What Are Some Good Confidence Building Exercises?
From achieving small goals to curating a folder of mood and confidence-boosting messages, here are 16 answers to the question, “What are confidence-building exercises you’d recommend?”
- Setting Personal Challenges to Beat
- Building Something With Your Hands
- Challenging Our Inner Critic
- Positive Thinking
- Writing a Gratitude Journal
- Learning New Skills
- Setting Small Goals
- Attributing Events Internally
- Reflecting on Past Successes
- Thinking of Three Positive Things
- Choosing to Believe In Yourself
- Shifting Your Mindset
- Practicing Rejection Therapy
- Meditating With a Focus on Self-Esteem
- Trying Out Power Posing
- Making a Rainy Day Folder
Setting Personal Challenges to Beat
Overcoming challenges always boosts confidence and makes you feel you’ve got the willpower you can boast about. The thing is, however, that you don’t need to come up with complicated, enormous challenges to beat. Even a small one, like drinking only water for an entire week, can help to get your confidence up. It’s also a nice way to challenge yourself to be healthier.
Building Something With Your Hands
Those of us who mostly work on our computers are often very disconnected from the value we create. It makes it hard to take pride in our work and to have confidence that what we do matters.
I’ve found that taking time to actually build something tangible with my hands is a great way to re-center and get that boost of confidence again. It doesn’t matter what it is—you could build a birdhouse, paint a painting, etc.—so long as it is something you can hold in your hands at the end and say, “Yes, I made this.”
Challenging Our Inner Critic
One of the most effective exercises to boost self-confidence is to challenge our inner critic. This is because it allows us to identify and confront negative beliefs we may have about ourselves. When we question the accuracy of these beliefs, such as “I’m not good enough” or “I always mess things up,” we create an opportunity to replace them with more positive and empowering thoughts.
By challenging our inner critic, we can gain insights into the root causes of our negative self-talk. Often, these beliefs originate from experiences or messages from people like parents, teachers, or peers. To question the “bad voice” inside ourselves is incredibly empowering and helps us develop a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence.
If you believe you can accomplish something, you are more likely to work hard to ensure you do; however, if you don’t believe you can accomplish something, you are more likely to approach it half-heartedly and thus fail. The trick is to convince yourself that you can do something if you have the right help, support, preparation, and knowledge.
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Writing a Gratitude Journal
When you write things you are grateful for, you focus on the positive aspects of your life. That helps shift your perspective from negative to positive and can make you feel more confident and optimistic about the future.
Thanks to a gratitude journal, you find it easier to recognize your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Reflecting on what you have achieved or the obstacles you have overcome can give you a sense of pride and confidence—pride in who you are and confidence in what you can do.
A gratitude journal is a confidence booster, as cultivating a positive attitude pays off. Focused on the precious things in your life, you become more likely to see opportunities and possibilities instead of obstacles and limitations. You feel more confident in your ability to handle challenges and achieve your goals.
Learning New Skills
One of the best ways to build confidence is through business courses and certifications. Where some may jump out of planes and put themselves in harm’s way to feel like surviving builds confidence, the same effect can be achieved through learning new skills to better improve one’s career and life. As the saying goes, “I think, therefore I am”. If one thinks they know much more than others, they are confident and never have to compensate for a lack of knowledge.
Setting Small Goals
A confidence-building exercise that I would recommend is setting and achieving small goals. Setting and achieving small goals can help build confidence by providing a sense of accomplishment and progress.
To practice this exercise, start by setting small, achievable goals. These goals can be anything that you want to accomplish, such as learning a new skill or completing a task that you’ve been putting off. Break these goals down into small, manageable steps and set a timeline for when you want to achieve them.
Along the way, track your progress and celebrate your successes. Even minor accomplishments can provide a boost of confidence and motivation to keep going.
Research has shown that setting and achieving small goals can improve self-esteem, build confidence, and increase motivation. By taking small steps towards your goals and celebrating your successes, you can develop a more confident mindset that will help you achieve success in the future.
Attributing Events Internally
A huge, yet little-known aspect of confidence is “self-efficacy,” which is a person’s belief in their own agency.
People who lack self-efficacy believe themselves to be victims of circumstance, feeling unable to influence the external world around them. This external attribution destroys one’s confidence, instilling feelings of helplessness and despair.
Instead, you must internally attribute events, taking ownership of failures and pride in one’s successes. This helps to avoid a victim mentality, giving you a sense of agency and purpose in the world. Self-efficacy vastly boosts your confidence, encouraging you to interact with the world around you actively.
To achieve this, you must carefully watch how your efforts impact the external world, and over time, you will see how agentic you are. Although this mindset shift can be difficult, self-efficacy is key to developing meaningful confidence, and those who struggle with confidence should prioritize self-efficacy.
Reflecting on Past Successes
Take some time to reflect on past successes and accomplishments, no matter how small. Reminding yourself of your past successes can help you feel more confident about succeeding in the future. It allows you to recall your accomplishments and acknowledge your strengths and abilities, which can help boost your self-esteem and belief in yourself.
Thinking of Three Positive Things
Confidence-building exercises are a great way for individuals to develop and improve their self-esteem. One such exercise that I recommend is called “Three Positive Things.”
To practice this exercise, individuals should take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on three positive things that happened during their day. These positive events can be anything, from accomplishing a task at work to spending time with loved ones.
After identifying the three positive things, individuals should take a moment to reflect on why these events made them feel good. This will help them develop a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the positive aspects of their life.
By focusing on the positive aspects of their life, individuals can build a sense of resilience and develop a more optimistic mindset, which can help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Choosing to Believe In Yourself
The funny thing about confidence is that no one knows when it’s fake. I build confidence by reciting affirmations and practicing gratitude daily.
Gratitude puts you in the right frame of mind, and affirmations keep you there. That, coupled with regular exercise and living your authentic truth, will put you on the swift path to true, unadulterated confidence.
Remember that building confidence takes time, and imposter syndrome will still creep in when you get there. Like life, it has its ebbs and flows. But also, like happiness, it’s a choice. Wake up and choose to believe in yourself.
Shifting Your Mindset
Shifting your mindset is a simple way to build your confidence. For example, rather than telling yourself, “I don’t know how to do this,” reframe this into, “What an amazing opportunity to learn something new.” Similarly, thoughts like “I’m a failure” can be transformed to “This thought is interesting—it shows just how much being successful at this means to me.”
Not only does positive thinking boost your confidence, but evidence also shows that it will decrease depression, pain, and distress and enhance resilience and psychological well-being. There are innumerable benefits to shifting your mindset for the positive, not just on your confidence!
Practicing Rejection Therapy
More often than not, one of the biggest obstacles to achieving confidence is the fear of being rejected. While this is a natural and valid fear, there’s a lot to be gained by overcoming it.
Therefore, one thing I always recommend to members of my team when they want to build their confidence is rejection therapy. This involves partaking in certain interactions where you will face rejection and learning to become okay with it.
This could include simple activities like asking a stranger for $500, saying hello to a few pedestrians, demanding a compliment from a passerby, asking someone to play a game with you, and so forth.
You can get creative with the exercise based on your level of comfort and dedicate a few minutes a day to this. When you can stay consistent with this, you will slowly notice your confidence increasing as you increase your tolerance for your shame.
Meditating With a Focus on Self-Esteem
Meditation can be a powerful and effective confidence-building exercise. The more you do it and the better you get at it, the more effective it can be in accomplishing your focused goal.There are specific meditation methods you can pursue that will focus on building confidence in yourself. I would recommend finding some audio to accompany your meditation sessions that focus on building self-esteem. You’ll be able to find a variety of options available on YouTube and meditation apps like Headspace.
Through focused thoughts and energy, you can achieve almost anything you put your mind to, including building self-confidence. I highly recommend turning to meditation when you are facing any hurdle, like low self-esteem or similar.
Trying Out Power Posing
Power posing is an exercise that involves standing in a confident and powerful posture for a few minutes to boost feelings of self-assurance and confidence.
To do this, find a private space and stand in a power pose. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Lift your chest and chin up and look straight ahead. Hold this pose for around two minutes, breathing deeply and slowly as you do it. You can repeat this exercise several times during the day, and it might be handy to try it out before important events or meetings.
Power posing can increase feelings of confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. By practicing this exercise regularly, you can build your self-confidence and feel more empowered in your personal and professional life.
Making a Rainy Day Folder
I have saved a file of screenshots of positive emails and reviews over the years from collectors and clients. This helps to brighten my day and remind me that my work has brought joy and meaning to other people. I put these into a “rainy day” folder when I am frustrated or discouraged. I have a curated folder of mood and confidence-boosting messages from people who understand and appreciate my work.
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