My child has self-confidence issues and doesn't always believe her first answer is right, although it is most of the time. How do I help her?

she has communication issues. She is so smart, 95% for the state on testing. High school.



What a great question.

One of my favorite coaching topics is overcoming insecurities. It is a favorite because the results are exponentially rewarding!

Not knowing the particulars limit my responses; therefore, broad-strokes answer is as follows:

Fundamentally, the underlying cause of your daughter’s inhibitions should be addressed because intellect is not necessarily synonymous with self-portrait.

I am not suggesting that your daughter should be psychoanalyzed; I am suggesting that it may take more than (positive reinforcement) to help your daughter communicate more effectively, which is a powerful tool in defining oneself, subsequently creating confidence that results in a more assured person even when that person’s thought, act, or response is incorrect. The confidence is derived from the process of doing the task to the best of one’s ability and having satisfaction in knowing that one has exhausted due diligence for the outcome.

With the proper exercises, this type of insecurity is easily resolved.

I hope this broad-strokes response provided some clarity for your daughter and you. “How to Communicate Effectively,” is one of my top skills-set. You may send me a message or call if you believe I may be of assistance. Regardless, I hope continued academic success for your daughter and a lasting positive resolution in her self-confidence. (smile)

Answered 9 days ago

Hi there,

As a former child myself (and still learning to be an adult :-) ), I used to have this same issue. Without more detail, it is very difficult for us to say how we can help your child with her communication issues/self-confidence issue.

Is your child currently living in a perfectionist environment? She might feel the pressure to always get the right answer on her first try/attempt. In this regard, it is imperative to let her know that most people are not "right" in their first few attempts in doing ANYTHING. Even revolutionary business leaders/public figures like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, among others make mistakes and then ITERATE on those mistakes to get the solution.

My advice would be to ask her a couple of thoughtful, pointed questions to get to the root cause of her self-doubt and, ultimately, let her know that it is perfectly okay to be wrong. No one has the answers all the time and we will definitely face problems as we go through life (some problems don't even have solutions, and we have to be okay with it). The key is to learn from our mistakes so that we minimize the possibility of repeating these same mistakes.

Happy to jump on a quick call to offer my guidance on which questions you can ask and achieve your desired outcome.


Answered 7 days ago

Hello, Caring Parent!

First, as an attorney, social worker, educator and empowerment coach, I can tell you that it's not easy to build confidence and communicate, no matter how young we are or what our role in life is each day. :)

The spoken and unspoken messages we receive from all around us - friends, colleagues, family, media, teachers, strangers, parents - help shape and socialize us. We've all had moments when we question ourselves and wonder whether our answer was the "right" answer. In other words, learning to be a person is hard, and it never stops. It's perfectly normal to question our decisions and how we communicate our needs and wants to others, even after it's said and done.

That being said, what I think you're actually getting at is trust, not necessarily about self-confidence or communication.

Understanding why we think the way we do, what we think and how it changes our future thoughts and behaviors, that's one of the most important lessons we can all learn.

The idea of intuition, an internal "gut" feeling, is linked to the external demonstration of who we are (and who we will become) as people. Your question asks how YOU can help HER. It seems that an important piece of the puzzle could be trust.

Whatever decision your child makes, whether it's the "gut" decision or the rationalized, justified, weighed decision, it's important that you support your child's right to make the decision she made, even if you think it's the wrong one. Your child needs to know you trust her (and also that you trust yourself and your role as parent). From there, she can learn to trust herself and process the reaction/response from others without internalizing it as her own. This isn't the final "answer" to the question, of course. There's a million questions I want to ask, but at least this can be a start. :)

I've been working directly with others - from 8th graders to retirees - for about 20 years now, helping them figure out who they are, what they want and why they want it. I especially love working with people who think they've got it all figured out, too! :) You'd be surprised at how often "using your voice" comes up as a topic of concern. I'd be happy to jump on a call to discuss more, if you'd like.

You've got this, okay? And so does she. Take care.

Answered 2 days ago

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