How to be Naturally Confident
Once we realize who we truly are, we become confident. When we realize that we are much greater than transient thoughts and emotions our power emerges. Our thoughts change depending on how much sleep we have had, what food we have eaten and how much stress is in our environment. If we mistakenly identify only with the realm of thoughts, which are forever changing, we are constantly thrown up and down. Once we take care of ourselves: establishing a daily meditation practice; letting go of depleting activities and doing things that nourish us…we transform in beautiful ways and confidence arises. Here are four things I recommend that help us become naturally confident:
1) Practice being happy as we are
Natural confidence arises from inside of us and is totally independent of anything outside. When we are naturally confident we realize we are enough and always have been. We do not need to add anything to ourselves to feel worthy. We have a right to be here now, exactly as we are. When we have false confidence we sense lack and need to prove our worthiness. False confidence is dependent on outside factors such as body image, status, popularity, specific jobs or money. This is problematic because externals are impermanent and changeable. Our bodies age, we may stop working, finances change, people like and then dislike us. Knowing this we can enjoy the outside world but not rely on it for our confidence, or to enhance our identity. This is a huge lesson in life - be happy now, exactly as we are. Forget about what other people think; they are fickle. Forget about what the mind thinks; it’s fickle too!
Always remember pure awareness resides deep within us all. This awareness is powerful, timeless, and the fountainhead of our confidence; we can connect to it by playfulness, spending time in nature, meditating, prayer and anything that connects us to inner stillness.
2) Establish a daily meditation practice
Once we establish a daily meditation practice we become infinitely more powerful and insecurity dissolves. We also become more able to absorb and act upon helpful suggestions, like the ones in this post.
3) Know thoughts are not facts
Believing the nonsense in the mind destroys confidence. Thoughts such as: ‘I’m a failure’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘there is something wrong with me’ and ‘others are better than me’ are simply stresses being released and stem from ignorance of who we truly are. We are all magnificent. We are never failures. We are all unique and exceptional. We all have a right to be here. The mind judges ‘success’ in terms of wealth and popularity however these are mind made concepts. It’s therefore best, whenever possible, to stop identifying fully with these passing thoughts. Realize you are not your thoughts, you are much greater than that. Simply observe passing thoughts. The observer is powerful, neutral and naturally confident. Enter the observational field and experience how small and transient thoughts are. Write a sticker on your wall saying ‘thoughts are not facts’. Sometimes they may temporarily seduce us, but we simply notice when this happens. The more we notice, the more we awaken and our awareness expands. Eventually over time we get swept away in thoughts less and less. Noticing is powerful and it’s the first part in creating a shift and becoming confident.
4) Remember we are born with confidence
We are born confident, but at times we simply lose connection with it. I asked my client who suffers with low self-esteem: ‘When was the last time you felt confident?’ She paused for a while and then responded, ‘When I was a child playing in the garden.’ Somewhere along her life journey she lost connection with her natural confidence. This disconnection is common for many people. It often begins when we start believing fearful thoughts. A common misconception is that we can cultivate confidence. We do not need to cultivate confidence, we simply disconnect from it when swept up in the mind. Self-realization is remembering who we are, knowing we are greater than the mind. The true self is supremely confident. Rest knowing confidence is at our core: never lost, just forgotten.
By Aruna Shields (CHP, CMT)
Meditation Teacher, Therapist and Former Bollywood Star/Actress