Skip to content

How to Be More Confident, According to Experts

Give your self-esteem a much needed boost so you can really shine.

Believing in yourself is often easier said than done. Insecurity and self-doubt can creep in at any point, making you feel unsure of your self-worth. But while some people seem naturally confident, most of us aren't born with a high degree of self-assurance. Instead, confident people often spend years working to boost their self-esteem—and it's never too late for you to do the same. If you're ready to embark on your path of self-improvement, this expert-backed guide is a great place to start. Read on to learn more about why self-confidence is so important, and for tips on how to be more confident, starting now.

RELATED: 31 Expert-Backed Ways to Easily and Instantly Boost Your Self-Esteem.

How Does Being Confident Benefit You?

Young man smiling confident looking to the sky at street

You've probably heard time and again that self-confidence is the key to success. But how does being confident benefit you? Confident people excel in a number of different professional and personal contexts.

At Work

Business portrait - businessman sitting in in office working with laptop computer. Mature age, middle age, mid adult man in 50s with happy confident smile. Copy space.

Confidence can make all the difference in a workplace. In fact, it can influence "performance, satisfaction, and career advancement," according to Heather Wilson, LCSW, experienced therapist and executive director at Epiphany Wellness.

"When workers are confident in their own skills, they become more likely to take more difficult tasks as well as seek leadership positions and innovative ideas," she explains.

In a Relationship

Middle age couple smiling happy and drinking coffee. Leaning on the window at home.

Being a confident person won't just help you at work. Confidence also "plays a crucial role in the health and stability of personal relationships," says Lindsey Tong, LCSW, clinical director at the Los Angeles-based center Profound Treatment.

"A confident person is more likely to communicate openly with their partner, express their needs, and set healthy boundaries," she shares. "This openness and honesty can lead to deeper emotional connections and mutual respect, which are essential for a thriving relationship."

This can make arguments or disagreements less volatile in your relationships as well.

"Self-assured individuals are better equipped to handle conflicts constructively, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and resentment," Tong adds.

While Speaking

male speaker standing at a podium, engaging the audience during a corporate seminar, conveying confidence and expertise in a modern conference setting.

You don't have to be a public speaker to understand the importance of being confident while speaking. Even in casual conversations, "confidence ensures that the message is delivered clearly and persuasively," Sophie Cress, LMFT, licensed therapist and mental health expert, explains.

Confidence can help you overcome nervousness and anxiety when speaking, allowing you to focus solely on what you're saying and who you're saying it to, Cress says.

"Confident speakers are more engaging and credible, often leaving a lasting impression," she notes. "This skill is invaluable in professional presentations, social gatherings, and personal interactions."

RELATED: 10 Best Public Speaking Hacks That Experts Use.

In Public

Portrait of attractive young woman walking outside in the city

Confident people tend to have a "more vibrant social life and broader support network," too, Cress says.

"This is because, in public, confidence influences how an individual navigates social settings and interacts with strangers," she continues. "It encourages proactive engagement, making it easier to network, make new friends, and participate in community activities."

In School

Happy college student writing equation on white board in class. Satisfied young girl solving math problem on whiteboard with classmates in background watching her. Proud high school student writing.

Confidence at a younger age can help people socialize better in school as well, according to Michelle English, LCSW, co-founder and executive clinical manager at the California-based center Healthy Life Recovery.

"With confidence, one can make friends easily and fit into different groups within a school setting, leading to enhanced satisfaction levels with life at large while still studying," she shares.

Of course, confident people don't just have a better time socializing in school—they tend to get better grades, too.

"Students who believe in themselves are more likely to participate actively during lessons by asking questions and seeking clarification where necessary, hence performing well academically," English points out.

RELATED: How to Keep a Conversation Going With Confidence.

13 Ways to Build Confidence

Depression, anxiety, mental health, burnout sad man, thinking and depressed insomnia night. Anxious man stressed, sitting in the bedroom thinking of memories and ideas about the future

So, now you know exactly how being a more confident person can help you in different parts of your life. But how do you get rid of self-doubt and boost self-esteem? Here are 13 expert-backed tips that will teach you how to be more confident.

1. Practice better body language.

A man with a good posture.

Changing your outward self can help you feel more confident within. Certified integrative professional coach Jennifer Jakobsen, LCSW, emphasizes the idea of "confident body language."

If you stand tall with good posture, you're more likely to feel more confident immediately. On the other hand, being slumped forward "makes you feel unsure," she explains.

Other people will notice this as well, according to Jakobsen. If you appear more confident through your body language, people will be more likely to treat you accordingly.

2. Only wear clothes you feel good in.

Woman Going Through Closet
GaudiLab / Shutterstock

When it comes to your outward appearance, it's also important to make sure you're happy with how you look every day.

This will require getting rid of any outfits that make you "feel boring or downright unattractive," licensed therapist Lauren Cook, PsyD, says.

Even if you don't feel completely confident in your body, wearing clothes that make you feel appealing can make more of a difference in your overall confidence than you might realize.

RELATED: How to Power Dress in 2024.

3. List out the challenges you've overcome.

man meditating and writing gratitude journal

Sometimes to feel confident in the present, we must look back at what we've done in the past, says Tiffany Toombs, mindset expert with Blue Lotus Mind Institute.

"Make a list of challenges or failures you've overcome in life," she suggests. "Beside each one, write down the lessons you learned in those situations. This helps the mind to develop confidence, in that you've overcome a number of challenges or obstacles in the past, and have the confidence to overcome anything that may pop up in the future."

4. Write down what went well in your life every day.

Woman writing in planner or calendar / Shutterstock

Paying attention to the present can also help. Make sure you're taking into account all the good things that are happening on a daily basis.

Irena O'Brien, PhD, cognitive neuroscientist and founder of The Neuroscience School, says the key to boosting self-confidence is to focus on improving self-acceptance.

"Complete the statement, 'This went well today because I am…,'" O'Brien advises. "Every day, choose three things that went well that day and complete the statement. Your self-acceptance will start to improve after the first day as you realize the many things you're good at."

RELATED: 7 Journaling Tips to Feel Happy Every Day in Retirement.

5. Turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Young Man Thinking About Solutions

Beating yourself up every day isn't going to do much for your self-esteem. Instead, Steve Carleton, LCSW, chief clinical officer at Porch Light Health, says one strategy for building confidence involves "identifying negative thoughts or beliefs about oneself and then disputing them."

"Adopting positive self-statements and making realistic self-appraisals may do wonders for one's belief in himself or herself," Carleton explains.

6. Talk to yourself in the mirror.

Self confident woman pointing finger at her reflection in mirror
miss_j / iStock

It may seem a bit silly, but Olivia Dreizen Howell, clinical hypnotherapist and certified life coach, tells her clients to actually look at themselves while they're saying their affirmations.

"So, you would look in the mirror, and clearly say, 'I am confident!' or 'I know what I'm doing!' or "I am going to ace this test!' And, you have to really believe it and feel it in your body," she shares. "Put your hands on your hips, remember to deep breathe, and keep your chest open, head high, and voice loud. Once you start repeating these phrases, you will have the experience of being confident, and it will actually start to rewire your belief system so you also believe you are confident."

RELATED: 8 Daily Affirmations to Send Your Confidence Skyrocketing.

7. Create boundaries in your inner circle.

Young people dining and having fun drinking red wine together. Happy group of friends eating and enjoying each other company. Lunch and red wine at home

While working on yourself in pursuit of more confidence, look at those around you. James Sheppard, executive coach and co-founder of Centriq, cautions that "one of the biggest factors that can affect self-confidence is negative people."

If you're surrounded by negative friends, family members, or even coworkers, that negativity can trickle down into your self-esteem. Tong recommends "surrounding yourself with encouraging friends and family" that can help you maintain a positive outlook and exude confidence.

8. Ask other people for advice.

A man listens to his partner speak as they sit together face to face on their couch at home.

Don't be afraid to seek out guidance from your support system, as this can help you work toward building your confidence levels over time.

"Asking for pieces of advice from good friends or respected mentors is a great opportunity to get constructive criticism and words of encouragement in order to help people see better their strengths and places of improvement," says Niloufar Esmaeilpour, MSc, registered clinical counselor and founder of Lotus Therapy & Counselling Centre in Vancouver.

9. Try your hand at some new activities.

Three female volunteers wearing light blue t-shirts collecting donated clothing
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

Putting yourself in new environments that are conducive toward building confidence can make a major difference, too, according to Michelle Dees, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist working with Luxury Psychiatry Medical Spa.

"Involvement in activities which bring a sense of fulfillment along with happiness can do wonders for boosting self esteem," she explains, noting that this can include sports or art-related activities, as well as community service opportunities.

RELATED: 20 Hobbies for Women That Will Enrich Your Life.

10. Step out of your comfort zone.

Man looking worried while watching a match at stadium. Man biting nails while watching a live soccer game from stands.

You should even consider trying an activity that might scare you. That's because "confronting fears and stepping out of comfort zones is another crucial aspect of building confidence," Cress says.

"Encouraging individuals to gradually and systematically face their fears exposes them to new experiences and challenges," she shares. "Overcoming obstacles, even if initially daunting, instills a sense of resilience and self-assurance. This gradual desensitization to fear builds confidence in the ability to navigate uncertainty and adversity, ultimately expanding comfort zones and fostering personal growth."

11. Take time to always plan ahead.

Closeup shot of an unrecognisable businesswoman writing notes at a coffee shop

It's difficult to feel good about yourself when you're always worrying about your decisions last minute, Jakobsen notes. So make preparation and planning a priority in your life if you're working on building up your confidence.

"Being prepared helps you feel calm and confident," Jakobsen says. "Otherwise, you will feel stressed out and overwhelmed—which is not good for anyone."

12. Work on becoming a more confident person every day.

smiling confident woman
pixelheadphoto digitalskillet / Shutterstock

Many people want to turn themselves into a new person overnight, but that's just not possible, and those unrealistic expectations lead to nothing but disappointment. Instead, take steps to improve yourself day by day, Sukhi Jutla, life coach and author of Escape the Cubicle, advises.

"When it comes to becoming more confident, I advise to avoid chasing perfection and instead aim to give your best on a daily basis," she says. "Only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday."

RELATED: 5 High-Income Skills to Boost Your Career Prospects.

13. Set small goals for yourself over time.

Organization and To Do List concept, workplace with notepad, ballpoint pen, some sticky notes, a laptop and smartphone, on wooden desk. Checklist for work and life.

With this day-by-day approach, it's also a good idea to set attainable goals so that you can regularly celebrate small wins over your journey to becoming a more confident person, Cress recommends.

"This strategy leverages the psychological concept of self-efficacy, where success in one area fosters confidence in tackling future challenges," she explains. "Moreover, celebrating these victories reinforces positive self-perception and encourages ongoing personal development."

Wrapping Up

That's it for our expert-backed guide on how to be more confident so you can find success in different parts of your life. But be sure to check back with us soon for more wellness tips that can make all the difference when it comes to building your self-esteem.

This story has been updated to include additional entries, fact-checking, and copy-editing.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more