10 Ways to Build Your Confidence

Brenda Chadambura


Confidence & Public Speaking Coach to Professional & Businesswomen,
like you, who want to become confident & articulate speakers.
I'm so honored to come alongside you, to educate, inspire & champion the best in you, in your speaking confidence journey.

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Hello, I'm BRENDA

One of the things that I’ve learned is that growing your confidence is not an event. It’s something to incorporate into your daily life. I hope these 10 proven habits inspire you to enjoy connecting with yourself positively everyday.

Vase of pink roses on a high table overlooking a window and scarf.

When I was a little girl, my feet were too big for my age.  So it meant getting child sized shoes was difficult and utterly frustrating as tried one children’s boutique after another.  Whenever there was a shoe shopping day, there would be some tension and anticipation of a hard day.  Not fun. 

Finally the day came when I was forced to go to the adult shoe department and of course, the one’s that were child appropriate, were so unattractive:)! Shame set in and I vowed to hide my big feet from the world.  Even when I was now in high school & I was wearing pretty age-appropriate shoes, I still didn’t show my open feet.

Then one year, it was prom and my date was slightly shorter than me.  So, when it came to shoe shopping, with a friend, I was on a mission to find lower heeled shoes, so that I wouldn’t tower over him:)!  But try as we might, we couldn’t find any, until I spotted a really cute sling back pair. 

I balked at buying them because a part of my feet would be out in the open.  My friend who didn’t understand my dilemma, heard me explain my quandary.  She promptly looked me and said “So?!”.  At first I was so startled by her remark but it soon dawned on me that, I had been imprisoning myself with shame over a part of who I am.  How ridiculous was that?! 

And at very moment I said to myself “So?!” and that was the end of shame and the beginning of feeling free to be me!  I wore my shoes proudly!

Now what was interesting was, I was confident in most other ways.  I had good grades, I won school competitions, I was captain of the field hockey team and I was a leader in different capacities.  Yet I had still been plagued by this insecurity. 

I mention this because sometimes as talented professional women and businessowners, we can appear confident in many capacities but still be haunted by certain beliefs or habits that could be making us feel insecure, especially when it comes to our speaking. 

My hope is that this list encourages you to take a look at where your confidence might be compromised and to take it back! 

This list examines your thinking, how you see yourself, how you see others and how you choose to tackle things in your daily life, because normally that’s where confidence is lost or built.  So let’s look at how to build your confidence every day.

1. Be decisive: 

Let your no be no and let your yes be yes.  Do not continuously put yourself in a place of doubting and questioning yourself.  You’ll find that the more you trust your instincts and just decide, the more you’ll feel freer and stronger.  

That’s because you’re choosing to take a point of view and validate it for yourself.  When you start validating your own opinions, without worrying about whether they’re good enough or not, it is empowering and it builds your confidence. 

If  you’ve find yourself being continuously indecisive, a good way to start empowering yourself is to choose one small thing that you need to make a decision on and make it.  Then make another decision.  You’ll find yourself feeling more at peace and more sure of yourself as you go along.

2. Do An Audit Of Your Negative Thoughts: 

Negative thoughts are like acid constantly eating away at our confidence, if we let them.  That’s why it’s so important that we spot and stop the damage to ourselves mentally and emotionally.  

Confidence is built when we’re dwelling in  a mental space where we see ourselves positively, most of the time.  And when we have those negative moments, we recognized them and recover from them quickly.  

Think of decorating your new home.  You can’t start putting in your gorgeous brand new sofas, paintings and all your lovely family pictures, without making sure that the entire home is spic and span, clean. 

In the same way, it’s important to take stock of the negative thoughts that have been running rampant in our lives.  If we don’t, all our efforts to build confidence would be counter productive. 

So, here is a simple exercise you can do by yourself. 

Take a piece of paper and pen.  Sit quietly by yourself. 

Write down every negative thought that has been quietly plaguing you.  What  you are doing there is exposing them and the running narrative that you might not have realized was keeping you from seeing yourself positively.  This list will include things, your family, friends and teachers might have said to you that have colored how you see yourself & the world.   

After seeing it for what it is.  Rubbish.  Decide, how you’d like to destroy this list and put a demarcation line between you and it.  Tear it up.  Burn it (safely please).  Stomp on it.  Spit on it.  Do something physical to break agreement with these lies. 

Now, take another piece of paper and right down 10 positive attributes you see in yourself. Make sure you don’t edit yourself by thinking what you’re writing is too good to be true.  

God made you “fearfully and wonderfully”  That means He created you masterfully, with so much thought and with so much care.  You are literally His masterpiece. 

So, please be encouraged to not put yourself down in false humility.  Declare them over yourself.  Literally say ” I am…kind”.  “I am…beautiful”.  “I am…a great problem-solver”. 

Now, speak these declarations over yourself every day.   Make it a habit to see yourself in His light and act on all those positive emotions every day. 

3. Use Your Clear, Assertive & Friendly Voice: 

If you find yourself feeling nervous before speaking, one way to overcome your nerves is to actually speak a litter louder.  Not so loud that you seem obnoxious, obviously:).  Increase the volume of your voice just a little and it’ll uplift you and your audience. 

Along with increasing the volume of your voice, speak as clearly as you can.  Take your time to pronounce your words properly.  You don’t have to feel rushed when you’re talking.  Your assertive voice will sound like you know what you’re talking about.  You don’t sound like you’re questioning yourself and your words. 

On that point, the biggest culprit to you looking and feeling unsure of yourself is Upspeak, as experts call it. or “Doubtspeak” as I call it.   This is the habit of continually speaking as if you’re asking a question.  Not only is it extremely irritating to your listeners but it creates doubt  in you and what you’re saying. 

In some cases, it actually makes you feel more anxious because it is you looking for the approval from the people you’re talking to. 

Let’s put this in some context: Picture a woman talking to their 5 year old daughter and you heard her say “I am your mother?”. Your first instinct would be to wonder if she truly is this little girl’s mother because she sounds doubtful of it.  Doesn’t she?! 

If on the other hand you heard her  say “I am your mother. ” That clear and affirmative statement would leave no room for doubt. 

That same effect happens when we speak as if we’re constantly doubtful, using “Upspeak.  It’s time to start correcting it and speaking affirmatively everyday. 

Here’s how to do it:

If you want to look and feel confident as you communicate your authority & credibility, speak with a clear, strong and affirmative voice that says, “I am sure of what I am saying”. 

Use punctuation marks to guide you.  If it’s a statement that ends with a full stop.  Use your affirmative voice.  If it’s a statement with a question mark, use a questioning tone.

4. Be enthusiastic. 

Be enthusiastic about life, your work, other people, your children, your garden, etc.  Find something to be passionate and add that passion to every area of your life.  And add enthusiasm to what you’re saying. 

Even when you’re talking about something that is not particularly interesting.  When you present it in the best possible way, it brings life to your voice & the subject.  Making you feel & look confident. 

But when we go through life, continuously unimpressed with everything, we look and feel it.  

However, when we apply that enthusiasm and interest to our voice, we will literally banish nervousness find ourselves feeling good about ourselves. 

Please note that talking about enthusiasm doesn’t mean you have to be unnaturally boisterous. 

It just means that your voice should carry some heart-felt emotion about what you’re saying.  When you feel that conviction, it’s boosts your confidence and your audience will be moved by your weighty voice.

5. Body Language: 

One of the things that most people misunderstand about public speaking is thinking that when you’re speaking it’s just a one-directional exercise.  

Public speaking always has a dual effect.  Whatever you’re saying and doing is having an effect on YOU and your AUDIENCE.  That’s why I always say:  Public speaking is about a positive connection with yourself, as well as, a positive connection with your audience. 

With that in mind, when you’re focusing on confident body language, you’re building confidence in yourself and inspiring confidence in your listeners.  It has an effect on both of you! 

Here are 3 ways to feel confident through your body language: 

Shoulders & back straight – do not hunch over – it makes you look insecure & defeated. 

Look people in the eye.  Smile –  especially when you’re nervous:  It calms you down (literally lowering your blood pressure), makes you feel more positive. makes you look more attractive & it’s contagious(article).   When we approach people with a serious look (usually out of fear) it makes they people feel like they’re approaching a dark unlit scary house, as opposed to the brightly lit  & inviting home of someone smiling. 

Stand with legs apart & arms on your waist like Wonder Woman:) – It immediately makes you feel powerful and grounded.

6. Proactive Mindset: 

Do everything intentionally and you’ll find yourself feeling more in control & confident in different situations. 

One of the things that I coach my clients to do, that has made a difference in feeling confident as they approach their speeches or meetings, is intentionally deciding ahead of time: 

“How do I want to show up for this meeting?”.  

We think of ONE WORD that describes the outcome they want such as ‘energizing’.  Then we decide on what they are going to say and HOW they will say it. 

What is best tone of voice to use as they speak, what should their body language be & even what would be good outfit that visually supports what’re saying. 

If we enter situations (parties, speeches, meetings or weddings) without any sort of direction, we’re more likely to feel unsettled and scared, waiting for things to ‘happen to us’. 

Let’s say you’re invited to a wedding where you don’t know many people. If you’ve decided ahead of time that you’re going to make friends with the strangers you will meet there & have a wonderful time dancing.  That’s likely what’s going to happen! 

Your proactive approach to that situation, will give you the confidence to go there and make the most of it.  Making you feel empowered & probably making some new friends in the process.

7. Be Continuously Curious: 

Learning = confidence. 

Put yourself in the mindset of enjoying learning.  It doesn’t  have to be big things.  Notice things around you and find out more about them.  Ask the people around you who look like experts in a particular subject and start a conversation with them. 

Incidentally, that habit of asking will also help you to make more friends.  When you make someone an expert by asking them questions on their subject of expertise, it is a compliment to them.  It makes them feel good about themselves & they want to be around you more. 

Ok now…going back to curiosity, it naturally expands your mind and your horizons.  And when we don’t put ourselves in place of learning new things, our world becomes smaller.  We might find ourselves more fearful and intimidated by things. 

However, when we put ourselves in place of genuinely being curious about different things, especially things that are outside of our area of expertise, it literally expands our minds & our intelligence.

It’s actually freeing & energizing.  It makes us bolder, adventurous and just more fun.  You just become more interesting. 

The more interested we are, the more interesting we become to others. 

8. Embrace People (Be kind to people): 

Think the best of people. 

When I became a Christian as a teenager, one of the things I continually asked of Christ was “God, help me to see people through Your eyes”.  Because, for sure, my way of seeing people was going to flawed.  As I prayed, I noticed that I liked people more, I saw what made then unique and enjoyed their company.

And I can honestly say that to this day, every time I pray that prayer, my whole perspective changes.  I’m not fearful, suspicious or judgmental of people. 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use wise judgement when coming across people, for safety reasons.  That goes without saying:)!

But when I’m around people, I am seeing them in a positive light and I compliment them on it.  It could be something as simple as complimenting someone on their beautiful shoes.  They feel seen & heard, which immediately creates rapport with them. 

Those meaningful connections can happen over the slightest of things.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes in Starbucks while we’re waiting for our coffees”)! 

It makes such a difference to how we feel about ourselves, as we interact with other people positively and how they feel about us. 

9. Embrace Yourself (Be kind to yourself): 

Think the best of yourself. 

One New Year’s Day, I was standing at the train station going into the city.  I started chatting to another lady who was also waiting and I asked her the typical news year’s question:  What are you looking forward to doing this year?  She said she wanted to do a half marathon, but wasn’t sure she was going to, because she said “sometimes we can be our own worst enemy”. 

As the train arrived, we said our goodbyes and hopped on the train.  But something didn’t sit well with what she’d said.  I found myself saying quietly in the train “I am my own best friend!”

It’s time to take that same stance for yourself.  Be your own best friend!  That means choose to treat yourself with kindness every day.  Treating yourself this way is actually you partnering with how God wants you too see yourself, instead of berating yourself. 

Intentionally focus on the positive attributes of who you are.  Especially now since you’ve done the exercise above, you have a good place to start.  Spend time sitting and assessing what makes you brilliant.  It doesn’t have to be something you’re known for but its  something that you know is just true to you.  Do not edit or downplay your gifts. 

It could be that you have a knack for connecting people.  You are just naturally generous.  You’re so organized & seem to help people order their lives. 

Just to clarify, being your own best friend does not mean you get to sidestep your mistakes.  No.  It means you’re self-aware and strong enough to look at yourself honestly.  You acknowledge your mistakes, repent, move on with grace and keep going after the best in you.  And you give the same grace with other people. 

10. Think Beyond Yourself: 

Volunteer, serve and teach. 

When you put yourself in the position of serving others, it builds your sense of responsibility and care which builds your identity as a leader. 

When you feel like a responsible and caring leader, it naturally boosts your confidence. 

Bonus Step: Expand Your Boundaries: 

We often hear the suggestion to take big risks to build confidence.  That advice is great for some but for many people, it actually feeds their sense of failure if they don’t grow their confidence by going bungy jumping or something:)! 

Instead of waiting to see your confidence grow through big risks, take small bold steps every day.   Start with taking on a “small but mighty” move:  

Speak up in that meeting!  Say no to situations or people that are not life-giving!  Say yes to giving that presentation! 

And, if you always do things a certain way, change things up. 

If you’re known for wearing black, wear that red color you’ve secretly wanted to wear.  Start by wearing red shoes or a belt…and work up to the dress.

If you always take a certain route going to the grocery store, try a different route and discover new things you never noticed.  You’ll see things from a different perspective. 

As you do, you’re giving yourself room to grow and your confidence will grow.


  1. Do not use absolute negatives statements:  “I’m always”  ” Why am I”  “I’m such a”  “I never get it”

2. Avoid the fuzzy in between statements:  “I don’t know”  “Maybe I can” “I’m not sure”  “Maybe I’m wrong”  “In my opinion”…No! It’s your opinion anyway. Own it!

3. Use positive absolutes:  “Of course I can!”  “I can do this!” “YES!”

I hope these tips really inspire you to realize that your true confidence is within your reach. You’ll unveil it in your daily habits, as you use them. I am already celebrating your growing confidence.  And, I am truly cheering you on!

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