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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.

How to be more confidentHow to be more confident

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.

Why is self-confidence important?

Self-confidence helps us to be positive and face challenges head on. It 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 I 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.

Girl playing a guitar while sitting on a bedGirl playing a guitar while sitting on a bed

How to be more Confident?

1 Adopt 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.

2 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!

3 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.

4 Use positive self-talk

The words you use have the power to change the way you think and feel. For example:

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I can't do it!

I give up

I can't make this any better

I'll never be that smart

I'm pretty good at science BUT I still get a B

I can't do it, YET!

I'll use a different strategy

I can always improve

I will learn how to do this

I'm pretty good at science AND I'm getting better every week

5 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:

6 Visualise success

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!

7 Practise gratitude

Being grateful for what you have and for what others have given you can help you improve your outlook and thought patterns. Try keeping a gratitude diary – write 3 things you’re grateful for every day before bed.

8 Celebrate small wins

Be proud and celebrate all your achievements, even if they seem small - like getting that difficult homework done!

9 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.

10 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.

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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.

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.