How exactly does meditation help you become self-confident? Find out here in this article on guided meditation for self-confidence.
If you have low self-confidence, your life will be a constant stream of struggles; you will likely struggle with your relationships, your career, and other areas of your life because how you see yourself largely influences the decisions you make in life, big and little. It also affects how you see the world around you. It’s unfortunate to see many people with amazing talents who lack self-confidence. The good thing is self-confidence is one of the by-products of meditation. In this article, we will talk about self-esteem and self-confidence and how to nurture and develop them through meditation.
When you exude confidence, you make a strong impression on people and that helps you gain credibility. It also makes other people trust that you are able to handle pressure and manage personal and professional problems. That is reassuring to people, for example, the HR manager interviewing you. Hence, confidence is a desirable trait.
We are not born with confidence. While some people may exude a natural sense of confidence by their body language and their speech, they were not born with them, confidence is not an innate thing. Certain situations developed in their lives – their family background, life and professional experiences. All that developed their confidence. Some experiences, however, shook a person’s confidence, sometimes for life. Or at least for a stage in a person’s life, such as the teen years.
Unfortunately, many people lack or have low confidence. People with anxieties, in particular, tend to lack self-confidence because they have fears. These fears stop them from putting themselves out there, taking chances, and grabbing opportunities. You could miss many life opportunities if you are one of these people. Also, a lack of self-confidence may stop you from going after what you want.
The word confidence first entered the English dictionary in the 14th century. Confidence comes from the Latin word “fido” which means “to trust.” It is the belief that you can succeed and act accordingly to achieve your needs and wants. It is also the belief that you can survive life’s challenges.
In 1890, philosopher William James emphasized that self-confidence is a virtue in his book ‘The Principles of Psychology.’ He wrote, “Belief what is in the line of your needs, for only by such belief is the need fulfilled. Have faith that you can successfully make it, and your feet are nerved to its accomplishment”.
In the same year, Dr. Frederick Needham also spoke about self-confidence in his speech at the opening of the Psychology Section of the British Medical Journal. He said, “liberty of action, extended exercise, and occupation, thus generating self-confidence and becoming, not only excellent tests of the patient’s sanity but operating powerfully in promoting recovery.”
During World War 1, psychologists saw how soldiers with solid and healthy bodies were more confident on the battlefield.
During the Great Depression, Philip Eisenberg and Paul Lazarsfeld noted how a person’s self-confidence dipped when he lost his job. He also stated that he felt more when he thought it was his fault for losing his job. They also pointed out that the longer a person becomes jobless, the more he loses confidence.
In his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Abraham Maslow argues that people are only motivated to pursue self-confidence when their psychological needs have been met. These needs are survival, safety, love and belonging. Furthermore, Maslow argues that once people achieve self-confidence, they pursue self-actualization.
After World War II, a plethora of research about self-confidence emerged.
The concept of self-confidence is nothing new. It is your self-assurance in your judgment, power, ability, etc. When you win or accomplish something, you feel more confident. But when you fail or lose at something and, worse still, believe it is your own doing, your self-confidence dips. That’s the time you need to practice self-love.
Self-love is the foundation of self-confidence. Without self-love, you will not see yourself as a human being worthy of love, kindness, compassion and trust. Self-esteem, like self-confidence, can be developed. Building confidence and gaining it back when you lose it is necessary. You see yourself as worthy when you love yourself, even when you fail. So, you show yourself kindness and compassion and try again or look for another opportunity.
When you practice self-love, you give priority to yourself. Then, you nurture yourself to trust that it can continue moving forward. However, some people find that self-love leads to overconfidence or narcissism. After all, one of the common traits of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is overconfidence.
Does practicing self-love with self-confidence lead to narcissism?
The short answer is – No.
Self-confidence is about trusting yourself to overcome whatever comes your way, whether you fail. It is self-love. You recognize yourself as a human being with your idiosyncrasies and flaws, but you also trust that you are capable.
Narcissism is about overly trusting yourself and having a sense of superiority over others. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) doesn’t see himself as a flawed human being. He has an attitude of entitlement and always believes he has better ideas than others. He always insists on having things his way, often at the expense of other people.
Self-love is a different thing altogether. It comes from loving yourself and, at the same time, accepting that you are not perfect.
Self-love is also about accepting that other people are as flawed as you are. So, you give people the same kindness and compassion you give yourself.
Narcissism, on the other hand, doesn’t see he is flawed. To him, he is always right; everyone else is at fault. So, they don’t take accountability. It is difficult for this kind of people to admit their mistakes and resolve to change for the better.
Self-love is Confidence in yourself, yet recognizing your limitations and forgiving yourself. Narcissism is shame in your limits, so you overcompensate by acting very confident regardless of what happens to others or yourself.
Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.”
It means it is natural for human beings to make mistakes. Having loads of self-confidence doesn’t mean you will always be correct. It also doesn’t mean you will only trust yourself when the circumstances are perfect. Self-confidence is accepting that you are only human and that some things are out of your control. Thus, you will take action even when everything is not perfect. When plans don’t turn out the way you want them to, you accept and forgive yourself for having limitations.
Self-confidence is not innate. Another thing to remember is that your confidence index is not always at the same level every time and in every area of your life. You may be highly confident in certain areas of your life — like your job, which you have come to master over the years. But in other areas of your life, your confidence could be at an ebb – like in relationships or meeting people for the first time.
But the reassuring thing is that this pattern is the same in everyone. All of us will be confident in certain areas of our lives. And feel so tentative and insecure in other areas. We must therefore accept that reality and be prepared to forgive ourselves for our failings and weaknesses. Even if we feel guilty for a while, don’t let this feeling of guilt control us for an extended period.
Meditation is an ancient practice across all religions. But it’s a religious practice that even non-religious and atheists can benefit from because meditation has many benefits. One is increasing your self-love, which increases your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Low levels of self-love usually mean you are overly critical of yourself. It is prevalent in people with Social Anxiety Disorder. According to researchers at Stanford University, in their study published in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, meditation can help these people improve their self-image.
Philippe Goldin, the head researcher in the study, said, “many people beat themselves up once in a while. People with SAD get stuck on negative views of themselves”. But, he added, “The idea is that if a person has the psychological flexibility to shift freely from one mode of thinking to another, then that is a sign of health,” said Goldin. Goldin also said mindfulness meditation helps people focus on the present moment and other areas of life instead of the imperfections of the self.
Goldin’s study showed that participants described themselves more positively after practicing meditation, using words such as loved and admired instead of coward or afraid.
Two other studies published in the Journal of Positive Psychology also support this claim. The studies show that mindfulness meditation is one factor that significantly affects a person’s psychological well-being. It also offers direct positive effects on how people see themselves explaining that it helps people feel more love for themselves and satisfaction.
The very heart of meditation is to let go our all our ideas of the self. It may sound scary at first, especially if you have shaky self-confidence. But when you see yourself in a negative light, letting go of the notions that you are not good enough can help you focus on other areas of life. Once you let go of that negative notion, it will be easier to see yourself as a worthy human, despite your flaws and weakness.
Are you ready to start boosting your self-confidence and acceptance? Here are some guided meditations:
Guided Meditation for Self-Love
When you have self-love, you have high self-esteem. If you see yourself as an esteemed individual worthy of love and trust, that in itself will increase self-confidence. So, if you struggle with loving yourself, this guided meditation for self-love and acceptance will help you.
This guided meditation self-love is only 15 minutes, so you don’t have to take much time to practice it. You can practice it in the morning, during your lunch break, or before bed. It starts with relaxing your body and listening to your breath. Then, the meditation teacher will guide you to give love to yourself by accepting, appreciating, and forgiving yourself.
Guided Meditation for Self-Confidence and Motivation
This is a short guided meditation for self-confidence and stress relief. It’s only 15 minutes long. The meditation teacher suggests you practice this before going to an event you feel nervous about. It’s a brief guided meditation to help you come back to your breath and practice if your mind wanders. If you are new to meditation, you will love this guided meditation.
Guided Meditation for Self-Acceptance
Struggling with self-acceptance is familiar to many of us. But once you become aware of your limitations and mistakes, it will be easier to accept self-acceptance, forgiveness and love. In this guided meditation for self-acceptance, you will learn that you have positive and negative traits like others. The key is to find the balance between these two and give yourself love and compassion despite the negative attributes. The meditation teacher also encourages you to provide gratitude for your negative traits because they make you who you are. Finally, she also invites you to look at the beauty behind the darkness you see in yourself.
Self-confidence is something that external factors can influence. But once you see yourself positively by practicing meditation, you will come to terms with yourself. You will see that there is light inside of you despite your imperfections and flaws that makes you worthy of love, trust, and compassion from yourself and others.
Do you struggle to accept who you are? If your answer is yes, join our 30-day Free Meditation challenge, and we will help you build habits that will improve your self-acceptance, self-love, and self-confidence.