How To Believe in Yourself: Confidence Building Tips To Achieve Your Dreams

Believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything! The sky is the limit! 

You’ve heard these platitudes throughout your life. The message is prevalent in pop culture, schools, and homes. 

Although it may seem like empty words, the overall message rings true. 

Self-confidence and self-worth are fundamental to living a happy, healthy life. Believing in yourself will build confidence, a key component to achieving your life’s desires. 

Why is it Important to Believe in Yourself?

“So that’s it then – no weapons, no friends, no hope, take that away, and what’s left?”

“Me.”

             – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy was an icon of self-empowerment. She believed in herself even when she had nothing; that self-confidence helped her win the day. 

Although you aren’t fighting vampires, the same concept applies to your life. You are the one who has the power to change your life. When you believe in yourself, you acknowledge that ability, which is why self-belief is crucial. 

Studies Suggest Self-Esteem Crucial to Happiness

A recent study by psychologists at UC Davis points to the massive impact self-belief has on overall happiness and success. 

They found that people with high self-esteem enjoy greater success in nearly every facet of their lives, from school to career and even social and romantic relationships. 

Numerous studies have showcased the relationship between confidence and happiness in the past decade. Researchers in Malaysia found confident adolescents were happier than their peers, while a European survey of Turkish college students found that self-esteem, along with overall psychological well-being, explained about 51% of the total variance regarding happiness. 

Research shows the opposite is also true: low self-esteem correlates with unhappiness.  People lacking confidence show greater rates of depression and struggle to form positive social relationships. 

Believing in Yourself Helps You Achieve Your Dreams

Believing in yourself is essential because it can give you the courage to set and pursue magnificent goals. The improbable becomes probable as you know you can achieve anything you want. Doubts disappear, and you act towards living the life you want, regardless of what others think.

Self-belief is also vital because it can motivate you to keep trying even in the face of adversity. It can boost confidence when life becomes challenging and encourage you to keep going. If you genuinely believe you can overcome obstacles, you will persevere and emerge stronger and better. 

Research supports the link between confidence and achievement. Two 2013 studies highlight confidence’s role in success. One from the University of Western Sydney found a link between self-confidence and academic success, while researchers at Utah State University found a connection between confidence and success in team sports. 

Self-Belief Crucial

All these studies point to the same outcome: believing in yourself is critical to a happy, healthy, and meaningful life. 

However, it’s easier said than done. 

How Can I Always Believe in Myself?

It can be hard to believe in yourself. Bad things happen, and we feel like we don’t deserve to feel good about ourselves. We’re scared of what will happen if we try and fail.

We may lack self-confidence for various reasons, but fortunately, there are ways to shift our mindsets and help us feel better about ourselves. 

Here are some tips to help you develop confidence, the secret ingredient to believing in yourself. 

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

In the world of Insta-perfection and online highlight reels, it’s effortless to scroll through the perfect photos everyone else posts of their life’s most incredible moments and wonder what we’re doing wrong with our own.

We’re not doing anything wrong. 

All you see online is a brief snapshot of what they want you to see. It’s perfectly curated to make you think you aren’t good enough when, in reality,  their life is just as dull and grinding as yours. Social media influencers have expensive cameras and an eye for aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean they are better than you.

Comparing yourself to others in real life can be problematic as well. Maybe you have a friend or family member who seems blessed. They have a dream life – a perfect partner, job, family, etc. 

Not Always What It Seems

But there are a lot of things you don’t see.

How perfect is it? Do you know the ins and outs of everything, or does it just seem perfect from the outside? And even if it is perfect, how much hard work did it take for them to get there? 

People rarely succeed from luck alone, but we tend to ignore all the failures and setbacks they face along the way. We only look at where they are now.

Everyone has to live at their own pace. Wherever you are in life, it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time or choosing a non-traditional path. What matters is that you are where you need to be now.

2. Fake it ‘Til You Make it

Sometimes, faking it helps. Pretending you know what you’re doing allows you to realize that you really do understand what you are doing. And even if it doesn’t, fake confidence sometimes creates true confidence.

If you don’t have any belief in yourself – fake it! 

Pretend that you do. Act as you do. Changing your mindset to believe in yourself might involve tricking yourself, but that’s okay. It really does work!

3. Be Purposeful with Body Language

Stop slouching. Sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back. Open your body up and own the space you occupy.

It may seem silly – but being intentional about how you take up space can do wonders for your self-esteem. 

Pay attention to how you present yourself. Are you always trying to be small or take up as little space as possible? Stop! 

Imagine you have the confidence of a man on a subway and permit yourself to exist in the space you need. 

Acknowledging that you have the same right to occupy space will help you foster confidence.

4. Give Yourself a Boost

Many of us have a few things at home that help us feel better about ourselves. Perhaps wearing a particular outfit improves your mood, or a specific hairstyle gives you a little pick-me-up. 

Wear that favorite outfit and style your hair that way. Do the little things that you can do to boost your self-esteem. Sometimes, a tiny boost is all we need to have an epic day. 

5. Change Your Style

If these tiny changes to boost yourself no longer help, consider a more drastic change. Sometimes, a wardrobe change or a new hairstyle can help you build confidence. 

Experiment with your style and own it. Dye your hair the color you’ve always wanted, get creative with your outfit choices, or give yourself a complete makeover. These changes can give you the boost you need to feel good about yourself. 

6. Stay Positive

Positive thinking helps. Maintaining a positive outlook reduces your risk of illness and leads to happier lives. 

Your mindset affects everything in your life. Embracing a positive mindset will help you avoid limiting beliefs and find the bright side of everything the universe tosses at you. 

7. Use the Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is the idea that the universe gives you what you ask for. However, it’s more complex than a one-time ask. 

The law of attraction is related to positive mindset shifts. You must showcase to the universe what you truly desire in the deepest depths of your soul. 

The law of attraction proposes that if you constantly think negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities, those thoughts will manifest into reality, and you will continue to fail. 

Conversely, if you shift your mindset and think positive thoughts, encourage yourself through constructive self-talk, and honestly believe that you are worthy of good things, the good stuff will start to come to you. 

You attract what you put out into the universe. 

8. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to succeed at something new and challenging. Army recruits run taxing obstacle courses, team-building events focus on demanding tasks, and escape rooms burst with complex puzzles because defeating these challenges builds confidence. 

Solving difficult scenarios helps you build confidence in your abilities. 

You can do many things to step outside your comfort zone and boost your confidence. Join Toastmasters to overcome the terror of public speaking, face your fear of heights with a roller coaster, or master the horror you feel in the presence of creepy crawlers by getting a little too close to that spider.

Take a hard look at the things that frighten you and find ways to overcome them. 

9. Take Care of Your Physical Health

Taking care of your physical health is vital to building confidence and believing in yourself. Studies have shown that a healthy diet and physical activity help people build confidence and feel better about themselves overall. 

It’s not easy to change a lifetime of bad habits. 

Start small by making minor substitutions in your diet and committing to a light walk daily. Gradually work towards healthy changes, a more nutritious diet, and physical activity. 

As a bonus, embracing a healthy lifestyle will give you more time to enjoy your dream life! 

10. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Developing a growth mindset is essential to building confidence and believing in yourself. 

Those with a fixed mindset might be overwhelmed with negativity. Their inner voice may whisper that all the good ideas are taken and that they aren’t smart enough to succeed anyway. 

Those with a growth mindset realize that the possibilities are endless. They know there are no bounds to what they can accomplish if they put their mind to it. 

The good news is that you can change your mindset. Those with a fixed mindset can transform their lives by working towards a growth mindset. It’s not easy, but the results are well worth the effort. 

Bonus –  Therapy

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, your self-esteem issues are horrible, and no positive thinking, journaling, or faking will improve it. 

You may struggle with a mental health issue, like depression or anxiety, limiting your ability to believe in yourself.

There’s a stigma against therapy, and it needs to go away. Whether your lack of confidence is related to mental illness, seeking treatment can help you if you can’t help yourself. 

I’ve seen a therapist for issues ranging from codependency to imposter syndrome. There’s no shame in getting the help you need. 

Trust me. It will make your life better.

Tools To Help You Believe in Yourself

Believing in yourself is a lifelong process. Although building confidence will help, it’s not the only tool in your toolkit. 

Here are ten additional tools and resources to make you feel like your best self. 

Meditation

Experts tout meditation as a tool for self-belief, self-discovery, health, and wellness for a critical reason: It works. Add thirty minutes of meditation to your daily routine to feel at peace with your place in the world. 

Affirmations

Setting daily affirmations will help you get into the right mindset for self-belief. An affirmation is a statement you make to yourself, such as “I am worthy.” 

They act as daily cheerleaders for your brain, pushing you to honestly believe the affirmation deep in your soul. 

Intentions

Setting daily intentions helps you get into the right mindset for the day. While affirmations are factual statements of what is, intentions are statements of what you intend to do. 

A good intention might be, “I will give myself grace.” This intention will remind you to be kind to yourself throughout the day, even if you make mistakes. 

Journaling

Journaling is an excellent tool for a lot of things. You can brain-dump all your mixed emotions and complex feelings onto the page, giving you insight into limiting beliefs and helping you overcome them. 

You can also use your journal to record your daily affirmations and intentions, allowing you to review your progress. 

Knowledge

Knowledge is power. Knowing your stuff is one of the best ways to become positive and confident. Take the time to research your goals, study your passions, and soak up knowledge about your given career field. The more you learn, the more your confidence in your ability will shine through. 

Practice

They say practice makes perfect, so there’s no better way to gain confidence in a skill than to practice it.  Put your inner critic to rest by devoting time to hone your craft. As your skills improve, so will your confidence and belief that you can do it!

Self Care

It’s hard to believe in yourself when you are exhausted and stressed. Take time to care for yourself. Enjoy a luxurious bath or massage, and indulge in your favorite book.

Dedicating time to self-love has the added benefit of reminding you how much you deserve this care and attention. Believe you deserve it because you do!

Gratitude

When it comes to believing in yourself, expressing gratitude for your skills and abilities that can help you on your journey is paramount. When you consider all you have, you may realize that you already possess inherent talents ideal for achieving your dreams. Embrace those things! Use them to create your dream life. 

Sharing

Humans need validation. It might be scary to share a work of art or idea you’ve put hours of effort into, but try to let go of that fear and put your work into the world. Show your close friends and family. You may be surprised at the encouragement they offer and inspired to work even harder!

Community

Sharing only works if you have a supportive community invested in your best interests. Sometimes, family can be toxic, or friends can be jealous, trying to tear you down rather than lift you up. Other times, the people closest to us may not understand our hopes and dreams, so they may be unable to offer the best support. 

Because of that, it’s essential to build a community that genuinely cares about you. Join groups dedicated to your passion, get involved in online communities that share your goals, and find your flock. 

People who care are out there; you just need to find them. And when you do, you’ll be shocked at how much of a difference it makes in your quest for fulfillment and self-belief. 

Believe in Yourself – A Five-Step Plan Towards Achieving Your Dreams

Now that you’ve gained the confidence to believe in yourself and achieve your goals, it’s time to create a roadmap to help you get there! 

Take these five actions and be amazed at how much your life changes for the better with a little bit of self-belief!

1. Set Goals

The first step to accomplishing your dreams is determining what they are. Decide what you want from life, and set goals to help you achieve it!

2. Create an Action Plan

Goals without action are just wishes. 

So take action! 

Now that you have the confidence to achieve anything, put it to work by creating an action plan. Define the steps you need to take to accomplish your goals and give yourself timelines for completing each task.

3. Develop Your Strengths

We all have things we are good at and love to do. Embrace your talents and dedicate time to developing them. Focus on skills related to your ultimate life goals so you can become an expert in that chosen field.

4. Embrace Your Flaws

We all have flaws and weaknesses. It’s what makes us human. Rather than hide the imperfections, embrace them! 

Own the quirky imperfections that make you unique. Accept them as a part of yourself to showcase, like in the ancient art of Kintsugi, rather than a blemish to hide.

5. Review Your Progress

The final step in accomplishing your dreams is to review your progress over time. Schedule a meeting with yourself to review your goals and accomplishments. You may be shocked to see how much progress you made!

What are the Limitations of Self-Belief?

It’s great to believe in yourself and your abilities, but there are caveats and limitations, like anything.

First, don’t get cocky. There’s a line between confidence and arrogance. Believing in yourself has nothing to do with putting others down or acting like you are better than everyone else. 

Make sure that your ego doesn’t cause you to misbehave.

Second, be realistic. No amount of believing in yourself will give you the ability to fly. Setting lofty goals is OK, but consider your skills and abilities first. You don’t want your dreams to be so high they are impossible to achieve.

Believe in Yourself Quotes

Here’s a small compilation of my favorite quotes about believing in yourself to give you some extra motivation to believe in yourself starting today. 

These quotes come from athletes, artists, leaders, and even fictional characters. 

Many of them have helped me overcome rough times and self-doubt, so I hope they help you as well.

Is it Attitude?

Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do…but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.

         -Venus Williams

Venus Williams is one of the greatest athletes of our generation. Unfortunately, she met a lot of resistance for being so great in a sport dominated by white men. She and her sister faced adversity in their rise to fame but never let it get to them. They believed in themselves, even when some called that “attitude.”

This quote speaks to me as a woman who has been called “bossy” while male counterparts were called “being leaders.”

You Deserve It

Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.

-Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer paved the way for women in broadcasting. She believed in herself when no other women were taken seriously as news anchors. She broke the glass ceiling in the news and became the first woman to host the prestigious 60 Minutes.

Sawyer realized that she had an equal right to a career in broadcasting and set her mind to accomplishing it.

Silence the Voices

If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means, paint, and that voice will be silenced.

 -Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote because it’s about Van Gogh subverting his expectations and going against the nit-picky voice telling him “no.” 

We all have it. That tiny voice in the back of our minds, echoing our most prominent critics, telling us we can’t, that we’re failures, that we’re no good. 

The best way to shut that voice up is to prove it wrong. Do the thing that the voice is saying you can’t do. 

Who Else Will Believe in You?    

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?

         -Jon Bon Jovi

If you don’t believe in yourself and your dreams, who will? That is the absolute truth. You are the owner of your own life. You know what you are capable of accomplishing. So why not believe in yourself and go after it? No one else will do it for you.

On Being Yourself Despite What They Think

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote by Emerson is less about believing in yourself and more about just being yourself. They are very closely related, though. You must be confident that you are good enough to be who you want.

The world tries to pigeonhole us into specific roles and responsibilities. We have a life script that we’re supposed to follow, and society gets upset with us if we stray from it. 

True happiness and self-actualization come from throwing that all off and being yourself, even when the world tries to hold you back. Believe in yourself enough to do it.

Other People’s Opinions

It’s no good being too easily swayed by people’s opinions. You have to believe in yourself.

         -Donatella Versace

Everyone has an opinion. If you told your idea to ten different people, you’d have ten different ways you could fail. Naysayers run rampant.

I would have never started Partners in Fire or pursued financial independence if I had listened to everyone who told me both things were silly and unachievable. 

Even my own family advised against it. My brother said that relying on online income would be stupid (like relying on an employer’s generosity is any better!). However, I kept going and turned the website into a fantastic side hustle, paying a good chunk of my bills.

They Don’t Really Care

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I love this quote because many of us get wrapped up in what others think. The thing is, they usually aren’t thinking of us at all. We think they are because our world revolves around ourselves, but their world doesn’t revolve around us.

Life is so much more fulfilling when we realize that no one cares. We can do what we want and stop worrying about the opinions of others. This freedom allows us to believe in our hopes and dreams and achieve them.

You Can Do It

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything

         -Marty McFly, Back to the Future

The 1980s hit Back to the Future taught me to believe in myself. Marty told his father, George, that he could accomplish anything if he just believed (while stuck in the past and trying to get his parents together). 

Later, in the future, George told Marty the same thing (where did the phrase come from if Marty told his dad in the past, who then told him in the future?).

Believe in Yourself!

Time travel physics aside, believing in yourself will help you achieve your goals. So, it’s time to put aside that self-doubt and start working towards everything you want.

It’s within reach if you believe in yourself.