Having a healthy level of confidence and self-esteem can help you achieve greater success in your professional and personal life. And while there are plenty of ways to build confidence, if you don’t believe you’re worth the effort, it won’t really matter.

This is when having a healthy sense of self-esteem comes into play.

There are no two ways about it, having a healthy level confidence and self-esteem is directly attributed to living a more fulfilling life. But here’s something extremely important to remember: the actions of confidence come first, then the feelings.

Read that a few more times and let it sink in.

6 Ways to build confidence & self esteem

1. Kick Self-Criticism in the face

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One of the ways to build confidence and self-esteem is to kick your inner critic in the teeth!

One of the most important ways to build confidence and self-esteem is to stop paying attention to all the horseshit your mind tells you.

In order to grow as a person and build confidence, all of that negative self-talk has to be ignored. Yes, I said ignored. Not stopped. If you could make it stop you would’ve by now. What you need to do is build the skill of learning to do what matters in spite of the negative self-talk

The next time you have a self-critical thought, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is it kind?
  2. Is it true?
  3. Is it helpful?

There is a very good chance that the answer to these questions will be no. As you continue to answer no over and over again, you may just start to consider that you are something other, something more, than what you originally thought.

2. Get. shit. done.

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Fact: Getting shit done on the regular does wonders for your confidence and self-esteem!

Confidence is built on accomplishment. It doesn’t matter how small or how big – just get it done. Create mini to-do lists each day and mark them off as you go. The more productive and effective you are, the more confident you’ll feel. Set mini goals each day and monitor your progress. Chances are if you’re knocking out your daily goals, you will be doing the same on the bigger picture goals too.

So, if you’re looking for ways to build confidence and self-esteem, get shit done.

3. Keep a Journal – no, not that kind

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If you don’t track and record your accomplishments, how will you remember how you achieved them?

I’m not talking “Dear Diary.” I’m talking monitoring, tracking, and recording your progress. Write down your victories and what you did to achieve them. What got in the way? How did you overcome it? What would you do differently if you could do it again?

Writing down successes helps you feel them and remember them better.

The successes could be small, “I kept my cool when my daughter came home at 2 AM.” Or big, “I beat out five other people to get that promotion!”

Write these down every day and whenever you need a confidence boost, re-read what you’ve written.

4. Get off the couch

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If you want to feel for confident you need to FEEL more confident. So exercise!

Exercise isn’t just great for your overall health and well-being, it helps memory retention, improves focus, reduces stress and even prevents depression. If you feel more sharp and focused, not to mention stronger and more agile, you will most definitely feel more confident as you make your way through you day.

So get off your ass and get moving. Even if it’s only for a walk around the block. Something, anything is better than nothing. Plus, it’s harder to be anxious or nervous if you don’t have a lot of excess energy to spare. ????

5. Keep Your word 

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People respect others who do what they say they’re going to do.

People respect others who say they’re going to do something and do it. So if you agree to do something, do it – no matter what. If you don’t follow through, you learn not to trust yourself and lose faith in your ability to get results – and so will others.

Empower yourself by always keeping your commitments, not just to yourself but to others.

6. Give less fucks about What Others Think

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Remember: those who matter don’t mind and those mind don’t matter. So you do you and forget everyone else.

Obviously this is easier said than done. But there will always be critics and naysayers no matter where you go and what you do. Always. But here’s the reality: those matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter. Also, most people are wrong about most things. Yes, you read that right. So if you want to build confidence and self-esteem you need to stop giving a shit what the wrong people think.

Life is hard enough as it is. Don’t let it be harder than it has to be. If you feel like you’ve done everything you can to build confidence and self-esteem and it’s just not working, find an awesome therapist or coach you like and trust to help. They can help you learn to identify unhelpful thought and behavior patterns as well as offer tools for managing them more effectively.

James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.