Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Some of the greatest influences in my development have been the people in my life who raised my confidence by pushing me beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving.

We hear voices

From the time we are born we hear voices from every direction.  Some voices encourage us to dream big, never give up, tell us we 'can do it; and congratulate us when we succeed.  Other voices tell us to be cautious - to think of the worst that could happen, that we might get hurt, fail or make a fool of ourselves.  Then there are the destructive voices that tell us we 'can't do it', that we will never amount to anything, that we are an embarrassment or that we are just showing off if we try to better ourselves.

Voices matter

Obviously the voices that are encouraging are the most valuable.  We gain confidence when we are praised for doing right or trying our best, rather than berated for doing wrong or 'failing' .  It is vital that we instill confidence into our children from the time they are babies so they feel valued and loved from the very beginning.  Value creates confidence.

We don't realize how much we limit the initiative of our kids when we discourage them from attempting new things under the guise of protecting them from e.g. disappointment or hurt.  Yes, they need to take care, but with our guidance or with expert help, they can learn how to make wise choices in what they attempt to do or be.

We need to hear encouraging voices

No matter how old we are we crave to hear precious words of encouragement and sometimes we need stronger words to galvanize into positive action e.g to try again.

We need to watch our kids' attitudes and actions to make sure discouraging words from us, or others of influence, are not hindering them from becoming all that they can be.

We need to be that positive voice

When you think back on your childhood, who, in your life encouraged you beyond your own perceived ability?  A school teacher? A coach? A Bible Class teacher? A friend? A parent or grandparent?  How did they encourage you? 

Every human being on the planet is influenced by what others think of them.  Positivism towards us creates value and therefore confidence, where negativism creates insecurity and therefore doubt. If a child's confidence is not developed at a very early age they will naturally be cautious and makes it much harder to build on an insecure foundation later.

The stronger the positive belief system in a person's mind is, the less they need to rely on what others think. Our positive 'memory bank' is derived from the encouragement and support we get from those of influence in our lives.  We need to keep it full.

Written by Sally Burgess

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