Is someone you know going through a bit of a hard time confidence wise? Last week I shared some tools I find helpful to use to get over my confidence wobble up regarding writing blogs.
As I said last week I have been noticing this confidence wobble up in others too with doubts regarding ability in all sorts of areas and seeming knock backs. So how do I help others in this situation?
When I feel it is appropriate to give advice, I find it helpful to give it and then to let go of my attachment to how this well intentioned ( I need to remember to check this too) advice is received and acted upon. I can remember nagging at my teenage boys about cleaning their rooms without any evidence of tidying. When I was able to let it go, keep my own space tidy and close their doors, I found peace. To my surprise one of my boys spontaneously cleaned his room one day and now is clean and tidy in his own home! I find writing letters helpful, especially to my children. I write down what I have found useful and want to share and then I let it go, leaving it up to them to do with it what they feel they need to, including using the letter as loo paper!
It is difficult as a parent or friend to watch those you love go through a difficult time confidence wise. And given that it is not always helpful to spurt all sorts of advice on what to do or to bail them out, there are some things we can do to help.
Some time ago I came across a list of '7 things every child needs to hear'. They are...
It may appear very odd and inappropriate to be telling these 7 things to the sales assistant at the supermarket, who has just mucked up our order. However we can use our mind to recall these things and remind ourselves of our connection to them and to send them a boost. It certainly helps our connection with others when we make an effort to listen, see the positive, forgive, communicate openly and be encouraging, either out aloud or in our minds.
Recently I was speaking with a close friend and I was doing what I think of as 'control caring'. I cared about the difficulty they were going through but, couldn't help myself from suggesting why it was happening and what they needed to do to fix it. They had not asked for me to fix it! It can be disempowering for them when I try to take control.
I contemplated our exchange and went searching for the 7 things every child needs to hear list I had come across some time ago. I sent an email back addressing each of the 7 things and expressed they were free to do what they needed to do and I trusted they had all they needed to learn the lessons life had to teach them. This felt much better than to try and control the situation, which is not possible anyway. While I was tempted to offer all sorts of advice and financial assistance I was aware, in this situation, this was not helping them to take responsibility, to learn the lessons life was teaching them and to have the confidence to do what they needed to do.
If instead I can trust that they have what it takes to sort things out, I am offering encouragement and a balancing confidence boost. And of course I will always be available for support if needed, however having wisdom and equanimity or balance around the appropriate form and timing of such support is important. Sometimes strong love is required to prevent harm. It feels better if I can see myself make an effort to get my own act together first before accepting support or a help out. We can offer this opportunity to others too, giving them encouragement and the chance to take some responsibility and action, which we can then support.
They responded kindly to my email and I felt confident I had done my best as a friend and confident in them too. I trusted they had all they needed to be able to do their best to sort things out. I also added I was there, if they felt they needed me.
Worrying about others never helps. It disturbs our own peace of mind and sends a negative message to them too. I know myself if I think others are worried about me, I worry about me too and about them worrying about me as well! If instead I know they believe in me and are there to encourage, love and support me, I feel empowered to do my best.
Other things I find helpful to remember are
Have a great week. Thank you all
Kind Regards and Best Wishes