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  • The power of self-confidence is immense. When people are confident in themselves and their abilities they are far more likely to put themselves in the position to try and experience new and challenging situations. It is through new experiences and challenging situations that we grow as individuals. Openness to, and engagement in, these opportunities has a positive effect of building even more self-confidence for the individual. This tends to turn into a positive cycle of creating confidence and belief in yourself. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true; without self-confidence it is more difficult to try things. Avoidance of these intimidating situations often leads to decreased levels of self-confidence because it reinforces the belief that the person cannot do the task.

    Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.

    — Peter T. McIntyre
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  • Professor Peaches’ Tips

    Two Keys to Building Self-Confidence

    Self-confidence is such a valuable and empowering tool. Since the level of one’s self-confidence impacts people throughout their lives the question arises, how can people foster and enhance their inner-confidence? Below are two essential aspects, that when truly practiced and put into action, help raise one’s self-confidence to a higher level.

    Positive Self-Talk

    Peoples’ inner monologues help shape how they view themselves. When self-confidence levels are low it is important to start training one’s mind to view the actual and/or perceived weakness in a constructive light. Rather than telling oneself “I am bad a giving presentations” that message should be replaced with something like “I give good presentations” or even “I am an amazing presenter.” While these alternative self-statements may seem fake and not believable at first, that reaction is expected! It is unrealistic to think that saying to oneself these positive statements will magically give someone self-confidence.

    Usually these negative ways of thinking about one’s abilities have been ingrained over months or even years. Shifting one’s self-perspective from one of not being good enough to that of being capable or highly capable takes time and intentional practice. The more an individual says (both internally and aloud) empowering self-statements about the specific area(s) in which they experience low levels of self-confidence the quicker it will transition from feeling foreign to feeling genuine.

    It needs to be realized that this process, while extremely helpful to building confidence is typically not enough just on its own to significantly improve one’s self-confidence. When coupled with exposures (see the below) and practiced frequently and consistently improvements in self-confidence are experienced. Positive self-talk is such a powerful tool because it can be used anytime and anywhere. To build our confidence, incorporating positive self-talk with real world practice creates a winning combination.


    Self-confidence is gained from repeated practice of whatever it is the person feels insecure about. A major contributing factor to low self-confidence is a sense of incompetence regarding the specific skill set needed for a given situation. By continually exposing oneself to the situation, overtime people gain a sense of mastery, which then leads to increased levels of self-confidence.

    A key component related to the exposure process is breaking down the “main event” into smaller parts that can be practiced. For example, if someone needs to give a presentation in front of a group of people but is terrified at the thought of doing so, starting with having the person do the actual presentation may be too overwhelming. A good first step could be having the individual practice alone and in front of a mirror. Next, it would likely be helpful for the person to do the presentation in front of someone the individual feels comfortable with. After repeated exposure in this format, the person could progress to presenting into a larger group. Once the individual feels more confidence in this setting, the person is likely ready for the “main event.”

    It is okay and expected the person may not feel very confident for the formal presentation. The fact the person actually did the presentation is a great first step. Practicing frequently post the presentation is highly important. Initially, the more practice the better; multiple times a day (on a daily basis) at first will help build the sense of mastery that is important for building one’s self-confidence. The combination of exposure with positive self-talk provides the winning combination for changing one’s feelings of inadequacy to competency and confidence.