When considering the must-have qualities of effective leadership, confidence invariably comes to the fore. Confidence bestows leaders with the ability to take decisive action, make firm decisions, and contribute effectively to team problem-solving.

Like any feeling, true confidence comes from within. It’s waiting there for us to access any time we like. Yet, learning to access good feelings takes practice and intention. In this article, I explore ten simple, free strategies to boost your confidence as a leader.

  1. Embrace Self-Reflection 

Every journey starts with understanding where you stand. Reflecting on your actions, thought processes, and decisions will encourage personal growth. Mindfully focusing on self-reflection helps you to understand your strengths and areas of improvement, highlighting areas where you are already confident and pinpointing those where you could use a boost. Being honest with yourself and taking a mental account of these can be a powerful first step in building confidence.

  1. Celebrate Your Wins, No Matter How Small 

Achievements, whether big or small, are crucial for building confidence. Celebrate and acknowledge even the tiniest victories. This boosts your mood, reinforcing a positive self-image and effectively elevating your confidence levels. Keep a ‘Win List’ in a journal or in digital notes on your phone. Then on days when you feel you’re stuck, or not achieving anything, take out your ‘Win List’ and remind yourself of how far you have come.

  1. Constant Learning 

There’s plenty out there to whet your intellectual appetite. LinkedIn Learning has courses from experienced leaders, many free to access. For more in-depth information, go to Google Scholar and type in ‘Leadership Studies’ — you’ll discover a wealth of research on the topic. The Harvard Business Review publishes insightful articles on leadership and management, many free to read. Podcasts like ‘The Lead’ from the Centre for Creative Leadership and ‘The Leadership Pod’ are excellent channels for gaining new insights. Channels such as TED Talks Business, Leadership Nudge, and Project Management Videos offer quick, engaging content on a range of leadership topics.

  1. Practise Assertive Communication 

Commanding a room doesn’t have to cost you a penny. It all starts with clear and assertive communication. Being concise, thoughtful, and respectful in your interactions strengthens your leadership skills, invariably boosting your confidence.

  1. Embrace Failure As a Learning Opportunity 

You might view failure as a setback but try to look at it in a different light. Failure has a transformative power that leaders should embrace. When you encounter a mishap or a goal that hangs out of reach, it’s a wonderful opportunity to glean substantial learning. Start by assessing what went wrong.

An open-minded attitude is essential when analysing your failures. Separate yourself from the situation and evaluate without bias. This ‘outsider’ perspective allows for a clearer assessment of the situation.

  1. Seek Feedback and Act On It 

By acting on feedback, you show adaptability and willingness to improve, qualities highly admired in leaders and excellent confidence boosters.

Seeking feedback isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. It requires several key steps executed with thoughtful precision. Foremost, create an atmosphere that encourages open and honest communication. Make it known that you appreciate candid feedback and view it as an essential tool for growth. This can involve reminding your team regularly that their opinions and insights are valuable and appreciated.

  1. Carve Out “Me Time” 

Balancing your work and personal life is key to maintaining confidence. Set aside time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you. This provides a crucial ‘clarity break’ for leaders. Whether it’s meditating, reading, or a long walk in the park, always remember to recharge.

Here’s five ways to refresh your mind, body, and spirit.

  1. Engage in Physical Activities.
  2. Explore Nature.
  3. Pursue a Hobby.
  4. Practice Mindfulness Techniques.
  5. Unplug from Technology.
  1. Visualise Success 

Create a vivid mental image of your goals and the pathway to their achievement. This bolsters your confidence as you visualise attaining your goals.

Picture each step and the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. As you create this detailed visualisation, you instil within you an unshakeable belief in your ability to forge ahead, to make your vision a reality.

  1. Perform Random Acts of Kindness 

Performing acts of kindness naturally uplifts your spirits, creating positive emotions that enhance your self-confidence. This could be as uncomplicated as sending a thoughtful email or message to a colleague, praising them for their hard work or creativity. Providing mentorship or guidance within your area of expertise to those in need, through volunteering, is another great example. The sense of accomplishment and knowledge that you have made a significant impact on others can provide a natural confidence boost.

  1. Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Last but definitely not least, maintaining a positive mindset is pivotal.  A positive mind naturally breeds confidence, allowing you to approach challenges with a determined and constructive outlook. It’s the perfect antidote to less positive, self-limiting thoughts that can erode confidence and self-belief.


Harnessing self-confidence doesn’t require grand gestures or vast investment. It’s an inward journey that costs only your time, patience, and willingness to develop. The examples here provide a path to enhance your confidence, helping to build a sustainable, lifelong practice. They are practical and, most importantly, free, demonstrating that real growth stems not from financial means but from your personal commitment and dedication. Remember, a confident leader is an inspiring leader. Make that remarkable leader, you.

Gavin Bryce
CEO at Constant Progression | Website | + posts

Gavin Bryce is a best-selling author works directly with growth mindset leaders through his company, Constant Progression, and in his role as a Group Chair with Vistage - the world's largest CEO peer advisory organisation.