self belief

What are self belief skills?

Self belief is about confidence, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about building confidence. And the way to build confidence is to motivate yourself to try new things, have the resilience to keep going and learn from past mistakes, and have the positive attitude to help you see everything as a learning process. Self belief is highly valued by employers, and it makes a big difference to how much you enjoy the work you do, too.

Your most important self belief skills are:

Motivation Resilience Positive Attitude Aiming High


Have you got the urge deep inside to achieve, grow and keep moving forward? Do you look forward to the new experiences your next project might bring? From getting out of bed in time for an early shift to volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about, there are many ways to find your own motivation to do something and give it all you’ve got.

Why is motivation important?

You will squeeze more juice from life’s orange if you give your all to a project and feel motivated to find new things to do once it’s completed. Your projects will achieve better results, you’ll feel part of something big and you’ll learn more from your experiences. This is as true in work as it is in life.


Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks or difficulties. It means you can learn from mistakes and keep moving forward. Can you keep going even when you feel like giving up? In the world of work, resilience could be dealing with not getting a job, coping with a disagreement with a colleague, or even managing yourself if you’re feeling slightly under the weather at work.

Why is resilience important?

We all make mistakes. Learning from mistakes in a way where you still feel motivated and believe in your ability to grow is important. During your work, problems will arise and how you deal with them can either reassure employers or cause them concern. Organisations need to have staff they can rely on, so resilience becomes an important skill for employers. By showing you’re able to cope with issues and continue doing a good job you will really impress your boss and colleagues, and maybe even set yourself up for a promotion.

Positive Attitude

Your attitude is the way you act and how you think about things. It’s your reaction to different situations and people, and your outlook on the world. Having a positive attitude means you find the good side in things and behave in a way which shows you are willing to make an effort. In a professional sense this includes things like showing up on time, doing your best at work, and taking responsibility for your actions.

Why is a positive attitude important?

Whatever you do in life, there will be stormy waters ahead at some point. Your positive attitude will help you find the energy to meet challenges head-on. That fresh approach to things will help you find ways to cope, and overcome difficulties. A positive attitude will also help you enjoy the experience of learning and growing with less fear and frustration, and make you great company to work with as part of a team.

TOP TIP: A good attitude is important as it shows you're willing to put effort into your work, and will bring a positive presence to your office or workplace. Employers look for this as they know they can rely on employees with these traits to get the job done, as well as motivating others and creating a good atmosphere. If an interviewer can see that you'll show up interested, enthusiastic and positive every day you will bring real value to the organisation, and that makes you more likely to be hired!

Boost your self belief skills in school and study

There are lots of ways to improve your motivation and resilience at school, and to build a positive attitude too.

Faced with a homework problem or a lot of revision?

Do some research, take a break from it, then come back and try to work on the problem again.

Try thinking of potential problems that could happen at school or college.

Write them down and then think of some ways to overcome them. Do this any time you think of, or come across, a problem – that way if it does happen you’ll be prepared.

When you start a new education project or activity, think of ways to enjoy that task

Make the activity you’re doing your passion, not just something you’ve been asked to do. This attitude will help with finding the time to do the work, problem-solving and many other challenges.

Boost your self belief skills at work

Employers look for people with positive attitudes as they can rely on them to get on with their work, as well as motivating others and creating a good atmosphere.

Employers also look for people with resilience who can learn from their mistakes. Remember, employers expect you to make mistakes now and then. After all, if you’re just starting out in life a lot of work situations will be new to you! However, employers also want to know you can learn from those mistakes and keep a positive and motivated attitude.

Finally, employers seek candidates who have the motivation to put their all into a project and see it through to the end. That motivation will also help you get up for work on time and come into work every day you’re expected, and that reliability will pay off. Employers will see you as someone who can be relied on, and may offer you more responsibility and promotions over time.

Work offers lots of fantastic opportunities to boost your confidence and show you have a positive attitude:

  • Focus on doing your work well.
  • When you make a mistake, treat any feedback you get as a helpful clue on how to improve and learn for next time. It’s fine to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Try to write down one thing you’re excited about each morning.
  • Go out of your way to ask a work colleague who is struggling with a task if they want some help, or offer to make them a drink next time they go to the kitchen.

You’ve probably managed yourself and displayed initiative and good organisation skills in the past, as well as taking pride in your work, so try to think about what went well and what didn’t. You can use the STARRS method to do this.

Building self belief skills at school and at work will help you:

  • Build confidence when trying something new
  • Keep motivated in seeing a task through to the end
  • See reports and feedback on the work you’ve done as a positive step to improve yourself because you want to, not because someone told you that you should.

How to build and improve self belief skills

Here are some activities to help you work on your confidence, motivation and self belief:

Boost your resilience

Think differently about problems

Faced with a problem at home or work? Do some research, take a break from it and then come back and try to work on the problem again.

Don’t give up

It often takes a number of tries, and even years, to develop a new skill. The important thing is not to give up.

Write down a list of your strengths and weaknesses

What are you good at, and how did you develop this strength? What about the things you’re not so good at, could you build up these skills?

Boost your positive attitude

Create lists of things you are good at

Having a positive attitude about yourself and your skills can be boosted by creating a list of things you are good at.

Help other people

You always get a boost from helping other people. It also shows how positive your behaviour is.

Do things you enjoy

Enthusiasm comes more easily when you are doing something you enjoy, so try to do more of these things.

Boost your motivation

Set high but achievable goals

Set yourself personal goals that are challenging enough to interest you but possible to achieve, like passing a driving test.

Seek chances to learn and build on what you know

Choosing to build your knowledge shows great motivation, and you can also build a positive attitude by treating mistakes or gaps in your knowledge as a chance to seek feedback and improve over time.

Seek out opportunities to take part in activities and projects

This can put you in situations where you may meet new people and discover new ways of doing things. It can take you out of your comfort zone, but once you’ve got used to the new experience, it makes your comfort zone grow bigger.

Use the STARRS method

This technique helps you look at how you overcame past challenges when you hit a setback.

Here are some great resources to help you work on your self belief:

Demonstrating self belief skills

Creating a good CV and cover letter

Applying for work opportunities already shows motivation! Your CV is a great place to list achievements that show you are self-motivated to try new things and build on your experiences.

For example, you can list volunteering you have done in the past. You can also record any training courses you have taken. Participating in team sports or extra-curricular activities shows your motivation when a teacher or boss isn’t there to make you do things. Earning medals, grades or awards shows your resilience in pursuing a goal and learning to get better over time. Volunteering in team activities also demonstrates your positive attitude to working with other people.

Job interviews

You can demonstrate resilience in job interviews by talking about a time when you overcame a problem or challenge. This could be personal or at school, college, or work. It doesn’t have to be a big problem, it could be that you left your keys at home and had to figure out how to get back in after school, as your parents were at work. Only share what you’re comfortable with, it’s probably best not to talk about a problem you had with your boyfriend or girlfriend (it’s not very professional!)

You can let prospective employers know you have a good attitude by making sure you arrive on time for interviews, being enthusiastic and interested in the work, and taking responsibility for things. Ask questions about the job and workplace, and talk about why you want to work there. Passion is just as important as having the right skills; enthusiasm can’t be taught and it’s easy to spot if it’s genuine.

As always remember the STARRS method – it’s an expansion on the popular STARR method by one of our own Youth Ambassadors. It helps you think about what went well in a past situation, how you dealt with it, and what you learned from it.

Self belief is a skill. You can grow it over time.

There are so many chances in life to make a choice to work on your confidence and attitude to learning new things, both inside and outside of work/education.

Next steps

There are a lot of websites, apps, and books about building motivation, so it’s easy to do some research yourself and find some ideas that work for you.

Try asking a friend, teacher, or family member how positive your attitude was to a past project you cared about, and ask if they have any pointers to help you improve.

SEE MORE on self belief skills

Activity - test yourself!

See if you can think about the questions below. It’s useful to come up with examples from your own life and work experience if you can when answering the questions.

  1. Why is your self belief important to an employer?
  2. How could you develop your motivation, resilience and positive attitude? Name an example for each
  3. How could you demonstrate your motivation, resilience and positive attitude to a prospective employer in a job interview? Name an example for each.

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