One of the goals of yoga is getting to know yourself deeply. That is why svadhyaya, a Sanskrit term for self-study, is an integral part of practicing yoga. Understanding one’s true nature is key to being a self-confident and self-aware human being. (Learn more in Svadhyaya: A Lifetime of Self-Study.)
On the other hand, many of us still feel incredibly insecure. We don’t really know who we are at the core of our being. We may have started seeking external approval from a young age and now find ourselves living our lives for other people, unaware of how we got to this place. We may have fallen into the habit of bragging about our job, our kids, our career and all the material items we own. Our lives feel empty and we try to fill them with material possessions. When we find ourselves over-emphasizing our external accomplishments, it may be a sign we are feeling insecure in other areas of our life.
Insecure people also do a lot of in-your-face bragging. It’s one thing to get excited about mastering a challenging yoga pose and wanting to show your mom or friend or spouse. It’s another to plaster photos of yourself all over Facebook and Instagram. Self-confidence is quiet. It comes with a sense of subtle self-possession. It doesn’t boast or brag. Instead, it encourages others to flourish and prosper.
When we feel insecure we may also have a hard time with trust, both with trusting ourself and others. In yoga, we learn how to cultivate self-trust, which helps us become more self-confident human beings. Yoga teaches us that simply by being human, we’re already in connection with everything we need and desire, and we learn how to trust in order to receive. (Read more in Who Am I?)
Trust is deeply sacred. Trust is knowing that you are a divine creature of epic proportions. When we trust in our place in the universe, we’re also trusting its ability to bring us magnificent things. Aligning ourselves with the universe allows us to flow gracefully in each and every moment of our lives.
Fear is at the heart of insecurity. We may be in a relationship and afraid to lose it. Or maybe we get the job we’ve always wanted and cling to it fearful we’ll lose the income. Moving out of fear is yet another teaching of yoga. (Learn more about The Nature of Fear.)
Watch Your Thoughts
The Buddha once said,
“All that we are, arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create our world.”
When we’re feeling insecure, chances are our thoughts are the culprit. When we think we are "not good enough," it’s our thoughts that are acting as obstacles to self-love and self-confidence. So, we need to observe our thoughts. We need to watch them and determine whether or not they’re causing us harm in any way. (Learn about Turning the Mind 'Off' for Meditation.)
Trusting that the moment is exactly as it should be and that you are exactly where you need to be can work wonders when it comes to overcoming feelings of insecurity. Both yoga and meditation practice can help ground us in the present moment. The more we become grounded in the present moment, the less likely we are to feel insecure. Present moment awareness alleviates fear, which, in turn, alleviates insecurities. It takes time to quietly contemplate who we are. (Learn 6 Techniques for Staying Present.)
Soothe Your Anxiety
Anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows how troubling anxiety can be. It makes us feel scared and small. Therefore, restorative yoga asanas that calm the nervous system are really beneficial to boost self-confidence. Pranayama breathing practices can also have a calming effect on the nervous system. (Read about The Benefits of Yin Yoga.)
Connect With Nature
Nature is a deeply nurturing force that brings us in touch with the core of who we are on a primal level. Nature soothes and strengthens. A 15-minute walk in nature works wonders if you want to decrease fear and anxiety. The next time you’re feeling trapped in small thoughts, get out of your head and go for a walk. Listen to the songs of birds and revel in the beauty of the natural world. You will no doubt begin to feel more whole. (Here's how to Get Grounded Through Earthing.)
Each step you take, no matter how small, builds self-confidence. If you know you’re an insecure person, it’s important to commit to a meditation practice so that you can begin to observe the thoughts that might be keeping you down. Dive into yoga and learn some techniques that work for you to calm feelings of fear and anxiety. Cultivate self-trust through yoga and come to know that you’re a uniquely divine human being, here for a reason. Yoga is the perfect antidote for feelings of insecurity. Delve deeper into your practice!