Do you lack confidence? Then the chances are you want to do something about it, and for good reason too, as self-confidence is one of those traits that affects every aspect of life. Confident people are more highly valued in the workplace, as friends and as romantic partners. And just as importantly, being confident will help you feel generally happier and better about yourself – confident people have higher self-esteem, and are less plagued by self-doubt and other anxieties.
While some lucky people seem to be naturally full of confidence, most of us have to work at it. It’s more common to feel confident about those areas of your life where you excel, and few people feel good about every aspect of themselves. But with a little practice, you can learn to boost your confidence in all areas.
However, it’s important not to confuse confidence with arrogance – arrogant people are usually among the most insecure, and are overcompensating. Arrogance is alienating to others, and doesn’t really help you feel happy with yourself, so don’t make the mistake of trying to act cocky to cover up your lack of confidence.
What you want is to develop genuine confidence, not put on an act. This can be achieved through changing your self-image and the messages you give to yourself on a daily basis – you basically need to reprogram your mind. And among the most effective ways to do this are meditation and visualization.
Meditation involves setting some time aside each day to go within, and quiet the mind. There are many different ways to meditate, such as focusing on your breath, or a candle flame, or a mantra. With practice all methods lead to a similar result – the chatter of your conscious mind will reduce (or stop completely), and you’ll more easily be able to access your subconscious, with its store of wisdom and insights.
This greater access to the subconscious that meditation provides has another advantage too – it allows you to implant new beliefs and ways of thinking. This is the perfect opportunity to start reprogramming your mind with a new self-image: that of a confident person. And one of the best ways to do this is with creative visualization.
Visualization basically involves seeing yourself as you want to be. You can create ‘mental movies’, picturing yourself acting confidently and assertively, and feeling good in social situations. People visualize in different ways – you might see visual images, or hear yourself speaking in a certain way, or feel certain emotions or physical sensations. Ideally it’s best to incorporate as many of these modalities as you can, to make your imagined scene as vivid and real as possible.
While you can visualize at any time, combining visualization with meditation is a good idea, since your mind will be more receptive to your visualization when it’s in a deeply relaxed state. With regular (preferably daily) practice of your ‘confidence meditation/visualization’, you’ll find that your beliefs about yourself begin to change: negative self-talk diminishes and you start to feel and act more confidently in your daily life. Eventually you realize that you’ve become a confident person!
This method is extremely effective, not only for developing more confidence, but for creating just about any other kind of life change you desire. There’s a problem however: many people simply can’t meditate easily. Meaning that they can’t quiet their mind enough to really relax – instead, their conscious minds keep intruding, jumping around from thought to thought. This isn’t surprising really, since in western culture we’re never taught about the importance of controlling the mind, and as a result most of us have very undisciplined thoughts.
I know how frustrating this can be from personal experience, but have happily found a solution, in the form of brainwave entrainment (also known as brainwave synchronization).
Simply put, brainwave synchronization involves exposing the brain to rhythmic stimuli of certain frequencies, such as sound or light pulses. Thanks to a natural phenomenon known as the ‘frequency following response’, the brain will then tend to match or ‘entrain’ to these frequencies. Different mental states are associated with specific frequencies – for example, the theta brainwave band (4 – 8 Hz) is linked with deep meditation. Brain wave entrainment is an efficient way to access the state of consciousness you desire, without having to spend years learning to master challenging mind control techniques.
There are three main sound-based brainwave entrainment technologies: binaural beats, monaural beats and isochronic tones. These work differently, but all can effectively entrain your brainwaves to the desired frequency range. However, many people find that isochronic tones are somewhat more effective than the other methods, as they tend to produce more rapid synchronization, and unlike binaurals, they don’t require the use of headphones. [Learn more about brainwave entrainment, binaural beats, monaural beats and isochronic tones]
If you have trouble with maintaining a meditative state and visualising effectively, brainwave synchronisation may be of great help. By using a recording with the appropriate frequencies (taking you into the alpha and theta brainwave ranges), it becomes easier to quiet the mind and enter the kind of deeply relaxed mindset that is necessary for effective reprogramming.
To use the power of brainwave entrainment for boosting your confidence, it’s important to use a high quality recording that you enjoy listening to. I personally really like these meditation recordings, and use them often. That site does also do some recording specifically for building confidence, although I haven’t tried those out myself. All tracks are available in monaural, binaural and isochronic formats, and are also fully guaranteed. Plus they also offer free samples to download, so you can see what they’re like.
Do you have big dreams for your life? Many people will answer that question with a resounding ‘Yes!’ If so, are you taking consistent action to bring them into reality? Perhaps that ‘yes’ isn’t quite so strong this time? The fact is, it’s very easy to feel motivated when you’re dreaming your dreams and starting a new project, but it’s much less easy to maintain your motivation as the weeks and months roll by. Why is this?
There are various reasons why people lose their motivation to succeed. Here are some of the most common:
So, you’ve identified some of the reasons why you can’t stay motivated enough to follow through on your dreams. What are you going to do about it? For one thing, having identified the specific factors that are working against you, you can ‘do the opposite’. For example, if your physical energy is low because you eat junk food, you can follow a healthier diet of natural, unprocessed foods. If you’ve identified a specific limiting belief that’s holding you back, you can use affirmations, self-hypnosis or other mind programming techniques to implant its opposite.
In addition, there’s no shortage of motivational tips and advice out there. Many people recommend writing out your goals, using deadlines, visualizing your success regularly or enlisting the help of supportive others, such as mentors.
These action-oriented techniques can all work. But what if you try them and you still have trouble keeping your inspiration up? Firstly, you should be totally honest with yourself – do you really want this thing you’re trying to achieve? Is it genuinely in line with your passions in life, or are you trying to please someone else, such as your parents, a boss, or society in general? If you’ve leaned your ladder against the wrong wall, your lack of motivation could be your subconscious mind’s way of protecting you from going down a route that you don’t really want to take.
However, if your goal is something you genuinely want for yourself, but you still find yourself resisting it, then brainwave entrainment might be able to help you override those mental blocks and keep your motivation levels up.
Brainwave entrainment refers to the tendency of the brain to synchronize with (or entrain to) an external stimulus that is oscillating within the brain’s natural frequency range. Examples of such stimuli include sound (such as isochronic tones) and light. For example, a person in a state of light meditation will naturally produce brainwaves in the alpha frequency band (8 – 12 Hz). By listening to a brainwave stimulation recording that incorporates sounds in this range, a person can achieve this state of consciousness more easily, without the need to practice meditating for years first. Similarly, you can entrain your brain to beta (> 13Hz), theta (4 – 8Hz) and delta (< 4Hz) rhythms, and experience the mental and physical states that are associated with these frequencies.
So, how can this help when it comes to motivation? Well, the main problem with losing motivation is that your initial positive, inspired, excited outlook fades, and negativity takes over, right? You start feeling like you can’t be bothered, you’re too tired, you won’t succeed anyway, what’s the point, blah blah blah… So you need to get back to your positive mindset, and take steps to ramp it up. Now visualizing, goal setting etc can help with this, but the gains can be short lived, and it can feel like a lot of effort, because you’re having to talk yourself ‘up the scale’ to a better feeling state each time.
With brainwave entrainment on the other hand, you can listen to a recording that’s designed to induce your brain to synchronize with frequencies that are associated with the ability to easily program your mind with thoughts of what you want – so it becomes easier to stay positive and stay on track, because your own subconscious mind is no longer working against you. The theta frequencies can help with this, and by practicing with the brainwave entrainment meditation recordings from The Meditation Store – I use these myself, and really like them. This site also has a set of recordings especially for boosting motivation, but I can’t say much about those since I haven’t yet tried them out myself.
Sound-based brainwave synchronisation recordings general use binaural beats, monaural beats or isochronic tones. These work differently (read more about the differences between binaural, monaural and isochronic sounds), but all have been found to be effective. Many people prefer isochronics, because they feature clearly defined sound pulses that are easier for the brain to synchronise to. On the other hand, some find the sound of the beats can be irritating at lower frequencies (such as the delta and low theta ranges), and prefer to use binaural beats when working with these frequencies. The best path is to try each for yourself, but if you only use one type of recording, I’d probably recommend binaurals for work in this frequency range.
Whichever you go for, remember that you should only use recordings from a reputable source who knows the correct frequencies to use, or they won’t be effective.