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Boost Your Self-Confidence

leadership & impact mind & meaning Apr 01, 2021

Have you ever noticed how kids can be so great at acknowledging themselves? They’ll confidently say things like, “I did it! I went to the potty all by myself!” 

When was the last time you acknowledged yourself with such enthusiasm?

Seriously, think about it!

Many of us do not acknowledge ourselves, and we miss out on opportunities to build our self-confidence. 

To boost your self-confidence in any area of your life, make it a practice to praise yourself. That doesn’t mean that you go around and brag about yourself. Rather, it means that you acknowledge your strengths and other positive attributes to yourself.

Your brain is very malleable, and focusing your attention on those positive and empowering thoughts creates neural connections that get strengthened with repetition. The stronger the neural connection, the more it shapes what you believe (e.g., about what you can or cannot do). Your mindset then influences your thoughts, emotions, behavior and ultimately your results. 

By acknowledging and celebrating yourself more often, you physically alter your brain to notice more evidence of your capabilities and success. You can program yourself to believe that you deserve good things and that you are capable of creating positive changes in your life. As you strengthen those belief systems, you can experience even more confidence, resilience and motivation. 


“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

– African Proverb


I invite you to pause for a brief moment now to appreciate one thing that you have accomplished today. And be sure to consider the little successes or wins in your day, such as your healthy choices or the small yet meaningful acts of kindness you did for others. What are you proud of yourself for today? 

Many of us tend to under-appreciate the “minor” things we do successfully every day because our brain more easily remembers experiences that are accompanied by strong emotions, such as those times when we made a mistake or “failed” at something. We tend to be excellent self-critics, and those critical thoughts lead us to experience depleting emotions such as guilt, shame, and embarrassment. 

When you train yourself to celebrate your effort and progress, no matter how small, you change your inner dialogue, broaden your perspective, and prime yourself for success. 

So, give yourself permission to toot your own horn. Here are a few ideas that can help:    

1. Reflect Back on Your Life: 

Take a few moments to reflect on your life’s successes. What decisions or achievements are you most proud of? What struggles have you overcome? Write down all the big and little things that come to mind. Remind yourself how far you've come. 

2. Compliment Yourself in the Mirror: 

When you look in mirror every morning or when you wash your hands, make it a practice to say something uplifting and kind to yourself. For example, you may think “I’m so proud of you for…”, “You are worthy”, or “You did a great job when you…”

If acknowledging yourself, especially in front of a mirror, feels awkward or uncomfortable at first, it is just a sign that you need more practice. In time, you will become more comfortable acknowledging and accepting yourself.

3. List Your Daily Achievements:    

At the end of each day, write a list of 3 things you have achieved that day. These don’t need to be ‘big’ achievements. It’s likely that you have had many small wins throughout the day that you've overlooked, such as remembering to get something done, doing an act of kindness for someone, or the time and attention that you gave to a loved one. 

4. Reframe Your Perspective: 

When you make a mistake or do not live up to expectations (either your own or someone else's), take the time to reflect on that event and search for the positive meaning.

You can ask yourself questions such as, “Did I do my best at that time?”, “What was my intention?”, “What did I do well?”, “How might this be a learning opportunity for me?” 

There’s always a positive lesson in any situation when you look for it. When you find it, praise yourself for that and be as specific and accurate as you can. Write your praise down or say it out loud in private. 

For example, you might say to yourself: “I did my very best when I…”, “I learned how to…”, or “I was brave when I…” 

It can take some time to shift negative habitual thoughts through self-praise, however it is well worth the effort. If you practice these habits consistently, you will notice that your inner dialogue becomes more loving and empowering, and you will not depend on praise and validation from others to feel worthy and capable.

And, that heightened confidence will spill over into other areas of your life, motivating you to achieve even bigger goals.  


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