How to Overcome Self-Doubt: 10 Effective Ways to Boost Confidence

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Unsplash

The first step in achieving any dream is believing you have what it takes to make it happen. You need to find something to depend on and gain strength from, whether that’s an experience you went through or a compliment a stranger told you five years ago. Without that vital sliver of faith in yourself, you wouldn’t be able to move mountains (even when you have the power to). Confidence can be your greatest tool in the face of uncertainty; it is a very powerful force to be reckoned with.  It can take years to mold and fortify, but when you do, you’re bound to survive anything

If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you to overcome challenges along the way. You won’t be in control of your thoughts, words, and actions because you don’t believe that you are capable of being in control. Without confidence, you can’t win any challenge, starting from the little dilemmas inside your head. If you can’t rise above the fear of bad judgment and failure, you won’t be able to step forward on the next step of the process successfully.

It’s either you do move forward but hardly keeping yourself together because you’re letting the negativity hold you back. Without you believing in yourself, it’ll be hard for you to stand firm on your own two feet when everybody has left your side (because eventually, everybody will). You need to be your own backup, your own righthand, your own support system. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be fit to build an empire with your mind and your gifts. 






Every morning, get to know yourself better — your facial features, physique, weaknesses, insecurities, and the like. Stand close to the mirror and look at yourself intently. This is the part where it gets crucial: you need to criticize yourself. See this not as a harsh way of destroying your self-esteem but a practical and raw strategy of raising self-awareness. Point out all your flaws, but never talk bad about yourself by encouraging limiting beliefs and comparing yourself to others. Talk to yourself proudly. You were born this way and there’s nothing wrong with you.

Even if you’re not necessarily on top of the list of the beauty standards of the community you’re in, tell yourself you’re greater than the criteria they set about. Your beauty is immeasurable; it can’t be defined by the impossible European features. Whether you like it or not, people will always have their own reasons not to like you so you must be emotionally prepared for what they have to throw at you. That means shooting the same bullets to yourself first before them. When you tell yourself you have a flat chest, that isn’t tearing down your self-esteem.

In fact, it’s the opposite. You’re reclaiming the unique parts of you (that society frowns upon) and turning them into something to be proud of in front of the camera. If you know your flaws and take pride in them, there’s nothing critics and haters can do to use them against you. The more they point them out as flaws, the more you realize they weren’t flaws in the first place — they were beautiful parts left unappreciated. 




One common way that can absorb your confidence instantly is following the wrong people on social media. Instead of following personalities who make you picture the wrong images of beauty and success, follow those who inspire you and who you can relate to. Stop eating up discouraging content that brings you more harm than good. As we all know, social media is a powerful tool that can alter any mindset in a day and can make you believe in things that aren’t true.

Boost your confidence by gaining strength from people with the same story as you and learn from them the same way they can learn from you. Involve yourself in an inclusive community (like a facebook group) that makes you feel comfortable with talking to strangers online because you sense no judgment from them. Sometimes, confidence can be formed from people living across the world, not from those who live in the same town as you. 




It takes more than listening to compliments to be confident, but it’s one helpful way. Sometimes, you need other people to see your potential before you even see it yourself. You’re too used to talking bad about yourself that you fail to see your beauty. You have to learn how to accept compliments respectfully without seeming like you’re already too self-absorbed (like you get insulted when you’re called pretty because who the hell thinks you’re not?)

Don’t have that why-state-the-obvious kind of mindset; it’s obnoxious. You need to actually be kind enough to yourself to not feel guilty when accepting compliments because you do deserve to be complimented and told what they like about you. You have positive traits and awesome characteristics that people can see (but you choose to hide). Be kind to yourself and know that you’re better than what you think. 




Most people are too worried about the negative outcome of their choices, and that’s why they’ll never know how to tame the waves. You keep complaining how you’re a nobody who has no control over the world but you’re not doing anything to get out of that position of self-pity and mediocrity. You might even have the brains and techniques to pull off something greater than what other people are doing right now but you don’t have the guts to show them what you’ve got. You may not want to admit it but most times, people get to the place they want to because they believe they can (even when it’s all just a delusion).

Companies are looking for innovative, brilliant minds but sadly, they’re not just going to keep waiting for you to show up. Sometimes even someone who can only do a quarter of what you can do might be promoted earlier than you because he has the confidence, and you have none. What’s the use of all your talent if you don’t think one of them can be of use to the world? How can you show people to believe in what you can do if you’re beating yourself up for even thinking about sharing what you have? One way to build confidence is to keep taking risks (even when they’re not calculated). 




In your twenties, a huge factor of where your confidence may come from is your environment (whether it’s at your home, at school, and even in places you find leisure). Everywhere you go, you’ll see people and conclude they have their lives together just by the way they dressed. When you see a couple walking happily while holding hands, you think of their relationship as the ultimate standard you should refer to. The world is simply a home to billions of people who are better than you in a lot of ways, but that’s okay — because they’re not you. No matter how good they are at this, they’ll never be as good at that as you, and that’s what makes you special (because they’ll never be another you).

Sometimes, you just need the right amount and quality of friends to see that. You need kind-hearted, sincere friends who’ll push you to be better. You need to surround yourself with people who not only have accepted your mistakes but also have seen your effort to change. For you to build confidence, you need to be around people who think you’re doing fantastic when you feel like you’re not improving at all. Sometimes, your friends can be the ones who’ll urge you to try. And they can be the ones who’ll crack your shell wide open for you to venture out into the world for what it truly is and not for the way it seems to you. 




If you’re one of those people who tend to doubt themselves a lot, there’s a huge possibility their confidence is taken from something else or from a feeling when using a particular product. You get so attached to the feeling of a symbol or a tangible object gives you that you translate their absence with your lack of confidence. In other words, your confidence is entirely dependent on external factors.

Although this is not absolutely fine, you have to be all right with starting small as building confidence takes a lot of time and energy. So if your self-esteem is still bonded to how you love looking at your face with full makeup on, then so be it. Whether it’s makeup or getting a new tattoo that makes you confident, go for it. Do what you can to get that self-esteem up and stable. 




It sucks when the confidence you finally built with yourself for years is shattered by people who don’t even know you. Be careful whom you call a friend. Their messages can affect you greatly because they mean so much to you. Know that if his/her opinions harms you more by pulling you further away from your dreams, than he/she isn’t trying to help you. Protect your self-esteem at all costs and don’t let a bruised ego destroy the incredible progress you’ve made.

Often people forget that an effective way to boost confidence is to safeguard it from others whose goal is to cut it down to pieces until you’re left with none. You boost confidence by staying away from people who make you second guess about your gifts. Confidence can be as fragile as trust, and it can be a double-edged sword. 




You need to take pride in your whole journey, including achievements and failures. One of the best sources of confidence is from experience. The more battles you win, the more confident you get with yourself for getting through them. On the flipside, even with unexpected battles showing up on your front door, you become confident of your strength for holding your head up high and choosing to stay optimistic.

You wouldn’t be where you are today if it weren’t for your good and bad experiences. Your journey speaks about your perspective and mindset about life. So be confident that you are wise, resourceful, and kind enough to be blessed with such grace when handling with setbacks. When someone with little to no experience criticizes you for being soft, intimidate them with stories about how you singlehandedly carried your family as a breadwinner. 




The most common reason people lose confidence is criticism. Although criticism can be manifested in different ways and intentions, it’s still important to take in painful words of improvement as it is a humble effort to do so. You don’t know everything there is to know about your career; and even if you think you do, your willingness to listen even to the same pieces of information you listen to every day is a sign of humility in your heart. You know you can be wrong anytime, and you’re ready to acknowledge the input of other people.

There’s nothing wrong with listening and accepting criticism, what’s wrong is lending your ear to the wrong people. Don’t let people criticize you for something they can’t do themselves. If you think they’re not good enough to criticize you, then don’t let their opinion swallow you whole. Jealousy and insecurity are exposing their negative traits, and that means whatever they’re going to say is a desperate act to ruin your groove. Make sure not to let them bring you down. Be prepared for people like these. You must be careful whom you ask for feedback and assess how much you value them and their opinion. 




When you do overcome self-doubt, it’s better to help other people who are dealing with the same than keeping the secret to yourself. Confidence is the very first struggle one needs to beat before getting into the work. Believing you can is a must before getting results. Helping someone else to relieve them of their insecurities may also help you deal with yours. When you show them how to view their insecurities, Eventually, you’ll practice what you preach and follow your advice. The more you convince someone to love their skin and to stop comparing their physique with others, the more you instill these words of wisdom in your mind and believe them too. 



“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life 

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

56 thoughts on “How to Overcome Self-Doubt: 10 Effective Ways to Boost Confidence

  1. This is so wonderful! I believe that negative self-talk can dramatically weaken your self-confidence. That's why it's really important to watch out for every word you tell yourself. I enjoyed reading your post!Thanks for sharing this. ��


  2. Nice article. In my opinion, it depends on the person to have self-confidence. Especially when it comes to mood, it is okay if you lower your confidence because you are tired, you can stop but continue at the right time.Hello, kababayan!


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