25/04/2017 10:02 BST | Updated 25/04/2017 10:04 BST

What Toddlers Can Teach You About Self Esteem


photo by Ambro courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Have you ever observed how toddlers roll? You should; seriously, there's a great deal to learn from them.

Teens and adults can get bogged down with 'silent life suckers' you know, the things that tell you, how you should be, think, feel . What is and isn't 'in' or acceptable, unattainable images constantly in your face. All these 'silent life suckers' can and do start to create doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and in some cases anxiety.

Ever wished you could believe in yourself just that little bit more, stepped out with a bit more confidence, spoke up with conviction? This tends to happen with more gusto when you see someone who's so together and confident, they light the room up... they also make you feel like a timid shivering mouse cowering under your mushroom... it happens.

I'm going to put you out of your misery. I'd like to start by telling you a short story about an observation I made. The story format is purely to hold your attention long enough for you to be able to learn from this experience I impart.

I visited my niece a while ago and her little angel has come on so much since we last met. Anyway, let's call little one 'Pudding' because she's deliciously sweet, also because I haven't asked mum's permission to use her name!

We were at a wonderful city farm. 'Pudding' wants picking up, but mummy says "oh no, you can walk or go back in the buggy". Mini tantrum done and dusted.

Then a short while later 'Pudding' suggests she can't see the baby geese (gosling). Mummy instantly responds by picking 'Pudding' up... mission accomplished and mummy was none the wiser (me, sniggering).

Did you see what happened there? 'Pudding' re-framed her request in order to get the desired result... 'Pudding' has not been affected by the 'silent life suckers' so she works on instinct and not on 'shoulds'.

You and the rest of the 'grown up' world are guilty of 'should-ing' all over yourselves... not little one though. She hasn't been sucked into that game yet!

We all get dragged through this experience at different points in our lives... it gets its best shot when things are already shit, not going your way, you are drowning in numerous calamities that need sorting... that's a cue for confidence to run as fast and as far as it can from you. 'Life suckers' come into play and you start questioning your decisions, your actions, your stance, your ability... I won't go on but this list does, as I know too well from my clients.

If you are a parent of a 'soon to be' teen, then you need to make sure you know how to help them maintain their self-esteem too. In this fast-paced, finger-pointing world with missiles flying in from every medium known to man, it's tough being a teen.

If you, yourself have moments of self-doubt or self- deprecation in the presence of your teen... you are giving out entirely the wrong message and I know you don't want that for your teen, in fact I wouldn't advise it in front of children at all. They are super absorbent sponges... as their parents you need to constantly keep yourself in check. You want to raise wonderfully confident children, who feel safe and confident enough to truly express themselves.

So my friend, here are the tools to help you and your teen (if you have one), take control of the 'life-suckers' and shine!

There are so many things you can do:

1. Re-frame your negative thoughts about yourself... for example: "I'm really no good with new people" change it to: "I want to get better at being around new people".

2. Follow your instincts; don't let the 'life sucker' rules snatch your mojo away from you.

3. Celebrate accomplishments; make a fuss about the things you have achieved.

4. Be thankful daily. I used to write into my daily gratitude journal at the end of each day to remember all that I was thankful for. After reading a few articles and a book, I now complete this journal every morning instead. Just write three things that you are grateful for each morning, it will set you off to a good start for the day.

5. Use affirmations, these do really work, it's a re-wire of your thinking patterns and that's why it works so well. If you need help start with ready-made ones and tweak to your desired language style.

Do just these few things and watch your confidence start to grow.

If you want to super charge your confidence levels... talk to me! I don't bite... unless you want me to?