Before I got into meditation, in my late teens, self doubt was an absolute roadblock for me. I had very little confidence during this time, especially social confidence. It was to the point that anytime anyone spoke to me, I believed that they had an ulterior motive because hey, why the hell would anyone want to speak to me? I cannot tell you how many potential friendships and romances I destroyed simply because I had no confidence.
That’s what self-doubt is, essentially. Self doubt is a complete lack of confidence. It’s not believing in yourself. It’s usually caused by painful past experiences and often by our attachment-style with our parents. And it causes a terrible fear of failure.
But here is the fantastic news: Self-doubt is not a permanent condition. You can change it. You can train your mind to increase self confidence and to release self doubt. And one of the best ways to do that is with a self-doubt meditation session.
As a meditation teacher, I have helped many people (including myself) to go from low self-esteem to high confidence. And while the best way for me to help you is in a private meditation session, in this guide I’m going to share one of my favorite guided meditations to release self-doubt. You can do the meditation below.
Meditation for Self Doubt
- Sit comfortably with good posture. You can sit with crossed legs if you like or just sit on a comfortable chair.
- Close your eyes [But read the instructions first, of course]
- Now we want to calm the mind before we get into the main part of our meditation. For this, we will do just a few mindful deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of four. Pause for a count of four. Breathe out through your mouth to a count of four. Pause for a count of four. Repeat three times. While breathing, mindfully observe the sensation of your breath moving through your body.
- For the next section we will be meditating on an upcoming challenging time. Choose one time when you are likely to experience a high degree of self doubt. For instance, let’s say that you’re not a confident public speaker and you have to give a presentation at work, you can work on that in this meditation. Or if there is time when you just generally experience self doubt, you can work with that. For instance, for me in my twenties this would be anytime I had to speak to girls (sigh).
- Visualize confidently getting through this difficult time. Imagine standing tall, feeling good, doing whatever you need to do to be successful. Take your time with this. You want to truly imagine yourself being confident and successful in this challenging time. But at the same time… (see next step)
- While visualizing yourself being confident, your mind will naturally bring up some doubts, maybe some fears, and other negative thoughts and feelings. Now, this is massively important. When your mind brings up a negative thought acknowledge it. Do not ignore it. For instance, let’s say that you’re imagining confidently giving a presentation at work when you experience the thought, “But I get anxiety when I speak in public”. Acknowledge this thought. Then, change it into something that is both realistic and positive. For instance, you can say to yourself, “Yes I have been anxious before, but this time I will be confident because I will rehearse exactly what to say…” This is just an example. Basically you need to a) acknowledge the negative thought, and b) visualize overcoming whatever the problem is in a positive and realistic way.
- Continue to do steps 5 and 6 for ten to fifteen minutes. This will release and self doubt you have.
- Also try my guided meditation for anxiety.
More Recommended Meditations
Loving Kindness Meditation
It’s a lot easier to overcome self doubt and anxiety when you feel supported by your friends and family. And meditation can help here too. Try this guided Loving Kindness meditation. It will make you feel more supported by the people in your life.
If you have an upcoming event that you are fearful of, the following meditation can help. It’s a meditation that uses fear exposure therapy. Essentially, you visualize yourself doing the thing you are afraid to do. And yes, I know that might not sound like a particularly pleasurable experience, but by visualizing yourself getting through this difficult time now, you will make it easier when the event actually happens.
Meditation for focusing on goals
Sometimes when we have self-doubt we deliberately distract ourselves so we don’t have to think about the thing we’re worried about. But this never helps. It’s better to fully focus on your goals and power through any worries you might have. And for that, this meditation will help.
It’s normal and natural to experience self-doubt when we have a big event coming up. But self-doubt can become a problem when it happens too frequently and when it interferes with your quality of life, like it did for me in my teens and twenties. Thankfully, we can use meditation for self doubt.
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison