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As adults, we understand how important confidence and self-belief are, and our sense of self-worth drives us and helps us succeed. Nevertheless, many of us recall how insecure we felt during our teenage years. I, for one, can remember feeling awkward, unattractive, and embarrassed, even when a group of my closest friends surrounded me. 

Working with high school students, I notice that many experience similar insecurities. They avoid trying out for sports or getting involved in clubs because they feel they aren’t as talented or qualified as others. They compare themselves to others and put a lot of pressure on themselves to meet other people’s standards. Doing this is exhausting!

While insecurities are a normal experience during teenage years, no doubt having confidence will help your teen succeed. It can help them make safe and informed decisions, face challenges, and set and achieve goals. There are many different ways to boost your teen’s confidence, but below are six of my favourite strategies:

  1. Create a collage about your teenager. Include pictures, words, and phrases describing their best characteristics and strengths. This board helps you remember the parts of your teen that you want them to feel good about. Make a comment whenever you notice your teen exhibiting any of those characteristics. Include what you saw, how it helps them now, and how it can help them in the future. 
  2. Seek out a volunteer experience. To a teen, knowing that they are making an impact on someone else’s life can boost their self-worth and confidence immensely. Plus, instead of your teen being the one needing help, the dynamic shifts to your teen being the one providing assistance to someone else.
  3. Surround them with positive role models. Work on finding a role model or mentor. Family friends, teachers, coaches, or someone working in your teen’s interest field are all excellent starting points. You can also look for motivational speakers on YouTube because even though it is a virtual influence, the exposure can impact them positively and become a source of comfort and motivation for them. 
  4. Find a physical outlet.  Running, yoga and exercise classes are great for the mind and the body. If team sports are too much pressure, try an individual sport like golf or bowling or joining a gym. Personal trainers are also a great idea as they can motivate your teen to keep going and reach desired goals. 
  5. Help them get a job. If your teen has time outside of school commitments, you can help them find a job in an area that interests them. This helps them learn responsibility, meet new people and make some money. 
  6. Praise the process rather than the outcome. Praise the hard work put into a project rather than the ‘A’ your teen received as a grade. If we praise the process instead of the outcome, teens will eventually recognise that they can feel confident about themselves without basing their sense of self-worth on a score or an academic result.



  • Natalie Borrell

    Natalie is the Founder of Life Success for Teens. During her eight years of coaching high school and competitive cheerleading, she realised that she had a gift for connecting with teenagers and motivating them to be their best version. She also has fourteen years of experience working as a school psychologist in a public high school. Her area of expertise is working with students who need a confidence boost to feel successful both in and outside the classroom.