4 Minute Practice to Radiating Confidence at Work
By Gayle Van Gils, guest contributor
There’s a common expression: We know it when we see it. But in actuality, we know it when we feel it. The person in front of you is radiating energy, excitement, and enthusiasm, and at the same time is calm, grounded, and self-possessed. The confident individual is magnetic to us. We want to get to know her, and may be curious about what she does and how she became that way.
Unconditional confidence is distinguishable from feigned confidence or arrogance. Its nature is gentle and spontaneous. This kind of confidence is the simple result of being genuinely comfortable within your own skin. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and not only accept but lovingly offer yourself to the world just as you are, with nothing to hide. With this kind of self-knowledge comes clarity—around what you have to offer the world and what opportunities to pursue and knowledge to seek.
This kind of clarity leads to confidence in decision-making. Knowing what to accept and what to reject are no longer huge dilemmas because you are able to trust what you know and what you sense emotionally—an ability we all possess. Something within is always guiding us to the truest choice. When you are at peace with yourself, you can feel or hear that message, and not resist. The radiance that exudes from the genuinely confident individual is your own brilliant mind, unobstructed by self-doubt and needless inner debates about what to do and which way to turn.
The following practice is a way to evoke a connection to this space in our being that we may have forgotten how to access. This is a guided meditation. You can have someone read it to you, you can record it for yourself, or you can listen to it on the website for my book, Happier at Work.
Practice: Unconditional Confidence
- Get comfortable and take a few deep breaths.
- Close your eyes, and move your awareness from your head—from your thinking mind—to your heart.
- Rest and breathe, feeling the heart of your being. Your heart is tender, warm, and open.
- Feel curious about yourself and the world outside of you.
- The warmth from your heart radiates as love in all directions and the world you experience mirrors back that love.
- Now imagine that your heart transforms into the sun.
- You are brilliant, radiant, magnificent, and cannot be contained.
- Your brilliance dispels any shadows, doubt, or depression
- You feel young, and your joy is unbounded. Everything touches you deeply and genuinely.
- Red is so red, and flowers burst with scent.
- The blue sky is so blue, and it is filled with clouds, animals, chariots, mountain peaks and birds. Anything you can imagine will appear—in fact, anything and everything is possible!
- You live in a magical world!
Do you remember experiencing the world this way? Is there something familiar in this feeling? Does this practice awaken a distant memory, or did you touch this place just recently and wonder how to live like this more regularly?
For each of us, our current connection to our natural state will be different so our answers to these questions will vary. The contemplation above is meant to evoke unconditional confidence. Feel it. It is your birthright, just waiting to be rediscovered. For some of us, this is great news, and perhaps you can’t wait to spend time deepening into this recollection.
For others, this meditation might tap into feelings of inadequacy, fear, doubt, and hesitation that have become very familiar, so comfortable and believable that we think that is who we are. When we contemplate our true nature, the brilliance, warmth, and clarity might seem overwhelming. Even though it does seem to be what we have been searching for, we aren’t quite sure if we want to go there.
If you’re struggling at all, I invite you to drop your hesitation for a little while and see what happens. If you are willing to step out of the familiar, and journey back to the heart of your being, you will reawaken as if from sleep. Your cynicism, doubt, and fear will give way to the delighted wonder of childhood, the warmth of unconditional love, and the genuine confidence of being true to yourself. Radiant confidence is who you are, just waiting to be reclaimed. There is really nothing to do but burn away the clouds we have wrapped ourselves in, and we have the “sun” inside to help us to do it!
Unconditional or radiant confidence is the mark of a successful leader. When you can be both passionate and inspiring, grounded and self-possessed at the same time, you are also wise. Henry David Thoreau said, “It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.” Wisdom comes from within the heart, but also includes a wise outlook, plan, or course of action. Within the wise and confident individual who integrates both their intellect and their intuition, a balance has been achieved. This balance is expressed through our emotional intelligence, which is something we can develop. In fact, you have already begun the process.
Adapted from Happier at Work: The Power of Love to Transform the Workplace (She Writes Press, 2017).
Gayle Van Gils is the author of Happier at Work: The Power of Love to Transform the Workplace, a practical guide for developing the powers of attention, stress reduction, communication and collaboration. She is a certified instructor of Search Inside Yourself - the mindfulness and emotional intelligence training developed and proven at Google, and a senior meditation teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage.