You have nailed it. I find this post very useful and helpful. Self confidence, self worth, self esteem were concepts that I thought I had enough of until a few years ago going through some challenging times with my career. I realize now how my self concept was erroded by being stressed and putting too much pressure on myself.

      Self confidence allows you to ask for help when necessary and it also allow you to accept help.

      Thanks for sharing such well thought out and written post.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Jaqui, glad to hear that you have been mastering the art of setting and achieving your goals. Self-confidence is the ability to trust your potential, you just have to stop doubting yourself and try being your most loyal friend.

      Jaqui, it is all in the mind. You can do it .. impossible is nothing. :) Thank you for the sharing and your kind words. :)

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      Great advice. I especially understand the tip about setting goals. My problem is that some of my goals have not been achieved and then I feel I have let myself down. I now break my goals up into smaller more achievable and realistic ones. It does make a difference as I do feel much better about myself when I manage to reach a goal. I'm not a very confident person, but there are some wonderful tips here for me to work on.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Richard thank you for highlighting the point and the comment. It is true, building self confidence is indeed a brick upon brick process. I don't believe in self-confidence in seven days. This inside out process, it does take time and effort. I truly appreciate and value your comment:) Thanks.

    • Richard77 profile image

      Richard77 6 years ago from Barrie

      Talking about "Don't shy away from People" is very important because it's a starting point. We need to find acceptance somewhere so by joining small groups and it may take several to find some people to click with but each time it's a little boost to your confidence. Self esteem is a brick by brick process so once we begin to understand the process it's just a matter of following through.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Alladream, thanks for the read and hope it helps :)

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      A well written and important document. Thanks for sharing

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Rorshak Sobchak, I hope the tips on building self-esteem helps. You just need to let go of your fears and be determined to work your way through your self-confidence. I truly hope that you believe in yourself and in your abilities. Best wishes to you and God bless.

      There are many hubs in this series of self improvement that I have written, which you may read if you wish to. I just thought I would mention that as it may be of use to you. You could also contact me for any further assistance if you wish to.

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      Great write up. I enjoyed how you listed the steps for how to improve self esteem. After I graduate college the field I am going into requires me to have way more self esteem then I do. Low self esteem is something that I have suffered from since high school. Thank you for the tips, great write up!!

      rorshak sobchak

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Thanks for the read and the comment, I agree we could all use a reminder once in a while. Have an awesome day!

    • Kelly Camara profile image

      Kelly Camara 6 years ago from Fall River, MA

      Everyone can use a reminder of ourselves! Great Hub!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      You are welcome anytime Joy, I am honored by your visits. Thank you! :)

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 6 years ago

      just back for a little reminder.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Thanks Avesel, but self worth is not just about talking yourself into feeling worthy, it is talking yourself into getting there and being there, you cannot talk and do nothing about it...that would amount to inflated ego perhaps, never to self esteem. Self esteem I believe is faith in yourself and your ability to do things. I wouldn't hang it on the peg of achievements alone!

    • Avesel profile image

      Avesel 6 years ago

      A job well done here.

      I'll controversially say that self esteem has to come from achievement. The best thing someone can do for themselves isn't to talk themselves into feeling worthy, but to actually do worthy things.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Walk tall alright but why do ya want the big stick to keep your back straight.. or to ward off those who will make you bow..lol.

    • Stigma31 profile image

      Stigma31 6 years ago from Kingston, ON

      Walk Tall and carry a big stick

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Kamran, I am glad it helped, thank you for the visit and the comment.

    • Kamran100 profile image

      Kamran100 6 years ago

      Great advises! very informative and useful hub! you write very easy world, Well done...rate up up up!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 6 years ago

      Thank you Onrea for the visit, glad it was useful to you, there are more such hubs that I have written and you are welcome anytime. God Bless!!

    • onrea profile image

      onrea 6 years ago from Rochester, NY

      Nice hub. Very detailed analysis of self-confidence. Thanks for writing.

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 7 years ago

      Thank you GmaGoldie, i do appreciate your comment, Hope to know you better... and read more of the beautiful stuff you write about. God Bless!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very difficult subject - you conquered it well! Enjoyed your comments in the forum - love your Hubs! Always canuse a self confidence boost - excellent! Thumbs up!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Wow, that is awesome, looks like you are on a reading spree today! I am glad that you found this hub helpful. Thank you for making my day with so many positive notes!! God bless!

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      I met you in the forums, then read one of your hubs, then started to read your blogs.

      Hey now i am back on hubpages. Your work is very easy to understand. I need to believe in myself far more than i do, I found this hub extremely helpful, voted up, and will be back for more.....

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Embee I can only agree with all that you say, kindred souls that we are, God is my center, I cannot do anything without Him.

      Yes working on your self confidence is well worth it! You are a great example of this, from what I have read of you!

      Thank you for taking the time to make my effort well worth it! God bless!

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 7 years ago

      Fabulous. Thorough. Inspirational advice. As always. The only thing I might add is that once we figure out that God loves us just the way we are, maybe we can find some hidden confidence in ourselves. None of this is easy, but it's SOOOOO worth the effort. Thanks again.

    • sofs profile image
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      sofs 7 years ago

      SistasExpress so glad that this is useful to you. I like your positive attitude and openness to change. I wish you the very best, thank you for your positive comments. God Bless!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Ictodd wonderful to meet you here, I just want readers to get the message that everyone can build their self confidence and live to their fullest potential. Thank you for stopping by and recording your comment. I do appreciate this.

    • SistasExpress profile image

      SistasExpress 7 years ago from Chicago

      I could use this everyday. Nice information will apply.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      Very good and information hub about self confidence. Laid out with a format that gives pointers on how to and how not to. Very well written. I enjoyed reading this hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Tom, it is very special coming from you, I always value your advice and comments . Yes I do agree with you on facing your Goliath's, public speaking is huge challenge indeed..if you can do that your self esteem will grow like a giant.

      With your second suggestion I may need more help.. perhaps you could explain it ..

      Thank you indeed for your kind words and adding value to this page.

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is one of the best articles I've read on developing self confidence. I heartily concur with everything you've put forward here.

      I offer two more insights into developing confidence

      (1) Deliberately seeking to overcome the fear of public speaking (rated as the most common fear, apparently)

      (2) Opening oneself up to what some call 'The Giant Within,' that is one's spiritual guidance.

      Both instil a great sense of 'worthiness,' along with that self-acceptance.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Preetharayan thank you for your comment, I truly hope this was motivating enough to make you start writing a hub. I hope to read your hubs soon.

    • profile image

      preetharayan 7 years ago

      Enriching and truly motivational...

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      You are quick indeed, You are welcome to use this not just when you feel down but also when you feel stagnant.

      Thank you for this comment it is highly valued and so is your enthusiam!

    • tthudium profile image

      tthudium 7 years ago

      Great article, I will have to use these when I get down.

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Rachel Green, Yes self confidence is a skill that is learned like any other, importantly any one can acquire this skill if they put their minds to it. Yes persistence is the key to learning any skill. Thank you for stopping by and recording your comments here. I really do appreciate this.

    • profile image

      Rachel Green - Confident Woman Australia 7 years ago

      Thanks for the self-confidence ideas. It is really important that people know self-confidence is a skill that can be learnt. Finding the right strategy for each person is important and yes! persistence brings results. Never give up the search.

      Let yourself shine

      Rachel Green.

      http://www.confident-woman.com.au

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      I have been there and have walked through that lonely path for a while before I broke through it. I am glad that this experience of mine could help you. Thank you for taking the time to record your impressions. God Bless!

    • BennyTheWriter profile image

      BennyTheWriter 7 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Truly great advice, sofs. Self-confidence really makes for a happier, healthier life. It's something most of us struggle with to some degree. I certainly have had my experiences with it, but I'm doing my best to challenge my comfort zone and improve my self-concept. This hub is a great reminder to do just that on a daily basis.

      I'm especially putting into practice your advice of not shying away from people, being encouraging to others, and putting my creative abilities to good use.

      Rated up, useful and awesome!

    • sofs profile image
      Author

      sofs 7 years ago

      Thanks Paradise, I appreciate this! God bless!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub, with some terrific advice. Thanks!