Small Rewards (Like Chocolate) Can Anchor Confidence

Need confidence? Give yourself a chocolate. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of rewards for motivation. A new breakthrough in neuroscience suggests that rewards can also boost confidence. Giving yourself a small reward can train the brain to feel more confident.

A group of researchers published their findings from a recent study on using rewards to manipulate the brain. The researchers wanted to determine if self-confidence can be amplified directly in the brain. They explain that self-confidence is an essential quality to succeed in the modern world. Self-confidence may also help decrease the risk of mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

To complete the study, the researchers developed a unique method for reading and amplifying the brain. The method is called ‘decoded neurofeedback’. It involves mapping specific patterns in the brain linked to an individual’s feelings of confidence. The researchers used this technique to scan the brain and determine whether a participant is experiencing a high or low confidence state.

Participants were unaware of the nature of the study. They were instructed to perform a simple perceptual task. When a high confidence state was detected, the researchers gave the participant a small monetary reward. At the end of the training session, participants were asked to rate their confidence in completing the task. Participants were consistently more confident after receiving the rewards.


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Researchers could also reverse the effects. By withholding rewards, they could lower the confidence of the participant. They essentially proved that it’s possible to train the brain to be more confident or less confident with a simple reward system. Keep in mind that the study was limited in scope. The study involved just 17 volunteers. However, it’s in line with the results of similar studies. Read the original article here.

Research shows that a reward system helps drive motivation. It can also boost your confidence. If you’re an ambitious professional, your confidence influences career ambitions. Low self-confidence tends to lead to a feeling of inadequacy. You may start to feel unworthy of your job title. We call this imposter syndrome.

Giving yourself small rewards may offer a boost of confidence, but it may not be enough to beat imposter syndrome. To build authentic confidence, you need to get to the root of your insecurities. One solution is to reframe negative thought patterns using the latest neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques.

So, should you start rewarding yourself to increase your confidence? It’s a good start, but you should also explore additional confidence-building methods. For example, a reward may not train the brain to overcome major fears and insecurities. To explore other techniques for a more confident mind, learn about my one-to-one coaching and online courses at