Strategies for Building Self-Confidence


This can be a very stressful time of year for students as the semester comes to an end. It is not uncommon for students to have fallen behind in their classes and not know where to begin to tackle the workload and get caught up. At Mohawk College, professors are often way more supportive and flexible than you may think. All you need to do is approach your professors and develop a completion plan.

“All you need to do is approach your professors and develop a completion plan”

Sounds easy doesn’t it!?? Nope, completely anxiety and fear inducing! I am hoping to help you alleviate some of your fears, help you build some confidence and take charge of your education. I love when students approach me in the spirit of getting back on track…I am MORE than happy to help if they meet me half way.

Here are 10 strategies to start building your Self-Confidence:

  1. Think Positively – Focus on what is going well. Don’t worry, the negative will always hang around, you are just creating a realistic balance of positive and negative.
  2. Be Kind and Generous – Offer your time or support to a friend. Paying it forward often helps us feel good about ourselves.
  3. Set Small Goals & achieve them – Just get moving. Your confidence in your ability to accomplish tasks increases as you set goals and achieve them. Start small…”I will contact all of my professors today to book a time to meet and create a completion plan”.
  4. Work on Small Things – After you know what you need to get done to complete your assignments, break your list down into manageable chunks and take reward breaks. Just take one step at a time.
  5. Do Something that You Have Been Procrastinating On! – Sometimes if you just “rip off that bandage”, take on the perceived pain and get started, the task is done before you even realize. Often you are surprised how easy it was and wonder why you put it off. Get moving and gain a momentum that becomes infectious.
  6. Be Grateful – Gratitude is powerful. It allows you to have a more realistic perspective on your current situation. Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?” – family, friends, your health, the opportunity to be in school and learning, that this school pain is temporary?
  7. Empower Yourself with Knowledge – ASK! Please, Please ASK! We are happy to help. You need to know what is possible and what you need to do.
  8. Do one thing every day that makes you happy – Please take time for balance and reward. Life is not all about work and unpleasant tasks. Create a balance. You will find that you will dread the work less and actually accomplish way more.
  9. Try and catch yourself every time you tell yourself that you can’t or it won’t work – All you can do is try. The answer is alway “no” if you don’t ask. I have always been surprised by how often my professors said “yes” to something I thought for sure was impossible.
  10. Learn something new  – You mind functions better and you can increase your stress tolerance when you give your brain a break from the “same old, same old”. Learn a small new skill, learn something new about your friends/family, learn a new word from a different language…any small thing can offer an inspiring break and take you out of your focus on your current situation. It can help you to gain a healthy perspective.


  • LIST: Create a list of all that you need to do to get caught up and organize by class.
  • PLAN: Create a plan of “attack” – complete the assignments worth the most first or the ones that are due first.
  • CONTACT: Contact your professors to explore extensions, help, if you can still hand in an assignment, etc.

You can always book an appointment with a counsellor to help you get motivated and create a completion plan by calling 905-575-1212 ext. 4605. Feel free to contact me directly as well at . I am happy to help 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, Ed.D. (Counselling Psychology)

Success Coach * Professor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

Mohawk College – Fennell Campus – “The Square” – C102

Extra Resource From MindTools: Building Self-Confidence

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