I'm someone who's always had a difficult time meditating, mostly because I find it challenging to tune out the running thoughts in my head. It took some practice, but it's something I now try to incorporate into my daily routine as much as possible. For those of you that already utilize meditation, you probably know that it's an effective way to relax, but I'm learning it can be used for many other purposes, too. If you’re trying to build confidence, a daily mindfulness practice may help!
Self-confidence is one of the most important ingredients for your happiness and success.
It makes you feel more motivated and energetic. It helps you to reach your goals. It can even strengthen your relationships and enhance your health.
I've always been a wallflower. I'm much more comfortable on the side lines or behind the scenes than I've ever been in the spotlight. But I've also missed out on so many experiences in life because I was self conscious or doubted my ability to do something well without even trying. I've learned that self doubt can narrow your experiences and opportunities if you shy away from taking risks. Meditation creates a safe space to look at yourself and your habits with honesty and courage.
I had misconceptions about what meditation was before trying it myself. It's simply carving out some space and time in your day for yourself, to be present in the moment and to let go of negative thoughts and energy. For me, it's like having a conversation with yourself, and making sure to treat myself with kindness. If you're like me, sometimes talking to yourself with kindness is a challenge. Being aware of your thoughts and the way that you think gives you an opportunity to transform the way you treat yourself.
Here's how to start meditation if you've never tried it before:
1. Scan your body. Your posture affects your confidence. Start your meditation by sitting up tall and taking deep breaths. Examine yourself from head to foot to spot any discomfort. Try squeezing your muscles and then releasing them.
2. Let go of judgement. Notice your thoughts and feelings without criticizing them. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses (this one is really difficult for me).
3. Challenge your assumptions. Do you hold onto doubts that prevent you from doing things you want to do? Rewire your thinking by examining your typical reactions and considering more constructive ways to approach the challenge.
4. Make conscious decisions. It’s easy to wind up drifting along on autopilot. I spent a lot of time set on autopilot—time I wish I could get back now. But you can take charge of life and go after the things that you want, and using meditation helps bring that to the forefront for you.
Here are some tips on how to utilize meditation to be kind to yourself and boost your confidence:
1. Change your self-talk. What does your internal voice sound like? Replace negative talk with kind feedback. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your closest friends.
2. Chant mantras. I know, this one sounds weird, right? But it really works! Reciting uplifting words and phrases is a proven way to stay focused during meditation. Write your own encouraging affirmations or find inspiration in devotionals and self-help books.
3. Nurture yourself. Scheduling daily meditation time is a great way to start investing in your confidence and wellbeing. I try to make wellness, regular exercise or activity, and restorative sleep as much a part of my routine as I can. Taking care of yourself is important. Remember, you can't take good care of anyone else if you're not taking care of yourself first.
4. Seek support. Memories of the past and other influences in life can make it difficult to show compassion for yourself. If you're struggling with that inner voice and what it says, consider trying guided meditations where someone else helps lead you through meditating.
We all know that true confidence comes from within. You have to learn to believe in yourself and all that you are capable of. And if you're shaking your head in disbelief as you read this, know that I believe in you and I believe that you are capable of such wonderfully amazing things. Discover what makes your heart happy, and always treat yourself with love. Meditation has helped me do that, and I hope it helps you, too!