How to start believing in yourself

Cornfield and the sky

Do you have trouble believing in yourself? I think most of us do, at least to some extent. Life isn’t always easy and it feels like there are demands and higher standards behind every corner. I have some good news for you though. It is very possible to become more confident and boost your self-esteem. It takes time, it takes effort, but you can do it. In this post, I have collected 14 different ways to start believing in yourself.

Take it as your personal challenge to start building your self-confidence and believing in yourself. When you don’t stand in your own way and you work smart, only the sky’s the limit. Imagine all the things you will have the courage to do and how different your life can be a year from now, if you start this journey today. Read these suggestions and see what you can apply in your own life.

1. Remember that this is a long process

No one builds perfect self-confidence overnight. It takes time, possibly years. Don’t let that discourage you, and embrace the journey instead. Having low self-confidence and not believing in yourself makes your everyday life harder. But as you consciously take steps to become the new, confident you, you start noticing that your life becomes more fun, more exciting, and most of all easier all the time. You don’t have to worry about the little things anymore and you won’t be putting off small things like making appointments anymore. And all those big dreams of yours that you’ve been afraid to go after? Not anymore!

2. Notice that others aren’t perfect either

Sometimes what really holds us back is thinking that we are somehow worse than others. When you browse through LinkedIn and notice that someone you know got a new, impressive job, you might feel like everyone else has fantastic careers and you’re the only one who doesn’t. Instagram might make you feel like everyone else has lots of great friends and that they have naturally good social skills. Anywhere you look, you can see people succeeding and reaching their goals, while making it all look easy for them.

Of course, that’s not reality. If you look closer, you’ll notice that most people don’t have super impressive jobs (and even the jobs that sound great can be something way else). Just because someone has succeeded at something, doesn’t mean that they did everything right or that they always know what to do.

3. Look for inspiration

You don’t have to build strong self-confidence and start believing in yourself without any help. Find sources of inspiration that will make you feel that it is very possible for you to believe in yourself and your abilities. Follow Instagram accounts or Youtube channels that post motivational content that helps you increase your self-confidence little by little. Whether it’s motivational quotes or practical advice, take it in and let it make you stronger.

Bullet journal with a coffee mug on top

4. Acknowledge your victories

Don’t be shy when celebrating your victories! At the very least you can acknowledge them to yourself. Taking a moment to look at what you’ve done and achieved enables you to feel you’ve actually done something and that you have accomplished your goals (even when they aren’t that big). If you just jump from one task to another or take every job and project you’ve had for granted, you end up feeling like you’ve never done anything in your life. And that simply isn’t true!

Whenever you finish a project or get something done, acknowledge that it is a victory, whether big or small. It is one step on your journey to success.

5. Ask yourself what you have already achieved in your life

It’s easy to think that you haven’t done anything meaningful or impressive in your life, but think again. Unless you’ve been sitting still staring at a wall since you were born, you for sure have done a lot of things. Think of all the years of education you’ve survived through, all the jobs you’ve had, and all the skills you have gained from your hobbies. Think how much you have grown as a person. Think of all the places you have seen and all the experiences you have gotten. Most people in the world don’t have all this under their belt!

6. Remember that your past doesn’t dictate your future

You may be inclined to think that you have always been a certain way and that’s how you will remain. Or you think about the time you failed at something and now you believe it’s simply something that’s not for you. But you have to remember that we grow all the time. A person can change unbelievably much in a few years, to the point that they are practically a different person. Just because you have been shy till now, doesn’t mean that you’d have to have trouble talking to new people for the rest of your life. Maybe you haven’t been a particularly creative person till now, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have it in you.

Your past doesn’t define your future. You can grow, you can change, and you can learn new skills. Even the biggest challenges can be won. If you look back, you’ll see that you have changed a lot already over the years.

7. You are your actions

A lot of people make the mistake of simply wanting to change, without changing something they do every day. If you want to become fluent in French, but you spend no time studying or using the language, how could you ever become fluent? But if you decide to change your life and you change your actions, you are bound to see a difference in your future. The more consistent you are, the nearer your new life is.

Remember that you are your actions. Your dreams and wishes don’t have an effect on your life, it’s what you do that matters.

Writing weekly goals

8. Set smart goals and track your progress

To gain confidence you have to prove to yourself that you are capable of many things. Set clear, actionable goals for yourself, whether it is at work, in your studies, or at home. If you are a student who has always had trouble in a certain subject, set a goal that feels a little out of reach and then come up with a plan to actually achieve your goal. Try to predict what could go wrong or what might discourage you and make you give up too early. When you’re well prepared, you’re much more likely to succeed. Remember to also track your progress to see how you have improved.

9. Be realistic

Expecting way too much from yourself can easily become a problem. If your standards are much higher than what you can deliver at this point, you will end up feeling like you’re constantly failing. You have to be realistic about both your goals and your current situation. Be honest to yourself about where you are now and where you want to get. Don’t expect to be able to change yourself overnight. It takes time. If you dream of being a great public speaker, but right now talking in front of five people sounds like a nightmare, you have to come up with a plan and take things slowly. You will definitely be the public speaker of your dreams one day, but you have to take one step at a time.

10. Pay attention to the backgrounds of successful people

Famous successful people are great for inspiration. Whether you are a huge fan of J.K. Rowling or Nelson Mandela, digging into their backgrounds can be really eye-opening. Most people didn’t have it all figured out since the beginning and they faced a lot of struggles along the way. Plenty of people have turned their lives around after the age of 30 or 40 and even later than that. You have plenty of time to create the life you want and become the person you want.

11. Recognize your fear

It’s important to recognize your own feelings and how they affect you. Sometimes we are afraid to take chances and step out of our comfort zone without even realizing it. What you have to remember though, is that fear and insecurity are just feelings. They don’t reflect reality. Just because you are afraid of trying something new doesn’t mean that there is something to actually be afraid of. You are so much more capable than you think. Every time you are feeling insecure about something, ask yourself if there is an actual reason for you to feel like this. If you have to give a presentation tomorrow and you know everyone in the audience is really mean and will definitely make fun of you, it makes sense to be nervous. But given that most people are nice, polite, and considerate, it actually makes sense to expect everything to go well.

Peaceful meadow

12. Practice being optimistic

There’s nothing good about being pessimistic. If anything, it just keeps you from trying new things and taking chances, which is one of the most common ways to make sure you’re life isn’t going to be what you want it to be. You might think that being optimistic is naive or not realistic, but hear me out. An optimist knows that sometimes things go wrong in life. Not everything you will ever try will work out. But at the same time, not everything will go wrong. Things usually are easier than what you first expect. An optimist knows this and has the courage to try, even when things aren’t certain. And they learn, that taking chances often leads to them exceeding their expectations.

When you catch yourself being pessimistic or thinking that something probably won’t work anyway, stop yourself. Unless there is a clear reason to think that this won’t work, let yourself imagine how wonderful it would be if things worked out for the best. And then try. And if it doesn’t work the first time, try again. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by your own thoughts.

13. Consider failures and mistakes as learning lessons

We are taught to think that there is something bad in failing and making mistakes. But that doesn’t make any sense! Making mistakes is a part of life, no one can avoid it. The only way to learn and grow is to try new things and to make some mistakes along the way. Consider your failures and mistakes as learning lessons, because that’s what they really are. No one is born a master. Each time you fail, you learn something and become a little better and stronger.

14. Remember that you don’t have to be perfect

Many of us think that we have to be somehow perfect or that it even is possible to be perfect. What you need to stress to yourself, is that no one is perfect nor is there any need to be flawless. Concentrate on improving the traits and skills that are important to you. They are what matters to your life. Strive for progress, not perfection. When you look at the people you admire or who you think are successful, you see that they are nowhere near perfect. They are simply good enough and the same applies to you.

14 fantastic ways to start believing in yourself

If you are serious about making progress and becoming a better version of yourself, you might want to start by taking my quiz to find out if you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. It will help you figure out whether you are unnecessarily hindering your own growth or not.

Do you feel like you often have a hard time believing in yourself? Or do you at least wish you were a bit more confident? In case you want to feel a bit better about yourself and feel more motivated, subscribe to my newsletter!


  • Robert Connor
    May 2, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    I enjoyed reading your article! Very inspiring!

    • Nina
      May 3, 2021 at 6:06 am

      Thank you! Lovely to hear!

  • shayne spude
    May 3, 2021 at 1:58 am

    I read different comments about believing in myself. I do try and do anything I love to do.

    • Nina
      May 3, 2021 at 6:09 am

      That’s good, just concentrate on what is important to you! 🙂

  • This is so simply and beautifully said! A delight to read!:)

    • Nina
      May 4, 2021 at 8:27 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Nicole Anne Dake
    May 18, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Believing in yourself is so important, I know a lot of us struggle though! Thank you for these tips!

    • Nina
      May 18, 2021 at 7:42 pm

      Exactly! Life is so much easier if you believe in yourself.

  • Michelle
    May 18, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I think it’s easy to forget that we can change our perspective and go in a new direction at any moment. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

    • Nina
      May 18, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      That’s so true! It does take a lot of courage sometimes, but we have to keep trying!

  • Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady
    May 18, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    This is such an inspiring article. I definitely need to remember that no one is perfect! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Nina
      May 20, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      That’s an important thing to remember! 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

  • Kayla
    May 25, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    This is so beautifully worded and gave me an instant pep in my step- thank you!

    • Nina
      May 26, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you so much! That’s so lovely to hear ❤ Glad to know this was useful!

  • Subarna
    June 12, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Motivating post, this post will surely give everyone a positive vibe and motivation to chase their dreams.

    • Nina
      June 12, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      Awesome to hear, thank you!


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