One of my greatest passions is building confidence in women, of all ages. So, I am super excited about this episode of the podcast because I have a friend…a client..a colleague, who is also all about instilling confidence in women, but her passion is building self-confidence in teen girls.
Paige Tonz is here to talk with me about how to raise self-confident daughters who grow up to be self-confident women.
As a collegiate athlete, Paige was greatly helped by a mentor, and she became passionate about working with teenaged, female athletes to develop healthy mental attitudes and self-confidence.
Why Women Begin to Lose Confidence in the Teen Years (and Beyond)
Some of the girls that Paige works with are leaving junior high and headed to high school. This time in our lives tends to bring about a lot of new fears as we face things we have never faced before.
We are facing challenges that can cause us to doubt ourselves. As young athletes, many of these young ladies have goals to play collegiate sports, so the pressure they are under is tremendous.
Transitions; fear of the unknown; meeting new people; facing more challenging, upper-level schoolwork; and changing bodies…it can all bring an added burden of pressure to a teen girl’s life. And in that pressure to perform, they can begin to experience self-doubt.
Our parents may unknowingly, (or knowingly) place pressure on us to perform to the absolute top of our ability without realizing how their expectations affect us.
And unfortunately, these feelings don’t just magically disappear when we turn 21 or graduate from college. They follow us and our self-doubt can grow, especially if we aren’t sure what we want to do with our lives or we don’t have a clear path laid out for ourselves.
What is Self-Confidence?
Before we can help our daughters become more self-confident, we have to understand what it is we’re after.
In Paige’s coaching sessions with her students, she explains it as “having a true belief in yourself, which can only come from within.”
As women, we tend to do stuff for everybody but ourselves, so I like to talk about self-confidence in terms of doing the things for ourselves that we say we are going to do. How many promises do you make to yourself and never follow through?
When you start following through on some of those things, you will be encouraged by what you are capable of. And when you begin to feel that inside, that is self-confidence…that inner belief in yourself.
Taking action is what builds those feelings of belief in yourself.
In their book, The Confidence Code for Girls, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman talk about being “action girls.” Taking action is what helps you gain experience which, in turn, helps you gain confidence.
10 Tips for Growing Your Self-Confidence
If action is what’s necessary for growing our confidence, we need to know which actions will have the best results. I asked Paige to help brainstorm 10 tips for helping our girls, (and ourselves!) grow in confidence so that they can be more confident now and in the future.
#1 – Practice visualization.
The amazing thing about visualization, (aka manifesting) is that when you visualize yourself doing something, (getting a home run, sticking the landing, getting an A on the test, or not eating the cake at the restaurant) you trick your brain into thinking you already did it.
Performing mental reps like this combined with practice in the skill tends to lead to improved performance which also builds confidence.
#2 – Say goodbye to perfectionism.
If your daughter struggles with wanting to be the best in her class, the highest achieving athlete on her team, and the star employee at her part-time job, you have got to help her let go of the tendency toward perfectionism.
Being perfect…always achieving at the 100% level is simply not sustainable. For any of us.
“A really dangerous disease. An invasive, strangling vine that creeps into your life and chokes everything in its path. It stresses you out and keeps you from taking risks. And most importantly, it keeps you from being you!”
#3 – Use positive self-talk.
Paige encourages her girls to practice positive self-talk on a regular basis because it’s something that most of us aren’t naturally good at. She uses a tool called an Opinions Exercise.
The exercise begins with writing down a negative opinion that you have of yourself or that someone else has expressed to you. Once you have it in writing, cross it out or tear it up and then write down the positive things you truly believe about yourself in place of that negative opinion.
#4 – Take risks to overcome fear of failure.
Many of us struggle with the desire to stay small and insignificant because it feels safe. I see it in my clients. I see it in myself.
We may have a fire inside us to accomplish something but we are too afraid to try. And that is a great way to defeat any self-confidence we may have.
I like to ask my clients, “What’s the one thing that scares the crap out of you that you’re going to do this week?”
You can start really small. I have a client who has been deathly afraid to wear a tank top or shorts. So, her thing to do one week was put on a tank top and leave her house in it. And when I asked her how it felt, she admitted that it felt pretty damn good.
#5 – Write love letters…to yourself.
We often think of writing love letters to special people in our lives, whether that be a parent, a grandparent, a close friend, or a special relative. For this exercise, you’ll write as though you were saying all the nice things you would say to that person, but you write it to yourself instead.
A lot of times, we need permission to love ourselves, to recognize those things we are good at. We spend too much time focusing on the things we need to change. Society tells us to “stay humble.”
A love letter to yourself is a great place to express those things that make you proud of yourself.
#6 – Build your self-worth on your values.
All too often, we seek validation in others. We look for votes of confidence from our friends or our husbands. But we need to look at our own personal values and see if we’re living in alignment with those values.
Is the way you live your daily life in alignment with your core values? If you are out of alignment with your values, you will do the things that others want you to do and ignore what matters to you.
#7 – Start journaling.
If you’ve been around Feel Amazing Naked for any length of time at all, you know that I am a huge proponent of journaling.
There are many different ways to journal so it’s important that you find the method that works best for you and that you practice it until it feels natural. Paige has her girls begin journaling by writing down what they’re grateful for.
#8 – Limit social media.
If your daughter finds herself scrolling social media and feeling less than because of what she’s seeing there, it’s a good idea to begin to limit the amount of time spent on social media. Social media sucks us into comparing ourselves with others and that’s a confirmed killer of self-confidence.
#9 – Praise effort instead of outcome.
As a parent, are you more concerned about your daughter’s grade on a test or how much time she spent preparing for the test? If you know she gave it everything she had, is that enough for you?
When we remain unattached to what happens and completely committed to action, that increases our confidence in our ability to keep going. The link to the Carol Dawagg book wouldn’t work for me.
#10 – Surround yourself with the right people.
If you want to grow in confidence, you can’t surround yourself with people who constantly bring you down. You have to build a tribe of people who believe in you, who build you up, who encourage you to keep growing.
If you walk away from spending time with someone and you feel negative within yourself, you need to reevaluate spending time with that person.
Wow, that was a lot of information!
I hope that whether you have daughters, students, nieces, or if you just need some practical ways to build your own confidence, that you will take one or two of the things Paige and I talked about and put them into action this week.
It is our job as moms to model for our daughters who they can become and how to care for ourselves as women. So, take action today!
And be sure to comment below and let me know what steps you are practicing and how it’s working out for you! I love to hear from you.
If it’s time for you to get somebody in your corner, I would love to help you. You can connect with me here for a FREE strategy call and I can learn more about you and what your vision is.
Also mentioned in today’s show:
The Mental Game Mentorship – (Paige’s mentorship site for girls)
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