Do you believe it is possible to improve your self-confidence in as little as 15 minutes?
I used to lack self-confidence. I was extremely quiet, even a little shy in many social settings. Although people now would never believe this, I used to doubt myself a great deal. I have literally had to learn confidence by paying attention to my wise mind, through meditation and mindfulness. When I carve out just a bit of time– sometimes only fifteen minutes– to sit on my meditation cushion, I can just let my thoughts go by. This meditation method is “just sitting”, or “zazen” in the Zen tradition.
Without trying to change or manipulate your thoughts–no matter what they are–just sit and watch your thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky.
Usually, in as little as fifteen minutes you will notice you no longer feel the doubts or unease about whatever was on your mind. An optimistic self-confidence naturally bubbles up and feels like just one other aspect of you–it’s a very natural part of your nature. When we try to analyze every thought and interaction throughout our day we can get ourselves in trouble. This “thinking mind” easily gets caught in circular thinking which doesn’t feel very good at all!
Experiencing this relaxed, optimistic confidence is also a lot more fun than analyzing things to death.
Some people have naturally high levels of confidence but everybody can learn to have more confidence. First, it’s important to get a clear idea of what self-confidence really means, otherwise you won’t know when you’ve got it! So, self-confidence means:
1) Being calm. For every situation in life you need to be running on the appropriate level of emotion. Too much emotional ‘leakage’ into an experience can dull or cancel out your awareness of the true nature of the experience. You make huge steps in confidence building when you begin to relax in a wider range of situations. So, give your emotional mind a little rest and you will reap huge rewards in the self-confidence arena.
2) Being cool. This second part of self-confidence is about being okay with uncertainty. Notice I didn’t say comfortable. To be ‘cool’ in a situation means relaxing even when you don’t know how things are going to turn out for you. So there is a certain amount of discomfort that we must sustain before we begin relaxing into the unknowns in our daily routines.
There is a wonderful book that I love and it’s all about facing our fear monsters. I highly recommend: The Places That Scare You, by Pema Chodron if you are ready to get going with your project or idea but feel fear is holding you back.
3.) Being unconcerned about what others are thinking about you. We really tend to let our imaginations go wild with our thoughts about others thoughts about us. Once we see that we have absolutely no control over anyone’s thoughts but our own we begin to live more realistically. After all, it is likely that most of our second guessing of other’s thoughts is just plain wrong anyway!
4.) Getting very specific about exactly where in your life you want your self-confidence to manifest. You don’t need more self-confidence everywhere because you already have it in many areas. You know what areas you feel confident in and what areas are lacking. Write down what it is you want in your life that self-confidence will help with. Think about what you want, and be very detailed. See yourself in earlier situations now where you’ve been that you want a higher level of confidence. As you are imagining yourself there now you are beginning to gently steer your brain towards confidence.
5.) Understanding that your expectations set the tone for what you receive. Your brain needs clear goals to work towards. If you’ve given your brain a task to complete it does everything it can to make sure it gets done. Think about when you try to remember someone’s name but can’t. Hours pass and suddenly the name pops up, seemingly out of nowhere. What happened was that your “trying to recall” experience set up a blueprint for your brain’s future (hours later) subconscious behavior which produced the name for you. This happened without you consciously producing the name. All your brain needed was your clear goal and the setting of your intention!
You can use this blueprint for starting to feel more confident. But to make sure that you set up the right tasks for your subconscious mind, the next point is crucial:
6.) Uncluttering your mind of negative thoughts. This means, instead of thinking, ‘I don’t want to feel anxious and screw up’ (which sets the blueprint for screwing up), set the blueprint for what you do want! Your brain doesn’t comprehend what not to do so give it a clear goal to set the right task blueprint.
Now that you are beginning to understand how vital it is to give your brain the right task, you need to be able to do this consistently. A good hypnosis session will ‘program’ the correct blueprint in your mind with your imagination. If you powerfully imagine feeling confident and relaxed while in a relaxed hypnotic state, it will be difficult for your unconscious mind to do anything else. The blueprint for relaxation has been set firmly into your subconscious mind.
The following are three simple tips for getting you to feel confident quickly:
1.) Think specifically of the time/place/situation in which you wish to feel confident. Remember that ‘confidence’ doesn’t really mean anything unless you attach it to a specific area of your life.
2.) Allow your mind to focus now on words that describe exactly how you want to be in that time and place in that specific area of your life. Perhaps you see words such as ‘calm’, ‘focused’ or ‘relaxed’. (Remember your brain knows only how to work with clear and positive instruction you give it).
3.) Close your eyes for however long you wish and think about how those words feel. Then, imagine the situation itself, rehearsing it in your mind while feeling confident and relaxed. You are setting just the right blueprint for your unconscious mind to get to work. Repeat this often and you will make it even more effective. You can use it with however many areas of your life as you need.
If you listen to a hypnotic CD or download, that can make the benefits even more powerful. So, if you’ve been feeling a lack of self-confidence in your life and noticing others seem to have so much more, you can start rectifying that imbalance by using your mind the right way now! It took me many years to learn how to be more confident – now you can do it in a fraction of the time. Good luck!