Life Skills: Confidence Raises Self Esteem

When you think of confidence what people, words or images come to your mind?  I see a person with a smile who is working on something that they know they do very well.   I have watched my wife working in the kitchen preparing a meal, with what seems to be a thousand things happening at the same time and in the end the meal is perfect and served together.  She does it with an easy concentration and with confidence of the outcome.

When you are confident you have a special energy about yourself, you are not easily distracted from the task at hand and if an obstacle does come up, you deal with it without being flustered by the challenge.  Since we cannot be confident in everything that we have to do in a day sometimes we have to put on the face of confidence, we must have the “I Can, I Will” attitude.  How do we accomplish that?

We start with our physical self first.  Our body will stand straight and tall, look others in the eyes and walk in a manner that looks like we know where we are going and that we will not be stopped, with a strong assertive voice. Continue reading “Life Skills: Confidence Raises Self Esteem”

Will your child succumb to peer pressure?

By the time a child reaches third grade they are fully aware of the comparisons and assessments being made of them in everything from social skills and personality to physical appearance and athletic ability.  They are at a real crossroad in their early lives where their self esteem is either built or broken.    They now have a choice to make as to whether their decisions will be made from an internal direction or if the choices they make will be based on external influences.

As parents / leaders we too have to consider how we are leading both our personal and professional life.  Are we trying to impress others in order to influence them, or are we focused on who we really are, not trying to be perfect in the eyes of others or the center of attention.  If the example we set for our children, in our personal life is – saying, wearing, and driving the right thing, having the right job and social status or the example we set in our professional life is – struggling to get ahead, looking out for number one, working long hard hours to make the credit card payments – our children notice.

Children will see it in our words, actions and feelings and they will also feel the pressure to follow suit.  Always trying to impress others is hard work.  Both personally and professionally those who are leaders attract others to themselves by focusing on others rather than themselves.  They ask questions, listen and don’t try to be the center of attention.  Being the leader in the family, setting this example will produce children that will make decisions based on internal directions – morals, values, and ethics – rather than being influenced by outside peer pressures.  Is that not how we want our children to really make decisions?

Winning or losing reactions

We all know that when we play a game that it is more fun and fair when everyone follows the rules, without having to be reminded and told to do so.  But when the game is over how we react to the winning or losing of the game also has an affect on us and those that we played with.
Even though losing is never fun and winning does make us feel good there are ways of handling this that are fair to other and demonstrate good sportsmanship.  But first we need to get past the question about is it fair if someone wins or loses.  In todays world of children, there are parents and teachers that believe that it will hurt the self esteem of the child if they lose in a game or competition and so they have all sorts of ways of no one having lost, including not playing games that there are obvious winners.
Well the fact is that if we play a game and everyone plays by the rules – then it is fair if someone wins and others do not win.  The question that needs to be addressed is how do we react?  We can teach our children that it is great to desire to win – that is healthy.  In fact for me to want to be the best is healthy.  What is not healthy is when we get down on ourselves, when we decide that we are not good enough or when we cry, pout, throw a tantrum because we did not win.  Thats not fair to others and especially to those that did better on that particular day and time.  And it is not heathy for us, because those types of feelings and reactions do not allow us to go back to work on our game.
These questions are so important for everyone to discuss with their children and think about themselves before we face that situation.  We are not going to win all of the time / nor are we going to lose all of the time, even if it feels that way when we do.  So what is an appropriate reaction?

Honesty with ourselves

Have you ever had a friend or someone you knew that very seldom came through on the promises they made.  They say they will call you, or go out with you or take care of your kids and they don’t.  It does not take very long before you begin to lose faith in them.  You recognize that they may not be reliable, accountable or dependable.    You just may not trust them.
The same thing happens to us when we make and break self – promises.  What if I promised myself that I was going to work out in the morning. Or I am going to be sure to eat breakfast every morning.  Or any number of other promises we may make to ourselves.  If we do not keep them, it won’t belong before we won’t trust ourselves.  We may begin questioning if we are responsible.  Our self esteem will suffer.
Make and keep a small commitment to your self and then as you built up your trust in your self the commitments you make can get larger and more difficult.  Being honest with yourself, keeping your word to yourself on small and big things will create in you the person you want to be, Responsible (Reliable, Accountable, Dependable)

Honesty with ourselves and others

The end of the month has come and so we are completing our discussion with our students on honesty. One of the concepts we spoke about was the practice of being “two faced”. Most of our 7/8 year olds had not heard that term before and did not really understand the practice of saying or being one thing to one person and something different with another.
The older students were very aware of this happening within their peer groups and many have been affected by this personally. It is such a lesson for us young or older. Honesty with our selves and being who we are with everyone is so important to our health and welfare.
Being a person that others can trust to be who we are to everyone is a key ingredient to being a good friend. It is also the way that we can keep ourselves liking ourselves, which is a boost to our self esteem and confidence. Our true friends and supporters (like mom and dad) will honor our opinions and decisions, and be kind to us, treating us in a way that is true to who we are. Our responsibility is to be who we are to everyone, and not one thing to one person and another to others.