When Your Son Or Daughter Experiences A Crisis Of Confidence, Who Do You Turn To?
X Factor Had Already Started When Sarah Called Me!
The phone call came mid-way through a Saturday evening. In fact X Factor had already started. I knew then, that it must be pretty urgent. A problem. My business phone doesn’t normally ring at that time of night.
Sarah’s tone of voice told me everything. Sarah is a loving mother. Married to Conor. Two great children, Josh aged fifteen and the oldest Amy sixteen. They are loving devoted parents. But Sarah was troubled. And it soon became clear why.
Little did she know at the time, but that late night Saturday call probably saved Sarah and Conor’s marriage.
There Is No Parenting Manual That Explans How To Rebuild Lost Confidence…
My email-box is filled on a weekly basis, with enquires from anxious parents like Sarah. They want the answer to one of the great parental riddles. ‘My son/daughter has lost their confidence. How can we help them get it back. ASAP!
Radio Five Live and Sky News contact me on a regular basis, to explain to the viewers the demands that young people face at exam time for example.
It doesn’t matter how experienced a parent you are. There is no manual, or course that adequately explains how to help you as loving parents rebuild lost confidence in your children.
It has remained one of the unexplained mysteries of family life. One week your child feels confident – the next it’s gone. But no one seems to know why. Not even Super Nanny!.
When your child loses confidence, you as a loving parent do everything you can to help them feel good about themselves. But do you get that feeling that you are somehow not getting to the root cause of the issue?.
For the last twenty four years, I have been researching confidence…what it is…where it goes when we lose it…how to regain it. Studying the best-kept secrets of the worlds most confident people. From my perspective, confidence is not an enigma at all.
I now coach and lecture around the world, on the subject of confidence. My book The Confidence Booster Workout has sold over 150,000 copies, and been translated into 5 languages.
I help parents like Sarah and Conor, who turn to me to help rebuild their children’s confidence. I know why children lose confidence…and more importantly how to get it back.
The ‘Old School’ Insensitive Football Coach Destroyed Josh’s Confidence…
So – back to Sarah. A new coach had been brought in to run the junior football team Josh played for. Coincidentally, around the time Josh’s problems began. The new teacher was a bit old-school. Never said an encouraging word. Always looking for faults in players. Criticising. He thought it kept players on their toes.
Josh was sensitive. He hated it. Anyway, that afternoon at home to a rival team, Josh had been substituted. He hadn’t played well, he’d admit that. Maybe trying too hard to impress. But it was one of those games when nothing went right for Josh.
And as he came off the field he began to cry. This had never happened before. Ever. Sarah was distraught. She was upset but not surprised. She had seen it coming. That was the straw that broke the camels back.
And why Sarah called me, at seven fifteen on a Saturday night. She’d been given my name by Amanda, a friend from school, whom I helped last year with her daughter Kelly.
Kelly had lost her confidence in a profound fashion, but after working with me for three months she gradually rebuilt it, and is now happier then ever.
Sarah was at a very low ebb. We chatted for about half an hour or so. Or rather Sarah talked and I listened.
She was looking for support from someone outside of the friends and family network. Someone that could see things clearly and get to the heart of the matter. I listened to her story. How Josh, once such a confident boy, was now always doubting himself, and beating himself up.
It wasn’t just the football. There was the tennis schedule and the demands and pressures that brought. And the exams and studying of course. All under-pinned by subtle expectations. I told her to get an early night, and I agreed to speak to Josh on Monday.
Josh’s Confidence Comes Surging Back…
So Josh and I met up after school on the Monday. We talked for a couple of hours. I knew there and then, that Josh would come through this experience. He was that sort of young man. But I knew he couldn’t do it alone.
Josh was very engaging. He enjoyed that fact, that he had found someone who he could talk too, who understood his situation.
Said that it was the first time in ages, that he had felt positive about things. He told me about the negative atmosphere at school. How his confidence has been affected by the new football teacher at the club. He spoke about his love of tennis, and how he had fallen out of love with the game because of the pressure to win and succeed.
And then he told me about how the pressure to do well in his exams was keeping his awake at night. Pressure that he was imposing upon himself – yes. But pressure that in particular, he was feeling from Conor his father.
Not obvious, overt pressure. But unspoken pressure. In comments Conor would make, that would give Josh a feeling that he shouldn’t, couldn’t let his father down. Of course the two of them had never spoken directly about this.
The Truth About Expectations…
Expectations and guilt are closely connected. The young person doesn’t want to let a parent down. They don’t want the parent to feel sad or unhappy if they underperform, because they feel the parent has invested in their success.
Therefore the young person carries this unspoken burden of expectancy. And expectation negates confidence, because it creates a pressure that is to much to bear, that makes them feel they cant fail or make any mistakes.
We agreed to work together, for the rest of the year. Josh and I would meet up face to face, once a month. The rest of the time, I supported Josh with regular skype calls. After school. Before and after football and tennis matches. During his exams.
Slowly his confidence started to grow. I gave him strategies to cope with the negativity, pressure and expectancy around him. I was there to support him. Encourage him. Believe in him. Which was critical given the fragile nature of his confidence.
Josh And His Father Conor Finally Clear The Air…
I encouraged him to talk things through with his father. And encouraged Conor to listen to his son, without judgement or criticism. A big breakthrough!
Those conversations were vital in the two of them clearing the air, and allowing Conor to not have to do things in his fathers shadow.
Important Note: Maybe your thinking that you son or daughter, would be far too shy and reticent to speak to an experienced TV Confidence Coach. It’s ok. Im very used to helping young people communicate their deeper feelings in a manner that they feel comfortable with.
There are lots of issues that impact upon a young person’s confidence. Here are just a few that I have successfully dealt with in the last year:
Those Negative Things That Impact Upon A Young Person’s Confidence
- Persistent bullying and victimization…(This happens a lot)
- A negative atmosphere around the house/school…
- Unspoken expectations from authority figures…(Both parents and teachers)
- Fear of making a mistake/letting people down…(Young people are very sensitive to not letting people down)
- Exclusion from a social group…(Leaving them alone and isolated)
- Trouble interacting socially…
- Too much demand upon them…(including the demands the young person puts on themselves!)
- Tiredness and exhaustion…(from simply trying too hard in everything)
Josh is typical of many young people who struggle with their confidence. Doubts build up, and they have no one to talk to about the negative feelings they are having. They don’t think their parents will understand them and of course, there is no one at school who knows how to truly listen to them and empathise.
So it’s all kept bottled up and held inside. Until something happens to tip them over the edge! Sound familiar?
Who Has Benefited From Confidence Coaching?…
There are many young people who have benefited from Confidence Coaching. Here are some typical examples of the kinds of people, who have liberated their natural confidence, and overcome doubt:
- Joanne, a sixteen year old, who had dropped out of school…
- Stephen, a tennis fanatic who had lost his love of the game…
- Nine year old Amy, repeatedly under-performing in exams…
- Robert, an eighteen year old with a drug problem…
- A self-doubting girl, Annie, wanting to learn to trust their instincts…
- Tom, a teenager wanting the confidence to handle change and uncertainty…
- Sophie, a seventeen year old wanting an instant confidence boost…
OK, So What Do You Do Next?…
As I said earlier, young people can feel a little shy about trying Confidence Coaching. So, to make things a little easier I am happy to offer a coaching taster session.
The coaching taster is a free, no obligation 30 minute telephone coaching session. During this session, they can speak to me about the factors that are impacting upon their natural confidence.
In return, I will offer insights that explain why they have lost their confidence, which will lift a burden off their shoulders immediately, knowing that help is on hand. They will leave this first conversation with a strong feeling that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
So – here’s an opportunity to get the coaching process moving immediately.
Please write a response to each of these questions, then send it using the ‘Start Coaching’ button at the end of the form. You will then receive an invitation from me, for the FREE Confidence Coaching session.
This is a NO OBLIGATION session, that allows them to experience the power of Confidence Coaching.
Remember – You could wait and hope that by magic, your son/daughters confidence returns. But experience suggests that rarely happens. There is a reason why they have lost their confidence. The sooner we get started, the faster they will be back to their confident best.
Important PS: I mentioned at the beginning of the page, how that Saturday evening phone call probably saved Sarah and Conor’s marriage. How do I know this?
It was Conor, Josh’s father who told me sometime later, whilst I was watching Josh play tennis with him. Conor admitted that the pressure he was putting on Josh to succeed was creating marital tensions, that he didn’t know how to overcome.
Now all is well between Sarah and Conor. They have come through a bit of a crisis, and are stronger for it. And I’m pleased that I could have helped in some small way. It’s why I do what I do!