Tag Archives: self-esteem

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build more confidence

5 Actions to Build More Confidence

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If you were asked to describe confidence, what would you say? Describing confidence might be similar to describing audacity, presence, or even success. While these are sometimes hard to describe or explain, you recognize them when you see them. What is important to build more confidence?

Many people who talk with me about self-improvement often express that they want to be more confident which leads to the question of, “How do you achieve more confidence?”

Questions help us create more focus and getting more focused is a big factor for achieving higher levels of confidence. Confidence might be responsible for helping people overcome some of their biggest fears, how world-class athletes break records, or how sports teams win championships. It might also be responsible for how individuals in the workplace develop more respect, tackle big projects, and get a raise or promotion.

Build More Confidence

I’ve observed a lot of confidence in action, and here are five actions that I believe are critical for building more.

  1. Develop reasonable but reaching expectations. Your ability to build more confidence will often be conditioned by both reflection and vision. Your past experiences, both failures and successes, must be properly managed so that you can set reasonable expectations. Reflect on any past failures, but do not focus on them, instead focus on your successes no matter how small. Lump them together, pile them up, and remember how each (winning) experience felt. Next, build a vision that is one step greater than your comfort zone.
  2. You must take some risk. The wall that you’ve built around your comfort zone might be the biggest deterrent to gaining more confidence. While you might not quickly recognize it, your comfort zone is where you’re currently the most confident. If you are hungry for something more, you’re going to have to expand those walls. Expansion requires you to open your gate which makes you to be susceptible to either losing or gaining confidence. We call this risk. No open gate, no expansion. Risk nothing and you’ll stay the same, or worse, you’ll fall behind.
  3. You must prepare. You probably know this, but let me remind you. Failure to plan is the first step for planning to fail. People will often tell you that they just jumped in and did it, or they might say, “I’m just going to see what happens.” Another of my favorites is, “I’m just going to wing it.” Anything that you “wing” and doesn’t turn out well becomes another obstacle for achieving a higher level of confidence. Performance failures happen, but if it’s going to happen to you do it gracefully. Everyone quickly recognizes the unprepared and there is no grace in that. An investment in preparation is an investment in you.
  4. Program your mind. Visualize yourself in the moment of success. Reach deep inside to experience again what it feels like when you’ve accomplished something. Go as far back or as deep as you have to go, remind yourself that your expectations are realistic, your risk is properly calculated, and that you’ve thoroughly prepared. Rehearse (mentally or literally) each step of your plan and visualize your plan unfolding with favorable results. Accept that your plan might require adjustment but you’ll make the right choices as you encounter obstacles in your path.
  5. Assess your results. You’ll only know if you are successful if you have something to measure or compare. This brings you back to how you’ll create future expectations. Consider how your performance adjusted to any unexpected obstacles, what value or lesson exists in any shortcomings, and be sure to identify, count, and celebrate successes along the way. Keep in mind that even a failure can unveil an element of success when you learn what not to do or try the next time.

Are you hungry to build more confidence?

Confidence is built from self-esteem and self-efficacy, and these five actions can help you improve both. Some might try to “wing it” or suggest that they are waiting for luck or fate, but people who are hungry to build more, well, they can’t wait to get started.


Originally posted on November 7, 2016, last updated on November 7, 2018.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Take Giant Leaps

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Someone will ask, “How do I build more confidence?”

Popular wisdom suggests that self-confidence consists of two factors, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Self-efficacy is the idea that you can produce or create a desired outcome. For example, you believe you have the tenacity to achieve a college degree. Self-esteem is your impression of yourself. Typically you are said to have high self-esteem if you have a very favorable impression. The combination of these two factors represents self-confidence.

Apollo 11 from Wikipedia

I encourage people to take small risks (and bigger ones too) because every time we take a risk or take a chance to try something new, different, or challenging we have the opportunity to learn from a failure or success. Small steps, typically regarded as somewhat easier (because they are small), help us build more confidence.

So, taking small steps builds confidence.

When we have built some confidence we have to push for more if we want to continue to grow. So we have to consider bigger steps. We can challenge the smaller steps by taking bigger ones and it may be said that bigger steps require more courage.

So, the confidence to take big steps builds courage.

When we have built our confidence and our courage, we can consider taking not only small steps or big steps, but we may want to pursue giant leaps. Giant leaps have the most risk, the risk of costly mistakes, failure, or even ridicule.

So, the confidence and courage to take giant leaps builds character.

Some people will only remember your mistakes; others will only remember your accomplishments. All of them will remember your character.

Take giant leaps.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and consultant that specializes in helping businesses accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Photo Credit: Apollo 11 on Wikipedia

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Choose Esteem

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Confidence is a people characteristic that many claim to want more of. They see others who appear very confident. They sell, buy, trade, get the job, get the promotion, get the raise, they get-get-get and take-take-take. There is something about them that is different, it may be charisma, their posture, or something we call presence, but it probably begins with their mindset.

Confidence is a product of two primary factors, self-esteem and self-efficacy; and both can be built or destroyed, but it is your choice. People can be difficult, critical, and often uncaring. They seldom consider the consequences of their actions and behaviors before they find a way to tear you down, break you down, and make you feel like they are trying to keep you down.

Their influence, or not, is a choice, your choice.

It is up to you, choose their mindset or choose yours. 

Choose self esteem.


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Hearing Confidence

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Often people tell me that they are “trying to stay positive,” which is not a bad statement to make, or hear. What is often more troubling is that when they speak, they speak defeat.


If you listen carefully you will hear words like:

  • Can’t
  • Never
  • Won’t
  • Bad
  • Difficult

Not that these words shouldn’t be used, but when used in short phrases describing situations or potential outcomes they often sound like negativity or defeat.

This leads to the point about confidence. Confidence or self-confidence is something that we develop. It is not genetically created, we build it. Many believe that it is built from two primary factors, self-efficacy and self-esteem.

What is so alarming is that people often don’t remember the things they have done that are great, they tend to dwell on those mistakes, errors, or when they have let themselves or others down. They may develop the attitude that you, can’t, won’t, and never will be able to accomplish goals, a dream, or success.

They only hear negativity in the voices of others. Both intentionally and unintentionally sometimes other people bring you down. Their words can hurt, stifle progress, and certainly help you to inappropriately set self-limiting beliefs.

Confidence is built, both by what we hear and what we say. Everyone has good days and bad days, they have times of accomplishment, and moments of shortcomings. Confidence will never be built with a focus on defeat.

To accomplish more and build confidence you should focus on what worked well, what created positive momentum, and what efforts have propelled you one step closer to your goals. It is important to consider and listen to feedback of what didn’t work so well, but that must be used to craft your next move forward, not retract or establish new lower limits.

Listen to yourself. What do you hear?


Photo Credit: Saad Faruque

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