How to Build Self-Confidence

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  • 0:00 Self-Confidence
  • 0:50 Self-Concept
  • 2:58 Building Self-Confidence
  • 4:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Self-confidence can immensely impact one's level of happiness and satisfaction with life. Learn the definition of self-confidence and get tips on how to be more self-confident in this lesson.


Hector feels very down on himself. He feels like he's worthless and that the only thing he's good at are pretty worthless too. For example, he knows he's a good driver, but what's the point of being a good driver if you can't pass your classes at school or speak in public? Hector is struggling with how he feels about himself.

In psychology, one way of looking at how a person feels about him or herself involves self-confidence, or the way you view your personal abilities and skills. Hector's self-confidence is pretty low. How does self-confidence impact a person and how can Hector build up his self-confidence? To answer these questions, let's look more in depth at self-concept and how to build self-confidence.


As we've already seen, Hector is struggling with self-confidence, but he believes he's a good driver. How can he believe that he's a good driver and still lack self-confidence? To understand that, it's important to understand that there are three related ways to viewing a person's self-concept, or how they view themselves. We've already mentioned that self-confidence is about how a person views his or her personal abilities and skills. That's one way to view self-concept.

Another is self-esteem, which is how you feel about yourself generally, including how much self-love you have. This is related to self-confidence, but different because it's not about your specific abilities and skills. Someone who is very confident in his or her ability to do well can still feel very insecure and have a low self-esteem. But many people are either high in both or low in both, like Hector.

The third way of thinking about self-concept is self-efficacy, or your belief in your ability to perform a specific task at a specific time. Self-efficacy and self-confidence are so similar that it might help us to think about Hector. He has a very high self-efficacy when it comes to driving. He knows that he's good at that one specific task. But his self-confidence, or his belief in his abilities and skills overall, is low.

So how do self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy impact a person's life? Self-esteem is very nebulous, and some studies have shown that trying to boost general feelings of worth can actually make a person less happy. In other words, trying to convince yourself that you're a good person can actually make you feel less happy. However, boosting both self-efficacy and self-confidence can have a large impact on how a person feels and how they perform. Many studies have shown that people do better at tasks when they believe that they can do well at it. Even if a task is difficult, having self-confidence and self-efficacy that you will eventually be able to accomplish it makes it more likely that you will accomplish it.

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