I was never the pretty girl growing up. I wasn't rich, either, nor did I have a sparkling personality to offset the ugliness and the lack of beautiful expensive things in my life. What I did have going for me was my intelligence. I wasn't the brightest in my class but I was the only one who devoured fiction and dreamed of worlds beyond my own, adventures beyond my imagination.
What I had was a strong sense of identity and purpose. I knew who I am, what kind of skills were at my disposal, and I knew what I wanted out of my life. Was I wrong about how I identified myself or my goals? I think that's the single biggest potential blow to anyone's self-confidence: how sure, how secure can you be about your identity and purpose? Answer: you're only as sure as you allow yourself to be. No one else should help you with that but yourself.
My motto then (and even now) is this: no guts, no glory. Or put less dramatically, if you don't do something, then nothing happens. That's just common sense but I know a lot of people who are afraid to try something because they're not perfect enough. Can't sing in public because they miss a few notes. Can't speak in public because they lisp. Can't wear a mini-skirt because they have marks on their legs. Can't quit a full-time job they hate because they're not sure they can make it as a freelancer.
Well I have news for you, toots: you'll never be perfect enough. Work with what you have and just. Do. It.