How To Develop Self-Confidence as a Teenager

How To Develop Self-Confidence as a Teenager

Self-confidence is crucial during the teenage years. To be self-confident is to have assurance in oneself. It means to have high self-esteem and an overall favorable view of one’s self-value and worth. When you’re a teenager with high self-confidence, you trust your own judgment, capabilities, and skills.  You are more likely to set goals and have ambitions, stand by your own convictions and beliefs, and not be swayed by peer pressure. As a confident teen, you are also more socially adept and better equipped to handle the inevitable ups and downs of adolescence. But that’s not all. Additional benefits of teen confidence building include the following:

  • Improve self-esteem and self-worth. The higher your confidence, the better you feel about yourself, refusing to settle for less than the best.
  • Reduce fear and anxiety. As we grow in self-confidence, that little voice in our head screaming, “you’re not good enough!” begins to dissipate. Eventually, all those fears and anxieties seem to fade away as our confidence grows. 
  • Increase life motivation. As we sit here, crippled by our fears and anxieties due to our lack of confidence, our motivation seems to disappear. When we lack confidence, we find ourselves making excuses for why we can’t do what we want in life. The more you build your confidence, the better you will feel about doing what you have always wanted without fears holding you back. 
  • Be okay with setbacks and failure. We all make mistakes, so why do some of us take these mistakes harder than others? It’s all about confidence. The more confidence we have, the better we will handle those inevitable setbacks and failures. 
  • Have healthier relationships. Confident people have a better ability to be there for other people. When we lack self-confidence, we constantly worry about what others are thinking about us. This makes it hard to give energy to what’s going on with the people around us. Another benefit confident people experience is not settling for toxic relationships. Building your confidence will help you seek out relationships that bring you joy and give you the strength to leave the ones that bring you stress and unhappiness.
  • Develop a stronger sense of self. Confidence allows you to build a solid foundation for your beliefs and morals. Confident people can accept their strengths and flaws and embrace them as what makes them who they are. It will allow you to stand up for yourself, your beliefs, and other people.

So, okay, we get it. Teen confidence is crucial. But now what?

Unfortunately, despite the advantages of teen confidence, studies estimate that up to half of adolescents will struggle with low confidence during their early teenage years. Whether it be social media, unrealistic body expectations, societal pressures, changing bodies, puberty, peer pressures, or hormones, the reasons for lower levels of teen confidence are mind-numbing. This means less socialization, motivation, ambition, and more negative emotions, psychological ailments, body image issues, and teen alcohol and drug abuse risk. 

Sounds pretty sad, huh? Don’t worry.

The good news is you can take many proactive steps to build your self-confidence as a teenager, and Washington Psychological Wellness has your back! Below are three therapist-approved tips for teen self-confidence building. 

3 Tips for Teen Confidence Building

1.Step Away From The Negative.

You heard right. Ain’t no one got time for that, especially teens. Confident people have learned to love themselves enough to leave the things that are making them feel bad. Practice loving yourself by stepping away from the things that are hurting you. 

  • Take a social media detox. While social media can be entertaining, it can also become highly toxic. If you feel anxious, sad, or find yourself comparing your life to the unrealistically poised photos on Instagram, it may be time to take a social media break. Instead, focus your energies on activities that make you happy. Go for a walk, read a book, or spend some quality time with family and friends. 
  • Say bye to toxic relationships. This could be one of the most challenging yet beneficial self-confidence boosters for teens.  If somebody is constantly talking down to you or making you feel bad about yourself, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship. Limit your contact with these people or, if necessary, cut them out completely. Whether it be platonic socialization or a romantic partnership, relationships are meant to bring you up, not grind you down. Listen to your gut, and if all else fails, reach out to a close teacher, confidant, guidance counselor, or therapist. 
  • Break bad habits. Yes, easier said than done. Do you have a habit you find yourself doing that makes you feel awful about yourself? Whether it be drinking, overeating greasy foods, or negative self-talk? Put the work in to break that habit. Motivation is what gets you started, and practice is what keeps you going. It can take up to 8-12 weeks before our behaviors become a habit. So take it day by day and don’t overexert yourself. 

2. Start Journaling.

Journaling has tons of benefits, whether it be clearing your mind, helping you make decisions, or, yes, building self-confidence. Here are a few journaling prompts to help you build your confidence:

  • List ten of your strengths. Compliment yourself! Are you a great friend? Do you make the best homemade chocolate chip pancakes? Or are you an absolute beast on the track? Write it down! You have strengths and talents. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge them.
  • List daily positive affirmations. Yes, even more compliments to yourself. Complimenting yourself may seem a bit weird at first, but it will be highly beneficial in the long run. You are strong. You are smart. You are brave. There are tons of things you can compliment yourself on!
  • List ten of your accomplishments and successes. Give yourself a pat on the back. Did you receive an A on that exam you studied hours for? What about that time you won your local writing competition? Or did you finish that mile run you thought was impossible? Every little success counts. Those with low self-confidence tend to focus exclusively on the negative while ignoring the positives, almost like back-handed tunnel vision. Don’t forget to acknowledge your accomplishments and successes! 
  • List ten things you are grateful for. Gratitude is an essential step to building confidence. The more you concentrate on the things you are thankful for, the less you will negatively compare yourself to others. Remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side. We all have something to be grateful for. Whether it be health, family, friends, a bed to sleep on, or a simple, fresh breath of air, we must remind ourselves of what we have. Gratitude has been shown to increase happiness, motivation, and, again, overall confidence. 

3. Take care of your physical and mental health.

The better you feel, physically and mentally, the more confidence you will have. You can’t expect to feel good about yourself when you don’t feel good in general. Here are some tips to help you feel your best:

  • Eat well. Fuel your body with wholesome food so you can feel healthier and more energized. Good nutrition will impact both your mental and physical wellness, allowing you to feel your best!
  • Move your body. Getting in movement every day will release endorphins (a happy hormone), improve your health, and leave you feeling good in general! Proper exercise will help your body and your confidence.
  • Meditate. Meditation is proven to have many health benefits, one of them being increased self-confidence. Through meditation, you will learn to be more mindful, at peace, and grounded. You will learn to live each day authentically and in accordance with your personal values and goals. It doesn’t take long to try a 5-10 minute guided meditation. There’s nothing to lose! 
  • Sleep. Sleep is essential to feeling good, keeping positive thoughts, and maintaining our health. Good quality sleep is linked to improved optimism and overall self-esteem, and confidence.
  • Therapy. Sometimes, we can all use a little professional help to learn how to navigate our negative thought patterns and build techniques to embrace positive change. Therapy can help you work through many mental health issues, leaving you feeling happier, healthier, and more confident.

Ready To Improve Teen Confidence?

Self-confidence is essential to living a happy and fulfilled life. While it may take some work to build, it isn’t impossible. Your confidence will come as you build yourself up through self-love and care. Here, at Washington Psychological Wellness, we here are to help you build your confidence. Our mental health clinicians provide an integrative, holistic, therapeutic approach to treatment and have specialized expertise assisting teens in developing the confidence, tools, and internal motivation needed to live a prospering and healthy life. For more information on teen/adolescent therapy, click here.  

Ready to schedule your appointment? Washington Psychological Wellness is here for you!