These 30 actions will Boost Your Confidence and Self-Esteem. They are organized into 4 different groups. Each group gets more complex and gets deeper personally. This list is backed by scientific research linked to in the article as well as other sources such as science, medical, and lifestyle blogs. Use these 30 concepts to build up your confidence and upgrade your life. Go get ’em, Tiger!

-Iain Twiddy
Mindset Upgrade – Sofware Updates for your Mind

Simple Actions

Build Confidence right now by focusing on simple and tangible acts that will Boost your Confidence.

Body Language

Use your Body to become more confident, the way that you act is important.


Build your Confidence by interacting with those around you.


Concepts and Perspectives will help you cultivate a mindset of confidence and self-assurance.


#1 Make Yourself Smell Good


How you smell affects your confidence as well as how other’s perceive you. A 2009 Study found that fragrances can affect how men perceive their own attractiveness and self-confidence and that men who used fragrances in this way were reported by women as more attractive in video clips than a control group. [1] A 2003 study found that

90% of all women tested in the fragrance study reported feeling more confident when they wore fragrance than when they did not [2]

Put on deodorant or your favorite perfume or cologne. If you don’t have one, now is the time to go find one!

Find a scent that you like and says something about you. What do you want to project? Strength? Playfulness? Sportiness? Whatever it is there is a fragrance out there for you. When you smell good, you’ll feel good, project confidence, and others will appreciate it.

#2 Let The Music Take You


Put on some tunes! Play some of your favorite music and let it take you over. Get lost in a song. Good music can help put you in a good mood which will then make it easier for you to feel confident. A study called “The Music of Power” shows that music can affect how powerful we feel and influence our behavior. [3]

Use music to influence your mood and feel more confident. Get ready for that big meeting or a night out by taking some time to listen to good music and get in the right mood.

#3 Get Moving, Go Exercise


Exercise is consistently shown in studies to have positive effects not only on your physical health but also on your mood and your psychological health. Science Daily writes about the effect of exercise on work/life balance and confidence at work:

“Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed at work,” [4]

Get out there and get active. Find an exercise that you enjoy so that you can make it easy, join a gym, play a sport, go running while listening to podcasts. Find some way to get active on a regular basis because it will be good for your overall health and affect your self-confidence and self-esteem.

#4 Do Something Fun


Don’t be so serious all the time! Make sure to have some fun along the way. What is the point of living life if you don’t stop to have fun once in a while? It can be as simple as joking around with your colleagues at work, going out to a show, or trying a new restaurant with your partner.

Make sure to incorporate some fun into your life. Be playful and have fun with others, it will put you in a good mood which will help you feel more confident and comfortable and can help others around you feel the same way too.

#5 Eat Some Healthy Food


You are what you eat

What you put into your body is going to have an effect on your mood, both in the short-term and in the long-term. What you eat affects your mood which can influence how confident you feel. [5]

Avoid eating junk food. It might taste really good when you are eating it but it will leave you feeling sluggish and can eventually lead to poor health outcomes in the future. If you eat healthy foods, you will feel refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the world!

If you eat well and exercise then your physique will improve which will add even more to your self-confidence and self-esteem. Improve your eating habits to feel confident, for mental energy, and to improve your body image.

#6 Celebrate Small Wins


How do you climb Mount Everest?

One step at a time.

Take pleasure in small wins, stop to celebrate when something good happens no matter how small because it will help to foster your sense of achievement. You will feel that you are winning more often which will help you to feel more confident, which in turn helps you achieve more! It’s a beautiful cycle.

When someone I know has something good happen to them or achieves something even if it is a minor thing I make sure to congratulate them and I usually give them a High-Five. Don’t underestimate the power of a High-Five, this simple act can help a team feel more confident and cohesive, and can make individuals feel praised and accomplished. Make sure to celebrate your small wins, celebrate milestones as you go along to keep your positive mood alive and boost your confidence throughout the day.

#7 Practice Gratitude


What are you grateful for? When was the last time that you asked yourself that?

If it was more than 24 hours ago then you are missing out on one of the simplest and most effective ways of putting yourself in a positive mindset and feeling confident. Simply put, happy people are more productive, are more confident, and have more life satisfaction.

A 2015 study, in the Journal of Happiness Studies, found that:

higher levels of gratitude were positively associated with more perceived social support, greater self-esteem and greater life satisfaction, which is consistent with previous studies [6]

Ask yourself this simple question: What am I grateful for?

Focus on this question regularly and you will notice your mood change and your confidence grow. Try setting a reminder in your phone once a day to ask yourself this question and then take 5 minutes to ponder it. You will feel more at ease with your life and fulfilled, which in turn will naturally make you feel more confident.

#8 Give Yourself A Compliment

Similar to gratitude, try giving yourself a compliment. Everyone does something well or has something that they can be congratulated on or be proud of. Don’t sell yourself short in your own mind, don’t forget to compliment yourself on things that you really do well.

Motivational Self-Talk can be an effective tool. This 2009 study, in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, found that: [7]

“self-talk can enhance self-confidence and reduce cognitive anxiety. Furthermore, it is suggested that increases in self-confidence can be regarded as a viable function explaining the facilitating effects of self-talk on performance.”

Give yourself a compliment and use positive self-talk to amplify your performance and self-confidence.

#9 Learn A Skill, Learn Something Newgaelle-marcel-8992-unsplash

Confidence is connected to capability when you are capable of something you will feel confident.

Improve yourself and your skills to feel more confident. Make learning a regular part of your life, read books, watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, get a hobby.

Knowledge is power, and with power you’ll feel confident. Learn often to broaden and increase your capabilities.

Body Language

#10 Look People In The Eye


Eye contact is important, it is a very direct form of communication and will help you to convey your confidence to other people. A 1991 study by & found that increased eye contact resulted in a higher perceived self-esteem. [8] Eye contact will help you to project confidence in the way that you act, others will perceive you as more confident.

Some people can find it hard to keep eye contact with others, but as you practice it more, it will become second nature to you. Eye contact can also help others to connect with you emotionally, and build trust. Use eye contact to boost your confidence and project confidence to others.

#11 Take A Deep Breath

Sometimes life gets crazy, but don’t let yourself become overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, it’s all going to be okay.

Mindfulness meditation is very popular these days as a technique for stress relief and it really does work. But you don’t need anything fancy to get started and you don’t even need to buy a book or join a yoga class if that’s not your thing.

Practice breathing exercises to help stabilize your mood and feel more confident. Just stopping for 5 minutes during your day to take conscious control of your breath can have a noticeable effect. You could try a meditation app if you want to be guided through the process, or just do it yourself. Stop and take a deep breath to build your self-confidence and calm your mind.

#12 Smile


Smiling feels good, it’s easy to do, and it influences other people. Our psychological and physiological systems exist in a positive feedback loop where they each affect each other. When we are happy we smile, but conversely when we smile we start to feel happy. Our mental states affect our physical states, but so too do our physical states affect our mental states.

Don’t forget to smile. In business, many people are taught to smile even when they are talking on the phone to another person, not because that person will see the smile but because it will naturally lift your mood and make the interaction go more smoothly, you will come off as more congenial and confident.

Make sure to smile well and smile often. If you are having trouble, think about something that you like or a funny story to put you in a good mood. When you smile, you’ll feel happy and full of self-esteem, and others will notice this and react accordingly.

#13 Stand Tall And Sit Up Straight

Body posture has an influence on how you perceive and validate yourself. [9] If you slouch, you will look and feel deflated, it will lower your self-esteem and you’ll be more likely to second guess yourself. Stand up straight, stick your chest out, and hold your head up high.

The confidence posture does exactly that, give you confidence. Communication is about more than just language, you say a lot by how you carry yourself. What are you telling other people about yourself with your body language? Do you project confidence or insecurity? Take hold of your body language to feel more confident and project your confidence to others.

#14 Nod Your Head

Nodding your head can influence how you think. Richard Petty, co-author of a 2003 study on the effects of body language on cognition, and professor of psychology at Ohio State University says. [10]

“nodding or shaking your head, as well as other body movements, serve as a kind of ‘self-validation’ that confirms to us how we feel about our own thoughts.

If we are nodding our heads up and down, we gain confidence in what we are thinking. But when we shake our heads from side to side, we lose confidence in our own thoughts.”

Nod your head to give yourself validation, to show others that you care and are paying attention when they are talking, and to boost your self-confidence.

#15 Work On Your Voice Tone, Speak Clearly, Loudly and Proudly


Along with body language, voice tone is another important aspect of non-verbal communication. How you sound says a lot about you. Are you passionate or disinterested? Are you sure or unsure? Are you confident or shy?

Work on your voice tone and on vocal variety. Speak clearly with strength, project your voice to convey confidence to others. Vary the pitch, tone, speed, and volume of your voice to make your voice more interesting to listen to and become a more captivating speaker.

Improve your voice tone to communicate clearly to others, boost your confidence, and project strength.


#16 Call A Friend


We humans are social animals, we crave the company and acceptance of others. If you need a confidence boost, there is nothing better than to get in touch with a friend, call them up to chat or meet with them for a coffee.

According to the Mayo Clinic, friends can: [11]

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Keep in touch with the people around you that you care about, don’t just spend every day binge-watching the latest Netflix drama. Spend time with your friends to have some fun, boost your self-confidence, and feel that sense of belonging that we all want and deserve.

#17 Help Others

Altruism, helping other people, is not only good for society but it is also good for the person doing it as well. Helping other people can have a dramatic effect on how you view yourself and the world around you.

Schwartz & Sendor 1999, found that people who were”trained to listen actively and to provide compassionate, unconditional positive regard to others” experienced “pronounced improvement on confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem, depression and role functioning“.

Additionally, a 2005 Study in International Journal of Behavioral Medicine entitled Altruism, happiness, and health: it’s good to be good [12] found that

a strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health, and longevity of people who are emotionally and behaviorally compassionate

It’s good to be a good person. It’s good for the world, you, and your mental state. Helping other people on a regular basis, as long as it is not taking all of your time and energy is an important part of a fulfilled life. Altruism will help boost your self-esteem and leave you feeling positive and full of self-confidence.

#18 Surround Yourself With People Who Will Help You Succeed


In his 1925 classic The Law of Success author Napoleon Hill coined the term “Mastermind Group“, in which a group of people with common goals come to together to tackle similar problems and benefit from a community around them. A Mastermind Group can help advise, collaborate, expand your network, and push you to think bigger.

As the saying goes, “you become like the people who you surround yourself with”. If you want to become more confident, go hang out with other people who are confident, you’ll learn from them how they do it and they will help make you more confident. They will mentor you, and help you reach the next level which then you, in turn, can do for others.

Surround yourself with people who are confident and learn from them to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

#19 Get Involved In Your Community

This one is a combination of the last 3 confidence boosting tips. We’ve talked about how friends and others around you, helping others, and a mastermind group can all help to build your confidence and self-esteem as well as provide support when you need it. If you get involved in your community, you’ll be tackling all 3 of these at once!

Toastmasters Logo Tagline Lockup

There are social groups for just about anything out there and you will choose one depending on what you are looking for, but since our purpose here is to build confidence I highly recommend joining your local Toastmasters group.

Toastmasters is an international non-profit group that teaches Public Speaking, Communication, and Leadership Skills. Members participate by giving speeches, evaluating other’s speeches, and performing other club roles that teach leadership.

Most people are afraid of public speaking, it consistently tops lists of greatest reported fears among people polled. At Toastmasters, not only will you be able to challenge yourself to be a better public speaker and build your confidence, but you will also gain new friends, get to help others, and participate in an international mastermind group! It holds incredible value for anyone who is willing to join and put in the work.

Alternatively, you might have another group in mind that you are interested in. Whatever it is, if it combines a peer group with helping others and a mastermind you are going to be doing well for yourself.


#20 Use Visualization Techniques


Visualization has been shown by scientific studies to increase task performance. You can practice and hone your skills just by imagination. Our brains activate very similarily whether we are performing an action or imagining it, the brain does not discriminate. A 1992 study showed that Visualization can reduce anxiety around Public Speaking as well as improve performance. [13] While another study involving police officers concluded that Visuo-Motor Behaviour Rehearsal (VMBR) improved performance in stressful “live fire” situations. [14]

Fifty-four recruits were randomly assigned to a treatment and a nontreatment condition prior to undergoing a highly stressful, critical event training scenario involving “live fire.” A manipulation check showed that participants who received VMBR displayed significantly lower scores on the cognitive state anxiety subscale of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2; somatic state anxiety and self-confidence were unaffected by the VMBR treatment. Most importantly, participants in the VMBR training condition displayed better performance on the critical event scenario, including significantly more assailant “hits.”

Although visualization did not affect self-confidence directly, it did help improve performance. As discussed earlier, self-confidence is affected by performance and if you are better at something then you will feel more confident about it. This one is more of an indirect approach to boosting your confidence. Use visualization to help improve your skills which will as you become more competent increase your self-confidence in that area.

#21 Change Your View On Failure


The way that you view failure has an important role in your success as well as your self-confidence and self-esteem. Many people stay scared of failure and let it stop them from really trying their hardest. Instead, embrace failures as a normal part of life, try to avoid failure as best as possible but remember that you will fail some of the time and that each failure brings with it an opportunity to learn and to grow. I wrote more on this topic in a post called Use Your Failures As A Resource.

Build your confidence by changing your mindset about failure, don’t be afraid to fail so much because they are all learning opportunities. When you embrace failures and own them, then you can start making them work for you! You will feel more secure about yourself and that you will be able to react appropriately when failures come along.

A Healthy attitude towards failure will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem and allow those little bumps in the road to not feel so bad as well as become useful experiences that you can learn from.

#22 Set Your Boundaries, Empower Yourself

Setting personal boundaries is important for maintaining your self-esteem. If you have a porous boundary then people will be able to do things to you that rob you of your self-esteem.

For instance, if you don’t have a good personal boundary and someone talks down to you or otherwise embarrasses and demeans you, you may end up believing what they have said about you and lose some self-esteem. Conversely, if you have a good personal boundary, you will be able to hear that person talk down to you and realize that they are the one in the wrong, that they don’t have to dictate anything about your life and that you should move quickly to get this person out of your life.

You have to be able to know where you end and other people begin otherwise you will end up trying to control other people because you will feel that they are inside your boundary, that they are something that you can control. A person with a poor boundary may react to that person who talked down to them by trying to get them to like them. They want to try to control what the other person thinks about them because they think that if they just get that person to think better of them then they will feel better. The problem with this approach is that it almost never works and then you are left emotionally hostage to whatever other people say about you.

Take control of your life and cultivate the ability to say “No”. You’ll know that you have a hole in your boundary any time you have a problem saying or hearing the word “No”. This article on Psychology Today, 7 Tips to Create Healthy Boundaries with Others is a good place to start thinking about and working on your boundary issues. A good personal boundary will help you protect the valuable self-esteem that you have built up. Cultivating a proper personal boundary and being able to decide what is right for your life, being able to say “No”, can be the most empowering experience a person can go through. A healthy personal boundary will help you build and keep your self-confidence and self-esteem.

#23 Look At What You Have Already Achieved

If you start to lose motivation, you feel like you are becoming deflated, you start losing your self-esteem, it may be because you feel daunted and overwhelmed by what lies ahead of you. In these moments the best cure is to look back at how far you have come, appreciate what you have already been able to accomplish in your life, acknowledge the progress that you have made and value the effort that you have put in to get where you are today.

By looking back at your past and appreciating what you have achieved already, you will feel more secure that you can achieve more in the future. Appreciate what you have accomplished from time to time so that you can keep up your self-esteem and confidence in your abilities.

#24 Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Instant Courage Cover-1 small
Learn More

Many people think that courage is a feeling. We talk about how people must be “very courageous” to do the things that they do. Whether it’s go sky-diving or speak to an audience of 1000 people. We think that those “courageous” people are different than us and don’t feel scared. But that gets it all backward, courage is when you feel scared but do the thing anyway. Courage is acting in the face of your fears, if you don’t feel scared then you aren’t doing courage.

Fortunately, everytime that you act despite your fears, you do courage, you will be rewarded with more confidence. This a very straight-forward and dependable, if emotionally taxing, way to build up your confidence. Do things that scare you, it will build up your confidence every time you do it.

Read more in my other post here: Do Courage.

Confidence lies outside of your Comfort Zone

#25 Adopt A Positive Mindset, View Things As Glass Half Full


Optimism can help you to feel great and boost your confidence. It affects everything in your life from health to your success. This study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that:

dispositional optimism proved to be an important predictor of coping efforts and of surgical outcomes”

and that,

Dispositional optimism was also associated with a faster rate of physical recovery during the period of hospitalization and with a faster rate of return to normal life activities subsequent to discharge”. [15]

Look on the bright side of life, keep your spirits up. It will help you feel better both physically and mentally which will lead to more self-confidence.

#26 Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

Optimism is important but you don’t want to get your head stuck in the clouds because then you won’t be living in reality which can lead to negative outcomes for you if you disregard real dangers. Realistic optimism is a great point of view to take, you get the happiness of an optimist but without getting your head stuck in the clouds. Realistic optimists take a positive attitude to their future but are aware that danger may be ahead and they have thought about how they can avoid those dangers by charting a new course.

Realistic optimists feel more control over there lives as they have the positivity to do new things yet don’t get caught up in unrealistic pleasant illusions,

Live Science explains:

“realistic optimists believed they had more self-control and control over their interpersonal relationships.” [16]

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. By staying positive but also covering all your bases you will increase your chances of success and fell more confident that you will be able to create positive outcomes for yourself.

#27 Get To Know Yourself

The unexamined life is not worth living -Socrates

Self-awareness and self-insight are important skills to have if you want to improve your life. Get to know yourself, your habits, your patterns of thought and emotion, become an expert on your own life. This introspection will allow you to see more clearly what you are doing right and where you need to improve which will help you build more self-confidence over time.

As this 2016 study finds,

“self-insight was the single significant predictor of both resilience and stress. Our findings provide support for the importance of self-awareness, particularly self-insight, in mitigating stress and promoting resilience” [17]

Build your self-awareness to gain more confidence through understanding how you react to various situations and how you can improve.

#28 Know What You Value


What is most important to you? What do you value in life?

If you know the answer to these questions then it will make deciding what to next a lot simpler for you. If you have thought through and stated your values, then when tough situations come up you can turn back to them and decide what to do based on that. If you don’t know what your values are then you are like a boat without a rudder, you’ll drift through life and end up wherever it takes you.

Take control of your life by deciding what you think is most important in it. What are the most important things to do, what attitudes are important for you to express, how will you treat other people?

It is common business practice today, when starting a company, to write down their values, goals, and vision because it will help to steer the business in the direction it wants to go and make tough decisions a little bit easier when they come up in the future.

Once you get your value sorted out, then decision making will become easier which will help you to feel more confident about making decisions.

#29 Don’t Talk Down To Yourself

Respect is important, everyone deserves to be respected and it starts from within. First, you must respect yourself, then you will be able to respect others.

Do you ever talk down to yourself, think negative things about yourself? If you said those things out loud to another person, how would they react? Have you ever told yourself that you are “not good enough”, “a bad person”, “never going to amount to anything”, or called yourself names? If you wouldn’t talk this way to another person, why would you do it to yourself?

Hold yourself to a high standard and maintain your self-respect, this will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem as well as make others respect you more. Also, hold others to those high standards of respect also, point it out when someone else is demeaning themselves and let them know that they don’t need to talk that way to themselves, they deserve better. Respect yourself, respect others.

#30 Realize That You Are Not The Center Of The Universe


It’s okay, you’re not that important. None of us are. We’re just a bunch of creatures on a random, and might I add beautiful, rock hurtling through space circling around an average star in the outskirts of an average galaxy in a mind-blowingly vast universe that we don’t fully understand yet and have no confirmation that anyone else lives in. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have and that’s just fine.

It’s easy to feel like everyone else is watching your every move and judging you, but really they’re watching less than you think and they are judging even less than that. But don’t get down on yourself that you aren’t a superstar, use it to your advantage!

In my Toastmasters group, I always see new speakers make a common mistake. They will get nervous on stage, but then they make a big deal out of it and make sure to point it out to everyone. If they had just played it cool and not drawn attention to their nervous tick, most people wouldn’t have noticed. By drawing attention to their insecurity on stage they made it worse and made sure everyone else noticed.

Self-confidence works the same way, even if you’re feeling a little nervous inside just play it cool and it’ll work out alright. Most people won’t notice your small little nervous ticks.

You’re not the center of the world. Just go out and do your best, respect others and things will go pretty smoothly. Even if you feel a little anxious inside it probably isn’t being picked up by other people. Play it cool.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with others and consider following the Mindset Upgrade Facebook Page or subscribing to get email blog updates.

Thanks for reading!

Mindset Upgrade – Software Updates for Your Mind

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134127
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92802/
  3. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550614542345
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109101742.htm
  5. https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/articles/confidence.html#howdoesfoodaffectyourconfidence
  6. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-014-9519-2#Sec13
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029208000642
  8. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00224545.1993.9713927
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.607/full
  10. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030708092002.htm
  11. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/art-20044860
  12. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1207/s15327558ijbm1202_4
  13. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08934219209367538
  14. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1014950602826
  15. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1990-13062-001
  16. https://www.livescience.com/39128-optimistic-realists-do-best.html
  17. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sbp/sbp/2016/00000044/00000007/art00008
Blog articles:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s