Saturday, September 26, 2009

Self esteem to combat challenges

One of the privileges of being a parent is the opportunity to revisit all the challenges from our own childhood. Only this time, we have the chance to facilitate, rather than "solve".

Even this morning our oldest daughter and I had a long and meaningful conversation about all the things that happen at school and in other settings. How easy it is - as a parent - to jump in with solutions and conclusions (because everything our children say usually brings us straight back to our own early years, right..?!). On the other hand, how much quality is added to the interaction when we leave the talking and the problem solving to our kids. They have the answers. All we need to do is listen and reassure. Don't you find the same?

Here's what I believe really matters when young people are faced with challenges:

(1) Select good friends
Let's face it. Everything that has real value in life is pretty much dependent on the people around us.

Sometimes it's good for us to remember that we're not happhazardly subject to coincidence when it comes to the people we mix and interact with. We can choose our friends, just like we can choose to be a friend. Why not help our kids make up their minds as to what kind of a friend they want to be, as well as what kind of friends they want to have. The people around us powerfully influence how we feel about ourselves. I believe it makes ALL the difference!

(2) Develop a talent
How we feel about ourselves determines how active we are. And vice versa, how active we are determines how we feel about ourselves.

A talent does something with the way we perceive ourselves, and thus it directly affects our ability to lift ourselves out of any pit we might fall into. Like we've heard so many times before; the difference between success and failure is simply by how a successful person keeps getting up. Both the successful and the unsuccessful fail, but failure is only failure if at some point we decide not to keep trying.

Here are the lyrics of an inspiring song I learnt many years ago:

I'm not judged by the number of times I fail
but by the number of times I succeed
and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion
to the number of times I fail, but keep trying

Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
I will succeed if I keep trying
Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
I will succeed if I keep trying

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