My daughter is a confident first grader.
She’s the littlest one in the family, but that doesn’t phase her.
Allow me to brag a bit. A week ago she won two games, had no losses, and four draws, good enough to take first place in the 1st Grade/Kindergarten division at a chess tournament, and for several days after that Saturday she toted her trophy and ribbon about, showing them to anyone she met.
Last night her first grade class had a holiday program, and she had a solo. Her line had something to do with ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas poem, related to Santa’s belly, and how it jiggled around like a bowl full of jelly.
There was another boy with her on the mic during her “solo”, but she told me afterwards, “Dad, I was the MAIN bowl full of jelly.”
She’s not cocky or arrogant (yet). She’s only seven. She has a natural humility along with her confidence. Okay, maybe she’s getting a bit cocky now, I have to admit, but it’s still in the phase where adults say “Isn’t she cute?”
How do we get this as kids? And how do we lose it as adults? Is it just because it isn’t cute anymore? I don’t think so. I think it’s because it’s hard to balance humility and confidence, and we get off balance easily, because we’re so much more self-confident. Anyway, that’s a conversation-starter, feel free to add your two cents.
Here’s part of where she gets it. At dinner time, we usually ask our kids to state one success they’ve had that day. My daughter has been building up an assumption that she will be and is already successful. I want it to be her bank account, her old money.
We can lose it when we fail for extended periods of time. In anything really worth doing, worth the effort, in becoming an expert, masterful, this is likely to happen sooner or later. You couldn’t say it’s masterful, if it didn’t take some measure of perfecting through the crucible of effort and failure. Sometimes that knocks our confidence down a peg, and suddenly, perhaps because we’re not seven years old anymore, we wonder:
How do we regain it as adults?
It’s easy to lose sight of successes. It’s easy to get to the end of the day … or the end of the year, and say to ourselves, “Well, this one was a dud. I’m glad that’s over,” instead of listing successes, no matter how small they may be.
As you end 2017, you may be taking lots of time to prepare for success in 2018, spending time in review and planning sessions for your small business or your family, or you may be doing very little to that effect, just hoping to get the work done that’s on your desk before you take a week’s break (that’s where I’m at!)
If you don’t have time for much else, for meeting with a coach or doing a two-day business retreat to think the year over, I’d encourage you to at least list a dozen successes. Find one for each month of the year. It’s a bare minimum year end review, and next year you’ll be winning chess tournaments and shaking your moneymaker like a bowl full of jelly, with not a worry in the world, like every bright first grader you’ve ever known, who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re a rock star. You, too, can be the MAIN bowl full of jelly.
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and Successful New Year!