I don’t know anyone who raised a child from birth to adulthood and announced “Well, that was a breeze!” Caring for the needs of young people who need SO much from us is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging and that’s just on the good days. If you throw in the curves balls that life produces; challenges at work, relationship issues, bereavement, health issues, or a multitude of other possible events then it can be really tough.
We all need someone to encourage us, to remind us of all that we do well and to believe that “you’ve got it in you to do this.” Whilst it’s good for our children to value what we do, it is not their job to boost our confidence – we are the parents and we need other adults around us to do that.
So often I encounter parents who are dedicated and doing so much that is positive, yet their confidence is on the floor and the challenges feel overwhelming, especially if their child is experiencing significant challenges. A visit to social media so often compounds the feeling that others are doing so much better. The wrong comment from someone (well intended or otherwise) can add the feeling of being judged and found lacking. When confidence is low then everything is so much harder. When that confidence is boosted suddenly everything feels a lot more possible.
One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching is seeing a parent’s confidence grow – when they truly begin to believe in themselves. The impact of this on a client and their family is significant and its effects ripple outward. It’s all too easy to be our own harshest critic. When we are able to observe and really take on board all that we do well rather than just focusing on what is lacking it’s a great place to move forward positively. If only it was that easy to do!
This is why we need those around us who can help us. One of my greatest cheerleaders is my husband and I am eternally thankful for his encouragement. To have a partner and co-parent like this is precious, but not guaranteed. For some people it might be a parent, sibling or a good friend who provides encouragement.
Whoever it is that encourages you is less important than ensuring that you have a person or people that do. When we manage our intake of negative messages and proactively seek to encourage and to be encouraged it can have a profound impact. Imagine the effect upon you and your family if your confidence was at it's best or even one notch higher. How much is that worth pursuing?
Reflection: Who cheers you on, encourages you and helps you to truly recognise all that your are doing well?