August 2012 – Confidence
Full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing
Belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~Lao Tzu
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” ~Vince Lombardi
“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”~Marie Curie
“With confidence, you have won before you have started” ~Marcus Garvey
How to Teach Your Child the Value of Self-Confidence
Self-confidence helps a child grow into a responsible person who is capable of making good decisions. By teaching your child the value of self-confidence during the early formative stages of life, you are shaping the future success and happiness of your child as a self-reliant adult. It is an indeed an important value that begins at home.
Self-confidence stems from having a good personal image of oneself. When children look in a mirror and like what they see, they will have a more positive outlook on life. Children who are comfortable with themselves get along with others more easily. They will also be more confident when choosing the right solution to any problem they face.
Parents are a main source of self-worth for children. When parents vigilantly approve their children’s good actions and behavior, those children will feel that they are worth loving. This feeling of love and acceptance are the seeds of growing a healthy self-confidence. It is important however, that parents do not go overboard with praise. This will teach children to rely on external approval for their sense of worth (and make them more susceptible to peer pressure). Parents need to help children develop an inner sense of well being; e.g. ask your child how it feels to do such a good job etc.
You can start teaching self-value as early as the infant stage. When a child cries aloud, either from hunger or lack of attention, responding quickly lets the child know that it’s loved and is valuable. Imagine having all your needs and wants attended to as soon as you think it. You’ll realize that you are being listened to, and therefore, feel worthwhile.
Being prompt in responding to your baby’s cues for attention will help develop a strong sense of self. Of course, as the baby grows older, your child will also need to learn how to adjust to when you are not there. Being consistent with your parenting style is crucial. The important thing is that your kid knows you are there when it’s really needed.
Some people feel that being too attentive to an infant or small child will “spoil” them; this is completely untrue. Young children do not have the cognitive awareness that is required for being “spoiled.” It is extremely important to meet a child’s developmental needs (in this case feeling safe and loved) and being attentive to your child’s needs will do it (note that this does not mean giving in to their demands for toys or later bed times etc.).
There are many ways to nurture your child’s self-confidence. One of the easiest is positive reinforcement. Whenever your child does something good or accomplishes anything, give your hearty approval. A child whose feats and victories are recognized forms a positive self-image.
It is also very important that you congratulate your child even when they fail at something. Children must learn that there is value in trying and that losing is not being weak. This will enable them to adjust for those times that they don’t achieve their goals.
Allow your kids to voice their opinions. Knowing that what they think counts, and even when people don’t agree with them, this experience builds their self-esteem.
Be proactive in making your children feel comfortable just being themselves. Your consistent effort is necessary in teaching your child to become self-confident.
When it comes to raising kids, there is no one-size-fits-all secret. Every child is different, and every parent has his or her own parenting style. But these are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to raising a child who feels confident and loved.
Self Confidence Building Activities
“All About Me” Poster
- Large piece poster board (any color)
- Glue stick
1. Look through photographs or magazines for things you like or that describe you.
2. Cut them out and arrange them on the poster board.
3. Make any design you like. Put pictures on that make you feel good, that express what you like and who you are.
4. Hang on your wall with pride.
5. Do one every six months and you will be amazed how much you will have changed.
My “Me” Scrapbook
- Paste or glue
The purpose of this activity is to start and maintain a personal scrapbook. It is ongoing, but does not have to be kept up daily.
1. Start on the first blank page of your scrapbook and write your name, date of birth, address, and any other personal details.
2. Thereafter, fill each page with pictures, photos, drawings, writings, and items that reflect who you are and who you want to be. Remember to include the date each time you find something you want to paste in. You can even include mementos such as tickets and postcards if they have personal significance. In the years to come, you will treasure this “me” book that you have made.
Sometimes we tend to remember the bad things that happen to us more than the good things. Write down five things that happened yesterday. Read your list over. Did you remember five good things, five bad things, or some of each? Whatever you wrote down, you chose it to write down. You can practice remembering good things and feelings and letting go of bad ones. Every day, write down five things that happened which you felt good about. Write what happened and how you felt about it. The best time is before you go to bed at night. These are your happiness lists and you can look them over any time you are feeling down or unhappy. Your lists will help you do more things that create happiness and will also help you collect and store good feelings.
Books to share with your children about Confidence:
- I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow
- It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
- Understanding Myself: A Kid’s Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings by Mary C. Lamia
- Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-esteem by Wendy Moss PhD
- Happy to Be Me!: A Kid Book about Self-Esteem by Christine Adams, Robert J. Butch and R. W. Alley
Activities for the Workplace
Take pride in what you have achieved: Keep a log book or a diary and jot down all the achievements you have made. Perhaps you have closed a successful sales deal or have been recently promoted. Take note of praises and words of encouragement from your superior. For days when you feel down and demoted, flip through the pages and re-read some of your successes. They are a constant reminder that you can do it and are able to achieve more if you set your heart to it.
Be a go-getter: Set realistic goals for yourself and stick to it. Say “I will complete this project in a fortnight” and not “I think I can complete it in a fortnight”. If you make a strong reinforcement to the statement, chances are your brain will register and you will be able to meet the deadline. Also, try to set goals that will highlight your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
Receive a compliment graciously: It is a natural instinct for Asians to be overly humble when someone compliments them. Don’t be. Acknowledge that you deserve the compliment because you have worked hard for it. Smile and say “Thank you. It was really nice of you to notice my work. I’m very proud of it as well” and not “Oh, it was nothing. Anyone could have done it.” The former shows that you are capable of handling tough projects while the latter says that you are a pessimist, plus it also gives the impression that your job is an easy-peasy one!
Positive self-talk: At this point, you have to start managing what goes in and out of your brain. Yes, you might have had a terrible experience at your last job and it has sucked out all of your self-esteem and confidence. It is now time to let go and move on. Eliminate all negative self-talk and replace them with positive ones. One good tip that I’ve learnt is to stick colorful pictures on your wall, in your car, or any other places that are convenient to you. Stick a smiley face to remind you to smile. Put phrases of encouragement and frame them up.
Celebrate: Last but not least, celebrate to rejoice in the fact you have worked diligently to bring your self- confidence to another level. Allow yourself some fun. After this, stretch yourself a little bit more. Make your goals bigger and challenge yourself more. Take it one step at a time at a pace that’s comfortable to you. Some people take three months; others may take up to six months or more. You will slowly notice a difference in yourself.