Much of the good that we can do in our lives depends not so much on our innate abilities, but on how we believe in our ability to meet challenges.

In other words, hardly anyone succeeds in their most important projects simply because they have talent. It is more important to have a mixture of luck (which, we will not deny, influences) and self-confidence, a psychological disposition that allows us to move from desires to facts, when we get down to work. In fact, without this factor we won’t even consider too many projects to begin with.

However, the level of self-confidence is not fixed, but comes and goes depending on our experiences and the way we interpret them. So… How can we recover our self-confidence if we stop enjoying its beneficial influence due to self-esteem problems? Let’s look at several recommendations to encourage this change of mental framework that allows us to believe in ourselves again.

What is self-confidence?

One of the best known phenomena in the world of psychology is the so-called effect of self-fulfilling prophecy. Basically, it is a concept that serves to indicate the way in which many times the simple fact of predicting that something will happen increases the chances that the predicted event will occur , or at least a very similar one.

Think, for example, of what can happen to us if we go down the street and walk past a lot of people sitting on a low wall and for some reason we think they will find our gait strange; surely we will try to take “conscious” control of our legs and the gait will be somewhat awkward, strange to look at.

Well, with self-confidence something very similar happens. Confidence in our abilities can be harmful if we have a very inflated self-esteem that leads us to overestimate our virtues and abilities, but in most cases, it helps us to get closer to our goals and to progress in our personal and professional lives.

Thus, self-confidence is a phenomenon linked to self-esteem that predisposes us to take the first steps to carry out complicated or challenging tasks.

Unfortunately, there are many situations in life that are capable of smoothing out our self-confidence. It does not have to be a sudden decline, it can be gradual , as is often the case with aging. However, this tendency can be counteracted by adopting useful habits to regain self-confidence.

How to regain self-confidence

Here are some tips that, once incorporated into your daily life in the form of habits, will significantly increase the chances of your self-confidence being strong again. Of course, none of them are sufficient on their own to achieve this goal, so it is best to change several of these and adapt them to your personal and professional lifestyle and context.

1. Create schedules

The first thing to do is to break with the passive attitude before one’s own life of one who has lost confidence in oneself . This will activate you so that, little by little, the idea of throwing yourself into doing things that you didn’t think you were capable of is less crazy.

So, start by setting yourself simple guidelines to structure your day to day and maintain a regularity in your way of distributing activities week after week. It is good that you devote yourself exclusively to this first step for about a month. Once you have consolidated your routine, it will be much easier to do the following.

Besides, although it may not seem like much, this first milestone is already a reason to see yourself in a better light; after all, most people don’t put this philosophy of discipline into practice, which brings them problems that you will be avoiding from that moment on.

2. Do moderate exercise

In the same vein of getting started, regular exercise helps a lot. Not only will it make you feel better physically and allow you to avoid some of the risk of illness. Furthermore, in a few months or even weeks, the evidence that you are able to break your own records will be revealed in the shape of your body .

3. Socialize as equals

Another aspect of life that serves to regain self-confidence is to stop seeing conversations as moments when others test us, or when we can make fools of ourselves. Think that you are not there to please, and that you are also perfectly capable of finding ways not only to show who you are, but to get to know your interlocutors and to assess whether they are worth spending your time on.

4. Learn to identify thoughts of self-sabotage

Rebuilding your self-confidence means making an effort, exposing yourself even a little bit to situations where you may feel vulnerable because there are always challenges to be solved. This makes it very easy to hold on to excuses for not moving forward.

To avoid this, carry a small notebook with you and remember to pay attention to your thoughts when you focus on those goals that await you . If one of them is an excuse to leave it alone, write it down and try to remember it so that it won’t become a threat again by exposure to temptation.

5. Write a personal project for yourself

Think of a project that you can devote yourself to for months or years, plan it, and execute it by devoting some time to it every week. It is important that progress is easy to measure and that if you do it well it can be accumulated.

For example, learn a language on your own, start a small business parallel to your usual job, learn an art form or craft that you can master and perfect, etc.

Are you looking for psychological help?

Having professional help is always a great help when it comes to strengthening your self-esteem and stopping self-confidence problems. If you are interested in this option, you can count on our team of psychologists from the centre UPAD Psychology & Coaching , located in Madrid (Calle Rey Francisco, nº 27). To see our contact details, click here.

Bibliographic references:

  • Judge, T. A.; Bono, J. E. (2001). “Relationship of core self-evaluations traits-self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability-with job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 86 (1): pp. 80 – 92.
  • Miranda, C. (2005). “Professional self-esteem: a mediating competence for innovation in teaching practices” (PDF). Revista Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación 3(1).
  • Olsen, J.M.; Breckler, S.J.; Wiggins, E.C. (2008). Social Psychology Alive (First Canadian ed.). Toronto: Thomson Nelson.