Let’s continue building a great morning routine which helps build confidence. As habit gurus Leo Babauta and Stephen Covey have taught us, it takes 30 days to form a habit. And, we will be much more likely to succeed at behavior change if we make one small change at a time and slowly build on it… With that in mind, I will be rolling out this morning routine over the course of 6 months – one new habit every month. This month brings habit #2.
As you know by now, I think everyone can benefit from improving their healthy self-confidence. I don’t mean arrogance, I just mean self-acceptance. Self-confidence is fundamental to our success in work, relationships and overall happiness. When we feel confident, we don’t waste time and energy doubting ourselves or questioning others’ intentions. We are more likely to take positive actions in our lives and have more drive and motivation. Join me in the quest to further grow your self-confidence by building this routine into your life, too.
February’s Confidence-Building Habit: 10 minutes of Mindfulness Meditation
Wake-up time: After you have set your intention, dedicate 10 minutes to just BE, before plunging into a day full of DOing. Practice meditation to get your head refreshed and reset for the day ahead.
What is Mindfulness Mediation?
“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 nonjudgmental, loving, kind, and compassionate feeling toward themselves and others.” –Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009)
Why do Mindfulness Mediation?
Meditation brings focus and mentally clarity and it helps us tame the saboteur 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 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!
“But I can’t meditate. I have tried it before but I don’t succeed.” That is the ultimate excuse, I know because I have given it myself. Until I learned that even if you do not manage to clear your head of thoughts for 10 full minutes, already the act of trying to meditate is beneficial! It is a practice – that means you are continuously working on it. For more info, watch Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk about the benefits of mindfulness.
If this sounds like a good idea that you want to implement too, go for it! And let us know how it is going! Get support and post your successes, roadblocks and questions on Coaching Without Borders Facebook page and Twitter page.
Stayed tuned to hear March’s Habit…
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