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Mindfulness: Boosting your Self-Confidence – Mindfulness research

The following research was inspired by my 5th Erasmus+ Youth Exchange project, in which I took part as a participant. The project titled ʺMindfulness: Boosting your Self-Confidence” took place in Panevėžys, Lithuania in October 2019. Its main aims were the following: finding ways to boost self-confidence with different methods, reaching (or at least getting closer to) the state of mindfulness, finding inner peace, handling or letting go of past family issues, playing trust games and teambuilding games, doing different types of meditation, creating short movies about what Erasmus+ mean to us, last but not least visiting local schools, where we had the chance to introduce the beneficial effects of this Erasmus+ project. 

As a dissemination plan, using the knowledge and methodologies I gained from this project; I have thought of doing a research in which I am assuming that self-confidence can be realized by a better and more profound state of self-awareness.  Thus, self-confidence and self-awareness walk hand-in-hand; they cannot be complete without each other. In order to do so, I have created a questionnaire as a tool, whereas questions as such had to be answered by the individuals. I would like to add here, that my aim was not only to prove my hypothesis, but also to give the respondents a chance to get to know themselves better, hoping that the questions implied would bring them closer to their inner self, eventually showing them a way to reach a more elevated self-awareness.

Hereby, I would like to introduce my questionnaire: Mindfulness: Boosting Your Self-Confidence through Self-Awareness. As next, I am going to analyze the answers given by 22 respondents. In total, out of 22 respondents, there were 14 men and 8 women. I have shared my questionnaire on different platforms of social media, thus the inequality of the number of the gender was not on purpose. The average age is 29,6 years. Answers have arrived from many different countries, such as Hungary, Lithuania, Germany, India, USA, Finland, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Greece, and Nicaragua. Considering the education level, most of the respondents have at least high school certificate, but many of them owe a BA or MA degree as well. 

  1. How often do you meditate? 

Out of 22 respondents 9 said that they never meditate, while 6 said that they do it at least 1-3 times a week

  1. What are the things which make you happy the most? (multiple answers possible) 

The respondents put traveling (either alone or with other people) on the first place with 19 answers, after which being with family (parents/children) came on the second place with 14 answers. On the third place there was helping other people (voluntary job included) with 9 answers.

3/a. How would you describe with your own words: the state of happiness?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • happiness is when you achieve something you desire
  • when you realize that you’ve just made the right decision that brings you to the (good or expected) results
  • happiness is moments of joy, laughter and mental well-being
  • when you feel good in general, and what you are doing is important and meaningful to you
  • when you are satisfied about your life and you don’t have to worry about little things
  • being in company of positive people
  • when you have someone to share your actual state with, and that person understands your feelings
  • finding inner peace
  • being aware of the fact that even in the middle of the storm with your problems and worries, you will still make it, you will find a way to figure it out
  • being with people you love, looking at the fire or sea, coming up with a new idea
  • playing with animals
  • traveling 
  • being calm, enjoying the state oftranquility, being in the nature
  • if you know what you really want and why 🡪 you will know what you should do to be happy

3/b. How would you describe with your own words: self-confidence?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • it is a feeling that you can deal with the task that is waiting for you
  • when you are stronger than you actually think you are
  • when you trust in yourself and in your decision as well
  • self-confidence is knowing yourself and your limits: what you are capable of
  • when you have courage to tell things that other people would disagree about
  • when you feel yourself self-confident, you have to be proud of it (thus, you have to capture the moment!)
  • being aware of the fact that even in the middle of the storm with your problems and worries, you will still make it, you will find a way to figure it out
  • it is the result of self-knowledge: you have to know what your wishes and feelings are. 
  • when you are sure about yourself and your competences
  • when you love your job and you know how to do it
  • when you can accept who you are and what you have got as a gift from God
  1. How much self-confident are you feeling when:

(options: not all all/a little bit/medium/pretty much)

– you have to give a public speech?

Out of 22 respondents 7 said medium, while 6 said a little bit, and the same number goes for pretty much

– you have to tell the truth even if it will hurt others? 

Out of 22 respondents 13 said medium and 5 said pretty much.  

– you are given the task of becoming a team leader?

Out of 22 respondents 11 said medium and 6 said pretty much.

– you have to admit to others your mistake/failure?

Out of 22 respondents 8 said pretty much and 6 said a little bit

– you are talking about your success?

Out of 22 respondents 11 said pretty much and 6 said a little bit. 

  1. Make an order of the following statements based on how self-confident or determined you feel in these situations. The first should be which you find the easiest and the last one which you find the most difficult. 

(I am listing only the results here)

  1. Organizing a travel on your own.
  2. Go on a first date with someone.
  3. When you are about to purchase a new item.
  4. Make new friends.
  5. Start a new school/job.
  6. You want to lose weight, so you start a new diet.
  7. Start learning a new language.
  8. Forgive someone who has hurt you.
  9. Give a person a second chance (trust him/her again).

  1. In the following task, I tended to ask more personal questions by which I was aiming to examine the person’s feelings.

6/a Do you follow and practise any religion?

11 answers for YES and 11 answers for NO

6/b Do you believe in God or something sublime?

16 answers for YES and 6 answers for NO

6/c Do you have a best friend?

18 answers for YES and 4 answers for NO

6/d Do you get on well with your parents?

20 answers for YES and 2 answers for NO

6/e Do you have to face stress in your life every day?

11 answers for YES and 11 answers for NO

7/a. What do you think the reason could be of the lack of (your) self-confidence?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • lack of experience
  • not having overcome yet the past experiences that were negative or painful
  • when you don’t have trust in your own decisions, in yourself
  • being shy when meeting new people
  • lack of successful achievements
  • if you have already been treated on a bad way by someone, and it has had an impact on you
  • if you have already been let down by someone 🡪 and as a result it makes you feel unimportant in the world 
  • when there are no people around you to rely on or who could help you with boosting your self-confidence 
  • if you are not able to accept yourself the way you are: you don’t like your own personality, gender, body, voice, outlook. Therefore, you need to learn how to love and appreciate yourself (even if there are things you cannot ever change: being handicapped). 
  • if you don’t have a good relationship with your parents, it may influence your self-confidence. More precisely, you are not valued by them, they don’t give you enough attention, importance and encouragement, or they care more about your siblings leaving you far behind; it may result in feeling useless in the world. When your family don’t believe in you or they do not make you believe in yourself.
  • when you are thinking too much about your failures, you are not able to overcome them, neither forgive yourself for being weak or fragile at times 
  • when you are thinking and caring too much about other’s opinion. When you are not able to act without being concerned about what others will think about you, especially what will others think about you if you fail at something.

7/b.What do you think the reason could be ofthe lack of (your) self-awareness?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • When you are too lazy and don’t care enough about getting to know yourself better (one of my favourite answers )
  • not focusing enough on the present moment, and instead of it you are only thinking/daydreaming about the desired future
  • lack of life experience that could increase your maturity level
  • when you are too busy with your work/studies/duties/addictions and you don’t take your time in order to get to know yourself better
  • if you are not familiar with doing yoga or meditation, or even when you don’t meditate enough
  • if you don’t know how to handle yourself in different situations: you don’t know how to manage stress or your anger
  • when you don’t meditate, but don’t even spend time with examining yourself, your actions like what went right or wrong in general
  • the way the person was raised: as a child he/she was spoilt and was given everything which was needed, so there is a lack of experience about arranging things on his/her own
  1. In this exercise there were different pictures (family, pets, travelling, spiritual life, party, religion, doing sports) and the participants were asked to pick maximum two of listed things to which they can relate the most. The three most popular ones are the following: 
  2. traveling: 8 answers
  3. sports: 4 answers
  4. family, pets, spirituality: 3 answers

9/a. What do you do or what do you think you could do in order to preserve and develop your mental well-being?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • doing meditation, self-improvement, getting enough sleep
  • focus on and participate only in activities and situations which add value to your life
  • keep learning new things, trying out new things, being open minded to the world
  • trying to avoid toxic people/community/workplace, sparing time for some quality chill time, when you can immerse into your thoughts, listening to music to get you out from the bad mood
  • doing sports
  • finding enough time for relaxation, going to the nature and walking 
  • eating healthily, reading useful books and articles
  • having a conversation with someone smarter, more experienced  (with people who can lift you up spiritually)
  • doing yoga and meditation
  • being thankful for things in your life: being capable to love, being loved by others, being alive and giving value to your life
  • trying to think positively, so you that you can keep your mind at ease
  • frequent consultation with your psychologist in case you have one 
  • meeting friends and family members regularly
  • helping people in need
  • going to exhibitions, doing some art crafts, giving love to others
  • doing some shopping, eating sweets, watching TV-series
  • get involved in a religion (in this case Christianity was mentioned), as it can make you have positive feelings, and enrich you with more developed thoughts and morality
  • listen to God better instead of your negative thoughts
  • finding ways to get to know yourself better

9/b.What do you do or what do you think you could do in order to preserve and develop physical well-being?

According to the respondents, the following answers have arrived:

  • doing as much exercise as possible, doing sports (cycling, paragliding, hiking in the woods, hills, mountains), taking your dog for walk
  • getting enough sleep
  • follow a balanced and healthy diet
  • travel to the beach and swim in the sea/ocean, etc.
  • spending some chill time in the pure nature
  • doing random travels, trips
  • doing yoga or meditation

Aurthor: Varga Edina