Confidence is a belief in yourself and your abilities.
It makes you feel good about yourself, and it allows you to perform better at any activity.
When you’re confident, you can talk to anyone about anything. You can play sports at a higher level. And you can do more productive, creative work.
In this article, I’ll cover why meditation is an extremely efficient way to build confidence. And then I’ll give you 3 easy steps to learn meditation and get started today.
Benefits of Meditation (for Confidence)
There are countless health benefits to meditation (all proven in scientific studies):
- Enhanced immune system
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved digestion
…but the #1 reason meditation builds confidence is because it stops negative self-talk!
You see, meditation essentially trains your brain to dissociate itself from the constant “mental chatter” going on inside your head. And this “mental chatter” is what causes you to lose confidence and get anxious in the first place!
In other words, meditation allows you to realize that you don’t have to listen to the voice inside your head… especially when it’s being negative and focusing on “bad” things about yourself (e.g. how you look, what people think about you, etc).
Think of it this way: when you’re feeling confident it’s almost always accompanied by a complete lack of thinking. You’re in the zone… you don’t think, you just DO!
When you’re feeling anxious or insecure, it’s almost always accompanied by A LOT of thinking… and it’s usually self-destructive thinking about how you’re going to fuck things up.
By meditating regularly, it becomes easier to “get in the zone,” turn your brain off, and stop negative self-talk. This is why studies have found that meditation “increases social self-confidence, sociability, general psychological health, and social maturity.”
Other studies have performed MRI scans, and found that meditating can actually increase the concentration of grey matter in areas of your brain associated with regulating emotions, introspection, and empathy… while decreasing grey matter in regions of the brain associated with anxiety, fear, and stress. Put simply: meditating can physically alter your brain to be less anxious and more confident!
Now let’s talk about 3 easy steps you can follow to build confidence through meditation…
Step #1: Learn How to Meditate
Let’s get one thing straight: there is no “right” way to meditate.
That being said, a basic mindfulness meditation is probably best because of how easy it is to pick up. In a nutshell, mindfulness meditation revolves around being “mindful” (i.e. focusing on the physical sensations of the present moment).
The easiest way to do this is to focus on your breathing. This works because when you focus fully on each inhalation and each exhalation, it’s very difficult to simultaneously think about anything else.
Here is a quick and easy way to put this into practice:
- Sit down on the floor or in a chair (maintain tall, erect posture)
Note: I prefer to lie down as shown in the picture above
- Set a 5 minute timer on your phone
- Begin breathing through your nose
- Feel the cool air enter your nose (and your belly rise) with each inhalation
- Feel the warm air exit your nose (and your body relax) with each exhalation
That’s literally all it takes. When you catch yourself thinking about anything besides your breathing (and you definitely will), simply re-focus on the next inhalation.
I strongly recommend using a guided meditation to get started. Here are 2 great options:
- 10 minute guided meditation on YouTube (free): I used this for my first 3 months
- Headspace App (free to try, option to subscribe): I currently use this
Step #2: Build the Habit of Meditating
Meditation is not something that you can do just once or twice and instantly reap all of the benefits.
The same way you need to brush your teeth every day to keep them clean and healthy, you need to meditate consistently to keep your mind quiet and confident.
The studies I linked above were conducted on subjects who meditated every day for an 8 week period. Personally I think that you’ll see a noticeable difference (in terms of your ability to stay out of your head and feel more confident) after about 2 weeks… but don’t expect to meditate today and wake up with superhero-level confidence tomorrow morning.
The most effective way to build the daily habit of meditation (and see quick results) is to make it a part of your daily routine. Personally, I’m a HUGE advocate of morning routines, and I strongly recommend that you create a morning routine right now if you don’t already have one.
Step #3: Use Mindful Breathing (When Anxious)
By following steps #1 and #2 above, and successfully building the habit of meditation, you’ll develop a quiet confidence that will stay with you no matter what you’re doing. By this I mean that you will naturally have fewer self-destructive thoughts and generally feel more confident…
…but I believe that you’ll sacrifice an amazing benefit of meditation if you don’t consciously apply mindfulness to your life in times of stress.
Here’s what I mean:
Imagine that you’re in a stressful social situation, like when you notice a cute girl you want to approach at the bar. However, instead of than saying hello you get nervous and start to tense up. You start thinking of a bunch of excuses to not approach her, or all the ways you could screw it up…
Or maybe you’re sitting at home and you start to over-analyze something that’s on your mind. Maybe it’s whether or not you should ask for a promotion at work. Or maybe it’s why that girl you just texted hasn’t responded yet.
Either way, you get lost in a whirlwind of negative thoughts, become completely paralyzed, and feel like complete shit about yourself.
Here’s what you should do instead:
- Catch yourself getting lost in negative thoughts
- Focus on your breathing (like you’re doing a mini-meditation)
- Relax your body (especially your shoulders, neck, and chest)
- Take action (do what you’re thinking about or move on and do something else)
This simple practice (I like to call it “SOS breathing”) is like a instant medication to relieve stress and eliminate anxiety. You don’t need to meditate regularly to use this tool, but it’s way more effective (and works way quicker) if you’re meditating on a daily basis.
How to Build Confidence Through Meditation
And there you have it: meditation helps you to demolish negative self-talk…
…and this lets you stop overthinking things and be way more confident in every situation!
The key to taking advantage of this fact is to learn how to do a simple meditation that works for you, and then turn it into a daily habit.
Once you’re comfortable sitting in silence with your thoughts for 5-10 minutes, it becomes very easy to catch yourself getting anxious and overthinking things in the moment. Then you can quickly practice mindfulness, stop the negative self-talk, and turn on your natural confidence!