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Confidence is the belief or feeling of assurance that a task or ability to do something can be achieved to the desired outcome or standard.  

Although self-confidence can mean different things to different people, in reality it simply means having faith in yourself. It is healthy to feel confident in some areas and less confident in others, indeed it is unrealistic to be confident about everything all of the time. 

However, chronic low confidence, ie feeling under-confident about most things most of the time, can be devastating personally, professionally and socially. The effects of low self-confidence can include: 

  • Avoidance of situations such as social events, new challenges, etc 
  • An accumulation of negative beliefs, perhaps leading to low self-esteem or depressive thinking 
  • Withdrawal from engaging/relating with other people 
  • Acute embarrassment 
  • Distorted self view (eg ‘I am useless at everything’) 

Support to build up your self confidence 

Build on what you already have 

To develop confidence it is important to do more of the things you know you can do well to build on your strengths. Tools to develop self confidence are a good place to start the more you do that boosts your confidence, the more confident you feel upward spiral. 

It is useful to create achievable challenges for yourself so your confidence steadily builds rather than setting a very high goal then berating yourself for not achieving it. For example ‘I will talk to 1 person in my group today’ rather than ‘I will entertain the whole group for an hour’. 

Celebrate your achievements 

When you are building up your confidence it helps to acknowledge when you have shown confidence. Positive self-talk is very powerful, it can help to take note and write down when you have been more confident and how it made you feel. Celebrate your achievement. You can then reflect back if you need a boost to evidence how you have achieved that confidence. 

Observe other 

It may be helpful to observe others whom you consider confident and learn from them, as confidence is a skill that can be learnt, it is not an innate quality. It may be useful to enlist others’ help to develop your confidence - be bold and genuine and ‘own your fears’ eg try telling someone ‘I don’t feel very confident about this.’ You can ask for constructive feedback to help you gauge your confidence level. 

Taking care of yourself 

Ensure you are taking good care of yourself to keep a healthy mind, body and spirit. When you feel comfortable in yourself, you are more resilient and able to focus on building that confidence.


Resources from the library  

Boost Your Self-esteem {Creating Success}  


John Caunt 

365 Steps to Self-confidence : A Complete Programme for Personal Transformation - in Just a Few Minutes a Day {3Rd Ed.}, 



 David Lawrence Preston 


Building Self-esteem : How to Replace Self-doubt With Confidence and Well-being  


 William Stewart 



Developing Self-esteem : A Guide for Positive Success {Fifty-Minute Series}  


 Connie D Palladino 


How to accept yourself  




The Confidence to be Yourself  


Brian Roet