Man sitting on a chair reading a book about exercises to build confidence

14 Exercises to Build Confidence for Every Man

Key Takeaways

  • Confidence is built through repeated, purposeful actions—from power poses to facing fears, every step is part of the larger journey.
  • Mastering new skills, practicing gratitude, and engaging in self-expression enhance self-esteem and self-awareness, critical components of confidence.
  • Community and connections, whether through volunteering, clubs, or public speaking, play a pivotal role in boosting one's confidence.

Imagine walking into any room, conversation, or situation with a sense of deep conviction in who you are. Sounds pretty good, right? Now, let's take that image and make it a reality. Confidence is a skill that anyone can develop and improve with the right tools and mindset. As a life coach for men and founder of Life Architekture, I help men every day find out their path to meaning, confidence, clarity, and purpose in life.

Whether you're facing social anxiety, looking to improve your self-esteem, or simply looking for a confidence boost, the journey begins with understanding and action.

Building Confidence Through 14 Practical Exercises

A man standing upright with confidence looking at the camera

1. Adopt the Right Pose

Ever noticed how superheroes stand in a Marvel movie? There's a reason for that iconic pose. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, shared in her  TED talk, that I recommend you to watch, how adopting powerful postures can significantly boost your confidence. This isn't just about puffing your muscles; it's about creating a habit that impacts how you feel and how others perceive you.

"Your body language shapes who you are." - Amy Cuddy

Here's what you can do:

  • Stand straight, feet apart, hands on your hips. Hold this pose for two minutes.
  • Before meetings or social events, take a moment to adopt this pose privately.
  • Observe and adjust your posture throughout the day—shoulders back, head up, straight spine.

By making these adjustments, you're changing your stance and setting the base for a more confident look and presence.

2. Dress Up With Confidence

As the saying goes, "The clothes make the man." There's genuine psychology behind this quote. Clothing can greatly affect how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. It's not about putting on a three-piece suit daily (unless that's your thing) but about finding clothes that make you feel strong, comfortable, and confident.

  • Identify which outfits in your closet you feel most powerful wearing. Make them your go-to for important occasions.
  • Wear clothes that fit well. Tailoring can transform an average outfit into your armor of confidence.
  • Choose colors that make you feel good. Color psychology is real; blues can be calming, and reds portray power.

Treat your attire as an extension of your personality. Make sure it speaks volumes about the confident man you are.

Feet of a man ready to step out of comfort zone in confidence

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Here's an uncomfortable truth: growth happens at the edge of your comfort zone. Whether it's public speaking, trying a new hobby, or starting conversations at social gatherings, facing what unnerves you head-on is a great way to boost your confidence. Breaking these barriers doesn't just show you what you're capable of; it also diminishes the power fear has over you.

  • Commit to one new activity that slightly scares you each week.
  • Set small, achievable challenges that align with your fears. If you're anxious about public speaking, start by speaking up more in meetings.
  • Reflect on each experience, focusing on what you learned, not just the outcome.

Embracing discomfort in small doses helps improve your self-assurance. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection!

4. Reflect Through Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling, the practice of regularly noting things you’re grateful for, has been proven to impact your mindset and self-esteem. Recognizing the good in your life shifts your attention away from doubts and fears, giving you a positive outlook to build that confidence.

Here are a few ways to add gratitude journaling into your life:

  • Start or end each day by listing three things you're grateful for. They can be as significant as a loving relationship or as simple as a good cup of coffee.
  • Elaborate on why these things matter to you. This deepens your sense of appreciation.
  • Reflect back on your entries regularly to remind yourself of the positive aspects of your life, especially on challenging days.

5. Strengthen Your Body and Mind

It’s no secret that physical activity can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. Having a fitness routine sculpts your body while also building your mental resilience and confidence. This dual benefit comes from the endorphins released during exercise, known as the "feel-good" hormones, which directly help reduce stress and create a sense of achievement.

  • Pick a physical activity you enjoy. If the gym isn't your thing, consider hiking, dancing, or even gardening.
  • Set realistic fitness goals. Achieving these will improve your physique and boost your belief in your capabilities.
  • Add meditation or mindfulness exercises post-workout. This helps in grounding your mental state, enhancing the confidence gained through physical achievements.

Consistency is key in building this habit. With practice and patience, you'll feel more capable and confident.

6. Master a New Skill

Learning a new skill isn’t just about adding a new line to your LinkedIn resume; it's about the journey of learning, the hurdles overcome, and the self-discovery that occurs along the way. Whether it’s a new language, learning to play an instrument, or coding, acquiring new skills improves your self-perception and opens up new opportunities for growth.

  • Choose a skill you’re passionate about or interested in. Your enthusiasm will fuel your motivation.
  • Set small, measurable goals. Celebrate each milestone to keep your spirits high.
  • Seek feedback and recognize that setbacks are part of the learning process. This resilience is a key component of confidence.
Man celebrating small wins at office

7. Small Wins, Big Gains

Have you ever noticed how one small win in the morning can set a positive tone for the entire day? Setting and achieving mini-goals will prove to yourself that you can succeed and also build momentum for facing more significant challenges. It's about celebrating every step forward, no matter how small.

  • Break down big goals into bite-sized tasks. This makes them more manageable and less intimidating.
  • Keep a progress journal to track your achievements. Seeing your success on paper (or screen) will be motivating.
  • Share your victories, even the modest ones, with supportive friends or family members. 

8. Face Your Social Anxiety

For many, social interactions can be a source of deep anxiety and worry. But here’s the thing: social skills, like any other skill, can be improved with practice and patience. Here are strategies to challenge yourself:

  • Begin with low-risk interactions, such as chatting with a barista or making small talk with a colleague. Gradually increase the stakes as you grow more comfortable.
  • Join clubs or groups that align with your interests. Being in a context where you share common ground makes initiating conversations easier.
  • Consider seeking the help of a therapist or attending social skills workshops. Learning strategies to manage your anxiety can be life-changing.

The goal here isn't to become the life of the party overnight but to be comfortable and confident in social situations, at your own pace!

A man practicing mindfulness meditation to ground himself and boost confidence

9. Meditation and Mindfulness to Ground Yourself

Amid our daily life, it’s easy to lose connection with our inner selves. Meditation and mindfulness bring us back to the now. These practices have been proven to reduce stress and also enhance self-awareness. By becoming more attuned to your thoughts and feelings, you can begin to change negative patterns into positive affirmations of your worth and abilities.

  • Dedicate a few minutes each day to sit in silence, focusing on your breath.
  • When thoughts arise, acknowledge them without judgment and gently bring your focus back to your breathing.
  • Use mindfulness apps if you need guidance or are seeking structured meditation programs.

10. Positive Affirmations: "Say-It-Believe-It" Approach

Words have power—the power to uplift or to put you down. Positive affirmations leverage this power by reinforcing our belief in our capabilities and worth. The principle behind affirmations is simple: what you consistently tell yourself shapes your perception over time. If you feed your mind positive, empowering statements, you start to view yourself and your abilities in a more positive light.

  • Identify areas in your life where you seek confidence. For each, write a positive, present-tense statement, like "I am a confident and skilled speaker."
  • Repeat your affirmations daily, ideally in the morning to set a positive tone for the day.
  • For added impact, say your affirmations out loud in front of a mirror.

11. Volunteer to Boost Your Self-Esteem

One of the most fulfilling paths to building self-esteem is through helping others. Volunteering offers a unique mix of social integration, skill development, and the profound feeling of making a difference. It’s a reminder of your abilities and the positive impact you can have on the world. Plus, it puts your problems in perspective, encouraging gratitude for your own life.

  • Choose a cause you feel passionate about. This increases the likelihood of a meaningful experience.
  • Start small. Even a few hours a month can make a big difference and introduce you to a community of like-minded people.
  • Reflect on your volunteering experiences. Take note of the skills you’ve learned and the connections you’ve made.

12. Silence Your Fears With Public Speaking

Public speaking is often cited as one of the most common fears, but it’s also an incredibly effective way to build confidence. The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively is an invaluable skill, one that can benefit both your personal and professional life. 

  • Start by speaking to smaller, more familiar groups before gradually increasing the audience size.
  • Join groups or workshops, like Toastmasters, that offer a supportive environment for practicing public speaking.
  • Prepare thoroughly for each speaking opportunity, but also be open to improvisation.
  • Don't try to be someone else, be yourself, be authentic.
Three people in a book club reading books at a book cafe sharing insights

13. Book Clubs: Share and Gain Insights

Joining a book club is an excellent way to build confidence through shared insights and discussions. Articulating your thoughts and talking with others’ perspectives can enhance your communication skills and self-esteem. Plus, being part of a community with shared interests provides a sense of belonging.

  • Select a club with interests aligned with yours; the enthusiasm for shared topics will naturally inspire confidence.
  • Take the opportunity to lead discussions. This can be a safe space to practice public speaking and leadership skills.
  • Be open to differing opinions. Navigating these can build your assertiveness and empathy, key components of confident individuals.

14. Digital Detox: Reconnect With Your Real Self

In today’s always-connected life, we have, it’s easy to lose yourself in the endless TikTok scroll, comparing your life to the highlight reels of others. Taking deliberate breaks from our digital devices can help you reconnect with your real self and the world around you. Instead, spending your time for real-life experiences, unrestricted by screens will bring you genuine connections with others and yourself.

  • Set designated no-device times each day, particularly during meals and before bedtime.
  • Find offline activities that you enjoy or have been wanting to try. This could be anything from painting to hiking.
  • Reflect on your detox experience. Notice any changes in your mood, stress levels, and overall well-being.

Final Thoughts

A journey toward confidence is made of steps both big and small. From adopting power poses to embracing digital detoxes, the path may challenge you, but it also promises growth. Remember, confidence is not something you’re born with; it's something you build. Every exercise mentioned here is the foundation of a more assured and confident you. With persistence and patience, watch as you transform, ready to walk into any room or situation not just thinking you can—but knowing you can!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I start building confidence today?

Start by setting small, achievable goals and gradually stepping out of your comfort zone. Engaging in positive self-talk and reflecting on your daily successes can also significantly boost your confidence.

What role does social engagement play in building confidence?

Social engagement, such as joining clubs or volunteering, provides opportunities for personal growth, helps to counteract social anxiety, and fosters a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Can exercises for building confidence help with social anxiety?

Yes, specific exercises aimed at building confidence, such as practicing public speaking or engaging in social activities, can be instrumental in overcoming social anxiety by creating safe spaces to practice and improve social skills.

How does gratitude journaling contribute to building confidence?

Gratitude journaling fosters a positive mindset, reducing the focus on self-doubts and fears while highlighting successes and positive aspects of one's life, which are essential for building self-esteem and confidence.

Is a digital detox really beneficial for my self-esteem?

Yes, conducting a digital detox can reduce the tendency to compare oneself unfavorably to others on social media, fostering a healthier self-image and a stronger connection with the real world, thereby enhancing self-esteem.