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Looking back at my own experiences as a young female and those of the females around me, including clients, friends, and my younger sister, I wish that “Building Confidence 101” was a course I could have taken at some point in my middle school or high school (or even college for that matter) career. The act of building confidence can feel gruesome and, at times, even impossible when the pressures of our day-to-day lives and our goals and expectations are weighing on us. These stressors combined with comparison and self-doubt can make our confidence levels plummet.
Though building confidence takes time and effort, there are a few guidelines that can help us foster confidence building in our lives and those around us.
1. Confidence is not feeling that we can succeed in everything we do, but in knowing that if we don’t succeed, that does not reflect negatively on our worth. Focusing on the journey and not the end result ensures that success is not the defining factor of confidence
2. Confidence is built by new experiences, not by success. Encouraging your teen to try new things without the pressure of doing well can increase their confidence tremendously
3. Modeling confidence for those around us with a mindset of growth, that we can strengthen our abilities and challenge them versus believing that we are “stuck with” the levels of intelligence and abilities that we currently have
4. Set challenging and realistic goals. Walk through these with someone you trust or be the person someone can process these with, leaving room for adjustments if a goal is too high or does not challenge you in ways you are hoping to grow from
These steps are adapted from “Enough As She Is” by Rachel Simmons, which focuses on helping young girls live lives that are fulfilling and happy, in order to be applicable to all ages and genders.