The words we say have power over how we live and approach life. Anyone who disagrees should look to how yogis and meditation enthusiasts empower themselves—through mantras. At first glance, it may appear like a leftover from the hippie generation of the 1960s. However, it is actually a meditation tool that has been around for thousands of years, with some of its earliest forms existing in schools of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Reciting mantras’ positive effects have transcended time, with some Western neuroscientists even attesting to its scientific effects on our brains.
Recent studies have found some benefits of the revered practice, including calming the nervous system and freeing up the mind of background noises. You may have heard that mantras can “center” or “ground” you, which, in simpler terms, means that you become more aware and more intentional about what’s going through your mind.
Mantras can be something as simple as “Om,” a Sanskrit word that is acknowledged as the sound of the Universe and translated as “I am.” It can also be an affirmation or positive self-talk that counteracts feelings that negatively impact our confidence. So instead of saying, “I am weak,” you start saying, “I am strong.” This reorients your way of thinking and will guide you into seeing yourself in a more positive light.
Here are some mantras to live by to build your self-confidence:
1. I am worthy
Usually, the lack of self-confidence is accompanied by belittling thoughts. When we are not satisfied with who we are, we are consumed by our inner saboteur—the very voice that says, “You are not enough,” “You did bad,” or “You cannot do this.” Self-defeating thoughts are difficult to overcome, but they can be. Take control of your internal dialogue by simply saying, “I am worthy,” because you are.
2. I can do anything
While building your confidence, you have to begin by seeing yourself as someone who is capable of doing and achieving greatness. If you have goals, you have to keep in mind that you cannot get there by constantly saying and believing that you can’t. You have to be your number one advocate, and you can start doing this by saying “I can do anything.” Great things can only ever spring from someone who believes in themselves. Choose to be that person.
3. I am strong
In moments of weakness, the best thing to do is to pause and feel. Cry if you must, because it is only natural to express loneliness, sadness, or even anger. Let yourself feel the spectrum of emotions that every day offers to you. If today is difficult, acknowledge how you feel but do not get down on yourself. True strength is embracing emotions and growing from positive or negative experiences. You are strong simply because you chose to go through difficulties instead of running away.
4. I am in control
In today’s world, it is so easy to become unintentional about our actions, thoughts, and feelings. It’s also easy to be caught up in everyone else’s businesses that we forget to check on ourselves to see if our choices were made intentionally. At our worst, we are merely reactive, giving in completely to our emotions without thinking of the repercussions of our actions.
You’ll know you’re not in control when you’re unfocused, and when you feel like everything is annoying and aggravating. This only means that you’re uncentered and not in tune with yourself. A little introspection and affirmation that you are in control can turn this around.
Related: How To Be A Happy Introvert
5. It’s okay
Failures? Don’t worry about it too much—it happens to the best of us. Like the famous proverb “Fall seven times, stand up eight” implies, you can always bounce back after falling from grace. Do not make the fatal mistake of turning to your inner saboteur. That voice will surely offer nothing but a scathing “You’re a failure.” Like what was previously said, choose to think positively. Saying “it’s okay,” can definitely reframe your reaction to failures. Do not think of it as the end of the road. Think of failures as bumps that are surmountable. Fall, then stand up for the nth time.
Building confidence is not an overnight affair. It’s a trial and error kind of thing that takes patience. Repeat these five mantras to live by for self-confidence, and mean every word you say. Words have the power to shape your thoughts and your being. So choose to be kinder, positive, and affirming. Slowly, you will see yourself become better and more confident—believing in the greatness that you can achieve.