One of the most common human traits that we’re almost universally awful at is understanding ourselves. Studies have shown that complete strangers frequently form far more accurate assessments of our personality, intelligence, and appearance after very brief interactions than we are capable of forming about ourselves. For example, 94% of college professors in a recent survey believe they do above-average work (statistics taken from the book “Switch“). If the best thinkers in the land can’t estimate their own academic contributions with reasonable accuracy, that’s probably equal indictment of our own accuracy of judgment about our own personality traits.
One area where this can be particularly debilitating is in the realm of self esteem. Quite a few of us experience low self esteem symptoms without having any clue as to what’s really going on. I used to be in that category. I took a personality test, and discovered that I wasn’t nearly the sterling example of healthy self-confidence I had always thought myself to be. I was actually quite a mess – my self esteem was incredibly low, and it was wreaking havoc in every other areas of my life.
During the considerable soul-searching and personal development effort I undertook in the aftermath of that revelation, I came to understand that there is a simple method that can dramatically change how you feel about yourself, which influences every other aspect of your life.
I can imagine what you might be thinking (probably the same thing I thought when I received the advice that I should read up on meditation techniques), which is that meditation is for gurus and krishnas, but not professionals and parents trying to keep up with a hectic modern life.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The quality of every facet of our lives comes down to the quality of our thinking. In order to improve our self esteem (and everything else in our lives), we must first improve the positivity of our thinking about ourselves. Guided imagery meditation is a helpful tool to help develop this set of mental habits.
Most larger towns and cities have meditation centers and may even offer a few classes free. It is well worth the trial. Learning to focus and understand your mind and body better is the first step in regaining control and boosting self-confidence. Stress relief, inner peace, better physical and mental health, and confidence are all by products of proper meditation techniques.