3 Tips to Boost Your Confidence

The lesson discusses how confidence is a combination of self-esteem, optimism, and courage, and is shaped by genetics, how we are treated, and the choices we make. It provides 3 tips to cultivate one’s own confidence: a quick fix, believing in one’s ability to improve, and practicing failure.

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Lesson Article

Factors That Shape Your Confidence

When faced with challenges, we are often told to “be more confident”, but what does it really mean to be confident? Confidence is a combination of self-esteem, optimism, and courage. It is the belief that you are valuable, worthwhile, and capable, and the courage to take on a challenge head-on. Confidence is shaped by three main factors: genetics, how you are treated, and the choices you make.

Genetics, Social Environment, and Personal Choices

Your genes can impact the balance of neurochemicals in your brain, while the social pressures of your environment can influence how you are treated. Finally, you have control over the risks you take and how you think about and respond to challenges and setbacks. All of these factors together shape your confidence. While it isn’t possible to completely untangle the three factors that play a role in confidence development, the personal choices we make certainly play a major role.

Practical Tips to Cultivate Confidence

Here are a few practical tips to help you cultivate your own confidence:

Tip 1: A Quick Fix

There are a few tricks that can give you an immediate confidence boost in the short term. Picture your success when you’re beginning a difficult task, listen to music with deep bass to promote feelings of power, or strike a powerful pose or give yourself a pep talk.

Tip 2: Believe in Your Ability to Improve

Consider the way you think about your abilities and talents. Do you think they are fixed at birth or can they be developed, like a muscle? Having a growth mindset is key to successfully facing challenges. Neuroscience has proven that our brains can grow and strengthen with study and practice. On average, people with a growth mindset are more successful, achieving better grades and doing better in the face of challenges.

Tip 3: Practice Failure

Everyone will fail sometimes, and studies show that those who fail regularly and keep trying anyway are better equipped to respond to challenges and setbacks in a constructive way. They learn how to try different strategies, ask others for advice, and persevere.


In conclusion, think of a challenge you want to take on, realize it’s not going to be easy, but that you can learn and grow. It’s easy to accept that you will make mistakes and be kind to yourself when you do. Give yourself a pep talk, stand up, and go for it. The excitement you will feel knowing that whatever the result, you will have gained greater knowledge and understanding is confidence. Remember, confidence is not just a state of mind, but a skill that can be learned and cultivated.

Discussion Questions

  1. What have been some of the challenges that you have faced in the past, and how did you respond to them?
  2. Do you think our genetics play a role in our level of confidence, or do you think it is mostly determined by our environment and the decisions we make?
  3. What techniques do you use to give yourself a confidence boost when facing a big challenge?
  4. How do you think having a growth mindset can help you when dealing with a difficult situation or challenge?
  5. What strategies do you use to help you move on when you experience setbacks or failure?
  6. How do you think we can become more comfortable with failure, and what benefits do you think this can have?
  7. Do you believe that it is possible to learn and improve our confidence levels, or do you think it is something we are born with?
  8. Are there any other practical tips that you use to help you become more confident?

Lesson Vocabulary

ConfidenceA feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment – Example sentence: She gained more confidence in her skills after mastering the art of baking.

Self-EsteemA person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value – Example sentence: He had low self-esteem after getting rejected for the job.

OptimismA feeling that good things will happen in the future – Example sentence: She has an optimism that things will turn out for the better.

CourageThe ability to do something that frightens one – Example sentence: It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs.

GeneticsThe science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms – Example sentence: Genetics is the study of how traits are passed from generation to generation.

Social PressureA feeling that one must conform to the ideas of a group – Example sentence: He felt social pressure to wear the newest trends.

ChoicesA decision made between two or more possibilities – Example sentence: She was faced with many choices and had difficulty deciding what to do.

NeurochemicalsChemicals released by the brain that affect behavior, emotion, and thought – Example sentence: Certain neurochemicals are responsible for feelings of happiness.

Quick FixA fast, usually temporary, solution to a problem – Example sentence: He was looking for a quick fix for his broken car.

Fixed MindsetA belief that skills and abilities are fixed and cannot be improved – Example sentence: She had a fixed mindset and did not believe she could learn a new language.

Growth Mindset – A belief that skills and abilities can be developed through effort – Example sentence: He had a growth mindset and believed he could improve his singing with practice.

Practice FailureThe act of making mistakes in order to learn how to do something better – Example sentence: She embraced practice failure and used it as a learning experience.

J.K. RowlingBritish author of the Harry Potter book series – Example sentence: J.K. Rowling has sold 450 million copies of her books worldwide.

Harry PotterFictional protagonist in the Harry Potter book series – Example sentence: Harry Potter is a wizard who attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Wright BrothersAmerican inventors who designed and built the world’s first successful airplane – Example sentence: The Wright brothers’ invention of the airplane revolutionized the way people travel.

ChallengesA situation that requires effort and determination in order to be successfully completed – Example sentence: She faced many challenges during her journey but eventually overcame them.

SetbacksTemporary difficulty that causes delay or disappointment – Example sentence: He experienced setbacks throughout the project, but never gave up.

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