• Vicky Poole

How Self Belief is a power we can all claim, if we choose to.

Our children are smarter than we think. We teach them words so that we can communicate. What we don’t realise is that the words we use project our opinion. We use words like “yes that’s right” and gradually it chips away at their self-belief. Within a few years, the child becomes obsessed with making others happy. They give away their power and spend a lifetime trying to get it back. This is the biggest cause of mental illness across the world.

I recently read the Danish Parenting Guide which is essentially a book on how to raise kids with critical thinking skills, self belief and how to own their own opinions from Day DOT and it got me thinking why we in England are so different?

One of my girlfriends, Sarah Beele, is Australian and commented to me that British parents carry so much judgement. That it often feels that people are conformed to act in a certain way because the mass crowd of perfect parents think that they should parent their child differently.

Young children have wild imaginations. Pirates. Fairies. Goblins. They draw pictures and we want them to be proud of their work and say, “wow that’s brilliant well done”. They run off to draw another one. The constant reinforcement of acceptance drives kids towards external acceptance, ‘normality’ and ‘in the box’ thinking. What happens when someone does not like the picture they drew, they feel the pang of rejection. The urge for acceptance is so strong that they strive to make them happy and redraw the picture.

Going back to the Danish Parenting Guide, the child would be encouraged to talk about the picture they drew. What is it? What were you thinking when you drew this? It might just be a swiggle on a piece of paper to us but to them it is an expression. If we're having a bad day and toss it away, they feel rejected and we take their power from them.

We all have bad days or bad moods and sometimes there is no reason for it. If we experience emotional highs, we must experience the lows. When we become dependent on others for how we feel about ourselves then we give away our power to feel. Then we need external help to feel happy, search for acceptance and gratification. Buy flowers. DVD’s. Handbags. Trinkets. When we have our own beliefs then we are able to respond (that's responsibility!) to someone else's views, beliefs or opinions in such a way that it is "only their opinion". It might provide and interesting view point and it may influence your own view, opinion or belief... but it does not become yours.

The journey to inner happiness and contentment has no map. It always has the same starting point, belief. Belief in your opinion and perspective. If someone doesn’t share your opinion, that’s cool. That’s their opinion. Your opinion is right for you. When you catch yourself asking someone else opinion and feeling satisfaction in their response, you are out of your power. When you ask “what would you do to get this result”, this is you stepping into your power and owning it.

Reclaiming your self-belief is easy, it starts with acknowledging your successes as you define them. They could be getting out of bed; doing the washing; finishing university; or, making £1 million last year. Write your achievements down and speak them aloud daily. Build up your confidence in accepting your successes. Smile when you say it. Build your belief stack in what your successes are. You are brilliant - even if it's just you who thinks so. Everyone else... well it's just their opinion.

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