I bet your teenage daughter would like to feel more confident. Confidence has a tendency to plummet during the teen years. In fact, teenage girls are very likely to describe themselves as stressed, anxious, awkward, depressed, or ugly. They rarely identify as confident, capable, and secure. Girls who lack confidence hold themselves back from participating in class or social activities. They doubt their ability to make new friends or succeed at something new. They easily get stuck in cycles of self-criticism or shame.
It’s time for a change!
As your daughter develops confidence, she will feel more motivated and self-directed. She’ll be more likely to take healthy risks and step out of her comfort zone. She’ll view failure as a valuable teacher and use it to propel her forward, rather than hold her back. Most importantly, she will feel happier about who she is and who she is becoming.
The following five practices are powerful confidence builders.
They are perfect to practice alongside your teenage daughter. As you do, talk about the changes that occur. Encourage each other to keep it up until you establish consistent confidence-building habits.
1. Accept yourself.
Embrace your strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures. Learn from your mistakes and allow yourself to be imperfect. Celebrate your strengths and use them to balance out your weaknesses. You will find yourself flooded with relief, joy, and confidence when you accept yourself.
2. Be curious.
When you feel a strong emotion, ask yourself, What thoughts are connected to this feeling? What is this feeling trying to tell me? Getting curious about your thoughts and feelings builds self-awareness and resilience. You will find it easier to pull yourself out of negative ruts, which can zap your confidence because you will have strengthened your ability to identify unhelpful thoughts and choose more honest, constructive thoughts. You become a master of your mind and emotions.
3. Think confident thoughts.
Confident people think confident thoughts. They understand that their inner critic is not always honest; they are able to focus on the thoughts that make them feel more confident and empowered. Make a list of confident thoughts and choose one or two to practice each day.
4. Limit toxins.
Stay away from people, media, or activities that drain your energy or trigger self-doubt. Choose to surround yourself with people who lift you up. Watch videos and social media that enrich your life and inspire confident attitudes. Engage in activities that support your well-being and confidence.
5. Take back your power! You can’t change the past so don’t let thoughts of what could have been drain your energy and power. Instead, get in the habit of being present and looking forward. Use past experiences to inform future steps, rather than trigger regret or disappointment. You can’t change what has happened but you can make choices that impact what will happen. That is your power.