The business world has embraced mindfulness as more research demonstrates the effectiveness of its practice in the workplace. According to a report by Mental Workout, over 30 million people regularly practice mindful meditation in the U.S.
Many employers including Google and Facebook support meditation in the workplace along with mindfulness training to create a more productive and happier work environment. Mindfulness improves one’s self-awareness, which can lead to better decision-making and emotional control, and thus, higher confidence.
Confidence at Work
Studies have found that mindfulness meditation helps develop a positive self-attitude along with self-compassion. Feeling good about oneself in the workplace allows leaders and workers alike to face all circumstances and communicate with others more productively, instilling positive values and encouraging respect. Confidence and feelings of self-efficacy are essential to doing well at work. When you believe you can do a good job, you are more likely to do so and will inspire others to have confidence in you as well.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation allows you to develop your ability to remain present. It promotes full awareness, beginning with breathing exercises, and through practice, you will learn to manage your senses, thoughts, and emotions.
Through the continuous meditation process, you can learn to use mindful awareness in all aspects of your life both internally and externally. That is a skill that must be honed to help you become more mindful every day. The beauty of mindfulness is that it can also be used in the workplace to create a more productive and satisfying career.
On the Job Confidence
According to Mindful, mindfulness meditation can assist in providing the skills and peace of mind required to become more confident in your job. A mindfulness meditation practice offers many benefits, including:
- Improved attention – Mindfulness promotes engagement by teaching us to remove distractions. Remaining present keeps you focused on the tasks at hand.
- Natural confidence – Mindful meditation teaches you to be comfortable in your own skin. Being present in the moment permits you to rely on yourself to deal with the matter at hand.
- Proper mindset – Exploring different viewpoints becomes easier when you remove mindsets that bring preconceived notions into the workplace. A complete picture of each situation allows a more realistic, impartial view of how to move forward with confidence.
- Emotional regulation – Emotional responses get in the way of intelligence skills that are required to make decisions. Mindfulness regulates emotions, leading to empathy, improved listening, and social attunement. That improves interpersonal dynamics in the workplace.
- Well-being – A confident leader offers a more authentic leadership model, which helps provide a feeling of trust and respect. It can help inspire colleagues and promote a sense of well-being.
Confident Leadership & Mindfulness
According to mindfulness experts Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, there are three qualities of successful leaders:
Of these three qualities, two are deeply affected by confidence. Mindfulness allows you to manage your attention and hold your focus on what is important at the moment. It is all about being “present” so that you can more effectively manage your thoughts. It takes great focus and awareness so that you can concentrate on what you are doing. Focus and awareness feed off of each other, leading to mindfulness. Mindfulness also allows you to enhance your self-perception, which generates a stronger sense of self-confidence.
According to Hougaard and Carter, selflessness is the wisdom of allowing yourself to succeed. Your selflessness will enable you to remain confident and get the job done, without the interference of ego. A humbler disposition is conducive to productivity. It is also a way to help teams see there is no personal agenda at play. Instead, the focus is on the work, which allows people to be more trusting of leadership.
By putting the ego aside, mindfulness allows for selflessness, without a lack of confidence. That is important because too much humility in the workplace takes away from leadership. Instead, mindfulness provides self-awareness for the perfect balance of confidence and selflessness.
Ongoing Internal Narrative
Neuroscientists Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman have studied the ongoing narrative that goes on in our minds even at rest. The mind is working so hard that even when we do nothing, we burn about 20% of our body mass. According to Davidson and Goleman, this is because our brain’s default mode network is highly active when we are not focused on a specific task.
Our minds go through a range of emotions, thoughts, and dreams that create a self-narrative from which disassociation is difficult. Meditation trains us to notice these wanderings and regain focus. By becoming familiar with the narrative process, we can develop what Davidson refers to as a “healthier sense of self.”
The neuroscientists’ theory was confirmed through a Yale study that found that those who were experienced meditators were able to develop undistracted awareness, the self-referencing that makes it hard to separate our thoughts from our own negative views. As well, mindful meditation provides self-acceptance, a much-needed element of confidence.
Mindfulness Meditation in Action
According to the Harvard Business Review, mindfulness is more effective when supported with 10 minutes of daily practices such as meditation. Of the 57 leaders who participated in the study, those who committed to the minimum 10 minutes were more successful in their mindfulness training, and the benefits experienced included:
- Leadership in complex conditions
According to the Mindfulness Initiative, one of the three key benefits of mindfulness training included enhanced performance due to greater self-acceptance. The report also outlines the mindfulness benefits specific to leadership, which included the ability to make better decisions with clearer thought processes.
The ability to weed through information and remove preexisting biases provides a leader with the confidence to make the right decisions for a business. The Rutgers Business School also found that following mindfulness training, 68% of those surveyed said they were able to respond with clarity when making decisions in pressure-filled situations, which is compared to 32% before training.
Sample Guided Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness provides a new-found view of self, allowing you to develop confidence and selflessness. It is never too late to boost your confidence by introducing mindful meditation into your life. Get started with this sample meditation to sharpen your focus today.
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