Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — not in an
arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn't about feeling superior
to others. It's a quiet inner knowledge that you're capable.
feel secure rather than insecure
know they can rely on their skills and strengths to handle whatever comes up
feel ready for everyday challenges like tests, performances, and competitions
think "I can" instead of "I can't"
Why Confidence Matters
Confidence helps us feel ready for life's experiences. When we're confident, we're
more likely to move forward with people and opportunities — not back away from
them. And if things don't work out at first, confidence helps us try again.
It's the opposite when confidence is low. People who are low on confidence might
be less likely to try new things or reach out to new people. If they fail at something
the first time, they might be less likely to try again. A lack of confidence
can hold people back from reaching their full potential.
Believing in Yourself
Has someone told you that you're smart? Funny? Kind? Artistic? A good student?
A good writer? A good athlete?
When people praise us or recognize our skills and capabilities, it can boost our
confidence — as long as we believe these good things, too. If you've
ever doubted the good things people say about you, that's the opposite of self-confidence.
To feel truly confident, you need to really believe you are capable. The
best way to get that belief is through using your skills and talents — by learning
Confidence helps us move forward to discover and develop our capabilities. When
we see what we're capable of and take pride in our achievements, confidence gets even
How to Be More Confident
Everyone can work to gain more confidence. Here are a few tips to try:
Build a confident mindset. When your inner voice says "I can't,"
retrain it to say "I can." Or you could also say, "I know I can learn (or do) this
if I put my mind to it."
Compare yourself kindly. It's natural to compare ourselves with
other people. It's a way to understand ourselves and develop the qualities we admire.
But if comparisons often leave you feeling bad about yourself, it's a sign to work
on your confidence and self-esteem.
Shake off self-doubt. When we doubt our abilities, we feel inferior,
unworthy, or unprepared. That can make us avoid people and situations we might enjoy
and grow from.
Take a safe risk. Sign up for a school committee, volunteer to
help with a project or bake sale, or try out for a team or talent show. Raise your
hand in class more often. Talk to that cute kid in your science class.
Challenge yourself to do something that's just beyond your normal comfort
zone. Pick something you'd like to do if only you had more confidence. Give
yourself a little push and do it. Now that you've done that, pick something else to
try — and keep repeating this same process. Confidence grows with every step
Know your talents and help them shine. We're taught to work hard
to improve our weaknesses. Sometimes that's important, like bringing up a bad grade.
But don't let working on a weakness prevent you from getting even better at the things
you're good at.
Do your homework. Study. Do assignments. Prepare for class, tests,
and quizzes. Why? If you've been keeping on top of class work all along, you'll feel
more confident in tests and finals. The best defense against test
anxiety and school stress is to
keep up and do the work steadily.
Dare to be the real you. Let others see you for who you are —
mistakes, insecurities, and all. Insecurities are easier to move past when we don't
feel like we have to hide them. Embrace your quirks instead of trying to be like someone
else or acting in a way that's not true to you.
It takes courage and confidence to be real. But the more real we are, the more self-confident
we become. Confidence builds self-esteem.
Keep At It
Confidence levels go up and down for all of us, even the most confident-seeming
If something shakes your confidence, show yourself some understanding. Don't criticize
yourself. Learn from what happened, think what you could have done differently, and
remember it for next time. Talk about what happened with someone who cares. Then remind
yourself of your strengths and the things you've achieved. Get back in the game!