Activities to Build Self Confidence

Confidence can help prevent depression.

Self-confidence is a key to good mental health but building self-confidence requires some work. Even the most successful people suffer from periods of self-doubt, and families and co-workers do not always realise the need for recognising accomplishments and worth. If your self-confidence needs a boost, there are activities to help bring out your confidence.

Setting Goals

Perceived failure is fatal to self-confidence. If you are constantly frustrated at not accomplishing your day's goals, perhaps you're not being realistic. Write down the goals you want to accomplish. Be specific. For example, don't write "Clean the house." Write, instead, "Scrub the kitchen counters" and "Organize the bedroom closet." If it's a big goal, break it down into steps, and cross off the steps as you accomplish them. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment and provide the self-confidence to follow through with other goals.

Happiness Lists

As Marc Antony says in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." Often, a single bad event---a harsh word from a friend, a mistake at work---overshadows everything else that happened that day.

Before going to bed every night, make a list of five things that happened to you during the day. Are they mostly good or mostly bad? If you find yourself listing mostly bad things, change your focus to list only five good things that happened during the day. Ask family or friends for help if you can't come up with five things. Store these lists. After a bad day, pull out the lists and read through them as a reminder of what you have accomplished and are capable of. This will give your self-confidence a boost, even in times of failure or hurt feelings.

Notice Board

When our children do well on a test or report card, we post it on our refrigerator to celebrate their accomplishment. Why not give that same confidence boost to ourselves? Find a spot at home or at work that you see several times a day. Set up a confidence-building notice board in that spot. Fill it with anything reminding you of your worth. Things to post can include a copy of a congratulatory e-mail from your boss, a loving birthday card that made you smile, a photo of a vacation or party that made you happy. Keep the board fresh. Try to add something new to it every month.

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