22 Best Confidence Building Exercises (2024) Backed By Science

Looking for ways to feel and look confident?

Then dive with me into these simple confident building exercises proven by science and pick the most suitable to you.

Let’s roll!

1. Self Worth Rewiring

Self worth is one of the most important aspects that determine your self confidence.

Confidence Building Exercises
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The truth is, we’re all worthy. No one more worthy than the other. But you probably lie to yourself that you’re less worthy – that you’re unlovable, disposable, not enough, you name it.

These lies were conditioned in you  over time and it could be:

  • Overly-critical  parents who always had something negative to say about you
  • A bully who hammered negativity into your mindset
  • A culture that degraded you because of some of the qualities you bear
  • A relationship where your partner made you feel bad about yourself regularly

Whatever the source, you can remember at least some of the beliefs that you internalized to make you feel unworthy. Over time, these beliefs became what you believe about yourself. 

The longer you’ve lived on these beliefs, the harder they became to overcome. But you’re going to make it now after you master Self-Worthiness – Ways To Boost Yours Backed By Science.

2. Drop Dignity

I know it’s shocking to tell you this so early in this piece. But to become confident, you must know this crazy but powerful tactic.

The problem with unconfident people is that they take themselves way too seriously. They think that’s the way confident people do. But unfortunately, that’s a lie.

The genuinely secure people know they’re idiots. They know their weaknesses and understand that everybody else has their own. 

So they wear their idiocy gracefully. And therefore come off as confident.

Now to you.

You know your weakness and weirdness. And this exercise is for getting out there and brushing off your folly when it reveals itself. Everybody else will to your surprise.

Check out this video from the School of life for a better understanding:

3. Practice Self Compassion

Being kind to yourself brings hope in oneself.

Here are ways to be compassionate to yourself:

  • Validate yourself since you’re your own cheerleader. For example telling yourself, “You are more useful than you give yourself credit for” can boost your confidence big time.
  • Observe your thoughts and understand yourself
  • Imagine yourself as your friend and treat yourself as you’d treat them
  • Forgive Yourself
  • Do what works for you that your authentic self may shine brighter
  • Respect Yourself
  • Practice supportive self-talk such as, “I am your number one support network so how can we make this work?”

Related: Best Boosting Self Esteem Questions

4. Practice Living Intentionally

Intentional living is consciously practicing a lifestyle according to your values and beliefs.

If you don’t live intentionally, you’ll regularly feel as if:

  • You’re dealing with way too much than you’re able – a life in overwhelm (Chances are you are juggling too much stuff)
  • You’re switching from one emergency to another and yet not achieving the results you expect or desire – living in reactive mode
  • You fail to deal with your priorities and yet you’re working hard 

If any of this sounds like you, then you’re probably not living intentionally. It’s as if you’re reacting to life motions instead of taking charge of your life through things within your control. 

It’s tough to be confident in such a state since you’re not hitting the simple achievable goals you intend to. So what can you do? 

Here’s what we recommend at the Keys To Living Life With Intention:

  • Decide Your Personal Values
  • Envision Your Perfect Day
  • Do Something You’re Proud Of
  • Questions Your “Have Tos”
  • Ask “Why” Before You Buy
  • Relax Intentionally
  • Be Mindful Of The Media You Consume
  • Practice Active Listening
  • Declutter

Related: Self Concept Vs Self Esteem And Self Efficacy

5. Be Your Best Authentic Self

You can’t effectively carry out these simple exercises to boost your self confidence if you do not know and become your best self.

Much of the confidence issues we experience come from not being ourselves and so we try copying other people’s qualities only for them to backfire and crush our esteems to nothing.

But the key to being confident is to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses so that through this self awareness, you can unashamedly be you.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my core values?
  • What do I want and why (and how does this connect with my values)?
  • What are my strengths – and how can I use them to help me and others?
  • What weaknesses do I have that I can work around or I want help with (seeking a leadership coach for helpful advice on managing a team for instance)?

These simple strategies are enough to:

  • Drive you towards stuff you’re passionate about and therefore give your best at,
  • Help you drop your dignity as far as your weaknesses are concerned 
  • Get focused on using your strengths for your benefit and that of others, and
  • Ultimately make an action plan that helps you live your best self intentionally

Related: Self Respect Vs Self Esteem – What’s The Difference?

6. Find a Confidence Buddy

Spending lots of time with someone confident can be immensely influential on the success of the confidence building exercises you practice.

Therefor,get someone confident you feel confortable to be around and make them your best friend if you can.

7. Take a Positive Mindset Challenge on Your Qualities

This is one of the most rewarding confidence building exercises you can try.

A lack of confidence is also made up of downplaying your positive traits. So if you’ve dwelt most on your negative qualities, you’ll lose sight of the positive ones you have over time. And this takes a toll on your self esteem.

But here’s how you can turn things around.

Whenever you think about your negative qualities, focus on the positive ones you have instead.

In David Kerpen’s article How To Turn Your Weaknesses To Strengths, he introduced a strategy for reframing your weaknesses to gain high self esteem. 

So you change:

  • Disorganized to Creative
  • Inflexible to Organized
  • Stubborn to Dedicated
  • Inconsistent to Flexible
  • Obnoxious to Enthusiastic
  • Emotionless to Calm
  • Shy to Reflective
  • Irresponsible to Adventurous
  • Boring to Responsible
  • Unrealistic to Positive
  • Negative to Realistic
  • Intimidating to Assertive
  • Weak to Humble
  • Arrogant to Self-Confident
  • Indecisive to Patient
  • Impatient to Passionate

If you’re weak at one thing, you’re strong in another perspective. Practice reframing.

Related: How To Help A Man With Low Self-Esteem — Based On Science

8. Practice Self-Confidence Affirmation

As mentioned earlier, the beliefs you have are a combination of the ideas you internalized after they were repeated around you. This is proof that affirmations do work and science backs it.

Repeating positive affirmations to yourself helps you create a positive mindset. 

This is one of the confidence building exercises you can practice for short-term and long-term self confidence.

You can use the Hypnotic Affirmations for Self-Confidence for this self esteem building exercise.

9. Practice Gratitude Meditation

This is also one of the confidence building activities for giving you a quick  boost of confidence whenever with an urgent need. 

Practice Gratitude Meditation
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Here’s how to practice gratitude self confidence building exercises:

  • Set a time (can be as little as 15min daily) for reflecting on positive things to be grateful for.
  • Show up at the same time every day and think of the ( good health, your good qualities, insightful weekly tips, your income, family members, friends, your ability to stick to the exercise, new skill, new job, new challenges and so forth)
  • Continue with consistency for at least 21 days (the least amount of time one can build a habit)
  • Whenever negative thoughts on self esteem and self confidence kick in, contemplate on what you’re grateful for.

As in the Best 15-Day Confidence Challenge, you get nothing out of just reading this article let alone this tip without acting on it. Get out there and actually start a gratitude meditation exercise.

10. Remember Your Victories

This is one of the most fun confidence building exercises. After all, who doesn’t like great memories?

Reminding yourself when you overcame some of your most challenging obstacles helps you believe in yourself more.

You can remind yourself of these victories even from childhood by writing them down in your personal development “victories” notes. Whenever feeling low on self esteem, just take a look at some of your past hero stories and you’d be good to go.

Related: Is Talking To Yourself Bad? 16 Scientific Reasons Why It Isn’t

11. Do a Positive Lessons Reflection

In this exercise, you need to practice for 21 days for at least 20 min reflecting lessons you’ve learned in your experiences.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Set up a meditative environment away from distractions
  • Write down the unpleasant experiences you’ve had since childhood
  • Go back to the experiences and ponder positive lessons you can learn from them

After finishing the 21-day challenge, repeat for daily experiences at the end of the day.

Negative thoughts are the greatest hindrance to self-confidence. But they can be rendered powerless with positive psychology self confidence building exercises which contradict the negative opinion of self with positive thinking.

Instead of “My ex ruined my life, abused me into depression, and took advantage of my patience,” think, “My ex was mostly bad to me but the relationship taught me to not ignore red flags early enough, to not let someone’s words and actions dictate my mental health and to deal with toxic people in my life with wisdom that I may become stronger for personal growth.”

Read more at Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem and Solutions.

12. Dive Into Something You Fear

If you struggle with self confidence, you know well this thing called fear. It holds you back from many opportunities, strapping you up on your comfort zone with feelings of helplessness.

But here’s the thing. It’s all in your own head. You can face your fear and realize that it’s merely a feeling you need to befriend and overcome. You can pull off your alter ego in ways you couldn’t imagine.

So here’s the challenge, today, make a list of at least 10 things you fear doing and for the next 30 days, seek to cross each off the list. They might be silly, they might be serious, nonetheless, let them be self confidence building activities you fear.

Check out the woman who faced 100 things she feared doing most and join the community with your journey:

13. Challenge Negative Self-Talk with Effort Talk

It’s true when experts say you are what you think. When you mostly think positively of yourself, you’ll end up displaying confidence. And the vice versa is true.

And yet challenging your self-talk with positive thinking statements you don’t believe won’t help you. What you need to embrace is positive effort talk.

Effort talk is a type of self-talk where you motivate yourself regarding what you’ll do instead of making yourself believe what you are. This helps you act even on the issues you fear most and as a result of the many successes you experience, it ends up boosting self esteem.

This effort self-talk confidence building exercise was tested on children with Negative Competence Beliefs like yours and was very successful, helping the same low self esteem kids pass math.

Instead of ability self-talk where you convince yourself of how competent you are, you engage in effort self-talk to train the mind to give the best and not worry about world standards,  culture, self efficacy, competency, or anything related to how dignified you are.

For example, rather than:

  • “I can do this”, say “I’ll do my best in this”
  • “I am brilliant”, say, “I’ll give this my best”

Effort self-talk confidence  building exercises help detach you from your negative thoughts which helps you silence your inner critic and embrace the growth mindset

Related: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Gaining More Self Confidence

14. Be Useful to Others

Be it through volunteering or going out of your way to do something for someone in your everyday life, knowing you’re useful to someone really helps boost self esteem.

Be Useful to Others
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That’s the reason why praise makes us feel more confident. It proves that we have good qualities and we’re putting those qualities to good use.

This is the same thing we all feel (especially men) when we’re able to provide for our families. We feel capable, worthy, useful  – confident.

To put this exercise to practice, you can:

  • Go out of your way to serve others for instance opening the door for someone else, cooking for your family and friends, and fulfilling any normal needs of personal lives around you
  • Do random acts of kindness
  • Practice complimenting others
  • Volunteer in a cause you feel for

Related: Ways To Stop Depending On External Validation

15. Practice Relaxing Self Care Strategies

Stress lowers self confidence. This means that if you stay reactive in your daily life, no other confidence building exercises would help you become more confident unless you slow down and take care of yourself.

Self-care in this case is about:

  • Creating and enforcing boundaries important to you
  • Fostering relationships that do you good
  • Taking good care of your physical well being
  • Distancing yourself from stressful situations to think objectively
  • Taking breaks regularly
  • Asking for help and accepting when it’s offered

Think of anything that makes you feel well taken care of – relaxed.

16. Practice Power Poses

Scientists discovered a couple of body postures that boost your confidence levels. They’re called power poses

While they display confidence to others who watch your body language, that same body language signals your brain to start building confidence.

Some power poses include:

  • Salutation: It’s a freeing power pose where you stretch your arms with your face towards the sky. Best to do before showing up in confidence in public
  • LBJ: Whether desiring to exude power or deep thought in a business setting, or make the target view you as more attractive in a social situation, this power pose requires you to lean softly against a desk or the back of a chair.
  • The Performer: To free yourself up for more confidence, subtly stretch your arms wide to take up more space than you normally would. Perfect for any presentation.
  • The superman or woman: With feet slightly apart and chest slightly puffed out, set your arms on the waist. Could work for a formal and informal setting.

Just a few that you can practice whether you’re a man or woman.

17. Practice Making Eye Contact

Eye contact is body language that shows you’re friendly and are paying attention to the other person. It makes you look confident in yourself and the other person as well.

Get used to this exercise by looking at yourself in the eye in the mirror and other people close to you that rarely, make you nervous. Over time you’d get used to it.

However, remember to look naturally whereas you look into someone’s eyes for a minute and nod while looking away for like five seconds. 

18. Relive Your High-Confidence Moments

Remember when you crushed your fear and behaved so confidently that time? Practice thinking about that whenever you feel low in confidence.

This would rewire the brain to expect the same occurrence now which helps you act in confidence and silence your inner critic to build self confidence for the long term.

19. Dress Confidence

How you dress can show people how confident you are, and also make you feel the same. This doesn’t mean you dress outside of your style to appear bold, no.

What you need to do is ensure you’re dressing for the occasion at all times. It makes you feel comfortable in your own skin and as a result, helps you feel confident. 

20. Articulate Your Words Slowly

Anxiety which is sometimes a result of low confidence leads to racing thoughts which manifest in talking fast. To avoid this for more poised communication in self awareness, choose to speak slowly.

Most experts weigh their words and therefore articulate themselves rather slowly. They are as a result viewed as confident, trustworthy, and influential.

You can use this tactic to calm down racing thoughts and feel confident in well-articulated statements.

21. Emulate Your Role Models

You have your role models. Most people have someone they look up to even if they’re dead. 

Well, you must know that even your role models didn’tt have it easy. They from time to time struggled with self esteem and had to win the battle to be successful.

So get your hands on their stories when they weren’t as successful as they are now that you too may be empowered to pave the same path of confidence for yourself.

When feeling low on confidence, feed on their stories once more.

22. Take One Small Action

None of these confidence building exercises help if you don’t take action. And this is another exercise of its own to remind you that.

What have you been putting away for so long? What do you think will embarrass, hurt, or scare you most?

The exercise is this: go on and do it.

Do just one thing towards confidence to gain it.

Coaching Exercises to Build Confidence – Confidence Building Exercises for Adults

If looking for Confidence building exercises therapy, Confidence building activities for youth, or Social confidence exercises, this list is for you.

Here’s a recap of the confidence building exercises you can practice:

  1. Believe You Are Worthy
  2. Drop Dignity
  3. Practice Self Compassion
  4. Be Your Best Authentic Self
  5. Practice Living Intentionally
  6. Find a Confidence Buddy
  7. Take a Positivity Challenge
  8. Practice Self-Confidence Affirmation
  9. Practice Gratitude Meditation
  10. Remember Victories
  11. Do a Positive Lessons Reflection – Challenging Negative Self Talk
  12. Dive Into Something You Fear
  13. Take On a New Challenge
  14. Be Useful to Others
  15. Practice Relaxing Self Care Strategies
  16. Practice Power Poses
  17. Practice Making Eye Contact
  18. Relive Your High-Confidence Moments
  19. Dress Confidence
  20. Articulate Your Words Slowly
  21. Emulate Your Role Models
  22. Take One Small Action

Wrapping Up

Building self confidence requires regular practice of whatever activity you choose among the above confidence building exercises.

Remember, it takes at least 21 days to form a lasting habit. So practice.

Before you go, which exercise are you going to practice? Keep us updated in the comments. And don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it!

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.