Revisiting January’s Edition of #MorningRoutine2016
I set out last month to build a sustainable morning routine for myself and my readers to build confidence throughout 2016. In January’s blog post, I committed to setting an intention every morning in order to bring focus to my day. It has really helped me stay confident about my purpose. I have enjoyed hearing from all my readers who have also joined this commitment. I have heard comments like “Since setting my intention every morning I feel less stressed and more confident in tough moments of the day.” And, “Having an intention really helps me to stay focused and feeling good about myself.” Keep up the good work and keep in touch! It feels good knowing we are in this together!
Habit #1 of 6 – Setting Intentions (as of January) Read January’s post
Wake-up time: Before getting out of bed, before even opening your eyes, practice the art of setting intentions for the day. This will help to gain and maintain focus throughout the day. A focused mind is a more confident mind.
Now that we are in the habit of setting an intention every morning, it is time to layer in another step of our routine. We are still going to set an intention every morning, and we will add the next step in the Confidence-Building #MorningRoutine 2016…
Habit #2 of 6 – 10 minutes of Mindfulness Meditation (as of February)
First thing after getting out of bed: Take 10 minutes to meditate. Even if you don’t manage to clear your head of thoughts for the entire 10 minutes, you’ll still get benefits. You will feel grounded, at peace, and unhurried as you start the day. You may choose to set your intention for the day (Habit #1) after your meditation when your mind is free and clear. Watch Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk about the benefits of mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
“A form of meditation or induced relaxation that focuses awareness on breathing and encourages positive attitudes to achieve a healthy, balanced mental state. Mindful meditation is advocated for reducing reactions to stress by inducing the relaxation response, lowering the heart rate, reducing anxiety, and encouraging positive thought patterns and attitudes. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation aim to cultivate self-awareness, and a non-judgmental, loving, kind, and compassionate feeling toward themselves and others.” –Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009)
Why do Mindfulness Mediation?
Meditation brings focus and mental clarity and it helps us tame the saboteur’s voice.
Think of meditation and mindfulness simply as an opportunity to clear your head. The idea is to allow your brain to rest and find quiet. Many studies have linked meditation with the ability to focus. When you have built this muscle, this focus stays available to you at anytime when you need to be able to concentrate or solve difficult problems. When we feel sharp and able to solve life’s problems, we feel more confident.
Normally our brain is abuzz with internal chatter and thoughts about the past, present, and future. Oftentimes that chatter has an impact on our emotional state. Sometimes that impact is neutral or positive, but more often than not, unfortunately, our thoughts quickly get pulled to things that we are worried about, regrets, doubts, and fears. Much of this is the self-critical saboteur voice that I speak about in my book, The Four Channels. The chatter from our inner critic leads us to feelings of anxiety and low self-confidence. Mindfulness Meditation quiets the inner critic’s voice.
How do you do Mindfulness Meditation?
There are many meditation tools and apps out there. Some of my favorites are Headspace and Buddhify. But even if you do not use a tool, you can find meditation or mindfulness easy. Simply find a comfortable (but not too cushy) armchair or sit on the ground. Make sure if you are in a chair, both of your feet are flat on the ground and your back is relatively straight. Do not lean against the back of the chair (this will help you stay awake!). Set a timer for 10 minutes. Rest your arms and hands on your legs and start to take a few deep breaths as you let your eyes close. Focus entirely on your breath, breathing in deeply through the nose, letting your diaphragm lower enough that your lungs fully inflate. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth as you breathe out all the stale air. Some people find it helpful to count the seconds as you breathe in and out. When thoughts drift into your consciousness, notice them and then let them go past like clouds or weather. Do not judge yourself for having let them in. It is normal! Just notice the thought and return your focus to your breath. It will get easier and easier!
Self-confidence is fundamental to your success in work, relationships, and overall happiness. When you feel confident, you don’t waste time and energy doubting ourselves or others’ intentions. You are more likely to take positive actions in your life and have more drive and motivation. Join me in the quest to further build on your self-confidence by building this routine into your life.
If this sounds like a good idea that you also want to implement, keep in touch! Let us know how it is going. Get support and post your successes, roadblocks and questions on Coaching Without Borders Facebook page or Twitter page using the hashtag #MorningRoutine2016
For those of you who prefer more instant gratification and want to bolster your confidence with exercises at other times of the day, check out my blog post: The Best Exercises to Build Self-Confidence All Day Long.
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And of course, if you haven’t already read my book about confidence entitled The Four Channels, the time is now! It is available as kindle version and print version (affiliate links used).