Imagine that your daughter is having an issue with another girl in her class. Almost every day your little girl will come home and mention how her classmate made fun of her for something. Maybe you have tried talking to the teacher or to the other parent, but nothing has come out of it. Because you have been helping your daughter to learn courage, you could look at this as a way of her experimenting with her newfound courageous abilities and give her the opportunity to face the issue head on. Not only would this kind of situation be useful in learning courage, but it gives your daughter a chance to be confident.
Brene Brown, an author and expert on learning bravery, discusses confidence as playing a major role in opportunities where we need to rely on courage. She believes that having grounded confidence relies on being able to understand your inner feelings and recognize the things that make you feel good. To learn how to achieve grounded confidence, Brene has put together a short but mighty equation, where grounded confidence = rumble skills + curiosity + practice. “Rumble skills” is a term that Brene uses to explain having the tools to deal with a rumble – a situation where you might need to exert some vulnerability and solve a difficult problem, often with another person. The key to owning these rumble skills is to be able to draw from your courage and be fearless in recognizing what your goals are in solving this problem.
So, if your daughter wants to stand up to a bully who is making fun of her for things like her outfit or the way that she expresses her emotions, learning strong rumble skills would mean that she recognizes her own feelings that this other girl is causing and can pull from this vulnerability, all while recognizing that she does not deserve to be bullied for acting as her true self. These skills will allow her to translate what could be an argument with her classmate into a problem-solving discussion, where your daughter can properly explain to the other girl that her words can hurt, and that she should not be mean to others. While the other girl could react in any way, just having the courage to maturely discuss the ongoing issue is the first step to building grounded confidence.
The next phase in Brene’s equation is curiosity. Feeling curious, especially when we feel overwhelmed, helps us continue the learning process. When we are curious, we are eager to learn new things, both about other people and the world around us. Learning these things is so important for your daughter, as she is just beginning to learn about the world and what things are worth fighting for. In our example, curiosity here could be that your daughter is curious why her classmate is behaving so mean. Perhaps she herself is a victim of bullying, or maybe she is not confident enough in herself. While helping her classmate figure out these emotions herself is a whole new battle, keeping your daughter curious about others will remind her to treat others with kindness no matter what, as you never really know what someone is going through In other words, being curious about where the ugly is coming from.
The final step to the equation is practice. Being able to experience situations of courage and bravery over and over again is the true key to learning how to be confident. The more times you are able to put yourself out there, the easier it will become to feel like you are doing a good job, and the better you will feel about yourself. So, while your daughter deserves to be proud of herself for standing up against a mean classmate, she might have to face tough situations like this again. The more she does it, the better she is set up to feel confident and courageous throughout the rest of her life. She will learn that no matter how hard the situation is, or how mean someone might be to her, it is always worth sticking up for herself.