Here’s an important conversation I’ve been having more often with my boys – they need to accomplish something. Often.
I don’t care what. They can pick whatever they want but, they need to dive deep into it and learn, then do.
It’s only when we achieve that we gain real confidence in ourselves.
We become resilient in the face of adversity and ridicule.
When I noticed my boys’ confidence faltering. I don’t resort to puffery. I challenge them.
Sure, I tell them they are capable. I tell them all the reasons I love them. I also ask them what we can do that will give them a sense of accomplishment.
Maybe it’s practicing a sport, doing a project, or learning something new.
I separate this into two types of accomplishment – immediate and long-term.
We use immediate accomplishments like building legos, learning something new, or simply catching a ball to challenge them or complete something new in under an hour. It’s amazing how when you’re down, getting up and doing something fixes it. Quick wins!
Longer term, I try to teach them to take small steps every day toward their goal. Twenty minutes of practice or reading about a larger topic. Maybe we have a larger project that we can break into an hour of work together each Saturday for a month. No matter what it is, the goal is to practice disciplined work, if not daily then weekly, to grow their knowledge and skills. Over time, they can look back, observe the path and hard work, and say, “I did that.”
It’s my hope, and belief, that when adversity occurs – when life beats them down – they’ll have the sense of worth that comes from accomplishing success in many areas, big and small. I hope that they can use that knowledge, rooted in a body of work, to see that they can do great things. They can overcome whatever is in their way and have the proof in their past.
Keep moving forward,