Confidence would come in top skills in achieving success in any field. Till the time we have faith in our self, we cannot move a stone. We have seen how confident all those successful people are. Their actions, words, personality everything reflects the self-reliance. Most of us would think or believe that we have the required confidence to carry out our daily work. The question is do we know how to gain the confidence to reach the next level? We are not born just to exist but to achieve our highest potential.
I or you may not have the ambition to create a giant enterprise. We may not want to gain fame and millions of dollars. This is completely fine and I echo your voice here. However, what is a life without growth? We all are here to learn and advance. In spirituality, it is believed that every soul on this earth is for advancement, to reach its true nature. For the growth of our material life and for the growth of our soul, we need faith in our self. This faith, this confidence will give us the strength to move forward in our journey and to meet any challenges with a smile.
All the spiritual scriptures would say to have faith in God but Vedanta says, have faith in yourself before having faith in God. How can you believe in God, if you don’t believe in yourself? Swami Vivekananda said “You must not say that you are weak. How do you know what possibilities lie behind that degradation on the surface? You know but little of that which is within you. For behind you is the ocean of infinite power and blessedness.” There is no specific rule book in Vedantic literature that tell us how to gain self-confidence. Over a period of time, I have realized practices based on the Vedanta that helps in boosts of confidence.
My Vedantic Practices to Build Confidence.
Reading Swami Vivekananda daily – I might sound like an over obsessed person with Swami Vivekananda. I cannot tell you how many benefits I have gained by just reading ever inspiring words of Swamiji. It is unfortunate that the world is still not aware of the greatness of such divine soul. Ramakrishna math have published all the works of Swamiji and they are available in many countries. Swamiji’s complete works is in public domain now. Few of the below quotes of Swamiji will show how much strength it gives and how it removes the darkness within.
“The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of strength that is already within them.”
“Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God – this is the secret of greatness. If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty million of your mythological gods, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you.”
“It is the coward and the fool who says, “This is fate” – so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong may who stands up and says, “I will make my fate”. It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology.”
Chanting of Gayatri Mantra – Gayatri mantra is considered as the highest and as the most powerful mantra in Hinduism. It is mentioned in Mahanarayana Upanishad. I chant it as soon as I get up. It gives immense peace and strength. We all are used to see our mobile as soon as we wake up. We do not realize but this is doing so much damage. Instead of reading unnecessary forwards or news, we should dedicate a first waking moment to this strength-giving chant.
There are some studies showing how chanting of Gayatri mantra increase the vibration within us. I would say be your own laboratory and experiment. Chant the mantra in the morning for straight 21 days and see the difference by yourself.
Meditation as a self-confidence builder – Meditation is about focusing on one object. This object can be anything you want. Few days a week I choose an object that provides the strength and boosts my confidence. Swamiji once told his disciples “You may meditate on whatever you wish, but I shall meditate on the heart of a lion. That gives strength.” This had a great impact on me and I started meditating on the heart of a lion. What could be a better object for a confidence boost than the king of the forest? You can also choose any personality whose confidence you admire. Remember that we become what we think and what we focus on.
Vedantic truths – Vedanta speaks of our real nature that is of a super consciousness or that of a soul. It also speaks of a unity with everything out there. We are still identifying our self as body and mind and go through the same cycles of misery. It is difficult to let go this ego and accept our true nature. I am far from any realization but it has helped me to understand Vedanta truths at the intellectual level. Vedanta has three steps, Shravan (Listening), Manan ( Introspection) and Nididhayasana (Realization). We can definitely practice first two steps and wait for the third one until we are free from the ignorance.
All the fears, all the failures are restricted to body and mind. The soul is not affected by any of it. Our identification with the soul (at least at intellectual level) will make us realize that we are perfect and that removes all the fears. We gain more confidence when we are free from fears. We are creating fears in the mind and confidence boost is also happening in the mind. It is the association with body or soul, that makes all the difference. The only danger you need to be careful of is considering yourself superior to others. Remember that Vedanta teaches unity with all.
As a practice, read Vedanta and do introspection on its teachings. You can either read some of the Upanishads or Bhagwad Gita. It is also about feeding the mind with the teachings that lift us high. The introspection will firm the truth in mind and over a period of time it will reflect in our personality.