I’ve seen a confidence theme come up recently with my students and it always starts out with the same two words:
I can’t apply to that college.
I can’t be friends with them.
I can’t apply to that job.
I can’t try out for that group.
Does any of this sound familiar? Telling ourselves we can’t do something can feel protective then we don’t need to put ourselves out there. No need to take a chance or set yourself up for possible rejection. As a reframe to this issue, I always ask myself:
Do I have a confidence issue or a competence issue?
99.9999% of the time what’s being described as a competence issue (I’m not good enough. I can’t do it) is really just a confidence issue. I’ll be with a totally capable, wonderful, student and they tell me that they can’t do something, but in reality they’re totally capable of doing the exact thing that they tell me they can’t do. It’s not about becoming more competent; it’s about building up confidence.
An example I see a lot is the confidence to apply to colleges and jobs. I’ll be with someone who is smart and amazing inside out, and they tell me all about the college/jobs they’re not going to apply to. Yet, what I see is someone with all the qualifications needed for whatever they’re telling me they can’t do. It doesn’t guarantee that we get into every college or get every job interview. Confidence is about resilience, trust in ourselves, and the ability to be in the unknown. I also have faith that every outcome is for the highest good.
If you’ve been telling yourself you “can’t” a lot lately take a deep breath, ask yourself: are you have a confidence issue or a competence issue? If it’s a confidence issues, I encourage you with that clarity to make a move!
Even though much of my work is focused on mentoring teens, I spend just as much time speaking with moms. I hear about their hopes and worries for their girls. One common theme that’s popped up centers around raising capable kids. Everyone wants their daughters to be able to take care and advocate for themselves. It might seem backwards, but one of my secrets to raising capable kids is to let them fail.
I was given permission to share the following story:
I had a mom recently whose daughter was really excited and motivated to try out for the school play. The mom was concerned because her daughter didn’t have play experience before and the kids in the class could be particularly cruel. She wanted my advice about what to do. I suggested that if her daughter was excited and wanted to do it then she should let her. If she made the play it was a great learning experience. If she didn’t make the play it was a great learning experience.
Even though we want to, we can’t protect our kids from everything. We can guide them and help pick them up when they fall down. I think it’s important for girls to know that even when things don’t work out the way they hoped, they can learn and grow from experiences. Capable kids have the ability to trust themselves, which starts with their parents trusting them too.
If you’re going on a road trip this August, I got a game for you! We played this in my confidence camp and it was a big hit. We’re all told to think about the things we’re grateful for, but this takes it to the next level. Check out today’s video for an easy mood boosting game you can play anywhere.
I totally relate to being nervous about speaking in school! I worried about what other people thought and if I was going to sound stupid. Being in my own head really took me out of the moment. It’s hard to focus on learning when you’re terrified of being called on! Check out today’s video for an idea that really helped me.
Everyone at some point has felt pressure to be cool. Whether it’s playing a certain sport, being in a certain group of friends, or going to a specific party, we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Check out today’s video for some relief when it comes to the stress of being cool.
My zen looks like dance parties. It’s talking with friends, spending time with my family, and being of service. It’s traveling, eating, and trying new things. Sometimes my zen involves tears. It’s meditative and self-explorative. It’s being energetic and calm. My zen is when I have enough self-love to not judge all the different situations and emotions that come up in my life.
This is a HARD question. It’s easy to get mad at our parents when they won’t let you do what you’d like (for me, we always fought over concerts)! Check out my video for insights when your mom won’t let you have Instagram.