“I wish I was more confident!”
Confidence. Everyone seems to want to have more of it! Sometimes it seems to be a bit elusive – some people just have it and others don’t. Well the good news is that confidence is a skill that can be learned just like anything else.
I’m Beth Parmar, a children’s coach and trainer, and I devised SuperKids – a programme that teaches children how to become more confident.
My workshops and coaching programmes are packed full of tools, techniques and strategies and I’m going to share a few of them with you here that you can teach your children if they could do with a confidence boost.
The 3 main areas to consider when you want more confidence are:
1. Body language
2. Your physical state
3. Your thoughts
1. Your body language – Body language is controlled by the unconscious part of the brain and it gives away your state of mind very obviously. You may be saying that you’re fine, but your body language can have something else entirely to say with your drooped shoulders, eyes down to the floor and your fidgety hands. Here are some things you can do to make you look instantly more confident. Once you LOOK more confident, the beauty is that you will FEEL more confident as the mind and the body are very closely connected to one another. Here’s how to strike a POWER POSE:
• Plant your feet firmly on the floor
• Imagine you have a string from the top of your head drawing you up to the ceiling
• Push your shoulders back and press your chest out a bit
• Smile (even if you don’t feel like it!)
• Look up
2. Your physical state – When you are not feeling confident you can experience all kinds of jittery feelings in your body – anything from butterflies in your stomach, to shaky arms and legs to a racing heartbeat. It’s almost impossible to feel confident with all of this going on. Here’s what you need to do:
• Deepen your breathing. Slow it down and hold it between breaths. Count slowly to 4 as you breathe in, hold for 4 then breathe out for 4 and hold for 4. Repeat until your heart rate has begun to slow down.
• Visualise your negative feelings leaving your body. Maybe you see them as specific shape, texture or colour. Make a clear picture in your head of them disappearing and calmer more confident ones taking their place.
3. Your thoughts – Your thoughts lead to your feelings and then subsequently to your behaviour. By managing your thoughts you can therefore manage your feelings and behaviour. In situations where we don’t feel very confident it is very easy to think ourselves into a worse state by exaggerating what is going on and only focussing on the negatives. Thoughts are habits and you can retrain yourself to change the way you think with a few simple techniques:
• Get into the habit of talking to yourself like your own coach. Say encouraging things to yourself rather than running yourself down.
• Work on ‘flipping’ your thoughts from negative to positive by seeing them in a different light. Look for the silver lining rather than focussing on the dark cloud. Look for opportunities you may have missed.
• Replace ‘why’ thoughts with ‘how’ thoughts. Rather than looking to the past and asking why you messed something up for example, think in terms of how you can fix it now? ‘How’ thoughts are solutions focussed and not problem focussed and as such are much more empowering and confidence boosting.
I hope you enjoy putting these strategies in place with your children and that they can learn that it’s the ACTIONS of confidence that often need to come first before the FEELINGS of confidence. If we wait until we are confident enough to do something, the chances are we may NEVER get round to doing it!
If you would like to find out more information about SuperKids you can visit my website www.bethparmar.co.uk for full details or you can give me a call on 07775 565220.