Have confidence in yourself and you will inspire confidence in others
We humans learn by observation and mimicry , through contact with others. Everything happens as if we receive signals from each other without a word being spoken.
It is therefore by observing and reproducing a behavior that we appropriate it. It is an (almost primitive) mechanism embedded in our genes.
Just as the animal learns to survive in nature by observing its fellows, the child copies everything that mom or dad does (and especially the worst). Because even if in adolescence, you think that despite this atmosphere of conflict your child no longer listens to you. Nay! He watches you and continues to learn from you.
Studies have shown how much mimicry is “an absolute condition for the transfer of knowledge” (whether in sport, languages, maths, science, etc.).
In short, learning by imitation is our primal way of acquiring knowledge;
So why wouldn’t the school use it more?
In any case, it appears that parental confidence can only encourage children to build or regain self-confidence.
Thus, numerous research reports since the 70s have shown that self-confidence increases:
- the general well-being of a person,
- his motivation and therefore often his performance,
- ability to cope with stress, and mental health
In short, self-confidence is a better life that parents want for themselves and … for their children in their daily lives but also in their school careers.
The importance of self-confidence
There is often this confusion between self-confidence and self-esteem but we are about to learn the difference.
To have “self-confidence” is to believe in one’s ability to succeed in doing things.
“Because we believe in ourselves, we don’t try to convince others. Because we are happy with ourselves, we do not need the approval of others. Because you accept yourself, the whole world accepts it. –Lao Tzu
In short, it’s how much you believe in yourself.
Having self-esteem means evaluating our qualities, faults, skills, and shortcomings. It is therefore to estimate if one is a good person, if one deserves what one has.
It is believing in one’s worth to others and to the world – In short, how much one loves one another.
Self-esteem is therefore fertile ground for self-confidence. But the reverse is not mandatory. This is why many artists impress with their talent and their self-confidence. But they have such low self-esteem that they harm themselves through alcohol, drugs or commit the irreparable act.
The lack of self-confidence
We learn mainly by observation and mimicry. First from our parents, then from the school and institutional authorities on which we are dependent. These moral authorities give us an account of our intelligence, our talents, and our weaknesses.
Did we have difficulty in certain subjects such as maths or languages? And therefore identified as irrecoverable, “really too stupid” to understand? Or were we admired for our athletic or artistic prowess?
Were we heartbroken by the drama of our very first breakup?
Indeed, all these moments of life have had a significant impact on our vision of the world, of ourselves and therefore of our confidence.
Moreover, the influence of these emotional experiences of childhood – sometimes traumatic – can last for years into adulthood.
But fortunately, recent research in neuroscience shows that nothing is irreversible when it comes to attitude and behavior thanks to brain plasticity . Indeed, it was long thought that the structure of the brain was played out before the age of 6 years. While not ; neurobiology has provided proof that the brain remains a dynamic organ that continues to make new connections between neurons, through learning and experiences throughout our lives.
Therefore, our childhood does not determine our future. And it’s encouraging!
At what age is it “bon ton” to get married? What are the most prestigious professions? What is success? Is it having a lot of money, a house, 2 children and a dog? or go on vacation for 3 weeks in Bali or on any other island of paradise? So many criteria that culturally define the life expected/ideal/designed by the society of a country.
This culture has a major influence on the image we have of ourselves, on what we must accomplish to succeed in being an integral part of society.
Because it is indeed our homo sapiens ancestor who has been whispering in our schedules for millennia: “Stay in the tribe if you want to survive! » . Like a cry in our genes that pushes us to submit to the rules so as not to be banished and condemned to wander alone in a nature full of hostile predators.
We humans are imperfect, weak beings, subject to temptations to which we most often succumb.“It is still a small thing in your eyes, Eternal Lord; you also speak of the house of your servant for the times to come. And you deign to instruct a man in these things, Eternal Lord! – verse Samuel 7:19 – The Bible
A good, superior and eternal God before whom we, beings of flesh and blood, promise to improve ourselves. Thus, religion places man in fact in a position of contrition which puts his self-confidence at stake.
Whether on television, radio or any other social media, we are bombarded with messages about what to wear, eat and think about in order to feel better and live the life of our dreams.
In particular, the commercials which create a lack so that we can finally buy this famous “exclusive, nutritious, cellulosic and naturally polarizing” cream which will finally allow us to say goodbye to these ugly wrinkles and the devastating effects of pollution and time-passing by.
“You’re not good enough!” “, they tell us in short. So many words repeated and set to music that affect the image we have of ourselves and our confidence.
Do you think about your recent past experiences that have brought success? And that’s enough to boost you and regain your confidence. These are the results of studies in neuroscience reported by the Irish specialist Ian Robertson who attests to this:
The memory of success and success increases testosterone in the body (women produce it too!). Especially if this memory is recent! And testosterone then increases dopamine “the pleasure molecule” in the brain, particularly in the reward circuitry.
This reward circuit is the reception center for neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine. Your brain welcoming an increasing flow of dopamine, it makes you bolder and less anxious.
Consequently, your memories of success stimulate your brain, which then puts you in the best possible position and takes the risk of renewing and succeeding in the experience.
Surroundings: family and friends
“We are the average of the 5 people we know the most” –
Feeling appreciated and loved beyond the family circle, nothing like strengthening your self-confidence. Even more so if your circle of close friends are caring, encouraging and positive. They then send you a rewarding image of yourself and you do the same for them.
How to help yourself or someone you know regain self-confidence
Trust is essential in our life and we must constantly face the pressures of our cultural, media and social environment to reinforce it.
How to achieve it?
Thanks to the following 4 steps we are about to make it easier.
What is the goal your child wants to achieve with your help? One cannot cross a forest inhabited by disturbing animals and steep paths for hours, without having first identified the final destination. Yes, you need a specific goal before committing.
This is why together you will build a success plan with a SMART objective, that is to say Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Achievable, and Temporal or quantifiable in terms of time.
For example you plan together that he improves his math average from 8/10 to 14/10 in 3 months.
At this stage, we will start here by “busting” two myths:
- “ Trust is innate ”? We are born confident or we are not.
- “ It is because I have confidence that I can act ”
This is not the case. In fact, trust is built. It is because we act that we gain confidence.
Be careful, self-confidence is fragile and needs to be maintained.
It also depends on the situation; I can be confident in myself, in my DIY or dancing skills, but not at all in public speaking
But your child needs to take action to gain confidence. How? Especially since he measures the weight and the judgment of others on the acts he is about to do. Suggest to him:
- Be scared but start anyway!
- Dare to start small
- Give yourself 3 minutes of commitment. A few minutes to tell yourself that at their end, you give yourself the right to stop. This will not happen because, in the meantime, he will have realized that what he was apprehending is not “that terrible!” and that he can continue.
To be indulgent towards oneself / to accept being stupid … at least for a time
“ But how stupid can you be! » « But what are you stupid! »
That’s what we tell ourselves when we fail. These are not words we will say to our friends if they failed to accomplish the same goals. We would have rather said: “ Good. I understand that you’re disappointed but you’ll try again and I’m sure you’ll do better next time! »
So encourage him to adopt a positive attitude toward himself. Encourage him to make mistakes! Of course, by tackling new challenges, such as learning new skills, he will triumph.
Instead, value their talents and strengths, and apply them to all aspects of these school and extracurricular activities.
Celebrate all successes (even small ones!)
The taste of success was theorized by Irish neuroscientist Ian Robertson. From his observations of Mike Tyson’s first boxing fights in 1995 to becoming world champion again after spending 3 years in prison, he identified “ the winner effect ”.
“If you win a fight against even a very weak opponent, just winning that encounter will increase the chances of you winning a subsequent fight […]. This is because when you win, your body generates testosterone which alters your brain by creating more receptors in your brain for testosterone so that you get pumped up and stay pumped up to win the game.
Next fight, you’re fired up to fight again, and testosterone is flooding your brain in anticipation of that fight. And since there are now more receptors for testosterone in your brain thanks to your last victory, this testosterone has a more impactful effect, so you are more aggressive and more motivated. – Ian Robertson
And to add: “Success breeds success”. So, give him a taste of success, however small. This will engage her and inspire him/her more to continue.
It is therefore a virtuous circle because this last step will motivate him enough so that he can take action again.
To sum up
To help him regain self-confidence, follow these 4 steps:
- establish a plan of attack with a specific SMART objective
- take action
- to accept that he makes mistakes/to demonize error
- celebrate all your successes (even the little ones!)
This will therefore create a virtuous circle because success will give him confidence and the desire to take action again .
Questions? Any other tips or resources to share? Please let us know in the comments and share your experience!