How Meditation Can Improve Your Confidence…

How Meditation Can Improve Your Confidence

Meditation Changes Lives

Imagine you are at a party and three people catch your attention.

One is dominating the center of the room, speaking with high volume, and cracking jokes.

There’s a circle of onlookers drawn by the boisterous noise and laugher.

The second person is alone by the window, sipping a drink, watching the party.

The third stands with several others, relating a story to an engaged audience, and the whole group radiates a relaxed, comfortable energy.

Which person has the most confidence?

Actually it’s hard to tell.

The first probably has charisma, even if his gregarious nature may rankle a bit.

The second seems to be shy, but may be perfectly comfortable hanging out in space, observing, and waiting for a moment to present itself.

The third person has a quiet sense of command when needed.

What if you could feel comfortable being all three people?

Meditation seems like an odd source of confidence, but there are several ways that this works.

Shamatha meditation is a technique which is also called “peaceful abiding”.

This type of meditation is generally done while sitting for a certain amount of time, relaxing with the attention on the breath, and returning the mind to the breath when it goes gallivanting off (which is frequent!).

How can something so simple-sounding be the ground for confidence?

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Trusting in Yourself

The practice of this type of meditation brings up all kinds of things in your mind, such as:

  • Boredom: “This is so pointless, just sitting here doing nothing. I need to get up and do something, or I’ll jump out of my skin.”
  • Fear: “All I do is think about bad things that have happened in the past, or bad things that could happen in the future. My mind is not a safe place to hang out in. I need to stay distracted.”
  • Doubt: “I can’t do this. I don’t even think I am doing it right. Maybe I’m just not cut out for meditation. Maybe I’m not the right kind of person.”
  • Existentialism/Nihilism: “Why am I even on this planet? Is there a purpose? Is there a God? What if there’s nothing? Maybe I’m just making everything up in my own head.”

Learning to sit and practice through situations such as these has a remarkable, unseen rewiring effect on the mind.

You are actually learning to make peace with all those thoughts, becoming less reactionary towards them, letting them go.

The magic (and misunderstanding) of meditation is that progress doesn’t happen on the meditation cushion; you don’t really get better at sitting there.

The results actually manifest in everyday life, in the way you think, in your attitudes, in coping skills, and in relationships…

Particularly in your relationship with yourself.

What arises from this practice is a deep trust in yourself, an inner knowing that you can handle what comes up, both in your mind and in your daily existence.

You  “meet” yourself, maybe for the first time ever, and discover that you have every right to be a human being.

Trusting in Your World

The corollary to trusting yourself is learning to trust your world and the people with whom you interact.

When you relax from micromanaging your internal world, you discover you don’t need to micromanage the outer one either.

How many times have you prepared a conversation in your head before talking to someone?

Trusting that you can say what you need to say, and realizing that the other person is free to respond however she chooses, is incredibly liberating.

How much energy do you expend deciding how your world should look and act?

It seems like a paradox, but the self-discipline of meditation teaches you to lessen the tendency to control everything.

Relax, choose to be spontaneous now and then, and trust that you are supported by this world.

So let’s go back to our party.

You’ve been practicing meditation for a while, but you’re not sure you’ve developed any confidence.

You stand by the window, drink in hand, observing how everyone- including yourself- has a right to be, to exist just as they are in this moment.

Someone notices you, drawn by the pensive look on your face, and begins a conversation.

Soon a few people have gathered, nodding and smiling as they recognize the human condition in the story you are telling.

And you realize you feel comfortable being in your own skin.

A little confidence is born.


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Bethany Perron

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Bethany Perron is a trained life coach and bellydance instructor, specializing in self-empowerment for women. Her wish is to support…

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