Do you ever go to bed mad at yourself because you spent all day avoiding your most important goals?
As creatives, we all have things we want to make, launch, write, record — goals we long to achieve. But we tend to procrastinate. We don’t make daily progress.
Some people call us lazy, but I don’t think that’s the problem. We’re smart and hardworking. What we’re missing is the confidence to sit down and get started.
So in this post, I’ll be sharing 14 confidence quotes to inspire you. But I won’t ONLY be sharing a list of confidence quotes. I will also unpack the lessons they teach so you can beat self-doubt and boldly chase your goals.
1. Slow down.
“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” — K.T. Witten
One saboteur when it comes to self-confidence is the pressure to succeed right away. We believe we have to reach our goals overnight, but deep down we know that’s very unlikely, which fills us with self-doubt.
Try basing your self-confidence on this question instead:
If I work hard everyday, learn from every mistake, and never give up, will I eventually reach my goals?
This is the theme of my free book QuitterProof: The 5 Beliefs of Highly Successful People.
2. Own your strengths.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” —Norman Vincent Peale
Another reason we don’t have self-confidence is we’re afraid of being arrogant or over-confident.
Arrogance is believing your abilities make you more valuable than other people.
Over-confidence is an inflated assessment of your current ability.
But gauging your skill accurately and recognizing you have what it takes? In my opinion, that’s just seeing things as they are — and a cause for gratitude.
3. Keep getting better.
“If you practice something for a few hundred hours, you will almost certainly see great improvement… ”— K. Anders Ericsson
Do you ever fear you aren’t smart enough or talented enough to reach your goals? Here’s some good news:
You don’t have to base self-confidence on your current skill.
When you’re chasing big goals, your current ability is never enough. If you could accomplish your goal easily, it wouldn’t be a goal, right?
You’ll have to practice, learn, and improve to get what you want. You can do that. So instead of worrying about talent, have confidence in your ability to get better.
4. Be kind to yourself.
“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” — Ralph Charell
One of the biggest predictors of your self-confidence is how you talk to yourself. Over the course of your life, you will listen to yourself more than any other person—so what you say matters.
Stand up to your inner bully. Replace negative thoughts about your potential with constructive thoughts about your performance.
Before: That speech was a disaster. I’m just too introverted. I’ll never be any good on stage.
After: I never really found my groove in that speech. Maybe I could develop a ritual that will give me a minute to relax and get comfortable when I begin a speech.
5. Be prepared.
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” — Richard Kline
When we’re approaching an important challenge or milestone, self-doubt tends to pop up.
Instead of pacing the living room worrying, ask yourself the question, “What can I do now that will make success more likely?”
Preparation will not only aide success, it will also increase your confidence.
6. Enjoy the process.
“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”—Joe Namath
There’s a level of pressure that’s healthy. When you care about your work and want to do it well, you’re more focused, diligent, and committed. But too much pressure can be paralyzing.
One way to ease the burden of pressure is to enjoy the journey of reaching your goals instead of focusing solely on the destination. How? Celebrate your wins. And embrace your failures as part of the process.
7. Get help.
“Your teammates give you the confidence. They give me the confidence all year, all postseason. ”— LeBron James
Another great way to reduce pressure and increase your confidence is to team up with talented people who want the same things.
If you’ve been going it alone and you’re running out of confidence, who could you team up with, even if it’s just for encouragement and support?
8. Bounce back.
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”—Theodore Roosevelt
Have you encountered a recent setback? Are you doubting yourself and scared to try again? Oddly enough, trying again would help repair your confidence.
The world’s most successful people fail all the time. Then they learn and try again. Failure is a common part of success, don’t let it diminish your confidence.
9. Take one step at a time.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”—Confucius
Goals are not achieved in one giant burst of effort. They come from doing your work consistently.
When you’re working toward a big goal, a hard goal, and you’re not sure you can do it, stop thinking about the destination and simply focus on the next step. If the next step feels too big, divide it into smaller steps until you’re confident enough to move forward.
My free book QuitterProof is a great resource for creative people who struggle to take one step at a time.
10. Take ownership.
“The best way to help Burma is to empower the people of Burma, to help us have enough self-confidence to obtain what we want for ourselves.” — Aung San Suu Kyi
You might think this is an odd fit for a list of confidence quotes, but it teaches a crucial lesson. Having other people do you favors, while valuable, does not increase your self-confidence.
So while you should welcome help, you should also embrace challenge, and understand that often the greatest help is instruction and encouragement —not having someone do your work for you.
11. Do good.
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” — Dalai Lama
Another reason we lack self-confidence is the fear of where it could lead us. We don’t want to become the cigar chomping tycoon who is self-confident, self-centered, and self-absorbed.
But while confidence can be used for evil, it is also a catalyst for progress. We need men and women of confidence if we’re to cure cancer, fight poverty, create amazing art, and tackle the greatest challenges of our generation.
12. Protect your confidence.
“Don’t let others put thoughts into your mind that takes away your self-confidence. ”— Katori Hall
If the key to your success were a special tool or rare set of instructions, you would guard this precious asset carefully, right? You certainly wouldn’t let other people tamper with it.
You need to view confidence the same way. Without it, you won’t do your work, you won’t see results, and you won’t get what you want. Confidence is crucial and it must be protected.
So when possible, avoid or correct people who try to tear you down. I’m not talking about running from constructive feedback. I’m saying don’t let other people decide your potential for you.
13. Appreciate uncertainty.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” —Mary Anne Radmacher
The confidence quotes in this post have given you powerful tips for overcoming self-doubt, but I want you to understand that doubt won’t completely go away. And that’s okay.
One reason our goals mean so much to us is because they test us. If we were 100% confident in our ability, many of our goals would cease to exist because the fun of the game would be lost.
So don’t wait for doubt to disappear before you take your next step. Facing our fear turns a system into a story. It makes our goals more meaningful, our art more relatable, and our victory more transformational.
14. Start climbing.
“You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!” — Dr. Seuss
Is there more to life than achieving your creative goals? Absolutely. But stretching our abilities to create cool stuff and solve tricky problems is one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of life.
Don’t miss out by sitting on the sidelines. You can’t scale the mountain in a single jump, but you can take the next step. Take the advice of these self-confidence quotes and believe in yourself.
I hope these quotes about confidence have inspired you to believe in yourself and boldly pursue your goals.
No matter where you are right now in terms of skill, you have the power to get better. And when you do your work everyday, learning from each mistake, you prime yourself for a lifetime of accomplishment.
Have confidence in that.
Want to go deeper?
Do you have big goals you long to achieve? The biggest threat to your success is simply giving up. Become a finisher with my short book QuitterProof: The 5 Beliefs of Highly Successful People.