Self-confidence is the confidence in one’s abilities, skills and belief in one’s self.  Building self-confidence comes from having a new experience of yourself.  Each time you have a new experience, you are creating a new launching pad to take bigger and bigger actions; and reap greater results.


Self-confidence is rooted in our reference experiences. Anytime we have an experience that is new or different from one that we’ve had before, there is an opening to create a reference experience.  This new platform provides us with a launching pad to dive into greater and greater experiences.

Reference experience – a highly emotional experience we refer to validate new actions.

Anytime we create a new reference experience, we build our confidence globally in all areas of our life.  When one area expands, all areas expand. I’ve done this with writing, coaching and speaking.

Here’s how I created new Stepping Stones to Build Self-Confidence in my writing:

Ref Experience No. 1: Before I started writing this blog, I had no previous writing experience.  I wrote emails to friends and to co-workers, but that was about it.  I didn’t journal, I didn’t doodle, I didn’t write.  In high school my grades in English literature were subpar (70-79%).  Then something weird happened.

Ref Experience No. 2: I published an article in Confidence Bound Magazine.  That took me by surprise and it also created a new reference experience.  My confidence soared.  I wasn’t just an engineer anymore – I was published as an author in a magazine.

This new reference platform changed what I believe about myself.  It gave me a new platform to experience myself; a reference experience.  I started to think of what else I could do, not only in writing but in other areas of my life as well.  The gates of possibility began to open.

Ref Experience No. 3: Three months after being published in the magazine I started my first blog.  I started writing articles on a weekly basis and sent them to my friends and family.  At the time I had roughly 100 daily readers of my blog.

Ref Experience No. 4: Four months after that I was honored as a guest author on Insight of the Day, which is Bob Proctor’s Newsletter.  This article was emailed to a list of 160,000 subscribers.  A few thousand subscribers came to visit my blog and a few hundred subscribed to my RSS Feed.  I even received a small $100 check from Google Ads from the traffic.  This was the first time I earned money online and my self-confidence skyrocketed.

Self-Confidence Stepping Stones

Self-Confidence Stepping Stones

Each experience was a stepping stone to create more traction and belief that I could be a successful writer and blogger.  And more importantly, each experience had a net increase in my self-confidence.  Each time I had a new experience as an “author” I took new actions to validate being an author.  It was my way of being that was reinforcing further action.  With each experience being grander than the one previous I was able to take bigger actions.

Action Leads to Self-Confidence

You see every time I had a new experience I also took new actions.  Actions that I never took before. And as I took those actions I began to have new experiences and see new results.

Reference experiences create expansion in your life; they help you grow, build self-confidence and create new patterns of belief.

But here’s the problem.  It’s creating that first experience.  If you have nothing to reference then you’re not working on solid ground.  To get onto solid ground you have to do something; you have to take action before you’re ready to take it.  It’s like having the chicken before the egg.

“Just act like you have complete faith. Merely do what you’d do if you knew you were going to succeed.  Behave like you have that total conviction.” ~ Price Pritchett

In my experience, there are two ways to build self-confidence through new reference experiences.  You can read the next article in this series here:  How to Build Self-Confidence.


  • Aiping Wang

    Reply Reply June 21, 2010

    Normally we engage in self deception and denial in order to avoid facing some reality that we are not comfortable with. We do this by simply manipulating our perceptions of things so that they are easier to live with.

  • Chana

    Reply Reply April 4, 2021

    Thanks for finally talking about > Self-Confidence | Freedom Education < Liked it!

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