How to Get and Gain Self-Confidence

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You have the power to gain self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence tells you that you don’t, but you absolutely do. Just how, though, do you get self-confidence?

Self-confidence isn’t something someone is just lucky enough to have or is unworthy of having. Self-confidence is something someone creates. Gaining self-confidence is an active process. People intentionally work to get-self-confidence; further, self-confidence is something people must continue to tend to over time.

How To Get Self-Confidence? Act! Do!

Getting self-confidence is about creating it for yourself. Getting self-confidence is about doing, about taking action to start believing in yourself. To gain self-confidence is like gaining any skill. It takes determination and practice and involves doing things, big and small, over time.

Getting self-confidence can feel like a catch-22. It requires actions and practice to acquire it, yet a lack of self-confidence can make any action feel impossible. For that reason, it can be tempting to wait until you have a little more self-confidence before really diving in and taking action to get more self-confidence. Unfortunately, without doing things to build this skill, self-confidence won’t develop.

Gaining self-confidence, then, is about doing things in spite of insecurities and anxieties. The following ideas are examples of how to gain self-confidence through acting and doing:

  • Identify goals (personal, work-related, social, etc.); knowing what you want in life is an important first step in gaining self-confidence
  • Build the skills you need in order to accomplish your goals; take classes, read books and articles, increase physical fitness. Doing what it takes to achieve your goals helps you believe in yourself
  • Do something you enjoy every day; feeling good and experiencing success is a fun way to increase self-confidence.
  • Increase social connection and involvement by reaching out to a friend, doing volunteer work, or performing small random acts of kindness.
  • Identify your strengths and determine ways you can use them to meet your goals. Acknowledging and drawing on your strengths helps you gain self-confidence.

To Gain Self-Confidence, Shift Your Thoughts

Do you think you can’t get self-confidence? Think again. According to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), thoughts are incredibly powerful. Our thoughts shape how we perceive and interpret the world around us as well as ourselves. Our own thoughts can build us up or tear us down. Thoughts can encourage and motivate, or they can discourage and create apathy. In order to gain self-confidence, it’s important to become fully aware of your thoughts and, if necessary, change them.

Negative thoughts, often called faulty thinking patterns, lead to low self-confidence. When you’re barraged with a steady stream of put-downs, doubts, negative comparisons, and accusations, it’s nearly impossible to feel self-confident in anything.

Each and every person can control the quality of her thoughts. Your thoughts are just that—your thoughts. You actively think, and you can learn the skill of actively thinking positive thoughts that help you gain self-confidence.

Even if you’ve spoken harshly to yourself for a long time and thus have very little self-confidence, you can turn your negative thoughts into realistic, positive ones.

The human brain possesses a quality called neuroplasticity, which means that it’s flexible and can learn and be re-trained throughout life (Rufus, 2014). Science says that you can learn new things and gain self-confidence. The following skills come from CBT and will help you get self-confidence:

  • Tune into your thoughts to increase awareness of them. Writing them down is helpful. What negative things are you telling yourself?
  • Look for patterns. Are you telling yourself that you must be all good, perfect, and if you’re not then you’re all bad
  • Are you yes-butting, discounting the positive things about you that others remark about? How are you talking to yourself?
  • Closely examine your thoughts and thought patterns. Look for evidence that they’re true. Look for evidence that they’re false or that there are exceptions.

The result of both taking action and changing your thoughts is a new self-confidence. Gaining self-confidence requires action and hard work and lots of practice. As you do and think and practice, you will begin to accept your whole self—all of your strengths and weaknesses—you’ll experience success, and you will gain self-confidence.

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2021, December 24). How to Get and Gain Self-Confidence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Last Updated: March 25, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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