Confidence. Regardless of having its own carefully articulated dictionary meaning I strongly believe that confidence means different things for different people. It could be having the ability to do what scares one most, it could be learning to trust one’s own judgement rather than seeking it from others. For me personally, confidence is the ability to love and accept myself just as I am and not allow others to cloud that through comparison. That is what confidence is for me.
It took me some time to realise that my confidence was strongly linked to my self-esteem. Yes, I know it seems like a bit of a “well duh” moment but I honestly had to dig deep to work out that certain barriers in my life were actually a result of my lack of confidence which I then learned was connected to my self-esteem.
Now my own personal journey of breaking down all the belief systems and concepts that I had developed over my entire life took years. But don’t freak out, I believe that for the most part I stumbled around blindly for a long time not really knowing what to research, who to talk to, what to read, and so forth. But if I could go back and learn one tool to start my journey off with, just one, it would be the art of mindfulness meditation.
Yup. Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves the implementation of techniques that allow you to step away from everything and focus on the here and now in order to train your mind to disconnect from the world and achieve a clear, emotionally calm and stable mind.
For years I struggled with low confidence and self-esteem. It began in my childhood and carried on into my twenties. It wasn’t till I found the practice of mindfulness meditation that I was able to learn to not only separate myself from all the stress of the world but I was able to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable whether that be issues from everyday life or battles within myself.
Believe me when I say this tool is the foundational tool needed in order to begin building your own wellness upon. The ability to disconnect from the world and even your own self defeating inner thoughts allows you to stop, pause, breath, ground, and recharge yourself. But what if you struggle to develop this foundational tool? Well once again, it could come down to your confidence and self-esteem.
What many don’t know is that when your self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem are subjected to your own harsh judgement then you don’t have the ability to sit with yourself through that discomfort. When you aren’t able to sit and love yourself unconditionally with full acceptance, then you won’t have the ability to sit with yourself through any discomfort you may be experiencing, let alone meditate.
The inability to carry out mindfulness meditation is the inability to separate yourself from your thoughts.
So what’s the relationship between the two? Well, building the ability to be able to sit with yourself comfortably is something that can be learned through any sort of meditative practice. Imagine being able to observe your thoughts in a non-judgemental way that allows you to see them for what they are without them taking control over you. This is what can be achieved through meditation. Meditation is unique in that it allows you to separate yourself from your thoughts while simultaneously building a deeper connection with yourself. And that ability, that loving, non-judgemental relationship with yourself is a big contributing factor towards building positive self-esteem and confidence.
Patterns of overwhelming negative thoughts and beliefs have the potential to diminish your confidence and self-esteem. And when your confidence and self-esteem are impacted negatively it begins to impact the other areas of your life such as intimate relationships, work performance, parenting and so forth.
If you want to learn tools that build confidence and teach you to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, then you need to practice mindfulness meditation. Meaningful and intentional mindfulness meditation will teach you how to sit with yourself through both the good and the hard moments in life.
Remember, there are no bad moments in life, just hard moments, and that’s okay.
See the reality is we can’t control the world and what happens. We can, however, learn specific tools that allow us to become more comfortable, flexible, and resilient when life ‘happens’ and that in turn can build our confidence.
I won’t lie, mindfulness meditation does take time to master. But the good news is it’s not a talent you need to be born with but simply a skill that anyone can develop over time with a bit of practice. I’ve been practising mindfulness meditation for some time now and I truly believe it’s one of the most effective tools you can have in your toolbox to help build your confidence and self-esteem.
Developing and harnessing the life skill of mindfulness meditation will help to develop the ability to disconnect from the world and tune into yourself and, in turn, improve your confidence and self-esteem.