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Life Skills: Confidence – The Definition

Word of monthEach month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Confidence.  This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: Compassion means: “I believe in me and you!”

Older students: Compassion means:  Complete trust in ourselves and others.

Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class.  You can also follow our discussions here on this website.

If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE.   We are not your typical after school activity, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace – through the arts.  We believe in every child and build their self – confidence.  Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.


Three Arts… One Dojo

The mission of Balanced Life Skills is to cultivate awareness, compassion and respect in all of our students.  We do this by helping them be aware of the negative messages that they hear and then be compassionate with themselves by replacing them with positive messages.  Replacing the negative thoughts we have with positive ones will help them to be willing to put forth greater effort in studying for school, trying new things, even standing up for themselves.  When this happens they can respect themselves.

never-good-enoughDid you ever have these challenges as a young person?  Most of us have.  In fact most adults still struggle with the negative movies running in their heads.  I certainly have had the struggle with messages that I still remember from a very young age, that I was not “smart enough”.  In fact I still hear the words in my ears of being called “stupid”.

As I looked for a solution I first realized that the number one fear of all people is the fear of not being “enough”.  Enough of many different things – mine was not smart enough.  What I learned through practice is that the practice of the martial arts was very helpful in growing my confidence.  After training in the martial arts I soon realized that this could be a great tool in building confidence in students.  But not all students are open to the physical approach, they prefer to do something in the visual arts or performing arts.

That is why our – Three Arts…One Dojo – approach is so effective for students of all ages.  The first thing you can do is come and try a class with Balanced Life Skills.  Try it for free, stick with it for a while and you will see the results for yourself.


Life Skills: The Practice of Perseverance Builds Confidence In Ourselves

Teaching character and life skills to students

Martial arts schools so many times have students brought to them to build their confidence.  What is it about the training that takes place there that accomplishes that goal, and what can you do as a parent at home that would emulate that training.

Confidence is built on feeling good about yourself and what you have achieved.  In the martial arts you have goals set before you, some of them physical and some of them mental.  You are given the time frame to accomplish them in, and if you stay on target and practice you will most likely reach those goals.  When goals are reached, the confidence is built, so that when the next even harder task is asked of us, we know that if we commit ourselves to the task or skill, we will be able to accomplish it and yes – build even more confidence.

Imagine though, we quit or gave up saying it was too hard, or worse asked the instructor to excuse us from having to do something because…  what would our confidence be like when the next task was asked of us.  We may be willing to give up again, and possibly with even less effort.

Here is the bottom line:  When we achieve something after working hard, we feel good about ourselves and know we can do anything if we commit.  When we feel confident, we’ll set more goals, and have an easier time committing and persevering.  What have you done recently that shows perseverance?  Did you get past your fears, or not let others influence you to stop reaching for your goals?  Did you tell yourself, “When the going gets tough, I don’t quit!”


Life Skills: Goal Setting + Perseverance = Confidence


Teaching character and life skills to students

Marie Curie said, “Life is not easy for any of us. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
When you think about the goals you have already achieved you no doubt can look back and say that perseverance played a large part in accomplishing that goal.  Maybe it was riding your bike or learning to swim or conquering that math problem.  Each goal that you set out to achieve was conquered by doing the little things and not giving up.

It may not have been easy, but now that you know that if you work hard, put in the effort and get coached for knowledge and skill, you can accomplish anything that you set out to do.  This is important for every aspect of our life, including our academics, social or work we want to do on ourselves emotionally.  Step by step, little accomplishments when strung together with perseverance results in great achievement.  Great achievement will build confidence for the next goal that you want to reach.

In our next article on perseverance we will look at what to do when we do not think our child puts forth enough effort to reach goals and helping them learn about goal setting.  This will be a great way to start the new school year.


Life Skills: How Children Lose Confidence and Creativity

Confidence is a feeling that we have that is rooted in working hard, having goals and overcoming challenges.  Confidence gives us the positive energy that we need to be willing to take risks and to move forward with our pursuit of goals, even when we know it might be difficult.  When we are feeling confident we are willing to accept challenges that others may not, and we are likely to succeed.

Amazingly though there always seems to be one or more persons around who will challenge us and say or do things that is intended to make us feel less than confident.  They may question our goals, ideas or dreams as not being real.  It is funny how when we are very young we think we can do anything.  One of our sons dreamed to play soccer on the moon and to be a paleontologist.  Yet in just a few short years, in fact by the time a child is 10 or so, they have lost that confidence and creativity. (Take a look at this TED Talk)   Others have told them to “be real”, “that is not possible”, or other things that lead them to feel that they need to get in line with “reality”.  What a shame for our young people.

Others just for the sake of making themselves feel “better than”, make others feel “stupid”, “less than”, and may boast or brag in a way that someone might feel that they cannot live up to that persons abilities or life.  While it is hard to get when it is happening, when one person is bragging or “putting others down’, they really are not building themselves up in anyone’s mind but their own.  When we need to tell everyone how great we are, it shows a lack of confidence in ourselves.  Unfortunately both adults and youngsters share in this activity, and bring down some very creative confident young people in the process. Continue reading