Practicing mindfulness enables you to experience more of the present moment along with the feelings and thoughts that you are having at that time. This enables you to notice negative thoughts and negative thought patterns that don’t serve your self-esteem and confidence well. You will also understand what you need in this moment enabling you to make better choices which will reinforce your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Even by just adding small doses of mindfulness into your life can help calm your mind so you can be more aware of the confidence busting thought patterns and break out of them. Obviously practicing mindfulness will not stop whatever events life has to throw at you but it will help you better respond to those events that will help build your confidence and self-esteem.
When you have low self-esteem and confidence you will likely find yourself apologising to others for things that are not actually your fault or just to make them feel better. Often this can make you look and feel weaker along with damaging your self-esteem and confidence. Using your mindfulness skills to help notice when you are about to apologise you can pause while you determine whether you have anything to apologise for. Unless you actually inconvenienced someone or did something wrong just acknowledge that something uncomfortable has occurred and remind yourself you didn’t do anything that required an apology. Obviously if an apology is required then make sure you take responsibility and apologise with empathy, compassion and honestly.
Do you notice that sometimes you gossip about and judge others in a negative way? Talking about other people in this way will make you look and feel insecure. Confident people do not do this as they are secure enough to know that it makes them feel bad and look bad. Use your mindfulness skills to identify when you are about to start talking about someone else in this way ask yourself “what does this achieve for me and how I will feel?”.
Another confidence zapping trait is not being able to accept a compliment. Some of us shut down and feel uncomfortable when someone pays us a compliment which is another indication of low self-esteem. Being more mindful will help you identify these feelings in the moment you receive the compliment so you can simply realise that all that is required is a pleasant “thank you” that will make the other person know you appreciate the compliment and assist in raising your self-esteem.
Another common indicator of a lack of confidence in social situations is using your mobile telephone as a distraction tool. Obviously we all receive messages and emails that need to be attended to at some point and some require immediate action but if you find yourself continually checking for new messages or emails it may be a sign of feeling uncomfortable. Looking like you are busy attending to emails or messages also makes you harder to approach and if people don’t engage with you because you look too busy this will also have an effect on your confidence. Simply put your phone away and allow yourself to check it periodically but not continually. Use your mindfulness skills to assess the people around you and work out who seems friendly and approachable. Being more mindful will be helping your general well-being anyway and making you more approachable too.
Remember that people that have low self-esteem don’t realise that they look insecure to other people. By simply trying to be more mindful and address some of these confidence damaging traits like those described above will actually help boost your confidence on its own. The more you appear confident, the more you will feel confident as other people react to your confident behaviour and words. This is one area where “faking it until you make it” in a mindful way can help.