How confidence can let you live your best life

12 April 2024

Confidence can be such a simple, yet complicated, feeling to have. It is a trait that we see in others, and that we wish to have in ourselves.

You can have confidence that your favourite ice cream will be restocked next Wednesday if it's out of stock this week. You can have confidence in your friend showing up at your dinner on Saturday, because they had said they could make it and will bring a dish along.

Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can have faith in, or rely on, someone or something. Self-confidence is the feeling or belief that you can have faith in yourself, your actions and anything you do. For some of us, it might seem so easy to have confidence in other people, other things, yet when it comes to anything we do, we can't seem to believe that we will be able to do it. 

But confidence is not something we're born with, it's something we learn. An article by Psychology Today reference confidence as an innate, not fixed, trait - therefore, we can develop this over time, including confidence in social situations. 

Here are some tips you can try now, to start building confidence in yourself: 

1. Get to know your inner critic

  • This is the part of us that tells a story of not being good enough. Research your critic, get to know it and check in with whether it’s advice is helpful or not. By recognising the beliefs and thoughts held by your inner critic that puts you down, you can start to replace them with more positive affirmations and supportive thoughts. You have the power to confront and transform your inner critic, into one that embraces imperfections and allows for positive inner dialogues to build up self-confidence.

2. Spend time with people who share your values 

  • You value learning, think of someone who you can have interesting conversations about learning with. When you connect with others who share your values, your sense of belonging can grow and in turn, foster a deeper sense of self-confidence by affirming that you are part of a community that values and accepts you for who you are. 

3. Get to know your internal strengths

  • The strengths you have are unique to you, and regular use of strengths builds up confidence in yourself. Strengths can be hard to identify, so come along to the UQ Confidence Chats – this is a weekly, group-based program to learn what your strengths are using the VIA Signature Strengths, as well as your neuro-type. 

4. Embrace failures or mistakes as learning opportunities

  • Reframing your perspective when mistakes are made can help to maintain your confidence and self-esteem. Remember, failures are a natural part of any learning process, and you can build confidence in your ability over time when you overcome the setbacks faced. 

5. Set small goals and celebrate all wins, big or small

  • The "three good things" activity is a powerful strategy to focus on our wins and support confidence – every night, journal three good things that have happened during the day, with a focus on the strengths that you used. No matter how big or small your wins are, every step forward is an evidence of your growth and progress. This activity is has also been shown to support better sleep, through the development of more positive emotions. 

But more importantly, be kind to yourself.

Whether you'll be trying one or all of these tips, always remind yourself that it’s never too late to start living the life you wish to live, with confidence in the things you do. 

Looking to work on other areas and enhance your wellbeing and everyday life?

Explore the various wellbeing programs available to you, developed and run by your UQ Counsellors here

Alternatively, book in an appointment with a UQ Student Counsellor to learn strategies to support a more confident you here.