Parents! Teachers! Mentors! If you have young people in your life—young people you believe in—this is crucial information for you!
Have you ever had someone believe in you more than you believed in yourself? How did that make you feel? It probably made you feel like you could take on the world, or tackle whatever situation you faced at the time. That’s the power of unbridled belief from others.
The famous artist Pablo Picasso claimed, “My mother always told me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” Many other successful people also point to their parents’ belief in them as the driving force behind their success. They believe that if their parents hadn’t been confident in them from the get-go, they wouldn’t be in the same place today.
I am precisely one of those people, and I will be forever grateful for my parents’ unconditional love and belief in me (even if I may not have always deserved it!). It helped more times than I can count.
Do your children (or other young people in your life) know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you love them unconditionally and believe in them unequivocally? Do they know that you see them as talented, worthy, and brimming with potential? Make certain they do. It is a tremendous asset for teens to be surrounded by adults who believe in them—who can affirm their uniqueness and value. That belief is an inner voice, encouraging them to dream big and persevere through life’s challenges.
Your child, mentee, or student will make his or her share of mistakes along the way (I know I sure did!). But having the benefit of unconditional acceptance and belief from you will soften those blows and provide a safety net they can always count on.
Not so sure how to let them know you’re their biggest fan? Here are some ideas:
-Be upfront. Whether it’s at a meal, during a tutoring session, or after a class, be willing to open up. Tell them that you believe in them (and why) and that you’re bullish about their future. Call out some of their greatest assets and character traits.
-Write them a letter or note. Stick a note in their lunchbox, or if you’re a teacher, consider putting a sticky note on one of their assignments. Knowing you went to the effort to do that will speak volumes to them!
-Be generous with your time. What says “I believe in you” more than carving out time in your busy schedule?
-Speak from experience. Share your own downfalls, your mistakes, and your past life experiences. A little perspective from a “pro” can boost their confidence and build trust!
We can be the cheering squad that calls out the strengths and affirms the dreams and potential of the young people in our lives. It’ll let them know that if they were a stock, you’d be a buyer! And, the best part of all? Your belief will breed their belief.
Who could benefit from your gift of affirmation and belief today?
About the author
Dennis Trittin is the author of What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead and Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. Through his books, blog, and nationwide speaking engagements, Dennis prepares students for life success and equips parents and educators in their vital training role. You can find him here on Facebook.