Have you ever noticed, that people talk about confidence as a primary factor? That we believe that we need to acquire it in order to take action?
When I am more confident I will….
When I have more confidence I am going to…..
If I had more confidence I would…..
The interesting thing about confidence is it comes FROM action….. not before action….
Confidence is described as ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’. Confidence is the belief that we have in ourselves. However, along the lines, we appear to have developed a belief system, which is extremely limiting, that we can only do things once we have confidence.
Take a moment to consider this, did those who reached the top of their sport have confidence before – or did they acquire confidence as they developed new skills, reached their potential, achieved wins, placed in competitions?
Did those who achieved PHDs have confidence before they embarked on their studies, or as they made their way along their academic path?
Did those who became masters of culinary skills? carpentry? building? have confidence that they would be experts as the start of their journey? or, did they build their confidence with every successful obstacle that they overcame?
Confidence is a by-product of our effort. As we develop skills, knowledge, abilities, we develop confidence through the DOING.
So, how can we help children develop more confidence?
#1 – Model it
That old phrase, ‘fake it until you make it’, has an element of truth. If our dialogue describes ‘I am not confident enough to do that’ or ‘I’m too shy to do this’ or ‘people like me cannot do this’… then we are giving instructions that we have to have confidence to do things. Modelling to children that we will give it a go, learn by doing, attempt everything once or that we know that by doing things we can develop confidence as we go, we model that they can do this too.
#2 – Encourage
Sometimes, we can worry that children will fail, or not be good at things. However, if you cast your mind back to when children learn to walk, eat, talk….they made a lot of mistakes – BUT we encouraged them through all of them. Children need adults who encourage and scaffold their learning. No, we do not want to expose them to repeated failures, however, this is also why there are beginners classes and steps to so many skills. Encouraging children to try things, dip their toes in and persevere, then complimenting their tenacity, skills, mindset and commitment builds their confidence in their abilities.
#3 – Language
We can all develop a negative bias when we talk about things. Sometimes, this is because we do not want to appear to be set in ego, however, encouraging children to recognise their strengths, and verbalise them is incredibly important. Consider those phrases we looked at, at the start of this article, and consider how we can model these…
Perseverance and determination builds skills
When I am committed and determined I can achieve
As I practice more I will be more confident
The more I practice, the more confident I become
The more consistent I am, the better I feel
Our language is a direct INSTRUCTION to our FEELINGS. If our language is positive – our feelings can be too.
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