Centre for Continuing Education

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

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

In this one-day course, you’ll learn how to shift your mindset using tools from positive psychology.

Has low confidence, imposter syndrome or poor self-esteem ever held you back? Have you experienced setbacks that have damaged your belief in yourself? The good news is, it is possible to build higher levels of confidence and self-assurance.

This course will show you how to Increase your optimism and self-belief. We will look at how you can change your self-talk and challenge your unproductive thinking patterns. You will also learn to feel more confident in a range of contexts — including social situations, personal relationships, at work, when public speaking, or when focusing on your personal goals. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide you the tools to broaden and build your positive emotions, so you can feel better about yourself.

This is an introductory-level course on the psychology of building confidence and self-esteem, it is not a practitioner-level program.


This course aims to equip you with increased self-belief. You will leave with reliable tactics for boosting your well-being and reducing ‘learned helplessness’. This will help you on your journey to renewed self-confidence and self-esteem.


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

  • apply a range of tools from positive psychology to enhance your wellbeing and confidence
  • describe the links between your self-esteem, self-efficacy (personal power) and confidence levels
  • regulate your emotions, so you feel higher levels of personal power and confidence
  • improve your self-image, using a three-step process
  • use strategies of ‘learned optimism’ to support a confident mindset
  • boost your self-esteem by focusing on your strengths, instead of your perceived limitations
  • challenge automatic negative thoughts, using five simple steps
  • reduce fear of failure, by adopting a growth mindset
  • overcome imposter syndrome, using simple tools for restructuring your thinking.


Using positive psychology to change your self-image

In this session, you will:

  • find out what positive psychology is
  • hear how you can use positive psychology to adjust your self-image, raise your confidence levels and feel more in control of your own destiny
  • learn how mastering skills in ‘emotion regulation’ can boost your self-belief
  • discover how experiencing positive emotions can help you confidently solve problems and take action for change
  • experiment with simple mood regulation techniques that can help you flourish, no matter what your personal circumstances.

Understanding the ‘self-perception’ puzzle

Confidence and self-esteem are words we throw around regularly. But what are they, exactly? More importantly, how do you build them? In this module, you’ll get answers to these two important questions. You’ll also explore a third factor which impacts on your emotional wellbeing: self-efficacy. This is your belief in your ability to take positive action. We will then try out practical techniques for raising your self-efficacy, adopting confident thinking patterns and increasing your sense of ‘positive self-regard’.

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. In this session, you will:

  • 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.

Boosting your self-efficacy

Martin Seligman is known as the father of positive psychology. He claims that “bolstering self- esteem without changing hopelessness or passivity…accomplishes nothing”. In this section of the course, you’ll explore the practical implications of this statement. You’ll learn how to shift mindsets of hopelessness and learned helplessness, using Seligman’s ABCDE model. Then you’ll learn simple steps you can take to raise your self-efficacy levels. These are based on the work of the well-known research psychologist, Albert Bandura.

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.

Overcoming imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a crippling form of self-doubt. It causes you to dismiss your achievements, dwell on your flaws and live in fear of being exposed as a fake. The thinking patterns associated with imposter syndrome can cause burnout, pessimism and perfectionist over-working. Fortunately, they can also be changed using cognitive reframing techniques. In the final section of this positive psychology course, you’ll learn how to do this. Techniques you’ll cover include scaling questions, thought disputation and self-compassion exercises.

Intended audience

This introductory course is suitable for anyone wanting to build their own confidence levels or beat imposter syndrome. It may also be of interest to coaches, counsellors, human resource practitioners and educators.

Delivery style

This is a highly interactive course. It focuses on applying concepts from positive psychology. You will get the most from the program if you are:

  • willing to contribute to group discussions about your success mindset
  • confident communicating verbally in small groups
  • comfortable participating in role-play style activities.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught workshop on University premises
  • online workshop via the platform Zoom.

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini-lectures
  • video presentations
  • Q & A sessions
  • demonstrations by the trainer
  • practical group activities
  • 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
  • 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 and Self-Esteem Course: Tools from Positive Psychology

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

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What others say.

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