Building Confidence

One of the most important steps a person can take in their personal development is in building their own self confidence coupled with improving their self esteem. This one area has major repercussions in everyday life in all areas so it is so important to focus on with some measure of urgency if you are lacking in this area.

But how do you boost your self confidence if it is low? This article takes a look at some of the ways in which you can help yourself to a better level of self worth and how to be more confident through the way that you think and the things that you do every day.


meditatingThe first place to start when working on confidence boosting is the seat of all control, your mind. It is quite common for people with low self confidence to habitually maintain an inner conversation with themselves that is negative and self-defeating. This can be changed albeit with some effort on your part, but it can be changed.

The first place to go is to learn how to quieten and becalm your mind from its relentless activity. It doesn't matter what is going through your mind, you just have to slow it down and eventually learn how to switch it off. You do this through meditation.

Many people are discouraged from practising meditation because their friends or peers deride the practice as "hippy" or "new age" and are apt to place a derogatory label on its practitioners as "not being in the real world" or "away with the fairies!" Nothing could be further from the truth, although the majority of those that would deride the practice are often themselves ignorant of its procedure and benefits.

Go Your Own Way

Fleetwood Mac sung about "You got to go your own way" and the message is clear that you have to do what you think is right and ignore the naysayers and debunkers of anything they don't understand. If it makes you uncomfortable to be meditating, then give it a different label to make you feel better about it.

Try "relaxation" or "me time" and that will make it a lot easier for people to understand and accept.

Meditating releases the mind from its burden of constant thought and allows you to truly relax and de-stress. It also allows you to, with practice it must be said, teach yourself to think more positive thoughts habitually in order to displace the stream of negativity that besets most people without them even realizing it.

How to Meditate

Doing it is pretty simple and requires only that you find a place that you can go regularly that is quiet, comfortable and where you are not likely to be interrupted. A bedroom in your home is ideal if you can switch off phones, computers and other contact devices. You should be out of earshot (and definitely out of sight) of televisions, radio or other intrusive media and not be expecting visitors.

Once you have found the right place (and it should be a place you feel comfortable and safe in) then you can start to allow yourself to relax and "switch off" from normal day to day life. The room doesn't need to be dark, but it can help if lighting is low.

You should aim for around 30 minutes or so for this to be effective, although as little as 10 minutes can be beneficial. Some people like to take short meditative breaks while others prefer to spend an hour or more.

Start with closing your eyes and consciously breathing in and out very slowly and deliberately. Take deep breaths as this helps to physically relax your body. Focus your thoughts entirely on each breath that you take. You can sub vocalize (think) a simple word like "relax" drawing it our mentally each time you exhale to further enhance the relaxing nature of this exercise.

The Early Days

In the beginning, all you really need to do is to be conscious of your mind being empty of all thoughts. If it helps to focus your attention onto a nondescript object such as a point of light or a ball, do that. The idea is to focus your thought on a single item that is unlikely to set off your "train of thought" about any particular subject.

In the early days, you will probably still find your mind going off on one of its inner conversations, but you will be ready for this and as soon as you notice yourself doing it, you can literally tell yourself to stop and then go back and clear your mind. It takes practice to get to the point where you can start relaxing and have your mind completely clear for any length of time.

Self Suggestion

Once you have become proficient at keeping your mind clear of unwanted thoughts, you can start to introduce positive affirmations to start building your confidence up. These should be personal to you and in a manner that feels right. Something along the lines of Emile Coue's popular affirmation:

"Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better"

- is a good one. Or you can tailor it to your own needs. Remember that an affirmation must always be in the positive and should be about what you want to achieve.

Never make an affirmation about something you want to get rid of or use the negative in a sentence. You are impressing the subconscious with what you want and it does not differentiate between what you want and what you don't want.

This is a beginning step to take and it can work extremely well by approaching the problem from two sides. By the one, you are dealing better with stress by learning to relax. By the other you are replacing habitual negative streams of inner conversation with positive affirmations that you can continue to think about throughout the day and not just when meditating.

If you're still sceptical, that's fine and to be expected. But do try it first before you discard it and give it a chance. You may benefit greatly from this exercise.