How To Boost Your Confidence… Without Looking Like A Dick

Let’s be honest here. No one likes a wanker and there’s a mighty fine line between being confident and being a bit of a tosser. Australians try really hard not to be tall poppies but it might be to our own detriment. Several studies have shown that it’s actually confidence and not talent that gets people ahead in the workplace, so we can’t really afford to stay off the confidence train. This applies even more to women, as we are much more likely than men to underestimate our ability and performance whereas men tend overestimate both. Here are a few tips for how to boost your confidence without looking like a dick.


Do things you rock at 

If you need a bit of a confidence boost, do something you’re good at. Shoot some hoops, play your guitar or write some killer poetry. If you’re feeling a bit like a loser in life, now is not the time to learn a new skill. Trying to learn to skateboard when you’re already feeling bad about yourself will only make you feel worse, so set yourself up for a few easy wins to give yourself a little pep up.

Show em’ the old razzle dazzle

‘Why do the Yankees always win? Because no one can stop staring at the damn pin stripes.’  

– Frank Abagnale Snr

If you dress for success, you’re half way there already. Dressing the part not only boosts your own confidence but it also adds an excellent element of distraction for the people you’re trying to impress. Take for example performers like K.I.S.S, Lady Gaga and Madonna. All of them are incredibly talented, all of them are excellent at what they do but none of them are extraordinary singers. They’re good singers, but you can’t deny that watching them is a lot more fun than simply listening to them. They know what they are, so they’ve come out with all guns firing and they’ve razzle dazzled everyone into thinking they’re the best at something they’re actually pretty average at. If you put on your killer business suit or don’t-mess-with-me-heels you’ll look like you mean business… because you do.

If you don’t like something about yourself, fix it

If you never speak up in meetings at work because you don’t understand what everyone is talking about, learn what everyone is talking about. If you don’t like that you’re not a brilliant speller, concentrate on becoming a better speller. There is nothing that will boost your confidence more than a little self-improvement. If there’s something you find that’s more difficult to fix, fail quickly and move on to something else. Dwelling on your perceived faults is not going to help you boost your confidence. Come back to those problems later when you’re feeling stronger.

Get over yourself 

Most confidence issues arise because we assume that other people think about us more often than they actually do. Consider how often you think about people who aren’t in your immediate family or you don’t see every day at work. Like high school friends or distant relatives. Unless they text you, call you or pop up on Facebook, I’ll bet good money that you can go a few days without thinking about most of the people in your life. Now reverse that thought and apply it to how often people are thinking about you – almost never. Isn’t that such a freeing thought? If you’re having one of those moments where you feel like everyone thinks you’re an idiot just say this to yourself – ‘No one gives a shit.’ Everyone has far bigger stuff to worry about than what you said at the school gate this morning or that your jeans are a little bit tighter than they used to be.

Back yourself 

Never make shit up. The difference between someone who is confident and someone who is talking a whole lot of B.S is that the first person has done their research and the second person just likes the sound of their own voice.

Do you struggle with confidence? What do you need to work on to overcome it?


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  1. denvergalea 7 years ago

    Love the ‘get over yourself’ one. I’m constantly telling people that ‘You wouldn’t worry so much about what other people thought about you if you realised how little they did.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt (paraphrased)

    People have their own shit to worry about.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Exactly. I know that lots of people really suffer from anxiety related to that kind of thing and I just wish I could get them to realise how little what they do matters to almost everyone they meet.

  2. merilyn 7 years ago

    great post thanks smags! … and all good advice!
    life coach! <3
    working on it all! … i'm in a state of flux!
    confidence fluctuates depending on the situation!
    getting "over yourself" is a very good idea!
    have a good day hun! love m:)X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Ha! I do sometimes feel a bit life coachy… that’s quite accidental! I just like reading about human nature and observing the way people do stuff! xxx

  3. Kathy 7 years ago

    great post – like the concept of “get over yourself” – thinking in reverse!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      I do that all the time! Any time I’ve said something cringey or I’ve randomly decided someone hates me I just think ‘no one gives a shit!’ and it always makes me feel better.

  4. Bam! Boom! Pow! Girlfriend, you have knocked it out the park with this post. Get on wit yo bad self! x

  5. chrisatpb 7 years ago

    I have a wonderful boss who is always talking up my abilities and thanking me for the work I do. Often, I have to stop myself from thinking “he’s got too much confidence in me – I’m not that great”. We can be our own worst enemy, can’t we. And you are so right – other people don’t think about us nearly as much as we think they do! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      That’s amazing that you have such a wonderful boss! I have a similar thing with an editor of mine – she’s never questioned anything I’ve written for her and I’m like ‘Is she just not that fussy?’. We have to realign our thinking sometimes and realise that we might just be a bit awesome. 🙂

  6. Top post. I’m especially going to try and master the art of getting over myself. I love that no one gives a shit. It’s wonderfully liberating!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Isn’t it the best? It’s also really obvious. You kind of forget and let bad thoughts over take you but then you’re like ‘Whatever! No one cares! Let’s get naked!’.

  7. Jamie 7 years ago

    I especially love this piece of advice:”if you don’t like something about yourself, fix it”. Most of the time, it seems that we think we can’t fall short of being perfect at EVERYTHING (or at least appearing to be that way!) – or, if we can bear to admit that we aren’t perfect, that it’s somehow impossible or wrong to think that we can or should do anything to change it. But we can! I’ve never been happier than the times when I can admit that something about myself or my life isn’t right, and then buckle down and do the necessary work to change it.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Absolutely! That’s why I have a problem with this whole attitude of people having to accept other people for being assholes because ‘that’s just the way they are.’ It’s crap. We can change almost anything about ourselves. It’s awesome.

  8. reclaimingyourfuture 7 years ago

    Fake it ’till I make it! I recently did a talk about my story with mental health on Bondi Beach at 6.30am in front of over 70 people where we were all in beach clothes (i.e. bikinis/shorts etc) and despite not remembering a word and thinking I was going to vomit, I came across ‘eloquently and confidently’ apparently.
    Feel the fear and do it anyway 🙂
    And when I need a little ‘pick me up’ when I doubt my writing and website, I go back and read through the beautiful comments and emails I have received. That’s an almighty confidence boost!

    This is such a good post Carly – particularly at the beginning where you mention that confidence gets you through more than talent a lot of the time. I’m just reading ‘Quiet; how to be an introvert in an extroverts world’ and there is a whole chapter on this and how extroverted people can actually change the mental perception of a problem/solution because of their levels of confidence and self-belief!

  9. homebase5 7 years ago

    Loved it – thanks!

  10. KezUnprepared 6 years ago

    I love this post! It’s funny what helps us to feel confident. I just had a rad hair cut last week, bought one new outfit and got my nails did and it’s done wonders – guess that’s the razzle dazzle you’re talking about haha. I have gone from dreading leaving the house, feeling drab and wanting to hide, to feeling like I’m miss thang who is happy to shine! I feel like the response to my new more confident attitude has paid off 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      New outfits are magical. I swear. And new hair? There’s nothing like it! Is that the new hair in the your profile pic? 🙂

  11. My confidence is shite! I know I need to do a huge amount of work on it and the first thing I need to do is show myself the same compassion that I show others and accept the compassion that others show me. I judge myself by some incredible standard and hold not one other single person to that same standard! I am working on it, it is a most definite work in progress.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Absolutely. I think it’s also important to remember that no one is actually thinking about you most of the time. It’s such a humbling thought – whenever I think that people are judging me or hating me I ask myself if I’m hating or judging anyone and the answer is always no. 🙂


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