Loving ourselves does not come easy to most of us. Even the (seemingly) most confident and successful of people suffer from low self-esteem. You can’t always gauge it from their demeanor or behavior, but these are the people who sink into the depths of depression after just one setback. These are the people who march along fine and then lose all courage and motivation to take the next step if they fail just once.
Becoming more confident starts with the recognition that you hold the power to change your thoughts. Discover the roots of low self-esteem, so you can weed out all negativity from within you.
The Roots of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem stems from a skewed sense of the Self. It is unfortunate, but most of us tend to form opinions about ourselves and our abilities from the opinions of others. And even more unfortunately, society tends to define a person by his successes and failures in just a few isolated areas of his life. So a person is an "achiever" if he holds a cushy job, owns a swanky condo, and drives the latest make of SUV. On the other hand, the man on Social Security who shares his food with homeless people and donates blood every three months is a "loser" and is treated with pity or contempt.
Our upbringing also determines how we see ourselves. As kids, many of us were labeled "good" or "bad" depending on how we performed on the soccer field or fared in class. The labels remained etched in our minds, and we continued to believe ourselves to be losers even when we made it big as adults.
How Meditation Boosts Self-Esteem
The roots of low self-esteem go deep inside the mind. These long-held beliefs cannot just be shrugged off. You need to work on your mind to alter deep-seated beliefs. Meditation helps you unearth these negative attitudes, process them, and replace them with more accurate and positive beliefs.
Meditation is an established mind-control technique that you can incorporate into your daily life very easily. It is not only a method of mental relaxation but also an effective way to channel your thoughts, streamline your attitudes, and alter your belief system. Meditation teaches you to control your mind, so you can be more optimistic and positive. Here’s how meditation boosts self-esteem.
1. By teaching you to analyze events objectively
Meditation calms the mind, so you are able to analyze events objectively and without bias. You are able to see reality as it is without being swayed by the opinion of others. Meditation teaches you to calm the emotions raging inside you that would otherwise cloud your judgment and color your perceptions. Thus you are able to analyze what is happening around you or to you without being influenced by fear, frustration, anger, or disappointment. You are able to glean greater and clearer insights about events.
2. By teaching you detachment, or the trick to separate the "you" from what is happening in your life
You have to realize that failures don’t define you. You need to understand that a single setback does not make you a loser nor does it negate everything that you have achieved till date. For these realizations to come through to you, you must be able to separate the "you as a whole" from your imperfect behaviours that you’d like to improve. You can do something that is awkward, without jumping to conclude ‘I’m awkward’. Your specific behaviour in that specific situation at that specific time was awkward, but that doesn’t make YOU awkward globally, all-inclusively.
Being able to analyze your behaviour and events objectively and without being swayed by your emotions or the opinions of others lets you obtain clearer insights. You learn to keep the "totality of YOU" separated when you evaluate your behaviours in certain situations. You realize that you failed because you didn’t have adequate or the necessary resources at your disposal and NOT because you are inefficient as a whole. You realize that you failed because you didn’t have the insider’s knowledge needed to do the job and NOT because you are a moron.
3. By helping you to calm the mind and drown out external noise
Meditation teaches you to calm your mind, shut out external noise, gather the perspectives, and process the information in your mind. When you are mentally calm, you are able to ignore the opinions of others (You are no good.) and focus on the realities of the situation (Things didn’t work out because I didn’t have the right tools to do the job). When you are mentally calm, you are able to bust illusions and see societal conventions for what they really are—opinions of other people about what "success" looks like and how you should live your life.
When you are mentally calm, you realize that you can choose not to live by other people’s rules. When you are mentally calm and can see reality for what it is, you realize you are what you are and NOT what other people think you to be.
4. By helping you visualize yourself in a new and positive light
Visualization is a powerful performance-boosting exercise. Through visualization, you can implant helpful thoughts and images into your sub-conscious mind that weaken and eventually transform the negative beliefs crowding in there.
The sub-conscious mind is very suggestible. Through visualization, we can send helpful messages (in the form of images and associated positive feelings) "down there" and these will reverberate throughout our mind and manifest in our behaviour. Now the sub-conscious mind also drives you to project specific vibes and act the way you do in real life. So you will definitely want to supply your mind with some truly helpful, positive images and thoughts.
Visualize yourself in a positive light and see yourself as a capable individual who sails through life’s challenges with resolve and without fumbling and blundering. Mentally rehearse feeling bold and acting the way you’d really like to in specific situations. The more you feed these thoughts to your mind, the more powerful it becomes, and you grow more confident about tackling these situations in real life.
5. By letting you visualize the ideal "you"
It is imperative that you shut out external noise, so you can have the right perspective and reorder your priorities.
Now we often gain the right perspective and create our priorities and agendas after seeing and emulating our idols. It is our deepest desire to be like our idol and act like him or her. Our self-esteem gets a huge boost when we are actually able to behave and act like our idols would do in specific situations.
Meditation gives you the quiet mental space you need to put yourself in your idol’s shoes, think like him or her, imagine how he or she would respond to certain situations, and visualize yourself acting likewise. Being able to detach your Self a bit from the events in your life and not be swayed by your emotions, memories, and aspirations lets you be objective, so you can see the world from your idol’s eyes, with your vision unclouded and unbiased. You can visualize yourself being as efficient, productive, and successful as your idol.
This is a powerful exercise. The mental images you conjure up remain etched in your sub-conscious mind and provide you with the drive, motivation, and courage to act as you want to in real life.
The ancient Stoics called this technique "Contemplation of the Ideal Sage." As the Roman Stoic philosopher and statesman Seneca said, "There is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against, you won’t make the crooked straight." He advised his students to ask themselves, "What would the Sage do?" when they were confronted by challenges and struggle to find answers.
6. By providing you with the mental space to practice positive self-talk
Practicing positive self-talk is a great way to implant helpful ideas into your sub-conscious mind. When you get into the habit of using a more friendly, self-compassionate and constructive inner voice, you gradually cement these helpful messages in your mind and shape your belief system for the better.
When the mind has been mired in negativity for too long, it is often difficult to tweak your thoughts and think more positively. Guided meditation can help you gently channel your thoughts into a more helpful direction and learn to relate to your Self and life’s challenges in a new way.
Becoming more confident is about unlearning the pattern of harsh self-judgment and developing a stable sense of global self-worth, that is not dependent on the continuous flux of ups and downs of everyday life.
When you leave the "I should've known this. I’m no good.." battlefield behind, you’ll save lots of energy that you can focus on actually getting down to improving the skills you need to. When you nurture such a relationship with your Self, you’ll be able to accept challenges as part of life’s deal and refuse to let failures define you or bring you down.
* How Meditable app helps you to become more confident?
Meditable app is coming soon with various guided meditations to boost your self-esteem - in a unique editable way. Our guided meditation app allows you to customize your daily meditation sessions while focusing on your most precious goals. Meditable is supporting the concept of goal meditation and gives you a toolset of meditation techniques to reach your goals through mental visualizations, suggestions and self-statements. In our app you can build your meditations just like a Spotify playlist, and you decide how long will you meditate and which goals of yours would you work on. Meditable is all about creating a personalized meditation experience and our team is going to work on putting even more options to customize your own meditation. We are creating the ultimate editable guided meditation platform, where all of our content is built on strong psychological foundations.
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