We really are designed to have whatever state we want and feel however we want and so are our kids. So, why do so many kids struggle with lack of confidence, self-esteem and sense of belonging among many other things? Is it because we as parents do not know how to show them how to get it? It could be that we don’t know how to get it for ourselves, because no one taught us either.
When I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming, I gained a lot of understanding about how the mind works. I am amazed at how easy it can be for a person to change their experience of a situation without actually changing what is happening. A child can be in a situation where they lack confidence, feel inferior and feel like they don’t belong. After going through the steps outlined below, they could go back into exactly the same situation and experience it completely differently. They could have a sense of confidence, self-esteem and equality they could never have imagined before, even though everything around them is exactly as it was before.
I could not believe it could be as simple as this, but it is. I had a play around with some ideas, practiced on myself, my kids, and then worked on it with my clients. I was amazed at the results. This works! It works with kids of all ages and it even works with adultsJ. I was so excited by the possibilities and I want to share it with everyone.
I have simplified gaining confidence into 5 steps.
- Ask your child think of a time when they feel confident. It can be anytime at all. Maybe when they play a computer game, kick a soccer ball, help you in the kitchen or do art and craft.
- Get them to explain what this confidence feels like. What do they look like when they have it? What kinds of thoughts do they have going on in their head (what is their self-talk)? What does the feeling feel like and where in their body do they feel it? Get as much detail as possible. Talk about their posture, their facial expressions, their tone of voice and anything else they can think of.
- Ask them to see if they can feel the feeling right now, even though they are not in the situation where they usually get it. Sometimes it can take a couple of goes but they can always bring the feeling in by remembering it or imagining they have it.
- Get your child to practice having this feeling during their day at times when they are not in the situation where they usually get the feeling. This is a very important step and one that is often missed. It is important to practice having this feeling at times when it doesn’t really matter whether they have it or not. In the shower, getting ready for school, eating dinner with the family. Practice it in as many neutral situations as possible. Tell them to act as though it is true.
- Now comes the exciting part. After practicing step 4 for a few days it is time to put it to the test. Tell your child to practice bringing this feeling in at a time when they would not normally have it and they really want it.
Watch the magic happen.
Your child has created the program of confidence that they can have whenever they want. They do not have to wait for certain circumstances to occur, they can switch it on and off as they desire. Of course, the more they practice steps 4 and 5 the more success they can have. They can also do this for any other feeling they want. A sense of belonging, feeling smart, feeling popular, feeling strong, happy, appreciated; there really is no limit.
Why not give it a go for yourself?