child walking

How to Build Confidence in Your Child: 10 Simple Ways

A confident child is a successful adult of tomorrow, who is better able to deal with the challenges of life and better able to bounce back from failures. Confidence is something that comes from within—it is something related to how you feel about yourself; and not that you can put on. A child who is confident is comfortable in his or her own skin and knows his/her self-worth. A confident child is always open to learning and gaining new experiences and is at ease in interacting with others, and is thus able to form good personal relationships as well. It is true that children should learn to face failures as failures build resilience, but the downside of it is that too many failures can hit the confidence-level of your child negatively; success definitely helps build more confidence. So as a parent, it is very important to provide ample opportunities where a child can experience success while dealing with challenges. This, however, can only happen when parents know how to provide appropriate support to their child, without being overprotective. A healthy self-confidence can, hence, be achieved only when the child experiences adequate success and when he or she knows how to handle failures. The best thing about confidence is that, it is not static or permanent; it can develop and grow, and parents can play a pivotal role in helping kids become more confident. Here are few ways that can help you build confidence in your child.

1. Believe in your child: Confidence is all about having belief in oneself, in one’s ability to accomplish things. A child who has a strong belief in his or her abilities is more likely to succeed in challenging situations and success, as we know, in turn, raises self-confidence. But this self-belief does not arise on its own, it is the result of having faith, as a parent, in your child’s abilities. So start by showing faith in your child, as this will in turn help your child gain healthy self-belief.

2. Assign responsibilities: Another way to help your child gain confidence is by giving them responsibilities like helping you in daily chores or taking care of pets etc. This, in turn, increases a child’s sense of self-worth, which in turn affects his or her self-confidence. When a child is given a responsibility, he or she feels needed and important. This sense of positive self-worth enhances the confidence level of your child.

3. Start coaching: Instead of being a controlling parent start being a coach to your child. Your job as a parent is to provide ample opportunities for learning, growing and developing. Start working with your child as a coach rather than as an in-charge doing things for your child yourself. You need to stop being a controlling parent and give some space to your child to let him/her learn on his/her own. Your approach should be like that of a sports coach, who only trains the player and does not play himself on the player’s behalf.

4. Be open to your child’s opinions: As a good parent, you must learn to accept and respect your child’s opinions. This gives a strong message to the child that his/her thoughts, ideas, and beliefs matter and have value. This also conveys that their views are respected. Involve your child in simple decision-making activities, like deciding on the location of your next family vacation or involving them in deciding house rules. And remember to respect their opinion no matter how absurd they might sound at first. You can always reason with them. This will also give your child a sense of power.

5. Encourage: As a parent you should always encourage your child to try new things and take on new challenges. This will help your child to master new skills which will, in turn, enhance his or her confidence. So, healthy parenting means providing opportunities where your child can learn new things and skills.

6. Appreciate your child: Whether your child succeeds or fails at an attempt, keep appreciating the efforts. The child should never feel ashamed of his attempts. When you start appreciating the efforts, your child will feel motivated to try again even if he or she fails in his earlier attempts. Your criticism will only discourage your child to try after a failure. So to raise a confident child it is important for a parent to focus on encouraging and appreciating the efforts.

7. Set achievable goals: As mentioned earlier, success helps build confidence and failures affect confidence negatively. So in order to raise a confident child, it is important to set goals that are achievable for the child. This is even more critical when your child tries something new. Success will help your child try and learn new things in future.

8. Don’t rescue but work with them: Sometimes parents are faced with situations where they are faced with the dilemma of whether to come forward and rescue their child from the failures that are imminent or to let him face them on his own. Well, studies have shown that children of the parents who let them face the consequences or failures as learning experience feel unworthy of love; they consider themselves as failures and often feel that their parents don’t care about them. On the other hand, the parents who come forward to save their children from facing the failures or consequences, raise kids who always avoid or run from challenges. Thus, the best thing you can do as a parent is to work with your children, not for them. Help them organize their ideas and plans, but the execution of such plans should be left to them.

9. Keep your worries to yourself: When a child feels that his parents are worried, he/she tends to interpret this worry as his/her parents’ lack of confidence in their abilities. This parental worry is often perceived as lack of faith on parents’ part. Thus, it is important for you as a parent to keep your worries to yourself.

10. Take interest: Be interested in the activities of your kids. Your genuine interest in what they do will make them feel worthy. Asking them about what they are doing is a good way to show interest. Your positive attention to your child’s activities will have a lasting impact on his or her confidence-level.

man walking

What Is the Most Important Activity for Self-Transformation?

Would you like to grow and transform? Self-awareness is key.

When I run workshops and retreats, this is the most popular question students ask me: “Which activity should I focus on to enhance my personal transformation?” It makes sense; we all have a natural tendency to grow, transform, and live life as fully as we can. It is an internal drive to experience deeper fulfillment. At the same time, many of us are very busy, and we wish to maximize the impact of any transformation-supporting activities. So the question is important. And my answer? Simple, it’s the good old “Get to know yourself.”

Why is Self-Knowledge So Important?

Before we go into the “How” of getting to know yourself, let’s understand the “Why.” Most of us are unaware of crucial pieces of our own personal “self”. Those are pieces we buried at the darkest corner of our consciousness (Jung called it “shadow”), and we are not consciously aware of their impact—and yet they impact us profoundly. We talk to people, make decisions, engage with life, choose work, and perform any other human interaction, under the influence of those deeply buried pieces of ourselves.

And we do it all unconsciously—so that when I contemplate a new professional path and decide not to go for it I might explain it rationally with “I don’t have the required level of experience/education” while the truth is that the unconscious piece from within me was the actual decision-maker here, by sending the internal message of “I am not good enough to do this” or “I am not worthy of this opportunity” (both of which are popular unconscious internal messages)—and if I don’t do the workaround self-awareness, I would probably insist that it is about the rational explanation, because the unconscious internal message is whispered so quietly within me, that I won’t hear it consciously. I would make choices according to it, but I won’t hear it. This “lack of self-worth” deeply buried idea about myself is just an example, there are numerous potential judgments, ideas, perceptions, assumptions, and feelings that I could be carrying in my own personal shadow.

Self-Knowledge: Moving from Shadow Into Light

Through the process of increasing self-awareness, and gaining greater self-knowledge, those pieces gradually shift from darkness into the light, from the unconscious into the conscious. They stop hiding in the shadow, and they become integrated into the “self” that you can see and recognize. Frequently, it is not a fast process (it could take a long time, depending on how deep in your shadow is the piece sitting), and it might even be a painful process.

The pain is due to the fact that there might be a reason behind the piece’s location in shadow of your psyche—it might be a threatening dimension of yourself, or a scary one, or one that is linked with some trauma or difficult past events—and you have pushed it into the unconscious so that you won’t have to “meet” it as part of conscious awareness of yourself. If there is some link to traumatic events in your life, then the transition from shadow into light has to be done gradually, with caution, and deep respect to your personal tolerance—if it feels too much to engage with, take a step back and re-connect with this piece, as much as you could comfortably can, at a later time. And yet, such engagement is crucial if you wish to gain the freedom from unconscious dimensions of yourself impacting your life choices and interactions.

Source link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/mindfulness-wellbeing/201910/what-is-the-most-important-activity-self-transformation

8 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to how one views oneself in terms of one’s own self-worth. One can have a very high opinion of oneself or low, or in-between. Everyone can have doubts about one’s abilities at some point in their life. Feeling low about one’s self-worth can lead to lots of negative effects like, feelings of insecurities, self-doubt, or demotivation. Reasons could be anything, from being bullied to experience of failure in some exam/job interview, or it could be a heartbreak or rejection in love, or experiencing inability to maintain relationships. These experiences can lead to low self-esteem, which in turn can hamper the ability of an individual to bounce back from such experiences. There are also personality factors which predispose a person to have a low self-esteem. In either of the case, it becomes more imperative to help oneself or our loved ones to build healthy and positive self-esteem. High and positive self-esteem has been shown to enhance a person’s success at workplace, relationships, and also his or her mental and emotional wellbeing. It, however, does not mean that you have to be perfect in everything or in every role of your life, to have a healthy self-esteem.

A positive and healthy self-esteem is knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, acknowledging one’s flaws and not being overwhelmed by them and knowing that one does not have be perfect to be happy; it’s rather being happy with one’s imperfections. Here are some powerful ways to boost your self-esteem. But before we start, you need to keep only one thing in mind when it comes to self-esteem, that it is based on your opinion about yourself, what others think or feel doesn’t matter, so you need to work on yourself and on your own thoughts alone. Once you are able to view yourself in positive and healthy manner, what others think of you or how others make you feel won’t matter. You will be the in charge of your life and your thoughts.

1. Be kind: The biggest irony is that we are able to show kindness to others but when it comes to ourselves, we become the meanest or stingiest person. We are willing to discount or ignore other’s imperfections or failures sometimes, but when it comes to our own failures or flaws, we leave no stone unturned to blame ourselves. It is high time that your start showing some kindness to yourself as well. Failing at one aspect doesn’t make you a failure. Like, you can be bad at mathematics but you can be expert in some other subject. Same goes with every aspect of one’s life. Therefore, stop lowering your self-worth over one incident or aspect of your life, and start focusing on your strengths instead. Use positive self-talk to bolster up your self-esteem and challenge any negative thought that comes to your mind and makes you feel less worthy. Besides, never compare yourself with anyone. Your self-worth is based on how you think of yourself not how you think about others or how they think about you. Be your own biggest supporter and encourager.

2. Self-care: Take good care of yourself. Set your health as your first priority. Eat regular healthy balanced diet, incorporate lot of fresh fruits, and plenty of water in your daily diet. Having a sound and quality sleep is very important for how you feel. Lack of good sleep makes you feel irritable and lowers your productivity. Avoid alcohol and other recreational drugs when you feel low about yourself; these only make things worse and, in fact, hampers your natural abilities to deal with challenges. Include daily exercise like aerobics or morning walk in your daily routine. Exercise makes you feel good. Go out; spend some time in parks or green surroundings.

3. Focus on the positives: To maintain a healthy self-esteem, it is important to focus on the positive things. No success is small; celebrate your accomplishments and achievements, even if not too remarkable. This will especially help you in situations of self-doubt and will let you focus on your abilities. Don’t forget to praise and appreciate yourself for every achievement. Remember failures are part of life and not the end. Take your failures as learning experiences and appreciate your efforts.

4. Make an inventory: Sometimes in situations of self-doubt or circumstances where our perseverance is challenged, it is helpful to make a list of things that you like about yourself as a person. Prepare a list of your strengths or qualities about yourself that you appreciate. No matter how small that quality may seem, write it down. You can even ask others about what they like about you or what qualities they appreciate. These could be skills, traits, beliefs, talents, achievements, etc. Go through these on daily basis to maintain a healthy and positive self-esteem.

5. Explore your talents and hobbies: Make effort to indulge in activities that help you relieve stress and bring out something new about you. These should be activities other than your routine tasks, e.g., gardening, painting, music, cooking, etc. These activities help you explore your competencies and give you immediate gratification of accomplishment, which will, in turn, enhance your self-esteem.

6. Avoid perfection: Seeking perfection is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it encourages the person to strive for excellence and on the other hand, it can lead to feeling of failure, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or frustration. Research has shown that perfection has a link with depression as well. Instead of seeking perfection you should focus on completion. Try to give your best and don’t pressurize yourself with unrealistic expectations. Think of goals and expectations that are realistic and achievable.

This applies to personal life as well. Whenever you shout or get angry at your child or at your partner, this doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or a bad spouse. Or when you get rejected in love, this shouldn’t make you feel less worthy of love or affection. Or if you fail at a task at your workplace, it doesn’t, in any way, make you less capable as a worker. We all have weak moments in life where we don’t know the right way to respond or where things are beyond our control. These are times which should be taken as learning experiences. Without doubting yourself, you should learn from these experiences and move forward.

7. Accept compliments: People with low self-esteem often find it difficult to accept compliments from others, or they do not trust these compliments and sometimes don’t know how to respond to positive compliments from others. It is high time you start accepting compliments and enjoy the feeling of being appreciated without any apprehension or doubt. Practice in front of mirror on how to respond when someone appreciates you. Saying a simple ‘thank you’ can be quite challenging for a person with low self-esteem.

8. Do something for others: When you experience low self-esteem, doing small favor for others or the environment and surrounding can help you achieve a feeling of accomplishment. Making someone feel good by giving them a nice compliment can help you achieve this. Helping others can help you achieve positive feelings about yourself.