Maintaining trust in yourself takes time, effort, and good communication. Learn to trust yourself by being kind to yourself and taking care of your own needs and safety. Strengthen your self-trust by learning to survive difficult situations and refusing to give up on yourself. Trusting yourself will increase your self-confidence and lessen your need for approval. It can even deepen your connection with others.[1]

EditNurturing Yourself and Setting Boundaries

  1. Take time away from work or school to do something for yourself. Itís easy to lose confidence if you forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you set aside some time to pursue hobbies or other leisure activities. If you get burnt out at work or school, it will add to your frustration and self-doubt.[2]

    • Dedicate one night per week to do an activity you love. Watch a movie, go for a long walk in the park, or curl up in your favorite chair to read. Do whatever you enjoy doing the most.
    • Set time aside each evening before you go to bed to write down three things you are grateful for. Make it a ritual you really enjoy by turning on your favorite music or making yourself a warm, comforting drink like tea or hot chocolate.

  2. Respect your values, interests, and s****s. Find a quiet place where you wonít be interrupted for at least 20 minutes. Take out a special notebook and pen. Set a timer for 20 minutes and write a list of your most important personal values, interests, and s****s. Write at least 5 things for each category. Bring this list out whenever you are feeling doubtful or pessimistic to remind yourself of your positive qualities and your drive.[3]

    • Whenever you question a decision, look at your list and see if it matches your values and overall goal.
    • Remember that everyoneís list will look different and itís ok that you are different from others.
    • Keep a list of your strengths and accomplishments so you can look at the things youíve done well in the past.
    • For example, you might write that one of your values is always being honest, that one of your hobbies is s****booking, and that a s**** you have is being a good listener.

  3. Keep promises to yourself. To trust yourself, you have to be like your own best friend. That means you must keep promises you make to yourself. Making a commitment and sticking to it will build trust.[4]

    • For example, if you make a promise to yourself to go to bed earlier or take short a walk every evening, keep that promise just like you would keep a promise to meet a friend.
    • Sometimes things come up and you will have to break a promise to yourself. For example, if you had promised to read your favorite book one evening, but your friend calls to talk because she just broke up with her boyfriend, you probably would prioritize talking your friend through this difficult time. Recommit to reading your book the next day. Just be sure that you donít make a habit of always breaking promises to yourself.

  4. Listen to yourself and your body. Take the time to reflect on your mental and physical wellbeing. If you are experiencing certain emotions, like sadness or anger, give yourself some time to process them before you react.[5]

    • If you give yourself some time to feel what you are feeling and think about it, you may find strong emotions fade or turn into something else entirely.
    • For example, if you receive bad results on a test or a negative review at work, you may feel a heaviness in your heart and you may want to speak negatively to yourself. Try to resist the urge to react and just let yourself feel sad. Then, when the feeling fades a little, think constructively about how you can avoid a similar situation in the future.

  5. Learn to say ďNoĒ. Respecting your own boundaries, especially if you feel like you are under pressure to say yes to something, will help you trust yourself more. If you donít have the time or energy for something, itís ok to respectfully say no.

EditForgiving Yourself for Your Mistakes

  1. Reduce negative self talk. Everyone struggles with negative voices in their heads. Instead of speaking to yourself with negativity, zeroing in on all the things about yourself that you donít like, focus on the positive aspects of yourself. If you make a mistake, reassure yourself that it will be better next time.[6]

    • For example, the next time you make a mistake, instead of telling yourself ďYouíre so stupid,Ē remind yourself that ďItís ok. Itís not a big deal,Ē or ďOk, it was a big mistake but I will learn from it and do better next time.Ē
    • Being kind and understanding with yourself when you make a mistake also helps you be kinder towards others when they do the same.

  2. Resist the urge to be a perfectionist. Trusting yourself doesnít mean that you will always say exactly the right thing or make the right decision every time. You donít have to be perfect and you shouldnít even try. The best way to learn to trust yourself is to keep fighting to improve yourself.[7]

    • If you say something you regret, apologize. But remember that it is not a failure. The fact that you feel bad and want to make amends is a sign of growth.

  3. Learn from your mistakes so you can continue to grow. Just because something goes wrong once doesnít mean it will go wrong again. Donít look at your mistakes as failures. See them as learning opportunities. Consider what you can do next time something similar happens so you wonít make the same mistake again.[8]

    • Learning from your mistakes will help you deepen your trust in yourself.
    • Even if you make the same mistake twice, or more, look at it as a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. Be patient with yourself. Reflect on what you can do next time to avoid the mistake.

EditWorking Through Challenges

  1. Focus on developing a solution when a problem comes up. Instead of beating yourself up about an unexpected problem, sit down to tackle it. To do this, first clearly define what the problem is. Then, design a plan to solve it. Finally, put the plan into action.[9]

    • Allow yourself some time to be emotional about the problem before rationalizing what the next step should be.
    • Try to remain flexible and open-minded in case things donít go exactly to plan.
    • Once youíve solved the problem, evaluate the outcome and try to learn from your previous mistakes.
    • You may want to ask friends or family members you trust for advice if needed.
    • Try designing a plan with several options that you can choose from in case something else unexpected comes up.
    • If you forgot about an important exam or work project that is coming up very soon, first focus on how to best prepare for it. Prioritize the subjects you need to study or the tasks that need to be completed. Then, get started as soon as possible and do your best. Afterward, come up with a way to remind yourself to start earlier the next time something comes up. You may want to look at your syllabus and put reminders in your phone 2 weeks before each of the remaining exams or buy a planner so you can write in your projects as soon as they are assigned.

  2. Take some time away from a project if you are feeling overwhelmed. Focus on something completely different. Sometimes taking a break from something and concentrating on something completely different can help bring a whole new perspective when you go back to it.[10]

    • Taking time away can be as simple as getting up and moving around, listening to music, doodling, scribbling, or playing with your cat or dog.

  3. Be willing to take risks. Build your self-trust by starting out taking low-level risks. Then, build on each success and take a bigger risk every time. Donít worry if you donít succeed every time.[11]

    • For example, if you really want to learn to play ice hockey, start by going to a roller skating rink with some friends. This is a small risk to take and you will be having fun with your friends while you learn to start trusting yourself on skates in a warm environment. Then, take a bigger risk by signing up for ice skating lessons. Finally, when you feel confident on the ice skates, sign up for a recreational ice hockey league in your area.

  4. Seek support from others to remind you of your worth. Itís important to take time for yourself, and take responsibility for your own mistakes, but you donít have to do it all alone. Itís just as important to seek support from others. Reach out to your family, friends, or a professional therapist if you are feeling self-doubt. They can give you good advice and encouragement.[12]

    • The next time you donít feel like you are good enough to do something, like applying for a challenging job or taking an advanced class, tell someone you trust about your doubts. Often the people in our lives are better able to see your positive traits and inspire you to push your limits and try something new.
    • Seek out people who will encourage and support you. Stay away from people who undermine your self-trust. Think about the people you let into your life and try to keep away those who donít support you or your dreams.[13]


  • Donít give up if things go wrong or if you start to doubt yourself. Make a commitment to continually work towards trusting yourself, even if there are some speed bumps along the way.[14]

EditSources and Citations

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