We’ve all had confidence-eroding events in our lives that leave us lacking in self confidence. Let’s take back the power and build it back 7 simple steps.






Not getting the job we wanted, overhearing a snide remark, or getting negative feedback can all create a momentary dip in the way we feel about ourselves. If we’re not careful, these transient negative states can linger on and sap us of the energy we need to take actions that lead to competence and self confidence.

reminder to gain confidence
The more you live in alignment with yourself, the more peace, joy, confidence and meaning you experience.

Our minds work in wonderful feedback loops that can build us up or bring us down. Renowned psychologist Albert Bandura said that our beliefs about ourselves shape us and lead to how we think, behave and feel. Our self-concept becomes the secret driver of our lives. The more stable and positive this self-concept, the less likely we are to yo-yo with every setback—and the more confident we’ll feel to engage in behaviors that lead to upward spirals of growth, resilience, and confidence.

Our emotions in the moment thus have a profound impact on who we become. Luckily, the science of happiness shows that positive emotions are under our control far more than previously thought. A naturally cheery outlook on life may be inherited, but a positive one can be built through voluntary activities. 

If you need to boost levels of happiness to overcome a yo-yoing self confidence, come join the ride! Here’s how to fight the voice that questions your abilities, overlooks your achievements, and beats you down for your apparent failings.


So, What exactly is self confidence?

lacking in self confidence how to define it
How do you define confidence and self confidence?

Having self confidence is a positive attitude about yourself and your skills.

It means you have a positive view of yourself; know your strengths and weaknesses well, set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism in a constructive way.

lacking in confidence and our relationship to the world
Our self confidence can change our relationship with the world

Self confidence is one of the most important traits you can have. Why? Because it leads to success in every area of your life. When you have self confidence, you believe in yourself and your abilities. This creates a positive attitude, which in turn leads to setting realistic expectations and goals, communicating assertively, and handling criticism constructively. All of these things contribute to success in every area of your life, whether it’s personal or professional. So if you want to be successful, start by developing self confidence. It’s the foundation upon which all other success is built.


How do I stop lacking self confidence? 

lacking in self confidence in social situations with friends
How to stop lacking self confidence and take back the power in social situations?

You’re not alone in lacking self-confidence. In fact, it’s normal to lack self confidence at some point in their lives. 

The first step to gaining self-confidence is admitting that you have a problem. Once you’ve done that, you can start to work on building yourself up. 

Start setting small goals for yourself and then celebrating when you accomplish them. As you start to accomplish more, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself and your abilities. 

Surround yourself with positive people who will make you feel good about yourself. 

Work on it. Confidence is something that you have to work on every day. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep at it, you will eventually see a difference.


Confidence vs Self Confidence

lacking in self confidence to do things you didnt think you could, like climb a mountain
Confidence to do things you wouldn’t believe

Confidence is feeling 100% sure about something, an unwavering feeling of trust. 

Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. Confidence is a general feeling in general, and feeling you possess the correct knowledge. While self-confidence is confidence specifically in oneself. Everyone experiences confidence at some point or another – it’s a normal emotion. 

Everyone also experiences self-confidence occasionally.

However, some people have very low self-confidence most of the time, while others have high self-confidence. People with high self-confidence generally feel good about themselves and their abilities, and they’re usually successful in life.


How to beat that destructive thinking and lacking in self confidence

lacking in self confidence - change now
When will I gain back my self confidence?

Be Your Compassionate Voice

Setbacks and failures are a part of life. And yet, there’s a voice in our heads that reserves its most negative commentary for ourselves. Professor Paul Gilbert says that being our own staunch supporter and kindly voice provides us with the space to analyze our actions without judgment, hold ourselves in acceptance and thus develop the courage to go out and do the right thing. If you find it hard to be there for yourself, imagine what you would say to a friend who messed up. Now, can you offer yourself the same understanding?

Learn to Turn off Your Thoughts

Although it’s important to listen to our thoughts, it’s equally important to know how to let them go. The human mind can be a personal tormentor. Replaying negative thoughts over and over in our minds pulls us down into a pit of pessimism that distorts reality. And given human nature and the social worlds we live in, most of these thoughts judge ourselves against someone else. Allowing the achievements and appearances of others to determine our confidence is the most self-sabotaging of behaviors. If you find yourself constantly measuring yourself against “perfect” others, bring an end to the torture through thought distraction techniques such as going out for a jog or listening to your favorite music.

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Practice Gratitude: Notice 3 Good Things

We have an insatiable limbic system that constantly yearns for more. In a world of unlimited choices and an unrealistic desire for perfection, it can always find reasons to be unhappy. Shining the torch of awareness on our negative is a sure way of feeding unhappiness. Practice gratitude instead, by building a list of all that is worthy in you, and you’ll not only calm the limbic system, but also remember your qualities when you feel you don’t have any. Here’s one to try, based on the famous “3 Good Things” exercise studied by happiness researchers: Simply notice and appreciate 3 good things about yourself every day.

Remind Yourself of the Power of “Yet”

Obstacles and setbacks feel bad enough when they happen. But when we believe there’s nothing we can do to change the situation, we feel hopeless. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck encourages a “growth mindset” that reminds us of the neuroplasticity of the brain and its amazing capacity to learn and grow by forming new connections. Whenever you feel dejected by a roadblock, remind yourself of the power of “yet”—you may not have mastered the skill “yet” but it is in your power to do so!

Lean on your Circle of Support

Although self confidence has to come from within—from internal beliefs that we are able and worthy—our neural architecture places us within a narrative that contains the other people in our lives. Being around supportive friends and family who genuinely wish the best for us and cheer us along the way gives rise to real self confidence and a beaming attitude. Have you identified your circle of support?

Identify Your Pet Peeve—and Change It!

Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research shows that around 10% of our happiness is dependent on the conditions in our lives. Sure, it’s a small percentage, but if there’s something about your appearance that gives rise to feelings of shame AND it is in your power to change it, by all means go for it. For example, studies have shown that plastic surgery can lead to lasting increases in our happiness with our appearance. Even if a nose job is not on your to-do list, remember to pamper yourself regularly. It’s amazing how small changes such as a flattering hair color or cut, a well-fitting jacket, or daring lipstick can work wonders for our self confidence.

Find a Meaningful Purpose

Man’s search for meaning evolved as a response to the realization of the uncertainty of life. Dr. Roy Baumeister says that having a meaningful purpose that’s aligned to our strengths and values builds our self confidence and protects us from the chaos of emotions. 

Setbacks, other people’s comments, and difficult situations all take a backseat when your goal lights up your life with a spark that burns with passion. 

Positive emotions pick us up where lacking self confidence abandons us and encourage us to take purposeful action instead of wallowing in our misery. And savoring these moments of growth allows them to seep down into our long-term memory to form a positive lens through which we view ourselves. 

There’s no better way to build stable and lasting self confidence.


This article first appeared on Happify.com

lacking in self confidence, confidence coach Homaira Kabir
Author and coach Homaira Kabir

Written by mentor, author and founder of the Goodbye Perfect Project, Homaira Kabir. Homaira Kabir holds Master’s degrees in Coaching Psychology and in Positive Psychology – the science of human flourishing and wellbeing – from the University of East London. She has just published her latest book ‘Goodbye Perfect: How To Stop Pleasing, Proving and Pushing For Others… and Live For Yourself’.

Goodbye perfect book by Homaira Kabir

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