Anyone here agrees that there seems to be an unwritten rule that when you have 2 (or more) kids, they must be the opposite of each other? It's as if we have to learn to cover all grounds in parenting.
It certainly applies to my 2 girls: One is confident, sociable, and doesn't care what other people thinks of her; the other - the complete opposite. We've been working on increasing her confidence for awhile now, but there's no magic pill.
Last year, when I was in LA last year walking around in The Last Bookstore (which is such a magical place), this book on the shelf caught my eye.
I got it, and C and I spent the school holidays reading it together. She loved it, and quite honestly I hadn't thought much about it again until last week, when C said "Mommy, I saw [Name of friend] reading the book too!" Knowing this book is making its way into little girls' bookshelves here has inspired me to write a summary of this book, focusing on the top tips and tools we can use when facing a confidence crisis.
We're also going to be talking about failure. Why? It's intertwined. The fear of failure is what makes you lack the confidence to do something you're not brilliant at or new to. The lack of confidence is what makes you believe you will fail. And if you don't try something new and risk failing, you can't build confidence.
Confidence is not about how you look. It's about how you act, and who you are.
What's your failure style?
- You sob loudly into a pillow for hours. And then you eat a carton of cookie-dough ice cream.
- Whatever. You're not even going to think about it. It Never Happened.
- You feel sick. You want to puke, literally. And your head hurts. Urgh.
- You want to hide, maybe on another planet, or another galaxy. You never ever want to show your face again.
- You hole up in your room for a while, but you also know that after a few days you and everyone else will move on. It's awkward, but whatever.
- Wow! You weren't expecting to flat-out bomb, but it's cool. It doesn't bother you much.
If you've chosen 1 to 4, then JOIN THE CLUB! That's how most people feel about screwing up.
If you answered 5 or 6, then you've started to figure out the secret to failure.
Cheat Sheet on How to Cope and Grow with Failure (Top 10 Failure Fixes):
Well that was easier said than done. If you're thinking that yeah, you know this, you just can't seem to apply it in real life, let's take a step back first.
Girls and women can overthink things. We all seem to worry too often that we've messed up, that everything is horrible, which then leads us to be afraid of taking chances, at doing things which are new and uncomfortable. There are 3 most common flawed thinking patterns. So the first step which Katty and Claire (the authors) advises us to do is to identify if we are stuck in one of these:
Identify and Acknowledge:
What we think creates what we feel, which then shapes what we do.
Too much flawed thinking leads to NO ACTION. We become paralyzed, or frightened. And end up not acting at all, which means no confidence building.
So the next step, is to then look into the Rewiring Toolbox for some tools to help us move forward! Here's a toolbox of the best tactics to wire our brains for confidence.
Now Act on It:
Remember - You don't have to restrict yourself to one - use a couple to help you.
Lastly, Finding You:
The above are tips and tools, but ultimately you need to know who YOU are. When we are feeling fearful, it's easy to slip into the mindset that we suck at everything. Create a list of your values, and your true strengths --> This becomes your beacon.
Values can be:
For Strengths, think about:
- What makes you feel good while you are doing it?
- What gives you energy?
- What do you do that makes you happy?
- What do you do alot, on your own, without ever being reminded?
- What kind of things do you notice in the world?
- What kind of things make you excited?
- What kind of things cause you to lose track of time (social media or games doesn't count!)?
When you find an overlap between your strengths and your values, it's like a mega confidence boost.
Hope you found these tips useful in building up your confidence code! Remember this key to confidence:
Risk More, Think Less, Be Yourself!
This article is a summary of our key takeaways from the book The Confidence Code for Girls, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. The book has a ton of examples and scenarios in it, which makes it very relatable for kids to read. If you have a daughter facing confidence issues and enjoyed the tips in this article, do get the book and read it in full! (note: I'm not an affiliate)