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Need Confidence? Plant a Tree

If you’re feeling like you need a boost to your self-confidence, try this exercise.

Find a place to be where it’s quiet and you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Imagine that inside of your being is a patch of earth. Plant the seed of a tree there. Water it, if you like, or just make the sky rain gently, and then make the sun come out. (It’s your inner space: anything you want to happen there will happen, and only what is good for you can happen.) Let the seed grow into a tree. What kind a tree is it? Let the roots extend deep into the ground, the trunk grow thick, and the canopy branch fully.

You can sit under this tree, climb it, go inside of it, fly from branch to branch, stand on top of it, talk to it. You never know—your tree might be able to talk, aloud or in your thoughts, just like the Ents (giant talking trees) in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. All trees are wise and strong.

Visit your tree in quiet moments as often as you like: it will always be there. Its roots can reach down to the center of the earth; it can grow all the way to the stars.

The time you spend with your attention on something inside you that is as lofty and deep as it wants to be, super strong and stable, and as wise as the earth itself, is time spent conditioning your neurocognition to think in these ways, time spent conditioning your soul to identify with these qualities. Increased confidence is only one of the many benefits of doing this exercise.

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