I recently was intrigued by a LinkedIn post which explored the issue of accomplished women downplaying their success for fear of appearing conceited. There's probably not many out there, (men and women alike) who haven't experienced this inner conflict to some degree.
It can be a tricky thing to teach your kids. Self-confidence. One of my kids seems to be blessed with an abundance of it. The other has her days. Yes–Mr. Confidence happens to be the boy. They're both talented and loved equally. And I thought we had raised them similarly, but I wonder. I might have some re-parenting to do.
Cole has a healthy opinion of himself. Very healthy. If either of us has been gone and I tell him that I missed him, he always responds with, "I'm sure you did." I know he's joking. Sort of. But he definitely feels good about his place in the world. The kid typically has a story about an amazing feat he's done. Heck, just the other day he beat his sister and his mother playing basketball. That is amazing.
Alex, on the other hand, has not put herself on that same pedestal. She hardly gives herself credit when it's very much due. A "1" on her vocal contest solo? Not that big of deal. The judge must've been easy on me. State history essay award winner? Yeah. Didn't make it to nationals though. Did I teach my daughter to respond this way? A daughter who won't recognize herself for her own achievements?
No one wants to be construed as arrogant. But I really want my children to understand it's more than okay to be proud of their achievements. In my opinion, arrogance only occurs once a person has used their prestige, money, or accomplishments to make another person feel badly. I think this is why many people (especially women) choose the route of self-deprecation–to ensure no hard feelings. But the problem is that once self-deprecation occurs, we begin to negate our self-value. It doesn't have to work this way.
Confidence generally equates to happiness. Confidence comes from understanding you've done your personal best which typically yields results. If we all carry this confidence, we can only feel happiness for others when they exude confidence as well. It's a wonderful, un-vicious circle.
|My kids' expressions when I'm providing life lessons.|