“I don’t know.” My 8 year old client replied (with a shrug) when I asked him if he had any ideas for a goal for that day’s session.
This is a common response. I mean, setting goals can be tricky. How many kids sit down and start to think about the things they have trouble with? Probably not many.
However, setting a goal, or an intention, for a Brain Fit session is important because the work that we do with the nervous system will work better when organized around a goal.
But this post isn’t about setting goals. It’s one about confidence.
“A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”
Arising from one’s appreciation…abilities or qualities.
So confidence comes from feeling good about what you can do, or feeling good about your own unique qualities.
Here’s the problem. How many people- be they kids, teens or adults really truly feel good about themselves when they are struggling in life?
Maybe they are struggling with anxiety. Or maybe they are struggling with a learning challenge, or ADHD, or the ability to get along with others.
At Brain Fit Academy, we see a lot of clients that are struggling. After all, we are here to help those who struggle- it’s what we do. But that also means that many of our clients aren’t confident. They aren’t confident about themselves. They aren’t confident in their abilities and they aren’t confident about the qualities that make them uniquely them.
So when I think back to my client- not being able to answer the question about setting a goal, it’s because he’s not confident about what he’s good at, which means he isn’t sure what he needs to work on either. They go hand-in-hand don’t they? In order to know what you need to work on, first you need to know what you do well!
We help kids with this. We help them to see their good qualities- the things they can feel confident about. And in turn, what they might need to work on- the things they don’t feel so confident about.
One way we do this is with handy-dandy little cards that are simply called “Kid Confidence Cards”. They were developed by Pam Formosa- the owner/director of Brain Fit and are very helpful in getting kids to think about confidence- what it means, and how it might look on a day-to-day basis.
In this little “deck” of cards, we have words/phrases like “ask for help”, “try new things”, “be independent”, and “use tools that help”. Then, what we do is ask the kids to sort the cards into three columns. I tell the kids the column headings are:
- I still need to work on this
- I’m ok with this
- I’ve got it
Once we’ve established the columns, we get to work sorting the cards in the deck. And you know what happens as we sort? Conversation. Conversation around confidence. Conversation that helps my client to see all the things they are good at. And, it gives a name to things that they weren’t able to name before. The things in their life where confidence is lacking.
Self assurance- “I am good at….”.
Appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities- “Hey- I really am a great…..!”.
After we’ve completed sorting the cards, the ones in the “I still need to work on this” column become great ideas for goals- I take a picture of their sorted cards, print it and put into their folder later on. The next time I get the shrug and the “I don’t know” during goal setting? I pull that picture out of the folder and we use it to come up with a goal for the session.
Confidence is something that might be missing when I first start with a client. But one of my goals, is that by the time we’re done working together they have regained that confidence. Regained the self assurance. Regained the appreciation for themselves.
When that confidence is gained, I know that I have completed an important part of my job. It will leave a smile on my face, and- in all likelihood, a smile on theirs too.