In my experience, there is only one real way to increase your self-confidence, and that is through Self-confidence. Self-confidence, with a capital “S,” comes from focusing on the Self, your true Self, your actual Self. Self confidence with a small “s” comes from looking for stability, safety, and security, in that which is inherently unstable, transitory, and fleeting, which is never ultimately effective. Let me explain …
A lack of self-confidence, or low self-esteem, comes from the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, etc. that say you are not quite enough the way you are, that something is lacking. Perhaps you think your body is not thin enough, strong, enough, or healthy enough. Maybe you think you are not smart enough, not fast enough, not loving enough. Maybe you think you are too selfish, or too giving. No matter what your particular story line, no matter what your particular perspective, you think and believe that something is wrong with you, that you are somehow flawed and lacking in some way.
This belief-system, this set of assumptions, is the result of your conditioning and is simply not true.
You can spend your whole life working to build your self-confidence by changing certain things about yourself. And it can feel like it is working, like you have improved your self-confidence.
The problem is that anything, absolutely anything that you perceive of as an object is transitory and fleeting. So you can improve your health, increase your income, experience beautiful relationships, but all of this is subject to change, and when it does, it can undermine the sense of confidence that you worked so hard to achieve. So consider instead shifting your focus entirely. Shift your focus from the ever-changing person of your imagination, to the Self which is immutable and never-changing. This is the Source of true Self-confidence.
The fact of the matter is that who you are, or rather what you are, is already, has always been, and will always be perfect. Who you are is the eternal Self, the Source of all reality. You cannot not be perfect. Yet in order to see this, you need to continuously shift your reference point. You need to fastidiously shift your focus away from the fleeting and temporary “person” that you think yourself to be and shift it toward that which is eternally perfect.
Instead of constantly looking for ways to improve yourself, give up the idea that you need improvement. Instead of spending your whole life attempting to perfect your “person”, discover that you not a person in need of perfection. Who you are is already perfect.
Life then becomes a practice of letting go of all the false ideas and beliefs that you carry around with you. Just like an overweight suitcase, these false assumptions drain you of your energy, vitality, and beauty. They eclipse the experience of your perfection.
So if you are interested in true Self-confidence, consider this as a practice:
Accept the premise that who you are, exactly as you are, is already perfect.
Become aware of every thought, idea, belief, behavior, feeling, and perception that runs contrary, that tells you somehow you are not quite good enough.
Practice letting go of those perceptions. Let them go, one-by-one, staying focused always on that which is eternal and unchanging.
When you realize that what you are is already perfect, all questions of self-confidence disappear of their own accord and you are left with the ultimate Self-confidence.