My mother knew a lot of Child Psychology. She had no formal degree, but she knew.
When I was about 12 years old she asked me to make a cake. By myself, but she would be in the kitchen with me.
“I’ve tried this recipe a couple times,” she said, “but I can’t get it to come out right.”
All of the ingredients were set out on the counter. The recipe was propped up so I could easily reference it. I began measuring, adding into the bowl, mixing – one line at a time.
The oven was pre-heated.
The raw batter in the cake pan was placed on the middle rack.
The timer was set.
We waited. I don’t remember what I did while waiting. But I checked through the oven glass many times.
The cake was rising just like a good cake should.
Mom also checked, and every time announced, “Looks good. I think you’ve done it!”
Tomato Soup Cake became my specialty.
Every time we had it Mom would repeat, “I don’t know what he does, but I can never get Tomato Soup Cake to turn out right.”
I read recently that it is proclaimed by experts that “Mothers make the difference in establishing confidence in children.”
It’s maybe too late for the readers of this blog to depend on their mothers for this miracle.
Does that mean there’s no hope?
Can you at your age do something to develop more confidence?
Yes! You definitely can increase your self-confidence!
Self esteem is a related term.
If you are a parent, or a grandparent, of young children, you have a strong influence on the self esteem that is developed in them.
No matter your present level of self-confidence or self esteem, you can take action to increase to a higher level – without becoming conceited or obnoxious.
Confidence is what you want, and change is required in a few areas of your life to achieve it.
1. Change Your Appearance
2. Take Inventory of Yourself
3. Talk To Yourself
4. Set Goals
5. Polish Your Interpersonal Skills
The Details – How-To
What people see as ‘you’ includes your Clothing, Grooming, and Movements.
Start with the inexpensive areas if you have a limited budget for a new wardrobe.
Grooming: Hair style, hair cut, hair color, beard – your general grooming – is a good place to start. Get some input from trusted friends and advisors.
Movements: The way you stand says a lot about your confidence. Stand tall, shoulders back, head up. Say, “Yes, this is me!” with your posture.
Walking: Confident people walk faster than others. Pick your feet up, don’t slide; take confident steps, which tend to be a little longer than hesitant steps.
Sitting: Don’t slouch. Sit up tall. Always have reading and writing materials with you – and use it while you’re waiting.
Working: Stay busy. Keep the materials out that you need to get your job done. Organized for easy access.
Clothing: Observe what your bosses are wearing. Dress like them.
At Home: If you complete some or all of your work at home, you need an organized work space – an office if you have the space. Avoid clutter. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
2. Self Inventory
Make two lists
A. Your Strengths
B. Your Accomplishments
Get a friend to help you with this step.
Keep the list where you will read it daily.
3. Self Care; Self Talk
Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.
Tell yourself the good words that will encourage you to keep going.
Exercise, diet, recreation, friendships, worship – some of the ways that we can take care of our selves.
Take up some new activities: painting, music, writing – artistic expressions.
4. Set Goals
Change takes time. Be realistic. You might need some advice from a trusted friend or advisor.
Be patient as you put your plans into action.
Ultimately, confidence is built on what you can see that you’ve accomplished.
Every day you need to see that you have reached, or at least, moved closer to a personal goal. Set your goals accordingly.
5. Interpersonal Behaviors
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be an Encourager, a Friend. Sound like you have confidence in others as they do their work. Find ways to compliment others. Speak as if you have achieved your goals.
Eliminate complaining and whining.
When possible, avoid places, people, and activities that make you feel bad about yourself – at least until you are stronger, more confident.
In the words of Lao Tzu: Confidence is the greatest friend.
Make that friend.
Comments are welcomed.