How Low Self-Confidence Will Cost You Thousands

Every year we have the opportunity to start with a fresh slate. The New Year yawns before us, brimming with opportunity and new beginnings. Whether or not we consciously make resolutions for the coming year, most of us have a sense of what we want to achieve for the year.

According to a 2012 Harris poll, 46% of Americans make New Year's resolutions. And next to weight loss, improving one's finances was a top goal. Health and money accounted for two-thirds of all yearly goals. However, the vast majority of people don't accomplish what they set out to do on January 1, as only 8% of goal-setters achieve their annual resolutions. For those who set goals to make more money, this lack of follow-through can have a profound impact on their quality of life.

One of the main obstacles to financial success is low self-confidence. Low confidence makes us doubt our abilities and judgment and prevents us from taking calculated risks, setting ambitious goals, and acting on them. At work, people who suffer with this problem often engage in subconscious behaviors that undermine their success, making them less likely to ask for or get promotions, raises and even jobs.

And unfortunately, bosses, clients, and customers make negative assumptions about people who exhibit behaviors of low self-confidence, believing they are incompetent or apathetic.

In several University of Florida studies, Dr. Timothy Judge found people with high levels of self-confidence had better job performance, more job satisfaction, and higher incomes. In fact, believing in yourself and your ability to succeed may be more important than other seemingly more salient indicators of financial success such as family wealth, education and demographics.

Being born into a well-educated, affluent family, does afford a financial advantage. But when you add the element of self-confidence in the mix, the ability to achieve financial success increases dramatically.

shy young girl low self-confidence

“There are certainly significant advantages for children growing up with parents who are well-educated and work in professional occupations, but these advantages are especially profound when children are self-confident,” says  Dr. Judge. However, lacking the silver spoon factor doesn’t destine you to low self-confidence or prevent you from being financially successful.

Confidence pays

Confidence is such a decisive factor that people from blue-collar families and have self-confidence earn approximately $7,000 more than those from the same class who lack this attribute. Likewise, people from the professional classes who have confidence earn approximately $28,000 more than people without confidence. It appears self-confidence is a lucrative quality, one worth roughly between $7 and $28,000 per year.

“In light of popular beliefs that kids from middle- and upper-class families have it made, it is surprising to see what little positive impact socioeconomic status has in the absence of self-esteem,” says Dr. Judge.

One reason self-confidence is so important is the impact on ambition and motivation. People with a positive attitude who believe in themselves have more ambitious goals, and they act on those goals, leading to more opportunities and higher incomes. Even when they encounter difficulties and adversity, they’re not as likely allow them to impact their self-esteem and success.

The bottom line is this: improving self-confidence pays. Whether you are a lawyer or a brick-layer, if you are self-confident, you are much more likely to make a better income than those with low confidence.

Fortunately self-confidence can be learned through practice. For every incremental amount you improve your self-confidence, you empower yourself to advance your financial success. Just one confident action could win you the account, give you a salary jump, or snare that small business loan. An accumulation of these actions will make a profound impact on your financial future in the coming year.


And of course self-confidence further affords the motivation to manage your money effectively, to make wise financial decisions, to go after additional training or education, and to set realistic yet challenging financial goals. In fact, for those those lacking self-confidence, improving it should be a top New Year's resolution — one that will lead to success in all of your resolutions.

Here are some proven strategies for boosting confidence and ultimately improving your financial situation.

1. Exercise

The effects of exercise on your self-esteem are profound. During exercise, your body releases endorphins that give you a boost of energy and positive feelings. Simply the accomplishment of completing an exercise routine affords a boost of confidence you can carry with you throughout the day.

Related: 9 Of The Best Strategies To Believe In Yourself

2. Appearance

Whether or not we like it, others judge us and our abilities by our appearance. We can't change some things about our appearance, but when we look our best, confidence will follow. Take the steps to assess and improve your wardrobe. Maintain a healthy weight and pay attention to your grooming. Practice healthy self-acceptance of the things you can't change, and focus on your best features.

model posing while leaning on wall low self-confidence

3. Body Language

According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School, people with powerful body language such as movements that are open and spread out and take up a lot of space— feel more confident and are perceived as more powerful. Even if you fake these movements, it will trick your brain into having confident feelings . You’ll be more likely to take risks, feel optimistic, and even produce less cortisol (a stress hormone) and more testosterone (the dominance hormone). Conversely, timid body language tends to limit feelings of confidence. Forced smiling has the same impact, making you feel happier and more successful.

Related: 29 Of The Top Signs You Have A Lack Of Confidence

4. Practice

Whenever you see the opportunity to increase your financial success, take action. You won’t get the raise unless you ask for it. You won’t snag the better position unless you negotiate. You won’t close the deal unless you push for it. The more you practice confident actions, the more confident you'll feel. The worst that could happen is getting a “no.” A “no” doesn’t mean you aren’t worth it, you aren’t good enough, or they don’t like you. A “no” is an invitation to try again more creatively, or it’s reflection of a legitimate reason for “not this time.”

As you define your goals and resolutions for the year, put improving your confidence at the top of the list. Practice confident behaviors and actions every day, even when confident feelings aren't present. Reinforce your new behaviors with healthy choices and mindful self-acceptance. As your confidence improves, you'll be surprised at the impact it has on your bottom line. By the end of the year, you could be thousands of dollars ahead.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 19 comments
Ruth Leslie

Low self confidence (or self-esteem) is definitely a barrier to success of any kind. I’ve noticed many of the same bad characteristics are present among the indigent. Unfortunately, the indigent seem to have no idea why they are in that situation.


Good Morning,
Just want to say ” I read your posts and say YES YES YES”. I too believe in confident, genuine living, and making heartfelt connections with others. I’m a glass half full kind of gal (and at times receive negative comments because of it)

It is both heartwarming and reassuring to read your blog and know someone else “talks my language.”

Thank you & Cheers!


Without self confidence it s almost impossible to change. Self love is the cornerstone of a happy life. Thanks for the great reminder. The more love in the world the more magical it becomes.

Thanks Barrie for your awesome blog and your pearls of wisdom.


Hi Barrie,

I completely agree. I was actually just telling my husband that if I had more confidence I could make WAAAY more income. For instance, I could become a speaker or do 1-on-1 coaching, etc (two things I have yet to do, mainly because of the lack of my own personal confidence). This is something I’ve definitely going to be working on in the the next few years to really boost my abilities and opportunities in life.

Thanks for these tips Barrie 🙂



self confidence is inconsistent across a persons abilities, from my own experience some things I have no problem going for even when its taking a risk, I can handle the faliure if it happens, others Ive been hammered so hard for trying, after continued faliure, its too painful, seeming to be irrational to try again, makes me crazy to find another way, but no luck there either.


The low self confidence can only be overcome through the self analysis and self help. And a good counselling persons can also been help in this. Thanks for sharing these post to the readers. And keep sharing more about the same in the upcoming posts.


I watched a Brian Tracy Video today. He said that having self confidence is vital if we desire to succeed in the things we desire in our life.


Most people face difficulties in overcoming low self esteem. Though many desired to endure the process that would help them improve their sense of self worth, only few of them succeeded in doing so. This process works gradually and requires a lot of practice, patience and determination. And enduring this might be tricky and perplexing. Because the more you struggle to fight against low self-esteem, the arduous it will be for you to get rid of your old self-provoking thoughts.


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