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.

On the other side though, when we are able to support others in their efforts to improve, when we are willing to share knowledge, skills, or whatever we have with others in an effort to help them – this demonstrates confidence at the highest level.  In fact at the end of the day when we are willing to share, both parties come away feeling positive.  The giver for seeing the progress of a friend, the receiver for the gift that has been shared with them.

This is the way of the true martial artist.  As you train in the martial arts and you become more confident in your knowledge and skills, the more you want to share this way of life with others.  You begin to realize the benefits on all levels and sharing it becomes “just the right thing to do”.

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