The 'Bottom-Up' approach to building your daughter's confidence
Do you ever find yourself ever uttering the words, “Be brave sweetheart… just be confident… put yourself out there, you’ll be ok!” This is what we like to call a ‘top-down approach’ – kind of ‘throw her in the deep end‘ – and it absolutely has its place in the cheerleading bag of tricks!
But today I want to propose to you a ‘bottom up’ approach to understand some of the layers of thoughts and emotions that are at play in her heart and mind.
I’ve put together this short video unpacking a new approach to confidence, so the next time you want to say “go get em’ tiger!” you’ll have a few more tools and insights to support her along the way. Registrations for our Confidence Breakthrough series have now closed however be sure to sign up to our mailing list for more updates in the future.
FREE: 3-Part Confidence Breakthrough Series
So, tell me: how many times have you seen your daughter pull back from something that she doesn’t want to do, she doesn’t have the confidence to do? And you’ve come in and said, “honey, just try, just jump in there”.
You know, she’s scared of doing something and it seems simple enough to encourage her to do it, and that is how she’ll get over it, and you’ll find that confidence. It is a conversation I have with parents a lot. And to be honest, that is one strategy. It’s what we like to call a top-down strategy. And it does have a role to play in the whole holistic way that we approach trying to help young girls build their confidence. It is sometimes great to just jump in there and give it a shot.
But today, what I wanted to take you through is an idea of a bottom up strategy.
And what that requires of us is to have a deeper understanding of what are those underneath influencing factors that are holding her back from that thing that you know, or feel that she could do if she tried. So in order to figure out what is our bottom up strategy, we can start off at the top of the top down.
Let’s say she’s in a room and she needs to speak to new people that she doesn’t know. We can see that she is having difficulty approaching people, we can see, she might feel like she doesn’t really know what she’s supposed to say. She doesn’t know the people, the environment. So to us, those might seem like quite easy, quick fix things that shouldn’t really bother us enough to stop actually speaking to someone new. But if we go down into the layers and we understand what’s going on with her internally, we do usually start to see quite a few deeper levels to what’s going on.
What you’ll often find is that she is firstly being sort of affronted by the situation because it is an unknown landscape that she might not know, even if she is in a room where she has been in before, she doesn’t know who these people are, she can’t predict the outcomes of what’s going to happen if she does speak to any of them.
There is this underlying fear that she has that, something’s going to happen because it’s unknown to her and unpredictable. So that’s one level. What we also might find is she could be kind of worried about letting you down, which is sort of this idea of failure. And if she was to go in and speak to someone or the wrong person or say the wrong thing or not be, however it is that maybe she thinks that she’s supposed to be, or that you hope that she’s going to, that she might not navigate the situation as well as she can and then she sort of lets you down.
Then you’ve got that fear of rejection.
What if she goes up to speak to someone and they don’t even speak to her? What if they literally walk away? And that’s not just their fear? I would be pretty scared of that as well, myself. So the idea that she might be rejected, be sitting underneath the bottom there, and then even if she does take those steps forward, say, hello, strike up a conversation. What if she says the wrong thing? Or what if she says something where someone judges her and makes an opinion? And if there’s anything you know about your daughter, now, I imagine one of the key things is that she’s pretty afraid of what other people think of her or pretty aware of it and can take a negative effect on her.
Now what we thought was a very simple exercise of going in and just speaking to a new person suddenly has a lot of deeper layers, of things that she’s concerned about and worried about. And while the top-down approach can sometimes work where we can just throw her in there and once she does do it and sees that she survives, and it’s not a life or death situation that she can learn and build up that confidence. But if you’re having trouble getting your daughter to do that, it’s better to start down the bottom and start addressing these one by one.
I’d want to do that with a few very specific scenarios that come up a lot with young girls, so we’re talking about meeting new people, speaking in front of big groups navigating big academic expectations that are coming along and a few others.
Keep watching for the rest of the videos in this series, and I’m going to take you through exactly what to do in each scenario so that you can address each of those different fears and you can work a bottom up approach, helping your daughter through some of these confidence barriers.