1. Choose the Right Profession – So many people out there hate their jobs. Those who are miserable over their job make everyone around them miserable. Their unhappiness reflects in their work performance and in their attitude. It is very important that one try to work in a profession that makes them happy, gives them a sense of pride, and makes them feel fulfilled. If one’s job does not bring about such feelings then, perhaps, it is time to look for one that will. If one does not have the skills needed to get their dream job, then they should make plans to go back to school and get the education needed to do so.

2. Plan & Persist – Merely intending to do something doesn’t get you anywhere. Usually, things are not going to happen on their own. It is up to you to make them happen. Develop a plan and be persistent. Sometimes things may not work out the first time around, but “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Just remember to practice patience, use common sense with your judgment, and stay focused. If you make hasty decisions and don’t think things through properly, you could set yourself up for failure, which could damage your confidence and willingness to try again. So be realistic and stay focused.

3. Try New Things –Trying new things fulfills our need for adventure, and successfully completing a new task provides us with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Our confidence increases and we feel a sense of purpose. So sign up for that martial arts class, take a skiing lesson, or try that new Chinese restaurant you’ve been curious about.

4. Take Small Risks - Trust yourself, reach out to others, be vulnerable, and make waves. Each time you face fear and self-doubt and take a little risk, you build up your self-confidence and help yourself feel alive.

5. Don’t Be A Sheep – Don’t try to live everyone else's lives. Live your own life. If you fall into the habit of doing what everyone else is doing, you will surely drift too far from your own path. Life is a journey. We each have our own life lessons to learn. It is imperative that each of us seek out our own unique path. Learning to trust in oneself will help you develop confidence and will be the surest way to lead you to your destiny.

6. Practice Self-Reliance – Avoid relying on people to do things for you. If you rely on others too often, you will eventually become completely dependent on them. Plus, people will eventually get tired of being used as a crutch. You will lose the respect of others and you will lose respect in yourself. In order to develop the knowledge and skills to become a confident individual, you need to experience independence. You may doubt yourself in the beginning, but the more steps you take towards independence, the more confident you will become.

7. Body Language Speaks for Itself – How you walk is a dead giveaway to how you feel about yourself. Think about how you walk. Do you walk slowly? Drag your feet? Slouch or mope? If you walk energetically, and with good posture, you will feel much better about yourself. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. Be sure to greet people with a, “How are you?” or “Have a good day!” Not only will you make a positive impression on others, but you will feel more alert and confident as well.

8. Appearance is Everything – How you look effects how you feel. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with others. Take pride in your appearance. Dressing nice doesn’t just make you appear more confident, it actually helps you become more confident.

9. Compliment Others – When we think negatively about ourselves, we project it onto others in the form of insults and gossip. Rather than engage in gossip and put people down to build ourselves up, we should seek out good qualities in people and compliment them. By making others feel better about themselves we will, in turn, feel better about ourselves. It creates an outward ripple effect of positive vibes; thus, creating a cheerier environment for all. By getting into the habit of praising others, we break the cycle of negativity.

10. Stop Putting Yourself Down – Negative self-talk prevents us from achieving our goals. Telling yourself that you are a loser or a failure damages your ability to be yourself and get what you want. You may have to pretend to have confidence in the beginning, but after awhile you will reach a point where you won’t have to fake it anymore. Believe in yourself.

11. Compliment Yourself Daily – When you are aware of your strengths you can put your weaknesses into perspective. By repeating positive statements about yourself, you remind yourself of traits that are working for you. You may be well-organized, a good listener, patient, and kind. Whatever things you are good at, remind yourself of these things each day. By recognizing and appreciating your strengths, you build up your confidence and prepare yourself for the next challenge that comes along.

12. Expect Positive Results – When we expect positive results we usually get them. Just the same, if we expect negative results it is sure to happen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “It would be nice, but I know it won’t happen.” or “I won’t get my hopes up…nothing good ever happens to me.” By thinking positive and believing that good things can happen, you draw positive outcomes to yourself. Just as dogs can sense fear, the universe can sense insecurity. Positive thinking brings positive results, which brings increased confidence.

13. Practice Gratitude – There’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve goals for a better future. However; by creating a mental list in our minds of the things we are grateful for in our lives, we develop a more positive frame of mind, more confidence, and are more likely to achieve our dreams.

14. The “Law of giving” – We often focus too much on fulfilling our own desires, and not enough on the needs of others. Self-centeredness is human nature. It is natural. But it can be controlled. When we stop obsessing about ourselves and begin concentrating on the contribution we’re making to the rest of the world, we begin to worry less about our own flaws. Our self-confidence will increase along with our appreciation. The more we give to the world, the more we will be rewarded with personal success and recognition. “If you give you will receive.” It is karmic law. “What goes around always comes around.” So, open a door for someone, help someone carry their groceries, support a charity, or go that extra mile and go on a mission trip. It doesn’t matter how small or how big the good deed as long as you help others.

15. Seek out positive inspiration – Aim to obtain a daily dose of positive inspiration in order to continue fighting off negative thoughts and feelings. There are many books and articles written to motivate people. Subscribe to a daily or weekly newsletter. I signed up to receive daily inspirational quotes in my email. Join a motivational group through Yahoo, Facebook, or any other favorite social network. The more positive influences that you surround yourself with, the easier it will be to remain in a positive frame of mind.

16. Surround yourself with positive people – The type of people you spend time with directly influences your attitude. People with upbeat, positive attitudes know how to build confidence. They know how to handle stressful situations more successfully, are more supportive to their peers, and they do not feel the need to criticize to build themselves up. By connecting with positive people your mood will be more positive and your confidence will increase. Avoid negative people if possible. You know the type: always complaining, never happy about anything, believe the whole world is against them and that nothing good ever happens to them. Their pessimistic attitude will drain you of your optimism.

17. Be a good friend – Whether you are social or anti-social, you most likely have at least a few close friends. Friends can be a great support system by providing you with encouragement and acting as a cheering squad when needed. (Just make sure that they are encouraging you to listen to your own desires and not pressuring you to follow theirs.)

18. Ignore discouragement – Sometimes we ask for advice, but other times people offer it without our request. Generally, people mean well when they blurt out their opinions on how you should live your life, but it is your life to live––not theirs. You are the one who will be the most impacted by the choices you make. People who doubt your abilities are likely reacting from their own insecurities. Whenever possible, try not to allow others the opportunity to poison your mind with negative thoughts. Just thank them politely for their advice and be on your way.

19. Sit up front & Speak up – It seems to be a common habit for people to hide in the back rows when attending school functions or public assemblies; people are uncomfortable being noticed for fear of being judged. Many people avoid speaking in front of crowds because they fear saying something “foolish.” However, people are often more accepting than we imagine them to be, because most of us are dealing with the same fears. By finding the courage to be seen and heard in group functions your confidence will improve. You will become a better public speaker. Your peers will begin to view you as a leader and will gain respect for you.

20. Respect your body and health – Take care of your body by eating right and avoiding poor habits that are bad for your health like: smoking, drugs, and over-eating. Having a healthy mind and body leads to increased energy, clear thinking, and confidence.

21. Remain honest and humble – Be honest in your dealings with other people, and don’t allow yourself to develop arrogance or conceitedness. Your conscious will thank you and reward you with confidence.

22. There is no failure…only feedback – Everything happens for a reason. Everything that happens in our lives is meant to teach us things. Think of every situation as feedback designed to educate us and help us evolve into better human beings. Life is full of choices, our choices provide results, the results teach us lessons, and we use these lessons to learn to make better choices. Those of us that see these lessons as feedback, rather than failure, are the ones who develop confidence and learn to appreciate how amazing life is.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer J. Passmore lives in Quincy, IL with her husband and two children. She holds an Associates Degree in Office Technology and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Jennifer works full-time as a secretary in health care and pursues her passion for writing in her spare time.

Jennifer enjoys writing to inspire others. Her goals are to write inspirational self-improvement books for adults and books focused on self-esteem for children.