We’ve all been there: you’re doubting yourself and a friend or family member says, “be more conﬁdent”. But being more conﬁdent when deep down we’re scared and ﬁlled with self-doubt, is often easier said than done! And it can be even harder during puberty - when we’re going through a lot of physical and emotional changes.
Watch the video below and read on to ﬁnd top tips on how to be conﬁdent, even during puberty.
What is self-conﬁdence?
Self-conﬁdence is a feeling of trust in ourselves, in our abilities and in our judgement. When we feel conﬁdent, we believe we can.
Conﬁdence helps us to be positive and face challenges head on.
Why is self-conﬁdence important?
Self-conﬁdence is important because it helps us lead happy and successful lives where we feel fulﬁlled. It helps us achieve our goals, enjoy healthy relationships and foster our personal growth.
Can we build self-conﬁdence?
Yes! Whilst there are some factors that inﬂuence how conﬁdent you feel that you can’t change, like your genes and how you are treated by others, there are plenty of things you do have control over like:
- The choices you make
- The risks you take
- How you think about and respond to challenges and setbacks.
Check out the tips below on how you can cultivate your own self-conﬁdence.
Cultivate a ‘growth mindset’
A growth mindset is when we believe our abilities and intelligence can be improved with effort. To build conﬁdence using a growth mindset try the following:
- Embrace challenges as an opportunity to learn, grow and gain experience
- If a challenge feels too big - break it down into smaller steps so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
- Practise taking on something that you might be fearful of, one small step at a time.
- Reframe failure: Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning”!
- If a step fails, stop, think about a new way to do it better, and then try again.
- Notice how your conﬁdence grows with every new step you take.
For more information on how to build a growth mindset, check out this article.
Be a team player
Joining a team or a club can improve self-conﬁdence as you experience the support of working towards a shared goal with others. You’ll practise skills again and again and learn through failure – all whilst making friends and having fun!
Learn to love the skin you’re in
Going through puberty and experiencing changes to your body can knock your self-conﬁdence but remember that everything you’re going through is normal and our bodies come in all kinds of beautiful shapes and sizes.
Use positive self-talk
The words you use have the power to change the way you think and feel. For example:
Practise I-D-E-A-L solution building
At times, it can be difﬁcult to know what to think and how to act. Learning to make the right decision for you is an important part of growing up and feeling conﬁdent. To make decision-making easier, practise I-D-E-A-L solution building:
IDENTIFY the problem
DESCRIBE all the ways you might solve the problem
EVALUATE all the possible solutions
ACT on one of the solutions and try it out
LEARN if your solution solved the problem effectively
By picturing what you want to happen – whether it’s acing an exam or being the ﬁrst to cross the ﬁnish line - you make it more likely to happen. When you try it, visualise every detail, from what you’re wearing - to how you feel. The more vivid your imagination, the better!
Being grateful for what you have and for what others have given you can help you improve your self-image. Try keeping a gratitude diary – write 3 things you’re grateful for every day before bed.
Celebrate small wins
Be proud and celebrate all your achievements, even if they seem small - like getting that difﬁcult homework done!
Don’t compare yourself to others, you’re unique
It’s good to look to others for inspiration but don’t compare yourself to them. We’re all different and all have strengths and weaknesses so compare yourself to yourself and see how far you’ve come and how much improvement you’ve made.
Strike a power pose
If you ever need a quick conﬁdence ﬁx before taking on a challenge, make like Wonder Woman and strike a power pose. Research shows that ‘power posing’ – where we stand with our feet apart, hands on our hips and chin tilted upwards – helps us to feel more powerful.
Feeling conﬁdent isn’t always easy, but when we give ourselves permission to make mistakes, are kind to ourselves and know that we can always count on our friends, we can feel like we can achieve anything.
If you want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, don’t be afraid to speak to a parent, teacher or trusted adult.