Confidence goes a long way in every day life, but is particularly helpful in school because student self-esteem often impacts academic success in the classroom. Raging hormones and rapid physical changes often lead to a lack of confidence in early adolescence (ages 9-13). This is often followed by another period of low confidence at the end of adolescence (ages 18-23), which is ushered in as you leave home and enter a period of trial independence. The lack of confidence can be partly attributed to changing schools -- entering junior high, high school or college -- and trying to adjust to functioning more independently in unfamiliar environments. No matter the reason for a lack of confidence, learning how to be confident in school and taking proactive steps can help you feel more secure about your performance.
How to Increase Confidence Levels in Studies by Thinking Positive Thoughts
Knowing how to be confident in school is not always easy for everybody. While being confident at school comes naturally to some, for others, confidence can often be developed. Even the most confident person doubts himself sometimes. The difference is that a confident person refocuses and moves on. If there is a voice in your head saying, “I'm not smart enough for school” or “There's no way I can pass this class,” ignore it. Instead, remind yourself of the positives -- you've made in this far, and you can accomplish much if you put your mind to it. Listening to a negative inner voice can significantly damage your self-esteem over time. If you get used to listening to that voice, you might not even notice you're putting yourself down all the time. Stop the negative and limiting thoughts in their tracks and instead, make a conscious effort to regularly engage in positive and uplifting self-talk.
Be More Confident in Class by Dedicating Yourself to School
If you want to know how to be more confident in class, attending class regularly is the first step. Having confidence about school is much easier when you are present and actively acquiring the necessary information. If you regularly miss class, you'll also miss key information that you need to succeed in that class. Consistent attendance is crucial to having confidence in school. Understanding and following the material is far more challenging if you attend class infrequently than if you are consistently present. Skipping classes can also cause problems on tests. If you want to be confident at school, attending class, keeping up with your assignments and taking your education seriously is paramount.
Ask Questions When You Need To
Many people believe asking questions is a sign of stupidity. According to Vivian Ta, experimental psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Texas and Ms. Career Girl contributor, there are many reasons you might not want to ask questions at school, including insecurity, fear of annoying your teacher or simply not wanting to run the risk of sounding stupid. However, it's much better to ask questions sooner rather than later or not at all. Don't wait until the last minute to request feedback. If you're reluctant to ask questions or address concerns in front of the class, talk to your teacher or professor privately. Consult with your teacher about concepts you're having trouble understanding, get tips on how to prepare for tests or present initial ideas for a project or research assignment. Keeping lines of communication with your teachers open will help you feel more confident about school overall.
Set Goals and Reward Accomplishments
Being confident at school isn't something that happens overnight. When trying to develop confidence, start small and work up to bigger things. For example, if you're nervous about speaking in class, set a goal of raising your hand to answer one question one week, two questions the next week and so on. Think about what you'd like to accomplish and then make a plan for how to reach those goals. Keeping track of your progress helps you stay motivated to achieve your goals. Once you achieve them, reward yourself, even if it's something small. Positive reinforcement makes it easier to keep working toward goals, say Jacobs and Hyman.
Based in Gainesville, Carissa Lawrence is an experienced teacher who has been writing education related articles since 2013. Lawrence holds a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Florida.