14 Essential Tips to Build the Confidence You Need to Succeed

How to be confident, happy, and successful in life

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14 Essential Tips to Build the Confidence You Need to Succeed

On a beautiful sunny afternoon, Richard Branson boarded a plane. But he wasn’t impressed with the airline hospitality; he thought airplanes should be more comfortable with better service hostesses.

An idea bloomed in his mind. He could start his own airline company with all these great features.

Immediately he landed. He called Boeing and negotiated a deal to borrow airplanes for his new business. In a few years, Virgin Air was global. One of the best airlines in the world.

Now to you reading this.

How many ideas have you passed on just because you lacked the confidence to follow through on them? How many times have you watched what you desire pass right in front of you just because you couldn’t reach out and grab it?

How many times have you wallowed in regret for not being able to do what you really wanted to do? It’s time for that to end.

Studies show that people with high levels of confidence progress at a faster rate than their fellow counterparts. This is obvious because others will take you seriously only when you appear to believe in yourself. Massively!

No matter what you want to do;

  • Get a job or promotion.
  • Make a sale.
  • Attract the opposite sex
  • Win people to your side. Just name it

You need to exude confidence before you can get this thing! No worries if you have zero confidence at this present moment.

Because I have good news.

Tips to Build Confidence For Success

Studies show that confidence is like a muscle and it can be built. No one is born confident(!). Though I can tell you, it won’t be easy. But it’s well worth the effort trust me.

And the first step to growing your confidence is to;

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”  Louise L. Hay

1. Start by Forgiving

It’s true you have failed to be your best self. You have piled up a pretty load of mistakes. Well so has everybody else! Now’s the time to let it all go.

Your confidence happens to built on your self-love and self-believe. How much you love yourself and believe in your personal abilities are both extremely important, which is why you must let go of all the feelings of self HATE, self DISGUST and simply forgive yourself. Sincerely!

Realize that everything that’s happened is in the past, and you are set for a brighter future.

2. Love Yourself 

Why aren’t you doing this!

Highly confident people don’t hate themselves. They rarely give a dollar about the opinion of others because they are in love with themselves. And that’s what really matters.

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”  Roy T. Bennett

You can’t believe in your abilities to succeed unless you fall in love with yourself, and there is no better time in your life to do this than right now right here.

Say it to yourself ‘ I LOVE MYSELF.’ Turn this into a self-actualizing mantra that you repeat to yourself all day long.

It sounds hollow, but it works. With time you start to believe it, and your confidence soars. To be confident, you have to love yourself. There is no other way!

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” – Helen Keller

3. Take Hold of the Bosses Body Language 

Have you noticed how a confident boss walks and talks? He walks with his head tall and his shoulders high. His posture is inch perfect!

He stands tall with an open body language. Beaming with a sincere smile and makes eye contact with everyone. Walking in like he owns the place.

Studies show changing your body language to mirror confidence gives you an instant boost of confidence. And there is no reason you can’t start using it on your confidence right now.

Here’s how –

  • Stand tall with your shoulders held high
  • Don’t slouch but make your chest wide and prominent
  • Smile and make eye contact with everyone
  • Walk 2x faster
  • Talk in a loud and firm tone so you never have to repeat yourself.
  • Have a rubber band on your wrist and snap it whenever you are fidgeting.

4. Work Out

Let’s even forget all the million health benefits of this right now.

Several studies show that people who exercise on a regular basis are far more confident and happy than those that don’t. Starting with a daily ritual of 30 minutes exercise will improve your self-image and self-esteem remarkably.

You start to feel more confident and relaxed. And that’s not all. When you exercise your brain releases endorphins (happiness hormones) which give you an immediate boost every time you work out.

Add it to the fact that working out keeps you in great shape. And it gives you more energy to be able to project a better and stronger confident body language.

5. Take Charge of Your Self-Talk

The way you talk to yourself goes a long way on how confident you become. Most times we make a mistake when we think of the future. Mistakenly we link our past performance of failures to how we believe we will perform in the future.

Our thoughts go negative and BAM. You conclude “I can’t do this.”

“ But Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” – Peter T. Mcintyre

Being confident doesn’t mean you suddenly have no fears. No. Negative thoughts of fears come around, but instead, you face it with faith and preparation.

When your thoughts start going sour, all you have to do is believe that it’s okay to fail and make mistakes.

Stop fearing to be wrong because if you fear, then you take no action. Lose lose lose.

Just look at it this way. Is someone else acting confident in that area? If so. Then all you have to do is prepare and have faith. Say it to yourself that you can do it, then prepare as best as you can, focus on your skill and you will act confident.

It all lies in your ability to catch those negative thoughts and turn them into positive.

6. Visualize 

This is a way to reinforce your self-talk to make it more positive. You know we humans actually think in images and you self-dialog your brain translating these images to words.

If you visit performance Academies, often you will often see athletes lying down with their eyes glazed over.

What they are doing is called visualizing. Most people get this thing wrong and visualize only the outcome they want. Yeah, that works too but not much.

Latest studies show that visualizing the whole activity including the very difficult part you are most likely to pass over is 20% more effective.

Here’s the deal. After catching your negative thoughts and planting the positive ones. Proceed to visualize it in vivid detail. Close your eyes and see yourself actually do that thing. Feel your heartbeat rise, feel the tension build, hear the cheers or criticism come at you and step through it. Take action in your mind. Do this over and over and over again then do it one more time.

Doing this over and over again boosts your confidence massively.

I told you it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s still worth it.

7. Get Rid of Negative People

There is no greater mistake than hanging out with negative people who suck the joy and fun of life out of you.

One step you can take right now is to decide to cut all your engagements with negative people by half. At your office, playground and school, cut it by half and half again. It’s simple. You can’t be confident when you stay with negative people who think of nothing but failure.

No amount of willpower will save you from emotion contagion. Do the smart thing. Go get new friends who are very positive and goal oriented. People who are headed towards places. These type of friends will change you, challenge you and increase your levels of confidence and achievement.

If you have a bad mentor too. It’s time to change it. Don’t let any weed into the garden of your mind!

To establish true self-esteem, we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.” – Denis Waitley

8. Shift to Gratitude

Successful and confident people are masters of gratitude. They know everybody has his or her own fair share of failures and accomplishments. And it’s what you choose to focus on that matter.

Shift your focus to gratitude! Start thinking of your past accomplishments and see how far that raises your confidence, instead of wallowing in self-pity of past failures and mistakes.

Make a list of things you can be grateful for – past accomplishments, your family, your great friends, your job and the income etcetera.

There are myriads of things in your life you can and should be grateful for.

It’s not the happy people that are grateful. It’s the grateful people that are happy, and happiness is what makes you more confident.

9. Compliment Others 

Everyone is drunk on themselves. No sane person will ever refuse a sincere appreciation, as a matter of that they will revel in it.

Since everyone is drunk on themselves, a way to be more confident is to give everybody what they want, and that is praise.

Have a great sense of humor and appreciate people. Say thank you. Say you love their outfits. Say you value their help. This makes people be at ease around you, and you can act more confidently as a result.

A daily practice of giving compliments to people makes you instantly likable and makes you a lot of friends. And it makes you more happier and confident in your abilities.

10. Be the Icebreaker 

Try to always be the icebreaker. Be the first to ask a question, voice your opinion or drop a comment.

The trick is to build as much positive feedback as fast as possible so you can always look back on them to boost your confidence.

Sit at the front of every classroom or meeting. If you don’t have a question, ask your friend if he has one and ask it for him or her. As you do this often you start to believe in yourself on a different scale entirely ‘I am not that bad’ ‘I am actually confident’ and then BAM. You are confident.

11. Focus on Expressing Yourself

There was a time I loved to do things to please others. And when they criticize me, I feel bad and never do that thing again. I got a life of shyness and unhappiness as a result. Served me right!

But when I threw my cares out the window and focused on expressing myself as a self-loving human being everything changed.

When I fell in love with myself. I just did not care about the others’ opinions anymore. I was busy loving myself, and all I want to do is express myself. Whatever your opinion is. Good for you!

Most people approach a scene with a mindset to please and wow people. That’s self-limiting! What you are doing is putting your confidence and happiness in the hand of others. And they don’t have many plans for you.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Washington Thurman

Why not adopt a mindset of expressing yourself? Come alive, strive to do your best and be content with it. Don’t care what others say or try to please the people who won’t even cry at your burial.

12. Build up Your Risk Muscle 

What goes hand in hand with confidence? Yes. It’s taking the risk.

You need to build up your risk muscle right from now. But first. You need a goal!

Find out what you really want to do. Get that big goal, then break it down into small slices. Take immediate action on the smallest one you can do right now.

Start making small victories here and there and level up after that.

Once you have tackled the small task successfully, exercise your risk muscle and tackle a larger one and a larger one after that and a larger one after that one still.

You brain releases dopamine which makes you feel good whenever you complete a task. So take the time to integrate the victory into yourself and praise yourself accordingly no matter how small the accomplishment.

13. Commit to Daily Improvement

There happens to be a link in between confidence and competence. Remember you called on your mom to tie your shoe lace as a kid because you lacked the competence to do it.

Same as you have a teacher beside you throughout the time you learned driving.

With time, you didn’t need any of these people anymore because you have developed the competence and with it comes confidence. You became good at it.

“You don’t have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar 

If you commit to constant improvement on a daily basis in every aspect of your life – job, communication, productivity and performance; by learning new things everyday in that aspect, and becoming more skillful everyday – your confidence increases with it, and people will be surprised it’s actually you.

You don’t have to possess great confidence or power to start. But you can start to acquire great confidence today by constant and never ending improvement!

14. Read Personal Development Books

This is just an extension to the point above.

The best favor you can do for yourself is to read a self-help book every week. This will be the best investment you can ever make in yourself.

Doing this means you get to read 52 books a year. You become more than empowered to be confident and successful. Your knowledge, skills, and value go off the chart!

Check out all those who made their money in a legal way. One thing is common to them all, and that is their passion for never ending learning.

The Big Picture 

I know you have more than enough instruments now that you can put into immediate use. From loving yourself to focusing on expression yourself and then concluding on constant improvement.

As I said earlier, confidence is like a muscle and by exercising everyday with this tips. With time it grows till you become so confident others get jealous of you.

If I’m going to give you one great advice, that would be to do these four things first:

  • Find a way to love yourself by all means
  • Change your friends to confident folks
  • Have a sense of gratitude and
  • Focus on expressing yourself.

These four points are what I think you should take seriously at first and then proceed to use the other tips.

Over to You –

What will you do with these tips for building confidence? Will you forget, ignore, or else, implement them in your life? Whatever it is, comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading.



Last Updated on: December 12th, 2016


Profile photo of James haforlarin
I am a personal development enthusiast and I blog about true personal development and actualization at my blog.

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35 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Carolyn Skipper

    December 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for sharing James’s
    Self Confidence primer.

    Some very well thought out suggestions and
    almost Rules…

    that can be used to point your toes
    and become a skilled dancer in the ballroom of
    succeeding in life.

    As pointed out, in life and in business…getting started
    is often the hardest step to learn.
    ~Cararta

    • James haforlarin

      December 30, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Thanks Carolyn. Getting started is hard and that’s why it’s so important we forgive and fall in love with ourself. When we have no issues with ourself. We do our best.

  2. Ravi Chahar

    December 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Hey James,

    People should develop the confidence in themselves. The nature of gratitude always works at its best.

    You should always try to visualize your boss’s body language.

    A Workout can bring the positive energy to you. Never skip your daily workout routine.

    Getting rid of the negative people is really important.
    You have added some valuable points.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    ~Ravi

    • James haforlarin

      December 30, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      Thanks for the kind comment Ravi,
      I personally a gratitude diary because I realized this really worked for me. And I don’t spend I minute around negative people anymore

  3. Profile photo of Ilka Emig

    Ilka Emig

    December 13, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Hi James!

    These are some really important points you mention here. Thanks for sharing. For me, different topics are crucial in different times of my life and circumstances. At the moment I see it most important to be grateful and positive. I would even go that far to say that a relaxed and grateful mind is most creative.

    All the best to you, Ilka

    • James haforlarin

      December 31, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Thanks for the nice comment IIka
      I can’t lower the importance of gratitude and positive thinking too. It’s so important and it’s beats me why not enough people work on this.

  4. Sherman Smith

    December 13, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Hey James,

    This is a great post for all people who are looking to start a business. Especially a home business.

    One thing that helped me build self confidence was reading a lot of personal development books. One book that really helped me was Noah St. John’s “The Secret Code Of Success” where he gives a little twist to affirmations.

    Also I had to limit my time with negative people. They tend to drain your energy and have you focus on why you can’t be successful. Once you make more time for yourself and be around more positive people you accomplish a lot more.

    Being more thankful opens a lot of doors and gives you more positive energy so that you can maintain your progress. Plus more people would want to be around you which definitely helps with your self confidence.

    Thanks for sharing James! Have a great week ahead!

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Hi james.
      I try out that book by Noah.
      And thanks for the great comment

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks Sherman
      I’ll try out that book by Noah.
      Thanks for the comment

  5. Profile photo of Laura J. Tong

    Laura J. Tong

    December 13, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Hi James, I appreciate your super straightforward approach in this post. I believe our confidence blossoms when we go out as our real self and when we treat ourselves kindly – as you say negative self-talk is a confidence killer. It’s important to find confidence mentors we genuinely admire, not just someone who is successful – if we can see ourselves standing in their shoes and feeling good about ourselves, then our confidence has every opportunity to flourish.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      That mentor part almost got me.
      It’s really important to find out about our mentors to make sure they are worthy enough before we allow them into our life.
      Some mentors are just exploiters and it kills the confidence of the exploited.
      I appreciate your comment Laura

  6. Krishna

    December 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Human beings need to keep improving during all phases of life..By learning new things, people can certainly avail success and happiness
    And as per your article, I personally liked two tips i.e. love and forgiveness
    It is because of these two things, I have become a successful person

  7. Dwayne

    December 14, 2016 at 10:46 am

    James, confidence does play a major role in many things in life from relationships to success in business and jobs. Great that you discussed self talk and working out. When you are fit and healthy, you feel more confident. And when you take control of your self talk, you can reinforce positivity to build your confidence.

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Handling our self talk is extremely important just as you said.
      Thanks for the comment

  8. Amar kumar

    December 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Hey James,

    Loving ourself directly means how confident we are. We have infinite ability which is enough for any tough task to make it simple for us. Our body language is also a significant factor which simply indicates our confidence level. Exercises makes us healthy and fit for prolong time – it is really helpful in manner of boosting our confidence level and relaxation. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy tips with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Amar
      It’s true if we are not fit. We tend to go low on confidence. Exercise has been a big part of the process of building my confidence.
      Thanks for the comment
      James

  9. Suraj Kumar

    December 14, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Hey James,

    We need confidence to do something big, but without confidence we can’t do even household works. Confidence is build step by step but your attitude responsible for the duration to build confidence. Every morning we have many reasons to be happy and many others to feel sorry. We all have a little Napoleon Bonaparte inside us.

    Just say that it can happen and you can do it. If you can’t do that don’t put your head down, life is going to end that moment. There is more life behind the success and failure. Don’t blame yourself because you have tried and try again, because nothing is easy. A healthy life style can help you to boost your confidence.

    Thanks for sharing the post on such a valuable issue. Keep sharing and have a nice day ahead.

    With regards,

    Suraj Kumar

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks for the nice wishes suraj
      Best regards
      James

  10. Akaahan Terungwa

    December 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Hi James,

    Welcome to Harleena’s awesome blog.

    Personally, I have no problems with self confidence and I discovered that I got to this point of self development by consciously seeking knowledge and broadening my horizon. This has made me understand complex issues better and by far, also perceive better than the average folk.

    This alone, is a huge confidence boost!

    You write awesomely…do make the day great.

    Harleena, thanks for hosting James 🙂

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Hi akaahan
      I’m glad this article has helped you
      Thanks for the nice comment. It’s feel so good to be here.
      James

  11. Tuhin

    December 17, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Hey James, This is a good reminder to those who are missing out the basic ingredients of success.

    No matter what happens and how life shapes up, it is very important to be grateful to all the good things that has happened so far. This instills positive vibes.

    One more point you mentioned in this post regarding negative people is worth discussing… Unless we free ourselves from grip of such pessimistic and negative people, we hardly can take progress.

    Thank you

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      You just summed up my mind tuhin
      I appreciate your comment
      James

  12. Shamsudeen Adeshokan

    December 18, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Hi James,

    Nice meeting you here on Aha-Now.

    Self-confidence is something every one that want to achieve greater success in life most posssess. There is no bargain here.

    You have to believe in yourself or no one will ever take you serious. Only the self-confident in you will take you through the hardtimes.

    Thanks James, nice shares.

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Hi shamsudeen
      Thanks for the comment.
      Wish you the best.
      James

  13. Jelina Roy

    December 27, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Hey James

    Well Building confidence may not be easy for other, but it is damn easy for me as i keep it simple.

    I just focus on myself and my skills and then do not hear or read whatever others have to say and I guess this is enough for anyone to build a confidence which automatically will help us express ourself more with the world.

    BTW, thanks for the Tips James.

    ~ Jelina

    • James haforlarin

      December 31, 2016 at 12:14 am

      Lucky for you jelina.
      You are one of the few people with big will power. Just wish things was that easy for me. I’m happy for you.
      Thanks for the nice comment

  14. Profile photo of Vernon Layne

    Vernon Layne

    December 29, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Hi James,

    I told myself I will be more confident starting next year then I ran across this powerful post.
    I don’t believe in coincidents.
    I love the fact you started the list off with forgiveness.
    Nothing productive can happen if we don’t forgive ourselves. We will just be going through the motions.
    I’ve started working out and making better choices when it comes to what I’ve been eating. And I tell you, I’m more productive and discipline in other areas of my life because of the confidence it have given me.
    Forgiving ourselves and working out is part of the self love you talked about. When we love ourselves we began to trust ourselves.
    We take more risks knowing it’s okay to fail as long as we learn from it.
    Im blessed to have dropped by and be encouraged by this post.
    Vernon

  15. Profile photo of Bisco Ibitade

    Bisco Ibitade

    December 31, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Hello James,

    I love the way your post was listed. It starts from what should be the first, and then progressed from there.

    There is no way you’ll build self confidence without first loving yourself and before you love yourself you must have forgiven yourself of your past error(s).

    The role of self talk can not be over emphasized, and I have even written a whole post on that and explained how to develop a positive self talk.

    Thank you Harleena for allowing this…

  16. Bashir Ahmed

    December 31, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Hi James and Harleena,

    Wonderful post and tips for building the confidence in our daily life to succeed. Really I’m against the hate and I always spread the love. Forgiving other and yourself is a big relief.

    I’ll follow your all tips – Thanks for sharing!

    Happy new year in Advance! 🙂

    • James

      December 31, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks for appreciating this post enough to comment.
      And I appreciate your commitment to follow it. Wish you the best
      James

  17. Rajkumar

    January 22, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    These are indeed wonderful tips to build self confidence. And you are utterly right about importance of self confidence and I must say every person must have seen its power which boost our energy toward the work we do.

    Thanks for share.

  18. Julian

    January 24, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Absolutely brilliant post, and one that I wish I read when I was at college.

    The only thing I would disagree with is walking fast. I used to do that, to no avail.

    These days, I walk deliberately slowly, with longer strides, and I feel like I’m the president. I appreciate that this can vary between individuals, but this is my experience.

    Apart from that, great article, well written, and a good reminder (especially the praise of other people).

    Thanks for sharing

  19. Jenny Rev

    January 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Hey James

    Indeed a Great Post Dear !

    Building confidence is just a matter of few things. As you have written many points, i will pick only two, keeping negativity away and love whatever you you.

    I certainly believe that these two things can amke us much more confident. But only if we can stay positive no matter how tough the situation gets, we need to think positive and that way we will always be confident that we can do that, no matter how big the problem is.

    I have done that in my life and I want all women’s are going through tough face to do this exactly. It is all about our mind.

    Correct me If I am wrong.

  20. Dani Fearless

    January 29, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    First off, I love your post !
    Its amazing how hard it is for people to do #7 (Get Rid of Negative People) but it makes such a big influence on a persons life.

    So many of my students don’t realize how bad it is for have so many negative influences around them and how it effect there oval life

  21. Louis Huynh

    February 8, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Hey James, as I read the no.11 I instantly remember what Bruce Lee said and accepting failures and keep going is important as well. But overall, love this post.


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14 Essential Tips to Build the Confidence You Need to Succeed

by James haforlarin time to read: 10 min