How to Build Self-Confidence in Adults

Whether it was a chronic issue or due to an intimidating or challenging situation, many adults have experienced a lack of self-confidence. It is important to remember that a lack of confidence doesn't have to be permanent, although it may take a little effort to restore. Unfortunately, many of us spend our lives focusing on the needs of others rather than ourselves. To restore confidence, you need to take some time for yourself, stay positive and take action immediately.

Start an exercise routine. Beginning a workout routine will help you feel better physically, which, in turn, can also enhance your self-perception and self-confidence, says exercise researcher Adrian Taylor, Ph.D., in Catherine Gunthrie's 2010 article titled "8 Ways Exercise Makes You Gorgeous," found on the website 3. Running, lifting weights or attending fitness classes at your local gym are all good options. Whatever you do, focus on doing something you enjoy.

Think positive. Concentrate on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. According to contributing writer Leo Babauta, writing for, it's helpful to become aware of negative thinking and self-talk, including any locations or situations that trigger these thoughts. After charting your habit of negative thinking train yourself to turn these thoughts into positive thoughts and actions. Doing so can help you gain confidence; this is also a technique that can used to accomplish any goal, such as running a marathon or losing weight.

Set small, achievable goals. Setting goals too high, too fast can quickly lead to failure and reduce self-confidence. Instead, break your goal down into smaller parts and focus on each separately. No matter how small the goal, the act of completing it will boost your self-confidence and you will be better prepared to tackle larger goals 1.

Do volunteer work. This may seem irrelevant, but the simple act of helping others can boost your self-confidence 1. Others will be grateful that you are generously donating your time and skills, leading people to view you in a more positive light. This can boost your self-image and any negative thoughts you had about yourself will slowly improve.


Face your fears. Sometimes, just jumping in is the best way to overcome a fear. Quite often, our fears are often based on unfounded interpretations.

Don't be afraid of failure. With each failure, you will become stronger, learn and increase your chances of future success.

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