Centre for Continuing Education

Build Your Confidence, Self-Esteem and Resilience: Tools from Positive Psychology

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

Eleanor Shakiba
Eleanor Shakiba is an expert in social and emotional intelligence. She has taught over 50,000 people to think and speak in ways which build success. She has been teaching at the Centre for Continuing Education for over ten years.

Eleanor’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Anthropology, Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education, Master Practitioner and Trainer certifications in accreditation to administer MBTI and DISC psychometric instruments and LEADR training in mediation. She writes and teaches in the areas of applied psychology, communication and conflict resolution.

Is low confidence or poor self-esteem holding you back? Have you experienced setbacks that have damaged your belief in yourself? It is possible to change. Learn how to shift your mindset and feel in charge of your own destiny, using tools from positive psychology. Increase your optimism and self-belief. Change your self-talk and alter unproductive thinking patterns. Learn to feel more confident in a range of contexts – including social situations, in personal relationships, at work, when public speaking, or when focusing on your personal goals. Broaden and build your positive emotions, so you can feel better about yourself.


This is an introductory level course on building confidence and self-esteem. It has a practical, hands-on focus. You’ll walk away with processes for boosting your confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Discover how to increase your self-belief, boost your well-being and bounce back when things go wrong. Get tips and advice from an expert in positive psychology and personal change.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • apply principles of ‘flourishing’ to build your confidence, self-esteem and resilience
  • track your thoughts and feelings, so you can change patterns which reduce your self-belief
  • reshape your pessimistic thinking habits, using strategies of 'learned optimism'
  • build your sense of personal power, using the ‘locus of control’ model
  • boost your mood by focusing on your strengths, instead of your perceived limitations
  • challenge automatic negative thoughts, using five simple steps
  • make your self-talk more supportive and positive
  • use self-coaching questions to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset
  • build your resilience using mindfulness techniques
  • use solution focused thinking techniques to handle problems or challenges.


The topics you cover are focused on learning how to use positive psychology in real-life situations.

What is positive psychology?

Find out what positive psychology is and how you can use it to increase positive emotions and build your confidence levels. Hear how positive psychology is different to ‘positive thinking’. Get a quick overview of how positive psychology can help you flourish, no matter what your personal circumstances. Track your moods to pinpoint what helps you thrive. Discover how experiencing positive emotions can broaden and build your flexibility, thus supporting high levels of confidence and well-being.

What are confidence, self-esteem and resilience?

‘Confidence’, ‘self-esteem’ and ‘resilience’ are words we throw around regularly. But what, exactly, are they? More importantly, how do you build them? In this module, you’ll explore the ways ‘naturally’ confident and resilient people think and behave – so you, too, can take on these patterns. Cover key concepts you can use to build your confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Hear how thoughts, feelings and moods interlink and build a foundation for your confidence. This module provides a theoretical framework for our practical sessions.

Increasing your self-esteem

In this section of the course, you’ll dig deeper into questions about what self-esteem is and how it develops. Learn techniques for building self-esteem, at any stage of adult life. Improve your self-image by building internal congruence. Discover how taking a strengths-based approach to life can improve your self-esteem. Identify your top strengths and create a plan for tapping into them more often. Learn a simple process for challenging the automatic negative thoughts that can erode your self-esteem.

Building your confidence

How do you react when you 'can’t' do something or when you make a mistake? Many people in this situation beat themselves up for not being confident. Hear why lack of ability is not a sign of poor confidence. Find out how operating from a growth mindset can help you overcome limiting beliefs, fear of failure or concern about other people judging you. Use a simple goal- setting process to foster belief in your own abilities.

Handling adversity

Unfortunately, misfortune and adversity can be a part of life. Some people seem naturally better equipped to bounce back from traumatic events. These people have ‘resilient mindsets’. What do they do differently? How can you do it, too? Find out as we explore the psychology of resilience. Complete a questionnaire to work out your level of ‘grit’ and use this to create an action plan for change. Shift out of ‘learned helplessness’ mode, so you can navigate tough times more resourcefully. Tap into the power of curiosity and gratitude mindsets, so you can reduce your stress levels during tough times.

Delivery style

This course is a practical introduction to building your self-esteem and confidence. You will not do any exams or complete any assessment tasks. You will experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving, with the support of your fellow students and tutor.

You will get the most from this course if you are:

  • willing to contribute to group discussions
  • confident communicating verbally in English
  • comfortable participating in pair activities.

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini lectures
  • video presentations
  • question and answer sessions
  • demonstrations by the trainer
  • practical paid demonstrations
  • individual planning activities.

Recommended reading

Carr, A 2004, Positive psychology: The science of happiness and human strengths, Brunner-Routledge, Hove.

Compton, WC 2005, An introduction to positive psychology, Thomson/Wadsworth, Australia.

Clutterbuck, D, David, S, Megginson, D, & Congleton, C (eds) 2013, ‘Goals: A long-term view’, Beyond Goals, vol. 1, pp. 1-20, Gower, Surrey, UK.

Doman, F (n.d.), Authentic strengths: Maximize your happiness, performance & success with positive psychology coaching.

Ellis, A & Joffe-Ellis, D 2011, Rational emotive behavior therapy, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Fredrickson, BL 2001, ‘The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions’, American Psychologist, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 218-226.

Gable, SL & Haidt, J 2005, ‘What (and why) is positive psychology?’, Review of General Psychology, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 103-110.

Goleman, D 2013, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence [Kindle iOS version].

Gollwitzer, PM 1999, ‘Implementation intentions: Simple effects of simple plans’, American Psychologist, vol. 54, no. 7, pp. 493-503.

Gregory, JB, Beck, JW, & Carr, AE 2011, ‘Goals, feedback, and self-regulation: Control theory as a natural framework for executive coaching’, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 26-38.

Leigh, A & Walters, M 1997, ‘Effective change: Twenty ways to make it happen’, London Institute of Personnel and Development, pp.173-181.

Linley, PA, Harrington, S, & Garcea, N 2010, Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Linley, PA, & Joseph, S (eds.) 2004, Positive Psychology in Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Peterson, C 2006, A Primer in Positive Psychology, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Sheldon, KM 2006, ‘Positive psychology: The science of happiness and human strengths and An introduction to Positive Psychology’, The Journal of Positive Psychology, vol.1, no. 1, pp. 53-55.

Snyder, CR (ed) 2000, Handbook of Hope: Theory, measures and applications, Academic Press, San Diego.

Snyder, CR, & Lopez, SJ 2009, Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (2nd Ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Passmore, J & Marianetti, O 2007, ‘The role of mindfulness in coaching’, The Coaching Psychologist, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 131-137.

Peterson, C, Maier, SF, & Seligman, ME 1993, Learned helplessness: A theory for the age of personal control, Oxford University Press, NY.

Roland, D 1998, The confident performer, Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH.

Seligman, ME 1991, Learned optimism, A.A. Knopf, NY.

Seligman, ME 2011, Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being, Free Press, NY

Seligman, ME P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2000, ‘Positive psychology: An introduction’, American Psychologist, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 5-14.

Siegel, DJ 2007, The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being [Kindle iOS version].

Stein, D & Grant, AM 2014, 'Disentangling the Relationships Between Self-Reflection, Insight and Subjective Well-being: The Role of Dysfunctional Attitudes and Core Self-Evaluations
, The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, vol. 148, no. 5, pp. 505-522.

Street, H 2002, ‘Exploring relationships between goal setting, goal pursuit and depression: A review’, Australian Psychologist, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 95-103.

University of the Sunshine Coast 2014, Reframing Your Thinking. Retrieved on 6th October 2016.

Vallerand, RJ, & Verner-Filion, J 2013, 'Making people’s life most worth living: On the importance of passion for positive psychology', terapia psicolÓgica, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 35-48.

Westbrook, D, Kennerley, H, & Kirk, J 2011, An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Skills and Applications, pp. 1–22, Sage Publications.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • Loved the course. I feel more confident, focused and energetic.

Build Your Confidence, Self-Esteem and Resilience: Tools from Positive Psychology

<p>{block name:“Course Tagline - Psychology”}</p><p>{block name:“Tutor - Eleanor Shakiba”}</p><p>Is low confidence or poor self-esteem holding you back? Have you experienced setbacks that have damaged


What others say.

  • The course content was fascinating and the presenter really brought it to life in an engaging way.
  • Absolutely fantastic. The tutor is brilliant and not only introduced us to the world of positive psychology, but gave us practical tools to be able to put everything into action.