Building confidence

I am linking up with Deb Runs for the first time for the Wednesday Word. Confidence is one of my favorite topics and a subject I take to heart.



How do you feel when you receive a compliment ?

I had a boss for 10 years who NEVER ONCE gave a compliment or positive feedback. I knew he respected me and was pleased with my work by the opportunities he gave me but I never received a compliment. How can someone feel confident if they don’t get an ego boost once in a while ? How do they know what they are doing is considered ”good” ? acceptable ? effective ? To build confidence, people need to feel good about themselves so that they can grow as a person and push their limits.

While his behavior did bother me, I learned to cope and luckily I have never had major issues with self confidence. I love speaking in public, I am never afraid to share my ideas and I radiate positive energy. But doubts can creep in.

How I build my self confidence when it starts to waver : focus on the positive and role models !

  • I make a list of accomplishments and force myself to write down 10 things.
  • If a client meeting was tough, I still try to see the bright side. Did I learn something new ? Manage a tough question ? Dare to challenge ?
  • I look for inspiration. If my confidence in running wavers, I will check out Instagram or go back and read a post of a blogger I admire. If other people can do it, I can too !

How I help others build their self confidence : be specific  ! Not only do I have 2 teenagers, but I managed a big team and feedback is part of the job, of a mother and a boss. It motivates people and often gives them the little nudge they need to step out of their comfort zone.

  • Provide positive reinforcement that is specific. Did a co-worker do something you admired? Tell her ! “Your presentation was great. The slides were focused, you were on time, and you answered the questions with facts”. That Starbucks counter person you see everyday ? “I may not have told you this before but you make my coffee exactly how I like it, with lots of foam”.
  • Tell someone they look nice. “That is a very flattering color on you. You don’t usually wear bright red”
  • I never tell somebody was that crappy but try to find a way to help them improve. If my kids are disappointed by a test result or artwork they did, we focus on the positive. ”Tell me 3 things you did well and one thing you can do better next time.”
  • Avoid whitewashing. “That was great”. Yes, it is nice to hear, but highlighting the detail makes what you are saying even more impactful.
  • Be sincere. A compliment doesn’t work without sincerity.


I think a lot of people, and women especially, struggle with self confidence. I ALWAYS try to find something positive in the situation and always try to find something nice to say. Try it. You will see it goes a long way.

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Comments: 23

  1. Sonia February 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm Reply

    These are all really good tips and ones that I need to remember! When I get criticism from someone, it’s hard to focus on the positive, but writing a list is a nice way to remember there are positives!

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm Reply

      I think we can always find something positive in any situation.

  2. Marcia February 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Karen these are such great tips. I think letting self-doubt creep in happens to the best of us. It is hard to take criticism, but often we can learn from it too.
    Marcia recently posted…The Proper Care and Feeding of ConfidenceMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm Reply

      When it comes to criticism, criticizing the behavior and not the person is key. People can correct behavior. Hard to correct who you are.

  3. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home February 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm Reply

    I’m married to a no-compliment guy. With him, I’ve had to learn to rely on myself for confidence. It sounds harsh, but it’s the best thing for me.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Confidence: The Best Benefit of RunningMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm Reply

      What ever you do it seems to be working ! I find you are really confident.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner February 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm Reply

    I think it would be really hard to work for someone who never gave you feedback or confidence. I like your tips on how to build confidence in others
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Taking It Down A Notch-Could you be overdoing it?My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:27 pm Reply

      Indeed I had to put into coping strategies to work with someone who never gave a compliment…

  5. Alison February 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm Reply

    I try to avoid the “whitewashing” with my 4 year old daughter by telling her specifically what she did that I’m happy with. Setting the table with forks and napkins, cleaning up her toy in X amount of time, gluing paper bits on the construction paper to make a snowman. I think you’re so right that positive reinforcement goes a long way!

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:26 pm Reply

      Positive reinforcement works great with kids. At least I find it has with mine who are now teenagers.

  6. Karen February 24, 2016 at 4:16 pm Reply

    Specific is so important to remember!
    I am always confident I am doing a good job at work, because I complete my assignments, meet deadlines, etc…it is easy to measure I guess. Life is different, I do feel like I muddle through. I guess that is why I like running and fitness, i can measure what I accomplished.

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:25 pm Reply

      I like to measure things too, definitely helps me see what I have accomplished I agree !

  7. Darlene February 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm Reply

    Great tips. I wish my boss read these..haha.
    Darlene recently posted…Wednesday Word: ConfidentMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm Reply

      Well that is why we need to build our own confidence because other people don’t always offer the encouragement !

  8. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy February 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply

    I wish I had your confidence!

    I do give people — random strangers, no less – – compliments on their clothes all the time! Because I know how much I like to receive a compliment.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Confident: sometimes you need to just do itMy Profile

  9. Kerry February 24, 2016 at 10:16 pm Reply

    Great tips! I need to see the positive in things a little bit more. I like your advice!

  10. Tamieka@fitballingrunningmom February 25, 2016 at 12:26 am Reply

    These are very helpful tips. I like the one on being specific. I find I do that with my children but I can see how doing that with co-workers could be helpful as well. Thanks for that.

    It saddens me the lack of confidence women tend to have….we often compare ourselves to other instead of seeing the positives and growths we have.

    • Karen - Fit in France February 25, 2016 at 9:00 am Reply

      I agree.. I wish women would build each other up more. Which is why I love the blogging community, its such a positive environment.

  11. HoHo Runs February 25, 2016 at 2:42 am Reply

    I don’t mind speaking in front of people when I understand the subject matter. It’s when I’m surprised and uninformed that I doubt myself. These are all great suggestions. I think I forget to compliment others when we should. But on the flip side — I don’t like those people who continuously pour out the compliments. They come across as being very insincere. I’m sure you encountered those people too.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…ABCs Of MeMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France February 25, 2016 at 9:01 am Reply

      Definitely agree that too many compliments don’t work either ! Very good point.

  12. Debbie @ Deb Runs March 1, 2016 at 12:30 am Reply

    These are great confidence building tips, Karen! Thanks for sharing them.

    Thanks for linking up – we’re happy to have you join us!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Is It Bedtime Yet?My Profile

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