The famous American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think  you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

Ford was an engineer who began with a hand-built automobile but dreamt of making cars that common people could buy.

And he did it. He went on to create the famous Ford Motor Company, one of the world’s biggest auto companies that made cheaper cars than anyone had thought possible.

All it took was a dream, and the confidence to pursue it.

There is hardly anyone who has achieved success in his or her field of work without knowing how to build confidence in themselves and their dream.

The same strategy applies to most of the things we do in our lives.

You need to understand how to build confidence to succeed in your career, whether you are employed in a company or run your own business.

How to build self-confidence

Self-confidence can mean different things to different people. However, the universal meaning of self-confidence is the belief in one’s abilities.

As children, we derive our self-confidence from other people, especially authority figures, to a large extent.

Do you remember trying to make or learn something when you were young and excitedly showing it to your parents or teacher? It could have been singing a song, some artwork, or writing a poem. Their praise and appreciation boosted your self-confidence.

Many famous sportspersons, singers, and actors credit their parents for encouraging them from childhood. Their parents helped them practice their craft and appreciated every achievement and milestone. This gave them the confidence to hone their skills and brought them where they are today.

It is such conditioning and our personal experiences that often govern how confident we are about doing various things.

Whether it is young professionals or industry veterans, everybody must know how to build confidence if they want to meet their goals.

Confidence should stem from self-belief based on one’s own potential and achievements. The right amount of self-confidence can mean the difference between achieving your dreams and failing. However, when one has too much or too little confidence, it can cause problems. Let’s see how.

  • Low self-confidence: 

One could suffer from a lack of confidence due to various factors such as constant criticism, unhappiness with oneself and one’s abilities, past failures, or a lack of support. Such a person is likely to feel anxious, fearful, and incapable of handling life’s challenges. People with low self-confidence don’t see the potential in themselves and tend to aim lower than they should. They feel that they are likely to fail if they try new things.

For such people, it is important to learn how to build self-confidence.

  • Overconfidence: 

Overconfidence is on the opposite end of the spectrum of low self-confidence. Sometimes, a streak of successes can make a person falsely believe that they can do anything and succeed in any endeavor, even when they lack the required skills or abilities. While it is important to know how to develop self-confidence, we should always guard against overconfidence.

Ego and self-obsession can cloud a person’s vision and turn their self-confidence into overconfidence. Overconfident people are often likely to lose popularity.

Tips on how to build self-confidence

The good thing about the life-changing trait self-confidence is that you can cultivate it through practice. If you are wondering how to build confidence, then here are some tips that will help you:

  1. Think positive thoughts:

Positive thinking is essential to know how to increase self-confidence.

Let’s say you’re climbing a mountain and are close to the summit, but are fatigued after a long climb.

For a moment, you doubt if you can make it–but then your self-confidence kicks in. You drive out all negative thoughts and you know you can easily reach the top with one strong push. You then drive yourself, and not only do you manage to reach the top, but you also witness a glorious sunset.

If you wish to know how to increase self-confidence, you should start by eliminating the thoughts of fear, failure, and uncertainty from your mind.

Once you make this tiny adjustment to your thinking, you will see big results.

  1. Be principled:

You must always set guiding principles for yourself and stick to them. A principled person always knows how to gain confidence and remain assured in her actions.

Self-doubt and negativity don’t enter the thoughts of a person who lives by her values and makes a constant effort towards the achievement of her goals.

  1. Focus on your successes and reframe failures as setbacks: 

We all have had times when we succeeded, and other times when we failed. Our past experiences can help us in our future endeavors if we see them from the right perspective.

Think about your past successes and how you achieved them. Examine which traits helped you reach your goals.  Was it your hard work? Your tenacity? Your determination? Or something else? Thinking about your past successes will give you a much-needed boost when you are uncertain.

When you are facing a challenging situation, don’t give up. Instead, think of a time in the past when you overcame similar odds. Tell yourself- “If I could do it then, I can do it again.” This will boost your self-confidence.

Similarly, learn to view failures as setbacks that you can learn and grow from. By cultivating a growth mindset, you will be able to develop self-confidence. You can learn more about dealing with failures in the Harappa course Embracing Change.


Once you know how to increase confidence, you can make small but critical mental, physical, and behavioral adjustments that will have a transformational impact on your life.

Harappa’s Leading Self course has a section titled ‘Decoding The Growth Mindset’ which teaches you how to make adjustments and improve your self-confidence. Go ahead and empower yourself with the knowledge about abilities that you already possess!

Explore blogs in our Harappa Diaries section to learn what is self-esteem and examples of self-confidence and go on a path of self-development.

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