8 Tips On How A Project Manager Can Build Self-Confidence

Editorial Team


Self-confidence is one of the most important personal traits that should be in a project manager. It is as important for a project manager to act positively throughout the project as is eating food to function properly. A project manager without self-confidence fears to take every step just like a toddler who is still learning to walk on his feet. To complete the project effectively and efficiently, a project manager needs to be very self-confident.

No matter how challenging the situation becomes, a project manager can face it if he has enough self-confidence. It would not be wrong to quote that self-confidence comes with experience. With time, self-confidence develops when you have to deal with different problematic circumstance is project management. However, you must not leave it on experience and difficult circumstances. It is important to work on your own to build self-confidence.

1. Focus On The Positive Prospects Of The Project

A project comes with many negative and positive prospects. Negative prospects include all the different challenges, constraints, and risks that might appear at any moment in the project. Positive prospects are accurate estimations, learned lessons, important techniques, and all the healthy approaches that can be used to make the project successful.

A project manager is most worried about the success of the project. The only question in his mind is whether the project will provide all the desired outcomes, and it will be successful or not. One thing to remember is that the project’s success depends on the positive prospects and not on the negative ones.

If you focus on the positive prospects, you can come up with effective solutions to deal with the negative ones. However, if you keep worrying about all the negative things coming up, you will not be able to provide any workable solution for the risks, challenges, and constraints.

When these negative prospects are dealt with effectively, and the main focus is laid upon the positive ones, it automatically builds self-confidence. Especially when the positive prospects result in positive results, it adds more to the self-confidence of the project manager. 

2. Have A Strong Hold Over Your Skills And Knowledge

The implementation does not come without skills and knowledge. If you have enough skills and know a lot about project management, you should never doubt your performance. If you doubt your skills and knowledge, you lose the hold over your nerves. This results in failed experimentation and implementation.

Self-confidence is enhanced when you have a strong hold over your skills and knowledge. The key to building self-confidence is to trust your knowledge and skills. Make sure you do not let your skills and knowledge going to waste by just not having confidence in them.

3. Set And Attain Small Goals

One of the easiest and simplest tip to build self-confidence is to set small goals for yourself and to attain them. When you keep attaining all the small goals step by step, it eventually leads you towards achieving the bigger goal.

Little successes add a lot to self-confidence. Therefore, set small goals for the project and keep attaining them to come up with a successful project deliverable in the end.

An important technique that can be utilized for this purpose is following the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Being a project manager, you must know the importance of WBS and the ease it creates in the project. With WBS, you will be able to develop a chain of project tasks. With this chain, you can better prioritize the important tasks and leave the unimportant ones for later implementation. This smart work results in the success of project tasks and enhances self-confidence.

As you learned about WBS while studying project management, it is time to use your knowledge to build self-confidence. Furthermore, when the project work is divided into smaller chunks and sprints, it will make the project efficient throughout. This also adds a lot to the self-confidence of the project manager.

4. Take PMP Exam

What’s better than testing your knowledge and skills of project management through a PMP exam? When you take PMP exam, you get to learn a lot of different approaches, strategies, tools, and techniques that can all help in achieving the desired outcomes as per the goals and objectives of the project.

Therefore, when you learn a lot and then pass the PMP exam, it will contribute the most towards buildings self-confidence as it will help you in developing a complete trust over your skills and knowledge.

Also, a PMP exam can lead you towards a prosperous future in the field of project management. When you are getting a lot of new opportunities to work on, it contributes to building self-confidence greatly.

Moreover, you will learn a lot of new skills and approaches to project management while studying for the PMP exam. As these skills and approaches are the most reliable ones, you will never end up in dismay or failure when implementing them in any of your future projects. Thus, gaining knowledge will help you in building self-confidence. It would not be wrong to say that knowledge and self-confidence go side by side: more the knowledge, more the self-confidence.

Therefore, take PMP exam to enhance and test your skills and knowledge which will, in return, increase your self-confidence.

5. Set Up A Proper Project Plan To Follow

A project goes off the track when there is no proper project plan to follow. Without a proper project plan, the tasks keep adding up, and you cannot figure out how to complete them in time according to the resources and budget available. This shatters the self-confidence.

On the other hand, when you have developed a proper project plan or a project schedule to follow, you can ensure that all the project activities are by the plan/schedule. This helps in attaining all the goals within time. The success of the project then does a great deal in adding up to the self-confidence.

A proper project plan makes sure that the project meets success and not a failure. The important points that must be kept in mind while formulating a project plan are:

  • The project is delivered on time.
  • The cost remains within the budget.
  • The project is carried out as designed.
  • People utilize it positively.
  • Project sponsors, financers, and stakeholders are satisfied with the outcomes.
  • It meets all the specified objectives and goals.

When these points are the main focus, a healthy project plan can be formulated. Then, a project manager has to adhere to the plan, and the self-confidence keeps building up as there is no chance in anything going wrong. Even if it does, a good project plan already has the alternative approaches that can be implemented to get rid of the constraints and challenges.

6. Own Your Strengths And Weaknesses

A successful and self-confident project manager is the one who is well aware of his strengths as well as his weak points. When you realize your strengths along with your weaknesses, you can move on the road of improvement.

If the project manager remains ignorant of his weak points and shortcomings, his self-confidence changes into over-confidence which shatters on the day or another. Therefore, it is very wise to own your strengths and your weaknesses. Only then, you will be able to work on your weaknesses. And when you overcome them, you can get all the outcomes you intend to achieve.

This helps in building self-confidence greatly as you have learned a lot from your weak points. You can implement the lessons you have learned to provide effective solutions for any project challenges. When you see positive results coming out, self-confidence keeps building up.

7. Enhance Your Exposure With Clients And Stakeholders

A great tool for building self-confidence is interaction. As much as you interact with the involved parties in the project, such as clients and project stakeholders, it enhances your exposure to the outer world. It also broadens your vision, and you become able to identify the project requirements in a better way. Not only this, you can shape the project goals and objectives accordingly, so you do not have to face any disappointment from the project stakeholders. All of these little steps contribute to the success of the project. The success of the project means the success of the project manager. As your self-confidence is greatly attached to the project’s success, it is eventually going to be increased.

Also, various risks and challenges in the project are identified beforehand. When you are aware of the problems before they occur, you can come up with timely solutions. This ultimately boosts your confidence.

Moreover, with effective interaction and communication, you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences. It also helps you in getting along with your project team in a better way. With more exposure and interaction, you can get to know their ideas and views about a certain situation. When you work as a team, self-confidence of a project manager builds up as he is the anchor of the team.

8. Think Long Term

The most important tip for a project manager to build self-confidence is to think long term. There is no use of thinking the short term for any project task. Thinking short term limits the prospects of the project. Also, it blurs the vision as you do not allow yourself and your team to think beyond a certain point.

Always remember that thinking long term yields fruit. With a long term goal and objective, you will not be disappointed if some short term goals or objectives are not achieved. There is always that long term goal to hold on to, which helps in building self-confidence.

Another benefit of thinking long term is that the project is never going to fail. When you think long term, you can come up with different alternative approaches that will make your project successful one way or another. When you are sure that the future of your project is a success, you are motivated and inspired to work on your project with all your mind and heart.

When a project manager invests all his mind and heart in a project, it shows that the project manager is very self-confident. Even if he is not, he will eventually be. Therefore, trust your instincts and work on a project’s long term prospect rather than a narrowed and limited one to build confidence in yourself.


These are the 8 simple tips that can greatly help a project manager in building self-confidence. With enough self-confidence, a project manager can play a great role in taking the project towards success. The best thing is that if the project manager is self-confident, so is his team. Together, they can work wonders in making the project achieve all of its designed goals and objectives as per the project plan.