Question 3 of 52

How do your parents encourage you to be more confident?

To find this answer, I need to think back a ways. I have excellent parents. They encouraged us to explore the world, try new things and be independent. I definitely do all of those things. Getting there was trickier.

There was a time when failure was a frightening prospect for me. Now I know there is not failure, there are learnings. I was working on a task assigned to me by my grandfather. I was doing it but not in the precise way he demanded it should be done. Think Mr. Miyagi and paint the fence with yelling. I was lectured (the kind way to say yell) for a significant amount of time until I was reduced to tears. My mom came by and found me and I shared the entire story. This is the part where she transformed like the hulk. Those mythical stories of moms becoming mama bears right before your eyes. She stood up to her dad and defended me, my knowledge and my process. Not everyone needs to accomplish something in the same way. Its the process that teaches you something not the outcome. I learned a few things that day. My mom always had my back, trying something new teaches you things and don’t let bullies tear you down. My grandfather never yelled at me again. He challenged me often, but I had the confidence to stand my ground and explain why I was proceeding in that way.

I remember going to my dad, very upset about a scenario that happened in my classroom as a young teacher. A parent (one out of thirty) was not pleased by the way I conducted my classroom. My dad had been a teacher for decades by that point and I knew he would have the wisdom to help through the problem. I was trying to be everything to everyone, an impossible task but I didn’t want to let anyone down. My dad said, “You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If they don’t like it, invite them to go to the school down the street. This is your classroom. Set the tone.” That was the kind of advice that works in every situation. Be okay with no. If someone doesn’t like it, that doesn’t mean you should have said yes. Set boundaries and stick with it. It has taken me years to set firm boundaries in every corner of my life. But I am a happier person for it. Plus my life is way more peaceful than it used to be.

Set the tone, be the captain of your own ship and write your own chapters. I am not everyone’s type of people but they aren’t mine either. I think my parents did a good job. No one would ever accuse me of not having confidence. It doesn’t mean I am good at everything – ha, not even close, but I am willing to try because there is much to be gain from the experience.

How did your parents encourage you to be more confident? Stay healthy friends!

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