How do we instil Self-Belief in our children?

‘…even before we scored, we knew that goal was coming’…. as the ball arrived at her feet, Wilkinson had one thought…. ‘this is going on, this is going in’.

This is such inspiring self-belief, despite the odds being stacked against them. New Zealand has never won a World Cup football match in either the men’s or women’s competition. Wilkinson’s self-belief and mindset in that moment was unwavering, resulting in the winning goal. A historic moment for football in New Zealand.

Was she ready for that moment or was it by chance that she found herself in that position? The likelihood is that she had already put the effort in and practiced being in that moment, thousands of times. The result was the outcome of hours of practice, which only she and her teammates had seen. Would Wilkinson’s self-talk be any different next time, had she missed that goal?

When opportunities in life present themselves, what is your self-talk? Are you ready to take the shot?

Instilling self-belief in our children is crucial for their confidence, their resilience and their overall well-being. Parents and teachers can play a significant role in nurturing this quality in our children.

One important way is to praise effort, not just results. We can use language that acknowledges the hard work, dedication and perseverance our children have put into their task. Here are some ideas for praising effort:

  • ‘I can see how much effort you put into this’
  • ‘You worked really hard on this and it shows’
  • ‘I’m proud of how you kept trying even when it got challenging’
  • ‘Your commitment to learning is paying off’

By using this language, we highlight the process, hard work, and dedication our children (and adults!) have put into their endeavours, rather than solely focusing on the end result. This approach fosters a growth mindset and encourages others to value effort, learning and improvement, irrespective of the immediate outcome.

If you’d like to learn more about how to foster belief in oneself and others, join our Positive Mindset Challenge by clicking on the link below:

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