If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Self esteem is a fragile thing. Whether we like to own it or not, most of us need the recognition or acknowledgement of others to feel confident in ourselves and in our choices. We have all experienced being put down or undermined at one time or another, and it is all too easy to lose belief ourselves and feel shaken up when we are questioned or feel insecure. Without a strategy for bolstering self esteem, self-doubt can undermine our confidence and our capacity to achieve life’s goals. When left unchecked it can even lead to feelings of inadequacy, helplessness even depression.
So what’s the solution to lagging self confidence?
For most people, meditation is an uncomplicated way to connect with their spiritual self, manage stress and create a more balanced and peaceful way of living. Having practised meditation for many years myself I have noticed several other tangible benefits that come along with my daily meditation practice, including feeling emotionally stronger and more self-confident.
If you are looking for ways to strengthen your confidence or improve your productivity, there are many ways that meditation can help because on a fundamental level, it helps you develop a better connection with the deeper, core part of yourself.
What is it about going deeper into yourself that makes the difference?
I’m sure you would agree that most of us are used to listening to and connecting with our thoughts more than any other part of ourselves. So much so in fact that it’s easy to forget that there is more to us than our wondering, chattering minds.
Regular meditation helps you transcend that chatter and creates a bridge between your thinking mind and ‘higher silence’ that connects to your true inner essence. Whether you want to call it your spirit, your soul, your higher self, or even divinity, the more you connect with this inner core, the more you tend to live your life from a calmer, deeper perspective.
Here is a brief guide on how to get started
STEP 1: Find a quiet, peaceful location
STEP 2: Get seated comfortably in a straight backed chair, or on the floor cross legged. If you slouch, sit with your back against a wall. You mway want to try being out in nature with your back against a tree. The key is to keep your spine straight as this allows your Qi or Chi to flow more easily. More importantly than posture you must feel comfortable or you nay be distracted by aches and pains in your body
STEP 3: Use a mantra to distract your chattering mind. Something as simple as “Peace. Space. Calm” is ideal. Now imagine (visualise) what your ideal environment for “Peace. Space. Calm” would be.
STEP 4: Put your hands on your belly. Take three slow deep breaths. Breath deep into your belly and feel your belly pushing your hands up. Do your best to keep your shoulders relaxed and loose as you breath.
STEP 5: Now visualise “Peace. Space. Calm” and say the mantra to yourself as you breath in “Peace. Space. Calm”, hold the breath for two seconds and then repeat your mantra “Peace. Space. Calm” as you breath out. It is as simple as this. Repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
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What benefits can your expect to see from regular meditation?
As a result of this practice, you will naturally become less engaged with those inner voices that generally spout inane drivel or negative self-talk. Gradually you will begin to notice that your inner self-critic settles down and becomes silenced too.
In the freedom of that silence you get to live each moment with a greater awareness of your true spirit, and in that space, like a rose bud opening, you get to realise that you are valuable simply as you are – not because of anything you do.
Gently, and before you know it, your confidence reveals itself to you and you find yourself feeling more open and courageous, willing to take bigger steps, and taking the occasional risk is something you so in your stride while happily overriding any previous perceived or predicted failure.
Through meditation the very sense of yourself, your true essence if you like, has become untangled from failure programming and false perceptions of your own inadequacy, and like leaves in autumn, imperceptibly begin to fall away. Though much of this process happens automatically through regular practice, there are also a number of things you can do to help things along:
Build yourself up with positive self-talk.
Before, or after your meditation sessions, spend a few minutes speaking positively and kindly to and about you. For this exercise, I like to think that I’m sitting with the 6-year-old me and giving her gentle, caring words of encouragement.
It’s always best to keep your statement in short sentences and in simple language. Say things that you can effortlessly agree with so that your subconscious mind will be more likely to accept your words without protest.
Try statements like these:
“I am proud of myself. I feel clever and smart today”. “I can do whatever I focus my mind on”. “I believe in myself and my abilities”. It’s fun to be me” “I feel confident and popular”. “I have many gifts and talents”. “I thrive on challenges”. “I accept myself even though I sometimes make mistakes.” “I do my best.“ “I believe in my dreams.”
Visualisation is a perfect complement to meditation and can dramatically improve your results. Here is how to get the best out of it:
- Spend a few minutes each day seeing yourself as completely strong and confident in whatever you do.
- Next, ask yourself what would it feel like to be super strong and purposeful every day?
- Generate the confident feeling by remembering a time when you felt that way.
- If you can’t remember feeling confident to that degree then think of a character in a book or the movies that embodies that quality. Then imagine yourself playing that role, feeling how confidence feels at the same time.
This is powerful because your mind really does not know the difference between tangible reality and your imagined reality. It loves to practice for success, so the more often you imagine yourself feeling and acting confidently, the easier you’ll find it to be confident in your day to day experiences.
One common cause of low self-confidence is pervasive memories of past failures. However, the problem lies not in the failed attempts themselves, but how you feel about them. More often than not it is the self-judgments you made and the conclusions you came to that undermine your confidence and scupper your efforts now.
You see, once you have convinced yourself that trying new things ends in embarrassing or painful failure, every new attempt at success becomes tainted with discomfort and that glaring memory blinking at you in your rear-view mirror.
You can’t move forwards looking back. How can you expect to create a new outcome by playing out the old one over and over again? It just doesn’t make sense, does it? So, perhaps it’s time to re-engage your imagination and play out better a better scenario using the “what if” principal.
The ‘what if’ principal allows you to see ‘failure’ as an experiment and opportunity to try again?
Think of it like this:
What if you were to use your pre-meditation time to play out different possibilities and outcomes that end in you feeling successful and confident?
What if you already have all you need right there inside you waiting for permission to come out?
What if you followed this advice and had a more powerful meditation sessions?
What if once you affirm and confirm, in the ways described above, that you are courageous and confident – and discovered that you really are?
I would say that without a doubt, as soon as you begin, you will begin to see, feel and reap the benefits of your own inner success whether you know it yet or not.
~ End ~
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