Contrary to what many industry experts, courses, programs, workshops, and training sessions would have you believe, I firmly believe that everyone is born with the level of confidence they require to live out their life, their purpose, and their journey.
Let me ask you – Have you ever really noticed a child? When a baby is born he’s free and full of confidence. The baby is confident, when he/she cries for milk, it appears, when he poops, someone appears to clean it up. Have you noticed a toddler, how confident a child is about what he wants, and how he clearly communicates without prejudice or hesitation? Almost till the age of 6-10 years, there is an abundance of self-confidence and effectiveness in communication.
Post that age, we start gathering the baggage of life – every time someone says – “Are you sure?”, “Work hard so you don’t fail”, “You should not fail!”, “A lot depends upon you!”. We feel the fear of failing and slowly start to resist taking on big challenges so as not to face that fear. Over time (years) even though people outside may stop saying it, our mind remembers all the times we failed in something & slowly the self-doubt starts to add layers over and over. Now a confident, outspoken and fully self-expressed child slowly starts to doubt & second guess himself.
We are filled with experiences of failures, rejections and belief in our incompetency. And as there is a need for confidence in the market, and different industries, we are always looking to collect news, and education, we put up a facade of false self-confidence & project it to the world, hoping no one would find out.
However, inside there is a huge conflict between what we are really feeling and what we are pretending to be so that we may be accepted, acknowledged & appreciated. Over time this gap continues to eat us inside, like a termite, and increase the experience of something lacking.
Let's face it, parenting can be tough, especially in this day and age. So how can we help our daughter's maneuver the challenges of life while also building their self-confidence?
#1 STAY READY
The timing of when your kids are ready to connect may not always match yours. So, make it a habit to be ready and available when they are. It may not always be convenient but being available will always pay off.
#2. STAY HUMBLE
Take the pressure off of yourself to know it all. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Believe me, your daughter knows things you don’t know, and that is okay. Always approach your children with humility recognizing your own mistakes and shortcomings so that they feel free and safe to recognize their own.
#3. ACTIVATE YOUR ACTIVE LISTENING
It is very normal to be focused on getting across the things that are important to us when communicating to with our kids. However, practice letting them talk first and then make it a point to lean in and listen fully including with your facial expressions and body language. Frequently say “tell me more” or repeat what you heard them say.
#4. GET INTO THEIR WORLD
Investing in their interest can yield a big return when it comes to connecting with your kids. Don’t try to engage in deep conversation without first investing the time into the things that matter most to them. Consider spending 10 minutes with your child a few times a week doing something they enjoy. When it comes time to engage at a deeper level, they will be more likely go with you.
#5. PRACTICE WHAT YOUR PREACH
Kids are very observant and at the end of the day, what we say doesn’t matters as much as what we do. Make it a habit to lead by example and practice what you preach. For example, if you say no phones at the dinner table, all phones, including yours, should be in the other room.
#6. BE EMPATHETIC
Take note to how your kids feel and acknowledge it. Don’t always try to fix the problem but be vulnerable and teach your kids to do the same, even it means sharing areas of vulnerability in your own life.
#7. ALLOW KIDS TO FAIL FORWARD
Allow a safe space for your kids to fail. The reality is we all learn from our mistakes, so allow your kid to make mistakes (within the bounds that they do not harm them or anyone else mentally, physically or emotionally). Remember, failure can build reliance and grit and help our kids gain skills that will be helpful as they progress through life.
#8. GIVE THEM RESPONSIBILITY
Dish out age-appropriate responsibilities while they are young. It is better to give your kid responsibility now and teach them how to handle that responsibility while they are under your supervision, guidance and leadership. When they are adults, they will have had practice making good decisions and creating better habits.
#9. ASSUME THE BEST
Your child is developing opinions, philosophies, and ideas. Support them in their quest and don’t assume they are being “smart” or rude. Use their remarks as conversation starters.
#10. PRAY FOR YOUR KIDS
This may seem to be a given, but you’d be surprised how many parents easily overlook this important tip. The most important thing we can do in this crazy world we live in, is to pray for and cover our kids in prayer. God loves your kids even more than you do but has entrusted them to you. As a parent, you don’t have to raise them alone. God is with you.
Which five can you focus on this week?
Do you realize the power of your pen? That's right, that small little ink pen that you carry around in the bottom of your purse. Yes, the one you can never get your hands on when you need it most. I encourage you today to pull it out and keep it near so you can use it to capture the hopes and dreams you have hidden in your heart. Our pen is made for more than creating shopping lists and writing reminder sticky notes to place on your mirror. While using the pen for those things is important, it is equally important to realize there is more power in that pen than we truly realize.
Everything you have and will encounter as you go throughout your day was likely imagined first through a person's heart and mind, and then through a pen. The clothes you are wearing, the car you drive, and the application you use faithfully each morning to download a morning motivation or to kick off your morning work-out were likely first sketched out with a pen. All of this and more started with someone who had a vision in their heart and simply wrote it down before it ever came to be.
The word of God tells us to Write the Vision and Make it Plain, for a reason. It is because there is power in the pen. The simple step of writing down your hopes, dreams, and prayers is the first step to putting things into motion. Now, yes, we realize there is more to be done than simply writing it down, but taking that first step, jump starts it all.
Today, I encourage you to pick up your pen and write down the things that you have hidden in the recesses of your mind and heart. No matter how large or small, write it the way you see it. Don't overthink it, just dump it on the pages of your notebook or journal. Once you do that, sit with it, pray over it and revisit it often. You never ever know how God will grace you to make those dreams a reality.
QUESTION: Have you ever written something down and stumbled across what you wrote years later, only to be amazed that the very thing that was once an idea, has now become a reality? What was it?
We live in a culture that's quick to point fingers, call out our faults, and gasp in horror at each other's failures. And as parents, we are easy targets, are we not? Have you ever pretended not to look at the young mom struggling with her toddler at Target? What about that time you wrestled with your thoughts after overhearing about your neighbor's teenage daughter who...?
It's easy to fall into the trap of shaming (even if it's just in our heads) those around us who've experienced "failure". So... bringing it closer to home... what about when it's our own kid who's made a poor choice? Shame-free parenting is a two-way street. And we need to pay attention to how we treat ourselves AND our kids when failures occur. Which they most certainly will.
First off, nothing is off the table. Our kids have to feel like they can come to us with anything, no matter how big or small. Allow for open dialog in your home. If you have young kids you can start today and set a firm foundation as they transition into the teen years and adulthood.
If you have older kids, it may be a bit more challenging to get the conversation going, but it can be done! Even when it comes to tough and touchy conversations, by the grace of God, you can start a healthy and productive conversation that allows them to express themselves.
Second, grace is the key to everything. God’s grace has been extended to us as parents, and we, in turn, must shower our kids with grace. This means creating a judgment-free zone where no topic is off-limits and where our kids know that they are loved and supported regardless of what they are struggling with. Having received grace, we must extend grace.
Third, as parents, we can’t afford to beat ourselves up. We are going to blow it - no matter who you are. Asking for forgiveness from our kids is a great way to model humility when things don’t go well. In most cases, kids can be quick to forgive and actually extend grace back to us as parents. Combine these actions together and live in the freedom of shame-free parenting.
Let's put this into practice:
Source: Axis - https://axis.org/
When it comes to achieving your dreams and accomplishing your goals, it is very easy to put the work off until you have all the ducks lined up and are assured everything is going to work out, but does that ever really work? You already know the answer...NO!!!
The reality is no matter how hard we try we can never get everything worked out perfectly. And the reality is while we are trying to do so, we are losing valuable precious time. I challenge you today to rethink your strategy when it comes to achieving your personal goals or obtaining the things that are most important to you. Make a decision today to do the work as if you know everything is going to work out.
QUESTION: What is one thing you can do today to move closer to your goals?
As you jumpstart your week, be aware there will be many things that may come your way to steal your time and distract your mind but remain laser-focused. There is work to do, dreams to fulfill, and a purpose to be pursued. Get in the zone!
Starve your distractions and feed your focus. It's going to be a GREAT week.
Are you often labeled "Team Too Much"? Do those around you frown upon your zeal, passion and excitement? Do you find yourself dimming down your light because others around you are uncomfortable? Well, if you answered "yes" to any of those questions, I encourage you today to pause, take a deep breath in, and keep pushing forward. There is no apology needed as you get up each day and press forward towards the things God has created YOU to do.
You don't need those around you to fully understand what you are doing and where you are going. If God gave you a dream, a vision or instructions, remember you and Him are a majority. Adjust your crown my dear, look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself you have what it takes. Now let's go!
On this first Monday of a brand-new year, I encourage you not to slip into the overwhelm of the week ahead thinking about the long list of things you have to catch up on after the Christmas and Holiday break. Instead, affix your eyes upon ONE THING you can commit to accomplishing this week that will help you feel a sense of achievement and get you closer to your goal. Once you determine that one thing, post it below or share it with an accountability partner.
Dr. nicole steele
Through Her Priceless Posts, Dr. Nicole Steele shares her Priceless Perspective on real life issues pertaining to women, girls, families and youth workers.