The Science behind Self-confidence: Meet Self-help Guru James Clear

(Last Updated On: July 30, 2019)

best self-help gurusHello everyone! Sometimes I share here my experience about well-established confidence experts, like for example I did with Russ Harris and his book on the four self-confidence traps. Today I want to point to a very special self-help guru, James Clear. He runs a high traffic self-development blog that gets over 1 million visits per month at

What’s special in James? His articles have a focus on habit and behavior change with scientific evidence and I like him so much because of this scientific “twist”. If you have read other top personal development gurus, you should have a try with James. You won’t be disappointed.

How I came to learn of him

I got to know James and his work a few years ago, when looking for self-improvement blogs on the web. I stumbled upon his site when looking for a “best productivity guide” in Google. It happened in a moment I felt stuck and needed some boost.

I came across some great articles and since then I stuck to him. In my opinion, he’s one of the top self-help gurus out there.

What he writes about in his site

self-help guruIn his site, James covers topics like dealing with procrastination, habit formation, breaking bad habits, focus, and creativity.

He organizes his content into 5 main categories, which are: Better habits, Better Thinking, Better Performance, Optimal Health, Lifelong Learning (and each of them has 3 or 4 sub-categories).

What is about James that I admire most

Here is my list:

  • He has a very good writing – clear and engaging.
  • He often adds scientific and historical evidence in the footnotes of his articles, so you know the origins of his points.
  • The two point before and his overall writing make his professional approach – his articles are clean and look like professional published research work.
  • I find his articles useful and entertaining, with an incredibly attuned story telling; see his example of a true application of the well-known “fake it until you make it” self-confidence principle in the 1990 World Chess Championship, with Garry Kasparov against Anatoly Karpov.

James Clear on self-confidence

confidence expertJames isn’t exactly a self-proclaimed confidence expert, and he hasn’t a specific category on self-confidence in his website, but as self-confidence is at the base of every achievement, he talks about it often. A very good proxy category is “mental toughness” (also known as “grit”), which also includes persistence, which is a key point on getting results as you know.

A good synthesis on his idea of self-confidence is (from “Bob Mathias on how to master the art of self confidence”):

“Self-confidence is grit. Self-confidence is Sisu. Self-confidence is mental toughness. Mostly, self-confidence is just a willingness to let go of what is comfortable, slide into uncertain air, and trust that you’ll be ok.”

Who’s your self-help guru?

All this makes James Clear one of the best self-help gurus out there. I like what James writes and his tips on how to improve your performance!

And you? Who do you like and follow? Who’s your self-help guru? And more importantly – WHY do you love him/her?

Remember to sign up with the form below to my 30 days self-confidence challenge!

30 days self confidence challenge  



To Your Success
Mark Tern

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