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A Simple Way To Increase Your Confidence (Fun Too!)

Most of us can use a confidence boost once in awhile.  Here’s one exercise I used that works…and it actually feels good and positive as you’re doing it!

I call it the…

“Qualities of Achievement Exercise”

Step 1: Write Down One Achievement In Your Life You’re Really Proud Of

Write down something that you’ve done that you’re really proud of in life — it can be related to business, family, sports or anything.

What’s important about the achievement you select is that it made you feel really good.

Here are examples of achievements I’m proud of:

  • Winning the championship at a basketball tournament in Fire Island (pictured above)
  • Moving to San Francisco from New York (which I decided spontaneously with my then-girlfriend in a NY cafe)
  • Founding a start-up
  • Playing guitar onstage with my buddy Larry at his wedding reception (see picture below)

Step 2: Write Down The Qualities You Possessed For The Achievement

To the right of the achievement, write down the qualities you possessed (or conditions you set up) to make that achievement happen.

For example, to win the basketball championship I wrote down things like:

  • I practiced 3 times a week (aka ‘created a ritual’)
  • I focused on my strengths (aka ‘unique abilities’)
  • I was a team player
  • I gave it everything I had
  • I was in good physical shape
  • It helps to write these down as “I [fill in the blank]” statements.

    You should have at least 5 to 10 of these qualities.

    Ok, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself at this point…after all, you’re revisiting some amazing achievement from your life! That was a great day, wasn’t it!?

    So, let’s do another achievement (you’ll later see that it’s important to do multiple achievements).

    Step 3: Write Down A Second Achievement & List Out The Qualities/Conditions

    Step 4: Write Down A Third Achievement & Do The Same

    Step 5: Create Your Master List of Qualities Of Achievement

    Now that you’ve done 3 achievements, you should have a list of a couple of dozen qualities listed.

    Review the list on the right-hand side (the reasons you accomplished these achievements) as this is your master list of “Qualities of Achievement” — some of the many things you possess to do amazing things.

    There will be qualities that repeat among achievements too — even though you may use slightly different language for them — those repeat qualities are arguably among the most powerful qualities you possess!

    I found it useful to make a separate list (mine is below) of the repeating qualities. Here are some of my own:

    I utilized my network of contacts
    I was bold
    I focused
    I bought time
    I was positive
    I leveraged my unique abilities
    I created a plan
    I did the “right thing”
    I was persistent
    I practiced
    I created rituals
    I was persuasive

    Step 6: Whip Out Your Qualities Of Achievement Any Time You Need A Confidence Boost

    Now, what’s cool is that any time you are facing some new endeavor, you can look at your ‘Qualities of Achievement List”  to be reminded of the qualities YOU possess to further achieve!

    Furthermore, these qualities will give you ideas on how to tackle your new achievement!

    After all, you achieved greatness before…and you will surely achieve it again!


  • Anonymous

    Saw this on BrainTrust. Thought it was excellent. Wife and I were talking about how our past (which hasn’t been bad at all) may have held us back. Things we failed at etc. She looked at me a little surprised and said, whatever happened to you in the past that holds you back today? I went through a list of things, incl. growing up in a minority community in the UK in the 70′s 80′s etc. And never really ace’ing things academically … standard stuff.
    And then I realized, it’s not that this stuff is all that bad, it’s just there’s nothing to balance it out. No qualities of achievement. So I’m adding this to my weekly routine. I know it’s going to make a big difference.

    Thanks Rob, appreciate the help. I’ll be spreading the word.


    p.s. Your disqus plugin may be old and may be preventing people from commenting. I ultimately had to go to -> Login -> Refresh this page and now it works. Thought you’d want to know about this.

    I’ve written to Disqus to see if they have a solution. If you want to follow up with them, log in at, scroll to the bottom of this page and hit “contact support”

  • Rob Kelly

    Thanks for the kind words on the Confidence exercise, Raj. Glad you are finding some positive achievements to balance things out for you.

    And I appreciate you pointing out the DISQUS issue. I’ll investigate. Best regards, — Rob

  • Sean Oliver

    I totally agree, this is a sound weekly practice.