3 Methods for Building Self-Confidence

[This is a guest post from my friend, Devin Tracy.]

“Nobody knows what they are doing, confidence is key.” – Ryan Kulp

It’s true, self confidence sells.  I help clients prepare for interviews, become better public speakers, build professional networks, talk to members of the other sex, and boost their overall social skills.  The number one issue that plagues all of my clients: lack of self confidence.

Self confidence is the foundation on which all successful endeavors are built.

That’s why I put this post together on the Top 3 Methods to Build Self Confidence.

Make a List

I  assign this as homework immediately to my clients. It’s a simple task and should take no more than 20 minutes.

Take a piece of paper, draw a line right down the middle, and on the left hand side write down 10 things you are grateful for. Now, on the right hand side, write down 10 things you are proud of.

The Logic:

The 10 things you are grateful for will help you put your life in perspective, and show you how lucky you are. The 10 things you are proud of will help you see how much you are capable of. Seeing how much you’ve done in life makes it easy to see how much you can really do!

Overall, what you just created, is a list of twenty things that make you feel good. The better you feel, the more confident you will be.

On that, when the day draws out,  you find yourself unmotivated or in a place of self doubt, that’s when you pull that list out and read EVERY SINGLE ENTRY. It changes your outlook on life, in a very real and very positive way! I recommend keeping this list on you all day long as a reference point, and then creating a new list each morning.

Talk to People

Have you ever tried to walk up to a complete stranger and talk to them? No? Yeah, that’s a tough one, I’m not gonna lie.

How about this: Have you ever wanted to walk up to a complete stranger (not just in the context of chatting up the opposite sex) and talk to them? I know I have!

Start small. Start with talking to Baristas, bartenders, and waiters. They are at a job where it is socially expected for them to talk to strangers. This means it won’t be weird for them, and they will be ready to respond.

Now I’ll be honest, going from just placing my order, to actually creating small talk was hard for me. That’s what makes this a perfect first step: It’s a little hard and uncomfortable, but it is also socially acceptable.

The Logic:

Now, there is a lot going on here, so let’s break it down piece by piece. The premise behind the entire exercise is this: Talking to people increases your confidence.

It’s getting you out of your comfort zone. The more familiar we get with new situations, the more comfortable we become. Our comfort zone grows and so does our confidence!

I like relating it to going swimming at the lake with my cousins. I would always jump right in, and let the cold water come as a shock to my body. My cousin Heather, however, would feel the water to see how warm it is. Then she would walk in ankle deep. Then up to her knees, her hips, her shoulders, than finally she would come swim and play with us.

When it comes to stepping outside of your comfort zone, it’s very much like swimming in that lake. Heather had the right approach.

Utilize Positive Self Talk

This is the tip on this list that means the most to me. I heard it literally hundreds of times, read it in dozens of books, but for some reason was always resistant towards it. When I finally tried it, it changed my life.

Positive self talk is the art of looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that you’re awesome. I tend to do it while I’m driving. It usually goes a little something like this:

“Ok Devin, today you are going to do x, y, and z. You’re going to get it all done, then you’re going to do this, that, and the other thing. There is nobody more prepared to do this then you are. You are an amazing coach, an amazing speaker, and an amazing businessman. You’ve got this!”

As cheesy as that sounds, it does wonders to build your self confidence. This is a piece of advice that just won’t resonate until you actually try it.

The Logic:

Studies actually show that when you tell yourself you can do something you are more than 300% more likely to do it. That’s why this same piece of advice is repeated in books like, “The Magic of Thinking Big,” “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and “The Compound Effect.” My favorite way I’ve heard it is from Jeffrey Gitomer, “Utilize the strategy employed by every great athlete: self-talk equals self-performance.”

There is a disconnect between your conscious and your subconscious, where your conscious knows when you’re serious, and when you are not. Your subconscious, on the other hand, does not. Your subconscious follows the conscious mind almost blindly:

You: I am building my confidence and I can do this!
Your subconscious: Okay, then.
Result: You become more confident


The 3 best ways that are proven to build confidence are:

  1. Make a list of things you are grateful for and proud of
  2. Talk to people, and force yourself outside of your comfort zone
  3. Practice positive self talk

I’ll leave you with this:

“Arrogance is believing you can do everything on your own. Hubris is having so much pride that it leads to your downfall. Pride is relying on your strengths. And Confidence is admitting your weaknesses.”

Devin Tracy offers a free course called “How To market yourself even if you don’t feel like you have any social skills,” HERE