2 April 2015

The Prince’s Trust, who I was fortunate to be involved with at an event last year, recently published their annual Youth Index – a report that tracks the confidence and happiness of 16 – 25 year olds, using an online poll.

tony_robbinsThis year, despite improvements to career prospects and the economy, it seems there are still a huge number of young people with low self-esteem and self-belief.

I’ve spoken before about the negative power of limiting beliefs and I can’t help but wonder whether this force might be at play here.

Are we, as parents and teachers, managing the expectations of our young people or telling them to aim high? Are we showing them enough in our own actions and behaviours that they can achieve their goals through planning and focus?

Sometimes I think we’re all guilty of limiting our kids’ imaginations, albeit unintentionally; even if they are small things. I remember my daughter once asking me whether we could go and play on the trampoline… in the rain! I can still hear myself initially saying, “No, we can’t” before suddenly thinking, “Well, why not?”

It’s the same when I take the girls skiing. There’s no reason why they can’t beat me – and they frequently do. It’s something Gail and I have always put out there as a challenge, something well within their reach. And knowing this, they have taken it on board and now completely trounce us both on the piste! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before even our youngest, Coco, starts to overtake us.

So what can we do to drive up the self-belief of the young people of Britain? Do we need to be encouraging our kids’ ideas and dreams more, rather than preparing them for potential disappointment? And if we did this, would they grow up to be more confident adults who encourage others in the same way?

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