This is my answer on Quora for the question “How do you develop confidence when you have nothing to be confident about?” – I thought it would be interesting for others as well. Here you can find the link.
I will write what helped me, and I think it can easily be done by
everybody who needs to build their confidence. I feel I have come a
long way comparing to 4, even 2 years ago. My answer slightly differs
from the others written so far and I hope it will be interesting for you
to read (at least).
1) keep a running gratitude list
my confidence and my performance goes down, it’s the first thing I go
to. What it does for me is that it helps me remember that I already have
a lot of good things in my life already. And yes, I may even add a
smile from a stranger and nice weather on the list as well.
2) keep a running list of small & big wins
accepted to go on a date with me/I have finally managed to cook an
exquisite omelet/steak/I got an empty place in a crowded bus/a salary
raise, anything. It improves my mood instantly and makes me think of
myself capable of moving mountains.
3) know what worked and what didn’t (and act on it)
This goes hand in hand with the idea of integrity being your main generator of confidence – when you know that you do your best you are more confident.
usually do this when I feel I have come to certain times when I feel
I’m at crossroads or in a (big or little) stump. It gives me a sense of
evolving, growing, becoming better with time and that helps a lot with
the confidence part.
Put in order your finances, your career and other areas of life that are important for you. You can add here a thorough analysis
of your dressing style, find on the internet and try on, make photos of
what works for you and what doesn’t, in order to know that you did your
best to look good (you stated in the question details about being
shorter than you wished – google “how to look taller for men”, for example).
4) immerse in something that makes me loose track of time
going out with friends etc. I think that doing things that give you joy
from time to time is a necessary luxury. I think about it as more of a
pill that I need to take regularly in order to be able to function
properly. For me, that’s small DIY projects.
5) surround myself with people who believe in me or inspire me
it’s in person, as with coworkers/boss/friends, by telephone – for
long-distance loved ones, or by watching interviews and reading
biographies/blogs, I believe that the human factor makes it all worthy. I
know that I feel very confident after a friend tells me (s)he is proud
of me or pays me a compliment and after a pleasant discussion about
future plans that seem very attainable after you share them with someone
who believes in you. Or seeing other people do it.
what works for me. Building confidence is like healthy eating – you can
make unhealthy choices sometimes, but you have to be committed to it
and do every day what it needs to be done in order to keep the
confidence momentum going. Good luck!