NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
10 Insanely Popular Ways to Weaken Your Self-Confidence
Photo by: Ranna Nicolau
Practical Tips for Productive Living
Written by Marc Chernoff // 45 Comments
NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
Photo by: Ranna Nicolau
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Mark Light says
This is a great list, and I could definitely stand to learn from 4, 5, and 6. Thanks, as always =)
A Beautiful Patience says
This came at just the right time! Thank you for writing! For Tanika and me, the first point resonates most with us. Getting caught up in endless drama is just a distraction from a path filled with purpose. This drama could look like toxic people or coworkers, or competing demands at home and/or work. We really connect with what you said about being clear about who and what counts and moving on beyond that.
Tasha and Tanika, writes for A Beautiful Patience.
This could not have come at a better time! Thank you so much for this post!
Thank you for another insightful post! I always lean on the gift of giving towards others as a way to boost my confidence. Be it a prayer, volunteering, or simply helping someone in need, watching someone grow and prosper from your selflessness is the shortest way to building self-esteem and self-confidence!
Kimberley Richardson says
I have spent the better part of the past year reading your blog and then your book, both of which I heard of through a friend. Not only has your work helped me through some tough situations, but it has also taught me a great deal about who I am and where I want to be going in the future. The confidence I have in myself has grown tremendously.
Anyway, I wanted to say thanks. You probably get this a lot but really, thank you so much for all the thought and effort that goes into your writing. It really brightens my days and keeps me on track.
I don’t understand…..in #9 shouldn’t I feel determined to keep going if I have failed? What else should I feel?
Great article, guys. I was pulled here by a Zite mention, but have often been drawn to your content for its forward-looking, smart focus.
Listen, I’m just thinking this on the fly… and will search your site for a better way to ask… but I’d love to reprint this along with a link back to your blog, in my own eletter for copywriters.
Until I find your contact link, etc, and assuming you read your comments on posts, would that be cool with you?
P.S. To Mark L. above, that’s awesome. A thought to send your way, hopefully to your momentum… I’m 48… to be 49 in November… with the big 5-0 awaiting behind it. Perhaps my mindset will change, but right now I feel younger than I was in my 30s. I think our kids have something to do with that. But with that in mind, I always feel… “odd”… when folks like us use a phrase like “at my age.” We’re young, man! You could work another 20 years without blinking. And 20 years ago, you were 32. Back then, didn’t it feel like a world full of possibilities? Of course ;)… and so too, it is now. You’ve got this world by the beard, still. At my age… and yours… I want to be flying out of cannons… which it sounds like you do too. Go get ’em, sir.
Adversity and failure teach us so much and propel us to move forward. Sometimes that can mean we move in a different direction, it can mean that we rethink our goals or temporarily move sideways but still keep moving towards what we had planned for ourselves. I am learning to be more confident, to act, dress and speak like I am already where I want to be. So many opportunities are available to us, they are not just for others who we might think are more deserving or smarter than us. I am learning to question more, ask for what I want, and still act with integrity so that I can feel happy being the person I am comfortable with.
L. Jerusalem says
I totally agree and relate to Chani’s comment. Thanks for this post.
Excellent as always.
@Mark Light – isn’t it encouraging that we can do what we were meant to to later in life?
Great article, thank you! It takes a little work to break old habits but I’m finding the pleasure in doing these things that ensure a better quality of life (staying away from the drama, weak language, etc.).
#7 resonates with me because sometimes confident people run into the cocky people who try to tear down walls. If you don’t agree with the cocky person, the conversation goes down a spiral of negativity and defensiveness. Catch yourself. Listen to your body language and voice. If it feels like someone else’s voice and stance, stop and regroup.
The one thing I’d offer when struggling with confidence is to consider perspective. It’s tough to do sometimes. But consider your goal and purpose against the circumstances. In six months, will these people matter in my life? Am I doing what I need to? Can I change my circumstances if I’m feeling stuck? Rarely is anything permanent. Remember what’s important and focus your energy on that.
David Rapp says
Life is a series of waves. It’s all about learning how to surf in the middle. Don’t let the highs get you too high, and the lows get you too low.
All experiences in life are positive.
Susan Hill says
‘If success makes you arrogant, you haven’t really succeeded. If failure makes you determined, you haven’t really failed.’ I love this statement. What a great way to view success and failure.
Thank you for making me look at myself in the mirror and deciding that I want to be more than I am at this moment. I want to be a better husband, father, son, friend, co-worker, leader, follower, etc. I feel blessed to be able to read your articles and learn from them. I especially want to thank my wife for introducing me to your blog.
Katherine Swarts says
I know people (thankfully none of them are in my close circle) who have devoted years to antagonizing others with unreasonable demands and emotional volatility–and who stubbornly continue to take every reprimand or attempt at reason as fresh proof that everyone picks on THEM. The classic definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results,” and most people who behave as above are in serious need of counseling–not that they’d ever consider it, because to them it’s everyone ELSE who’s wrong.
… So why do even less antisocial people continue to do the same thing expecting different results? Because they (we?) have their minds made up that what THEY want is what’s fair, and think that capitulating to “unfair” reality will cost them everything they care about.
Daniel Sitoabasi says
I really got motivated with more confident and courage after reading through this post. Now i can trully say reasons to be filled with excessive self courage.
Regarding # 9; the point is you should feel determined. If you feel determined, then you haven’t really failed. Giving up would be the failure.
These bullies really get to you because there is a part of you that believes their lies. I would suggest that you become more mindful of the negative beliefs and thoughts you have toward yourself and recognize them for the lies they are. You must them replace them with postive truths. This takes time and consistency. Every day, you must do this and every day you will get better.
4, 5 and 8 definitely resonate with me. I know I’m guilty of many things on this list, and your articles serve as reminders on how to move forward and unlearn behaviors that I’ve let hold me back. Thank you!
Dear Marc and Angel,
I start a new job in a new city today. I’m sitting at LAX worried about my decision even when everyone around me has been so supportive- family and friends.
But until I read your article I recognized my feelings. As a top executive for a big company, I was actually bullied for seven and a half years! Yes. It happens to HR EXECUTIVES too. My confidence is bruised. And yet another big company has demonstrated that I’m worth everything they have expensed for my move to the East Coast. … And then some…..
Your article will be printed and I will read it as often as I can. Confidence is the driver to continue each day with purpose. Regardless of how bruised your ego may feel.
I want to do something nice for you guys as well. I’m buying your book and whatever else I can to support your website. You have no idea how often you have picked my spirit up.
Keenan Patram says
Sebastian Aiden Daniels says
These are all great and I hope that they can help Lane. I think the biggest one for me is #9. I get so down by “perceived” failures that I forget that things take time to develop and that I need to just keep going. My biggest issue my whole life is giving up when the going gets tough so I am consciously trying not to do that.
I think it is true that you need to watch who you surround yourself with. Some people are negative about everything or they always are trying to stir up drama. These people should be avoided.
Thank you for this information. It has been a God Send…relatable and honest. Thank you for reminding us that we do have power to be the very best that we know we can be!!
Abdallah salum massoud says
Hi, great and well post, the points all resonate. Thanks.
My son (thank God) has just got out of an awful relationship. His ex partner is insecure and an emotional bully and I am sure has a borderline personality disorder. Her choice of words is he is lazy and pathetic and she accuses him of having affairs which is ridiculous. She is 5 years older than him, not that it should make a difference, but in this case it has. She has no boundaries. Unfortunately there are 2 young children involved and she plays them against my son and controls when he can and cannot see them. He is in the process of legal help to get access as he has every right to see his children. Justice will prevail!
You have an amazing blog and all the messages are so very helpful and uplifting.
Eva Chebet Kipyegon says
Thank you so much for all the inspiration and motivation….always looking forward to your bi-weekly emails…always learn a lot…greatly appreciated.
Melissa Wilson says
That’s too bad that Lane is experiencing bullying but great that he reached out to you guys. The example you give of how Sara handled her bullies is the ideal way of being able to handle them. Unfortunately, because of a lack of confidence not everyone is able to be like that. The 10 behaviors you list are great reminders of how we hurt our confidence. I’m really glad you mentioned #2 about seeking approval from others. This one can really get in our way. As the saying goes, “What others think of you is none of your business.” It’s not always easy to not care about what others think, but if we can do it, it will go a long way in helping us to be confident in ourselves and being able to protect us from the criticisms of others.
I needed this. Can’t thank you guys enough to be reminded of truths that need to be faced.
Thank you for an interesting and thought provoking read. Honestly, most of the points touched home, and while they are things that I have previously realized that I needed to work on, it was nice to get another affirmation, and to know that I am not the only one going through this. With work, it was:approval; drama; second guess, failure; and why me…to the point I became physical sick with stress. I was losing my hair and working 80+ hrs a week to prove that I did deserve the job, that I was good enough, etc. In my personal relationship, I realized that it was almost the same. My ‘weaknesses’ were being exploited to achieve his end goal (to the tune of emotional and verbal abuse). Thankfully the light at the end of the tunnel is near, and I’m working on #10 with a vengeance. The relationship is over, and my new career is about to take off! Thank you for this, as I begin to start actually living again.
I especially agree with #2. You cannot please anyone and just be confident. What is important is to be successful and confident without hurting anyone. Also, face your fears and think of success and failure as life lessons and don’t be too miserable to think about these.
Another inspiring post from you guys! Sharing this with my friends! Thanks for sharing!
So true, thank you for sharing these!
Chris Krohn says
Each point hits the nail on the head. I love #9. A healthy self-worth is the most important quality we can have. It is the foundation of how we create our lives and how our world is reflected back to us. Thank you.
Martin Kadiev says
I love you guys. I see your mindset as an idol of mine.
Gai Nguyen says
I love your ideas of needless drama. If I stay out of people’s drama, I am without any drama. I also like the idea of Holywood’s cliche: discovered- very good teaching. People discover you for their benefit. Why don’t you discover yourself?
Marc Chernoff says
Angel and I just read every comment here. Such incredible insight, as always.
@Kay: If success makes you arrogant, you haven’t really succeeded. If failure makes you determined, you haven’t really failed. You’re absolutely right. That’s the point, if you’re determined to press forward you haven’t really failed.
@John: That doesn’t sound like a problem. Shoot Angel an email at angel at http://www.marcandangel.com and we’ll work out the details. Also, excellent response back to Mark L – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
@Georgia: Great additions!
@Veronica: Happy to help. Congratulations on the new job. Let the adventure of new experiences begin. =)
@All: Seriously, your insight and personal experiences are an added testament that we are not alone and we’re growing through this journey we call life. As always, we thoroughly enjoy reading every comment, thank you!
Christina Anthony says
Great article but I kept wondering if this was about building self confidence or avoiding what can break it down… when I was about 14 I felt inferior and timid, my mom enrolled me in a community center teen modeling class that taught me how to hold my head up, shoulders back, how to carry myself and walk with confidence… that helped me so much because as I’ve learned since that doing anything enough times will make it become real… walking like I knew who I was and had somewhere to go in life made me feel like no one could hurt me. Another great confidence builder is a speech class… to be able to stand up in front of a room full of your peers for a full minute is so scarey, make that five minutes or ten… soon no one can hold you back from being who you want to be in life. Hold your head up talk and walk the life you want to have… leave those bullies in the dust.
I love the points about letting success go to your head and failure go to your heart. I think I am pretty good at not letting success go to my head, but I need to work at the failure part. Failing is just a great way to learn. Thanks for another great post!
Have to say I struggle with Jealousy. Never thought to replace it with Admiration. This may actually assist! Thanks! Otherwise, I do practice all of these things and have found myself to be doing quite well!
Captain Kirk says
Years ago, I heard the phrase “lifelong learning”, and have applied this belief as a driving force in my life. Every day, every moment, we can learn something new that will enhance our life. In fact, someone described the value of lifelong learning with this creative perspective:
“It’s what we learn…after we KNOW IT ALL…that really counts!”
Believe in yourself:
“Find delight and fulfillment in peacefully being your authentic self.”
Thank you so much for your amazing blogs .. I look forward to reading them and find them to be so true . You have totally changed the way I think and I am so grateful x
Thanks for inspiring me