We all face things in life which we find difficult from time to time, it’s inevitable. But how you feel about these difficulties can have a big difference to the impact they have on your self-esteem and confidence and of course it goes without saying your children’s too.
So what do you tend to say to yourself when you are finding something tough? Many of us have a judgemental inner voice that says something like “I’m so stupid, I always make a mess of things” or, “why did you do that again, you are such a failure”. When you think about it, it is hardly surprising that you have a low opinion of yourself. And this low opinion can stop you living life to the full.
Take two people with identical attributes, one has a very high level of self belief while the other person has very little confidence in their ability.
Now what would be interesting is other people’s opinions about these two people. (Although the value of other peoples opinions is questionable and probably totally irrelevant).
However that aside for a moment, they may consider that the person with high self belief is a bit arrogant and the person with no confidence is rubbishing or feeling sorry for themselves.
The interesting thing here is that the person with a high sense of their own self-esteem and confidence in their ability, is less likely to be knocked back by negative comments, than the person who has little confidence in themselves.
The person with high self belief is likely to take these criticisms on the chin – and maybe see it as feedback and an opportunity to improve. Whereas the person with low self-esteem might just end up stuck feeling useless.
Guess which person is going to have more resilience to what life throws at him!
Many of the beliefs we hold about ourselves we have picked up from when we were children, from parents, siblings, friends or teachers. And quite possibly they were not meant in the literal way we have interpreted them. But in spite of that quite often these comments impact how we are view ourselves.
For example if you were told you were rubbish at maths – that is not going endear you to the subject – even if you are not very good at it. And if you find maths difficult to understand – then telling you are rubbish at it is not making a positive contribution to helping you understand maths either.
What it is likely to do is to affect your attitude to maths and probably your ability to do maths possibly for the rest of your life.
Now the thing is we can not change what has been said to us in the past – but we can change how it impacts our life now and in the future.
We can also make sure our children don’t take to heart every comment that is thrown at them, but instead help them to look on these comments as positive feedback and if they decide they not very helpful twaddle, to be metaphorically dispatched to the rubbish bin.