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Effective ideas for teaching self confidence to anyone!

During these times in society, teaching self confidence to kids and adults alike has probably become more important than ever before because of the exposure and ease at which external factors can influence us nowadays. With the advent of the Internet and cell phones, this only adds to the already excessive barrage of messages heaped upon us by the TV, radio and print media (newspapers, magazines etc).

These affect children and teenagers even more so because of;

1) their relative inexperience in life, and

2) the ease in which young brains accept external influences.

At a young age, the beliefs of children have not been fully formed yet. This makes it easier for them to be influenced by these external messages.

Throughout the times, a person’s self confidence has always been mainly influenced by social pressures and acceptance by others. Arguably, at this point in time this influence is more far reaching than ever before.

Importance of teaching self confidence

teaching self confidence The need to conform to social status has never been greater. It’s like everywhere we turn to there are people constantly judging us and telling us what to do, what things mean and what to believe.

We’re being told how to live, what to wear, how to act, what to eat, what to drink, what is cool – what’s not, where to go, what to buy, what is success, which career to choose, what to study and so on. And we’re hearing this from so many different sources - neighbors, friends, the local community, the government, the ‘experts’, the newspapers, the internet, TV etc.

As long as the messages are neutral or empowering then it’s fine. However, many are limiting. For example;

“Success means earning $X – otherwise you’re a failure”
“Score A grades – or else it means you’re stupid”
“Smoke cigarettes – or else you’re not one of us”

This makes it very easy for us to be a failure and lose confidence if we don’t conform to these ‘rules’.

In addition to that, peer pressure is also a very strong influencing factor. We all know that children and teenagers are even more affected by it. Being judged and outcast by other kids in school or in the neighbourhood can really harm a child’s confidence. So this adds to the importance of teaching self confidence.

Teaching Self Confidence : Teaching the Concept

Having self confidence is just basically believing in one’s abilities, and completely accepting oneself.

teaching self confidence When teaching self confidence, what we really want to teach are these 2 things;

1. To have total self acceptance, and
2. To have total belief in one’s abilities irrespective of what happens, or what is being said and done by others.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t change or make an effort to improve yourself when there is a need to. It means you accept yourself despite whatever the limitations are, and know that you can improve yourself to overcome it.

Being confident is not about being better than others, achieving more things, being popular, or having high social status. It has nothing to do with how rich you are, how smart you are, or how good looking you are.

Many of the people who seemingly have all these things are just as insecure as those who do not. Rather than continually pursuing external things/achievements to counter your insecurities, why not pursue for inner self belief instead?

To have self acceptance and self belief, we must adopt beliefs that support the uniqueness, value and ability of human beings.

Here are examples of such beliefs:

Every person on the face of the Earth is unique in their own special way

All of us have our own gifts and talents.

No one is superior to another. We are just better in different ways.

All of us are created equal.

Everyone’s potential for greatness is the same – which is unlimited.

If others can do it, so can I

There are no failures, only lessons

Having beliefs like this cultivates self confidence. If you look at it from the correct perspective, you’ll realize that each of these beliefs is true in every sense of the word. Apart from teaching it, always encourage and support the acceptance of these beliefs whenever possible. Here’s a tip to help do that ;
  • "Have as many reference and supporting points as possible to support the belief. This can be through common sense, past experiences, or finding proof of it in the world."

Teaching self confidence with through visualization & ‘scramble pattern’

Building Confidence with Visualization

teaching self confidence By visualizing oneself talking, acting or performing a particular task confidently, you’re able to build up confidence. This happens because the brain cannot differentiate between something that is real, and something that is vividly imagined.

Intellectually we know which is real and not real, but the unconscious part of the brain does not. This part governs our emotions and associations. By vividly visualizing being confident, we will associate feelings of confidence with whatever it is that have been visualized.

The more vivid and intense the visualization, the greater it’s effect. More vivid and intense usually means making the image bigger, brighter, more colorful, louder etc. For more information on this, learn about NLP submodalities.

Handling past negative experiences by ‘scrambling’

It is possible that certain negative past experiences may have ‘scarred’ someone so badly that they have been imprinted with low self confidence in particular area. Fear not, as there is a way to tackle this problem.

With an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) technique called the ‘scramble pattern’, we can literally scramble the feelings, emotions, meanings and associations of a past experience.

It’s really simple, here’s how it goes.

teaching self confidence 1. Bring out the memory of that past bad experience. Close your eyes & make that memory run like a movie and replay it once in your mind. (Need not be too long, making it run 10-30 seconds is fine)

2. As you replay the experience, naturally you’ll start feeling the bad emotions. You’ll feel dumb, weak, no confidence etc.

3. Now open your eyes and shake yourself out of it. Get back to neutral.

4. Now run that movie again, but this time change the scene. Here are some ways;
  • Make it go faster and faster, back and forth.
  • Watch it in reverse, then back to normal, then reverse, then normal again.
  • Make it really bizarre – like weird things popping out everywhere, people breaking out into song, people wearing clown costumes, dancing dogs, cartoon characters.
What we want is to jolt the memory so hard that all prior negative associations become dis-associated. Quicken the pace with each run until each run last just a few seconds.

5. Do this for 15-20 times. Then open your eyes and shake yourself up again. Get back to neutral.

You’ll notice that after doing this, when you try to recall the memory of that bad experience, you’ll no longer feel bad feelings and negative associations anymore. You have scrambled that memory so hard that it’s gone.

That is how it works. The scramble pattern is a great complement to teaching self confidence.

Final thoughts…

I personally don’t think it is a good idea to leave the development of a person’s self confidence to chance and just hope for the best. People who do that are letting the current of the river of life control their destiny. Instead, choose to be the boatman with the oars deciding to go his own way.

So……use those tips described above and start teaching self confidence to your child, teenager or just about anybody!

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