Three great sources to answer the question “How can I get self confidence?”

how can I get self confidenceThe key to more self confidence is to make sure you use three simple sources of information: You, Questionnaires and Educational Media.

You see, many people want to have more self confidence, notably at work to face the daily situations and discussions with the superior or colleagues. More self confidence and better self esteem very often comes along with a positive attitude, more motivation and hence more energy to deal with challenging circumstances. And who does not want to have more energy?

Are you ready to challenge yourself ? Let’s get to it.

The first source to get self confidence: You (free)

While it might be clear that you personally will need to act in order to become more self confident, it might be somewhat surprising that you, yourself, can also provide the answer, before looking for external support or advice.

So, what can you do to become more self confident?

  1. Ask yourself whether you are really lacking self confidence. In most cases, we are actually lacking experience and therefore feel insecure at first. Which is natural, and not necessarily a reason to seek for support. There is quite a difference between being nervous while talking to the manager for the first time about a salary raise, than having sweaty hands every time you see this one person coming down the corridor. So, what don’t you like doing so much? In which circumstances? Why?
  2. Ask and test yourself in what area you would like to get more confident. Narrow it down, to a specific field, are you, for example not comfortable in presenting? (Repeat this step once you have worked on a few others to see where you have progressed.)
  3. Ask your entourage for feedback. Sometimes, people will not even notice that you are lacking self confidence. We automatically assume that they know. If you are uncertain, ask people who know you well.
  4. Monitor yourself. Increase self-awareness by paying attention on how you react in certain situations. If you have an important meeting scheduled, use that meeting to observe your own behaviour and learn from it.
  5. Observe others: Look for that person at work (or at home) that you respect and admire and see how they (re-) act in certain circumstances.
  6. Manage your (lack of) confidence: Most of us get nervous when speaking in public. Finding a routine to deal with this situation in the future makes it more manageable and we feel less insecure.

Does this make sense?

The second source to get self confidence: Questionnaires (at some cost)

Completing a questionnaire or a test can not only provide clarity on your field of improvement, it can also provide a great dose of self confidence. Below is a list of three quizzes and tests which I have personally completed and can recommend. There are plenty of other good tests out there for you to choose from, it really depends what you want to know.

  • Mind Tools provides a (free) short quiz to check your level of self confidence and provides some indication of action at the end. It takes 3 minutes to complete.
  • Strengths Finder 2.0 is a solid test to increase awareness of your strengths, for once not your weaknesses.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the classical tests on different personality types. It is a good tool to remind us that we all have different personality traits, and some of those make people more confident than others. The test can be completed online with a personal feedback by a certified professional. You might consider taking this test in connection with a classroom training, if possible.


The third source to get self confidence: Educational Media (at some cost)

Once you have completed a test like one of the above mentioned, it is easier to focus on the particular field of improvement where you are lacking self confidence. In many cases some kind of test or questionnaire is offered in combination with a training, so, if you are certain that you would like to boost your self confidence through a seminar or workshop, verify upfront whether there are tests involved.

Now, check out this list of recommended references I often refer to on a general basis:

  1. Books (or e-editions):
    1. “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie – one of THE books to increase self confidence in interpersonal relationships
    2. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahnemann – great source to help understand how we are thinking, which can have a great effect on our confidence.
  2. Online courses: If you are fond of online learning, take a look at Udemy. There are courses available on all kinds of topics, and they are affordable.
  3. Podcasts: Similar to the above, but if you prefer to listen only to short information nuggets, there is quite a variety of podcasts out there to explain how to build self confidence. For instance, there is a very informative podcast by Steve Pavlina available.

The Bottom Line

Finally, to come back to the question “How can I get self confidence?”, pick out a couple of the resources mentioned, and give them a try. One by one. Maybe you do the first quiz I recommended above, it only takes 3 minutes and it is free. That will get you going.

I recommend you to build it in your self development plan, if you have one. That would allow you to complete the steps throughout the year without forgetting any. It is a process, and it will take time.

Any questions? Have you already used these three sources of information? Leave a comment!


Please note that the links provided in this article are no affiliate links.

Image credit: iStockphoto


  1. I have struggled with self-confidence since grade school. But I have found that the more I practice or do the things that I’m not sure about, the more confident I feel. This in turn projects a higher degree of confidence. I love doing quizzes or tests, such as the ones you mentioned. The results typically provide encouragement as well as ways to improve.
    Sarah @ My International Blessings recently posted…Beloved IndiaMy Profile

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Let me know how it turns out, Sarah! It might just give this additional boost, who knows. The Mindtools test does not take very long. If you want to get more solid results, Strengths Finder is one way to go.

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