Building Confidence Backed by Science!

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If you have ever been to Revolution Modern Martial arts you know that we take building kids’ confidence very seriously. In fact, helping the people of Clayton NC build their self-esteem has been one of our primary goals since we opened our Karate and martial arts school in 2009.

As part of our employee training program, instructors begin to learn our Proven Process to build confidence in any skill. This process is the foundation of any workshop we use in schools, community events, and public speaking engagements.

To boil it down to the bare bones, we have found that building confidence in any skill can be accomplished by following four steps.

Set a goal
Follow a plan
Test for progress
Accept feedback

Essentially, figure out what you want to do, take some time to learn and practice the skill, challenge yourself to see how much progress you have made, and then get feedback from someone else or evaluate your progress on your own. If you follow that formula, there is a high likelihood that your confidence in that skill will increase. Even if your progress isn’t as profound as you would like, your confidence will still grow because you will know what part of your plan you need to make changes to in order to continue to improve.

Just last week I read an article in Psychology Today that outlines a similar process to building confidence. They suggest that you “challenge yourself” (Set a Goal) and “map out baby steps” (Follow a Plan.)

Instead of having a test for progress and acceptance of feedback, they suggest that you “focus on the effort instead of the outcome,” “stop that critical voice” (meaning your internal dialogue), and “get support.”

I personally feel that those points are valid, however, from a coach’s perspective, they are near impossible to implement, especially with kids. Children often haven’t developed the ability to improve their internal self-talk. In fact, negative self-talk is one of the reasons kids lack confidence. As a parent, you can tell your child to talk better about themselves internally, but there is no way to monitor if that is happening or not. The same goes with a coach. There is no way for me to be able to tell if a child is focusing on the effort over the outcome or engaging in positive self-talk.

Our process includes observable steps so that our instructors can monitor what the students are doing and give them actionable feedback on how to pursue their goals. For example, in our karate program, one of the student’s goals is to promote to a new belt. By following our class plan and practicing at home the students learn the skills needed to promote. Throughout a 9 week cycle of classes, we test the students 6 times on various elements of their belt-level material. After these tests, we assess their progress. If their skills are progressing they earn 1 of the 6 stripes on the belt needed to advance to a new belt. If they fall short, we can coach them on what parts of the class and at-home practice they need to focus on to progress.

If your child is struggling with confidence, look for opportunities to implement this process in their school work, hobbies, etc. You will be amazed at the results!

If you wish to read the Psychology Today article I referenced, click the link below: