5 ways to build confidence

5 ways to build confidence

I don’t know about you, but a big AHA moment for me was realizing that I could learn and practice how to be confident.  This is huge because we forget that confidence is a skill.  And a skill is anything that can be learned. A skill is something you can be taught. That means, if you are not confident today, you can learn how to be tomorrow. This is huge because you can change the course of your life by learning how to have confidence.

You can learn how to radiate confidence when you step into a room, when you meet someone for the first time, even when you have to give a presentation! Imagine knowing that you can help your daughter no longer feel trapped by a fear of forever being afraid, or shy, or eager to please, or too nice, or that you have to follow the crowd. She doesn’t have to be intimidated by feelings of inferiority. She really can learn how to combat all of these things by building her confidence! And I am going to jumpstart your efforts with 5 simple things to start trying today!

Tip 1

Praise the process, not the end result

Often times as parents we are proud of our children’s accomplishments and eagerly congratulate them on a job well done. It may sound like this! “Mom I got an A on my test!” And your reply “I knew you could do it, you are so smart!” Well I’d like to suggest an alternate response.

What if you instead said “great job, your studying all week paid off” tweaking your response to acknowledge your daughter’s effort will make it easier for her to try things that are challenging in the future. Research shows that praising the effort and hard work helps to eliminate the fear of failure that girls who are repeatedly praised for their intellect or perfection tend to display. It may seem a little awkward, even a little counter intuitive at first. But it’s worth it in the long run.

Tip 2

Help your daughter learn to trust in her decision making ability

It is critical that she has opportunities to practice making decisions while she’s still at home. If she doesn’t she won’t have the confidence to trust her own instincts and it will be hard for her to make good decisions in the future. So the next time she approaches you with a problem, say a situation that came up with a friend on her soccer team.

Instead of giving your opinion, ask her what she thinks she could do in the situation. You can even have her come up with multiple solutions then decide on her own which one she is going to go with. Don’t worry if you don’t agree, obviously unless it’s an issue involving her safety, let her figure it out. She needs to start building confidence in her decision making ability now and this is how you can help her. This one is tough, but so important.

Tip 3

Help her make sense of the things she sees in tv, magazines, and on social media

This can include pointing out that the passionate love scenes she sees on tv are not examples of real love. Or explaining to her that pictures of celebrities online or in magazines can be edited and most likely don’t represent what the women actually look like. This will help prevent her feeling inadequate about her body type and her relationships.  Take the time to have the conversations and when possible listen listen more than you talk so that you are encouraging her to express her ideas which also will boost her confidence.

Think about it, when you two have the conversation after her favorite show, she’s gonna go back to school the next day unafraid to share what she knows when she talks about the episode with her friends!

Tip 4

Help her believe that she can do anything!

How do you do this? First and foremost you tell her. Tell her you believe in her. Also give her the opportunity to learn new skills by helping the family out in ways that give her independence.

For example let her call a restaurant to order take out or schedule her own doctor’s appointments. But don’t expect perfection here, this is an opportunity for you to show your unconditional love and patience, be there for her and it will help build her confidence.

Tip 5
Get her involved in sports

I love how sports allow girls to discover a side of themselves they may not know existed. She will learn that she is capable of far more than she ever imagined. She will trust herself and appreciate her body for its strength. Achieving milestones in sports will teach her that she can push herself not just in her sport but in life.

She will not be afraid to challenge herself and hold herself to a higher standard in other areas of her life as well.

Smart Success

Smart Success

Having a teenage daughter can be overwhelming. There are so many challenges they will face as they move toward adulthood, and you want them to be prepared, but what exactly does that look like? For many of us, that means trying to guide their path to destinations like college. Despite our best intentions, we might cloud their personal path with our expectations. That is when you might find a rebellious or indignant teen on your hands.

While it is true that your daughter needs guidance to make good choices along her journey, it is also important to take the vision she has for her future seriously. Trying to find that balance in these critical years can leave you wishing you had  a “how to” manual on hand.  While we know there are no cut and dry manuals, there are ways to help you help your child to choose wisely.

Guidance, Not Force.

As hard as it may be for parents to accept, the truth is that our teens will make decisions that we do not necessarily agree with. The dreams they have for their future may not coincide with our dreams for them.

Perhaps they want to go to college for a major you think will not be profitable, or maybe they have no desire to go to college at all. These choices may sound scary, or downright crazy, but it is important to take a breath, and listen.  Motivation to succeed must come from within her! At some point in her life, she has to truly want “it” for herself, whatever “it” may be.  So one of the best things you can do is to help her discover who she truly is and what she genuinely wants out of life.  Naturally, you will have an influence on her, but she has to own her future.  Finding that mutual understanding when what you each want for her life can be really tough if you are on opposite ends of the spectrum.   But I already know you want what is best for her, so perhaps it’s time to make sure you know her and hear where she is coming from.  Make her see that you respect her and value the direction she envisions for her life.  As hard as it can be for some, this is where your role in the relationship shifts from sole authority figure to more of a coach and supporter.

A Confident Teen, Is a Responsible Teen.

I have worked with countless teens through the most vital years of their young adult life, and what I have found is that ALL young women need three things:

  • A person to listen without judgment
  • Self-awareness
  • Confidence to trust her own decisions

My goal is to help your daughter identify her strengths and weaknesses, find a fulfilling direction for her life, and give her the tools to get there. One of the most important tools in any woman’s arsenal is a strong sense of self-worth, and a healthy dose of self-esteem. When a young woman is secure in who she is, and where she is going, she is far more likely to make good decisions, and that is the end result we all want!