How to Improve Confidence and Self-Esteem.

Recall a time when you were really on, a time when you were doing something and doing it well. Now notice your state of mind. It’s likely that you were so present with your activity that you had few if any thoughts. This means no judgments about how well you were doing. It means no thoughts about yourself period and you were at peak performance.

If there are no thoughts of self when you are excelling at an activity, what is confidence and self-esteem? I define these in two ways: as our expectations of future performance and the lack of self-talk when performing a task.

To decrease self-talk, that is to increase presence with your activity, cultivate mindfulness. It is best to have a meditation teacher. If that is not possible, there is the website Headspace: Headspace. They offer guided meditations so you can relax and follow along.

For more information, here is a book about mindfulness that looks good: Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Another resource that helped me with self-confidence is a tape by Carol Erickson and Tom Condon called Natural Self-Confidence. I listened to it every night for what must have been a year. This was much longer than I needed to, but I really enjoyed the tape. It was very relaxing.

One day at my new job, I mentioned to my boss that I used to lack self-confidence. He exclaimed, “You? Who would go toe to toe with anyone in the company including the chief engineer used to lack self-confidence?”

It also helped my mom. She was a school teacher. She was afraid of her principal. After using the tape for a week, she had the confidence to go to the superintendent and report the principal for malfeasance. Several other teachers then did the same.

This recording is available here: Natural Self Confidence

Here is a link to a book that should be pretty good. It is called Ten Days to Self-Esteem and it is by by esteemed cognitive behavioral therapist David Burns: Ten Days to Self-Esteem


During therapy, I became aware that I was telling myself, “I am a worthless piece of shit.” My therapy asked me to say it out loud accenting the first word, the first time I said it, the second word, the second time I said it and so on. So I complied,

I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

“I am a worthless piece of shit.”

I have no idea how or why this worked, but I never had this thought again.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Painting: Deer in Woods by Franz Marc

2 thoughts on “How to Improve Confidence and Self-Esteem.

  1. Can you say more? How would you apply it to self-esteem and self confidence?
    Or are you saying the hypnosis tape is like aversion therapy? I could see that. My sister hated it. I enjoyed it myself.

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