My best advice for improving confidence

Selfie of Laurel downhill mountain biking

Every once in a while, I go through moments in my life where I can sense my self-confidence diminishing. The trigger can be large or small—a negative review from my boss on a project I’m working on, a snarky comment from a friend, or forgetting something important. What we need to remember is that our reaction means everything. Do you snap back with anger? Do you cry? Or do you let the negativity roll off you and improve? I know, it’s easier said than done, but we must stay positive. The second you allow negative thoughts to stay is the second your confidence goes down. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Here are the ways I try to stay positive and improve my confidence:


Print a quote from someone you admire and put it somewhere you will see it every day. One of my favorite career women is Oprah. Why? She was fired from one of her first jobs, but instead of crying and giving up on herself, she pursued her career and kicks ass every day.

Print your chosen quote, frame it, and place it somewhere you always are.

"Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do." -Oprah

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself

When you go throughout the day, watch your self-talk. Are you saying mean things to yourself? If so, stop your thoughts and change it to something positive. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” tell yourself, “I can do this.” It sounds really weird at first, but the more you do it the more you will begin to believe yourself. Positive affirmations are important in improving your confidence.

Do something you’re good at

After a rough day (or week), put some time aside and do something you enjoy. This doesn’t have to be anything miraculous, you do not need to be a myth. If you are good at making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, make one. If you are good at throwing away the trash, do that. If you are good at packing lunch, meal prep. Get some perspective on your situation and remind yourself that you can do it. Even though you are being judged on your contribution to the potluck, know that you made that dish exactly the way you and your family love it. Remember, Michael Jordan has had some bad games but that doesn’t stop him from being considered the best player of all time. Just because you made a mistake, it does not mean you are ruined. Do something you’re good at to keep your confidence up.

Sign up for a mountain bike class

This is for the ladies out there who enjoy riding bikes. If you hate the outdoors, take a class on something you enjoy. The reason I think you should sign up for a mountain bike clinic is that you will learn that you are more powerful and capable than you ever imagined.

The first class I took taught me the fundamentals I needed to get down the hill in one piece and have fun. Since then, I have signed up for a class every year to keep my skills up. All these classes have taught me to have self-confidence. And the best part? I can prove it to myself.

The first time I rode up to a rock garden, it scared me. I tried my best to follow the flow and made my way down. When sessioning a rock garden in one of my mountain bike classes, I learned how to approach the roach garden. The ability to approach a feature and successfully bike it can be so freeing. I think, “I did it!” and start smiling because I’m proud of myself. Many of the coaches I have come across will remind you to tell yourself that you can do it and that you are capable. I just got back from a clinic in Angel Fire, NM with Trek Dirt Series and loved everyone I met and enjoyed tips from the coaches.

These days, when I am feeling down I get on my mountain bike and ride a trail that used to frighten me. The ability to ride a trail with confidence over a section that used to bring fear is invaluable. Bring up your confidence with something you enjoy and remind yourself that yes, you can do this.

Sign up. It’s actually very simple. Go online, find the mtb clinic in your area, and set aside the time and money to change your life. You will be happy you did.

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I am from New Mexico and love cooking, yoga, skiing, mountain biking, and exploring the outdoors. I also love to travel. I am a certified Ski Instructor.