Confidence is an admirable quality of many successful people. While it’s true that some are inherently more confident than others, it is possible to increase your confidence through experiences. And high school is the perfect opportunity to venture out and participate in activities that boost your confidence. Increasing confidence in high school will set you up for success in college and beyond, so here are a few ways you can start building it now.
1. Form substantial relationships with your friends and family
Having solid relationships with people you care about increases your confidence because you have people who depend on and support you. Really focusing on healthy relationships and communication helps you grow your social skills, which are useful in many circumstances. The better you can interact with people, voice your opinion, and respect others’ perspectives, the more confident you’ll feel even with strangers.
2. Put yourself in the spotlight
If you’re shy, overcome your desire to hide in the corner when you attend parties or events. Try to step out of your comfort zone occasionally and put yourself out there. Whether it’s as small as raising your hand in class if you know the answer or as big as signing up for a leadership position, challenge the social barriers that you’ve implemented for yourself. You may be shocked to see you’re comfortable with more than you think. Also, doing this on your own will make you more confident if someone asks you to put yourself out there in the future. Then you’ll be more prepared for these kinds of situations.
3. Be a good student
You go to high school to learn, obviously. That should be an important priority. So pay attention in class, do your homework, take notes, ask extra questions, and study with intention. This will help you gain confidence when taking tests, participating in class discussions, and answering questions. Doing well in school will also boost your confidence as you’ll be proud of your academic achievements and success.
4. Look at your mistakes as opportunities for growth
The sooner you realize everyone makes mistakes, the better off you’ll be. Continuously dwelling on your mistakes isn’t going to help you in future endeavors, but it’s still important to reflect on a situation and see how you can improve next time. Confident people are able to learn from their mistakes then move past them with knowledge for the future.
5. Face your fears
Facing your fears will facilitate greater strength and bravery as well as confidence. Try joining a new club or sport you’re interested in that you may be worried about being bad at. Developing your interests leads to a plethora of benefits such as skill building, new friends, and a positive mindset. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always the biggest key to confidence. Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
6. Utilize positive affirmations
Sometimes we all need extra self-assurance. Give yourself a pep talk when it feels like you need one. If you’re scared of a test, confronting a friend, or presenting in front of the class, remind yourself why you are ready to take on what the day has in store for you. Think of the skills and qualities that you’re proud of and repeat them back to yourself in the mirror. And if all else fails, deep breathing also helps.
7. Stop overthinking
The act of overthinking does not boost your confidence whatsoever. Overthinking makes you question your every move and heighten your insecurities. Not overthinking is a skill that takes time to acquire, but it is possible with some practice. Remember that you’re always going to be your own biggest critic. Once in a while, turn off that negative side of brain. Next time you’re overthinking, remember to trust your gut instincts.
8. Prepare yourself for situations that make you anxious
If you’re afraid of a certain situation coming up, try to run it through your head and figure out what actions need to be taken beforehand for you to be prepared and less anxious. If you feel like you can’t do it alone, ask a friend or parent for help preparing for the situation or ideas to make it feel less stressful. Confidence is dependent on preparation and composition, but a little help from others doesn’t hurt anyone.
9. Dress to impress yourself
If you find yourself insecure about your outward appearance, try dressing up! Dress in outfits you feel comfortable and empowered in. It’s important to remember that real confidence should come from within, but the “fake it until you make it” mentality can be applied here. And sometimes faking it means letting a cute outfit do the work for you!
10. Create a routine and stay organized
Creating a positive and organized environment through your daily routines adds a sense of stability to your life and can ease some of your worries. A routine gives you something to look forward to every day, and a constant routine is the one thing you can depend on. Try using a planner and checking off your to-do list items every day for some instant satisfaction and orderliness.
11. Don't take everything so seriously
High school is a time to grow and start to figure out who you are. While it’s important to focus on your goals and not lose yourself to worldly distractions, it’s also important to have fun! You’ll never get certain high school experiences again, so take advantage of them. Experiencing what life has to offer will make you feel bolder in just throwing yourself into opportunities that come your way.
12. Just be you
It’s cliché, but the best advice to give is to simply be yourself. Losing yourself in high school is a common but terrible experience. Accepting and loving yourself is one of the most important qualities to have, and the more you love yourself, the less likely you’ll feel judged by those around you.
These 12 tips and tricks should help you build more confidence, but remember, it’s not an easy road sometimes. You’re not going to be the most confident person by tomorrow. It’s a process that will take time, but the more you work at it, the better you’ll be in the long run.
Find more great advice like this from students like you by checking out the blogs and articles in our Student Life section.