How do you build your self confidence?

I used to not be very happy. I think the reason while in university I was only working on one skill, which was music. Since all I did was work on that one skill, whenever I failed at something musical, I took it pretty hard. Since then I’ve taken up running. I’ve been in a rut lately but I found when I went for my latest run my confidence skyrocketed. I think it was because I was doing another activity and succeeding at it despite whatever was going on in my profession.

What activities do you do to keep your confidence up? I’d like to have some more, just to keep my general happiness level higher.

I find that pushing myself to do things that are outside of my “comfort zone” lend toward improving my self-confidence, even if I don’t do as well at them as I’d have liked.

For example: I’m borderline antisocial, but getting out and forcing myself to be social makes me feel better about myself… even if the interaction is a debacle. At least I got out of the house and tried something different.

I was immediately going to say exercising, but you’ve already figured that out.

On that note, varying your activities, such as taking up long-distance bicycling, or swimming, etc provides great variety and helps me when I feel I’m in a workout rut. Helps with my overall self-feeling/confidence, etc too.

Working out is what works for me. It’s hard to be down about myself when I’m feeling great physically and also looking trim. Plus there’s the whole endorphin rush and general relaxed feeling.

Here’s a tip that I started using about a month ago, and that’s working well so far. Before you go to sleep at night, make a list of ten activities that you intend to accomplish on the following day. Write the list in pencil or ballpoint pen and stick it on the refridgerator.

When you wake up, read over the list and resolve to accomplish those activities as fast as possible. Once you’re done with one, cross it off the list with a black magic marker. You’ll find you get a boost from seeing more and more magic marker on the list as you go through the day.

The activities themselves can be anything that you normally have trouble with, ranging from household tasks (clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, put away laundary) to social contacts (write a message to a relative, make a dentist’s appointment) to job-related stuff to free-time activities like exercise. The important thing is to do them, and of course you can’t cheat by putting something trivial on the list. You can also resolve to motivate yourself by giving yourself a reward only if you complete everything on the list.

Working out keeps both my depression and pant size in check. Oftentimes those 2 things are linked for me, anyway, so exercise takes care of both.

I always like to start my day by doing the crossword puzzle and the sudoku puzzle. Since I usually manage to solve both, it gives my confidence in my abilities a little boost, and sort of kick-starts my brain.

It’s a great paradox, really. Building a house or a boat or something means building it up – from a foundation or keel. But to build confidence or self-esteem, you have to knock yourself down – by exposing yourself to doubt, ridicule, inadequacy.

In order to learn that something is not worth stressing about or fearing, you first have to deliberately induce fear or stress. This goes against all our better instincts, and is the reason most people never build their confidence any higher than it already is.

Another advocate for working out here.

I’m going to go ahead and say what most of us health nuts think but NEVER say out loud:

“It’s a great feeling knowing your stronger, healthier and more stonger willed than 80% (my personal estimation) of the people walking this planet.”
There, I said it! I’d never say this out loud IRL because it’s smug and rude but boy does it ever do wonders for my ego… er… um… confidence.


I recommend hanging around with people who are lazy and/or incompetent. Being around people who are real losers by comparison tends to make one feel better. If you seem to be having trouble finding people that are real losers by comparison that may indicate a different problem. :smiley:
But seriously folks. You’ve had some decent recommendations here. Try some new things that are interesting to you. Be content to make slow steady progress at whatever you try and don’t be to concerned about an occasional failure. One thing I’ve noticed about folks with real self confidence. They make mistakes, shrug it off, and still go forward.
One other thing. Take a look at yourself and see how important what other people think is to you. I’ve also found self confident people have a good grasp on who they are and what they want without worrying about the opinions of others too much.

Be perfect. muahahahah

However, if you want a loving relationship or a rewarding career, you’d better care what other people think. And sometimes worry. Sometimes too much.

The time-honored solution is to find somebody who is clearly worse off or inferior to you in some superficial and material dimension that you value (height, affluence, prestige value of car, weight/fitness level, etc.), and taunt them mercilessly.

It is risky to do this to an extreme; the passive ones kill themselves, leaving you back in the same hole, and the “cornered rat” ones can go Columbine on you and blow you away. But done just right it is a powerful tool for self-inflation!

Call 1-900-HIT-NERD for my FREE tape ($20 S/H), a $50 value!

About 6 pints, usually.

I find a small child and challenge them to some sort of game involving physical or mental ability. I might suck at life, but I can still crush 7 year-olds at chess or Basketball.

I 100% recommend taking up a martial art. Finding a good school with reasonable prices and solid reputation can be a task, though… but very much well worth it.

Martial arts is not about violence; it’s about becoming confident in your body, leading to inner peace, to the point where any violence directed at you is always controlled and directed by you. By learning to master forces in life that make everyone unsure & upset, confidence soon becomes second nature.

I’ve taken karate and kung-fu, and I can recommend 'em both as long as you find a good teacher. And always remember: confidence is not aggression, in my opinion; confidence is assertiveness with big helpings of compassion and common sense.

Do one small act you are proud of, it could really be anything.

Follow up with one random act of kindness.

Do both in the same day and it’s like taking a drug, I swear.

(Warning: may be addictive!)

This is my prescription hope it works for you! :smiley:

I assume you’re kidding but I find the opposite to be true. Hanging out with losers makes me feel more depressed in a “why am I stuck with these douchebags” kind of way. Lazy and incompetant people drag others down around them.

I’d much rather be around people who set the bar higher for me, even if it means I’m not the best in the group.

I found getting fired from three jobs in a row helps. The first one, obviously stressful. The second one is probably a little worse because you’re like “WTF???” By the third time, your like “meh…I’ll find another job…I always do”. I imagine most of life is like that.

Ditto on that. And I didn’t even need to get out of the house.

On Saturday I bought a new headset: headphones and a microphone. I plugged it into my computer and fired up Skype. And I started talking to people I normally text chat with, if that.

By Monday evening, I had talked with six people in Brazil, two in Japan, and one in China, all in Esperanto, a language which is not my first language. It was kind of difficult and embarassing at first, talking to these strangers on the internet, but I got used to it and began to enjoy it.

I also talked with my sister, my aunt, and two friends out west in Calgary (not in Esperanto).

And all of this was for free too. Pushing the boundaries and saving money! :slight_smile: