Confidence to take action tops pyramid

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2001

We have all heard of self-esteem, self-respect, self-worth, self-actualization or self-concept. Counselors or psychologists can distinguish between and support each one of these concepts, but what all these terms boil down to is believing in oneself.

The aspirations team calls it the condition of confidence to take action.

Over the last several weeks, we have examined the first seven of the eight conditions that impact the development of a child's ability to identify and set goals for the future. The top of the pyramid is the eighth condition: confidence to take action.

Confidence to take action is characterized by a positive and healthy outlook on life and a looking inward for approval rather than only seeking approval from others. All the other conditions need to be in place in order for us to have that confidence to take action.

As a parent, evaluate how you promote the condition of confidence to take action in your home. Make a mental mark for each of the items so they are in the following categories.

This pertains to my family all the time.

This pertains to my family most of the time.

This does not pertain to my family, but it should.

1) I work hard to help my children build confidence in themselves.

2) I help my children recognize their strengths.

3) I encourage and work with my children to help them reach their fullest potential.

4) My children know I am proud of their accomplishments.

5) I show my children I have high expectations for them.

6) I encourage my children to be independent thinkers.

7) I provide opportunities and demonstrate to my children that they have endless potential.

8) I teach my children that failure can be used as a learning experience.

9) I create a safe and trusting environment for my children to try new things.

10) I make suggestions to my children rather than criticize their way of doing things.

Ask yourself the following questions and take some time to jot down your thoughts. These thoughts will be the basis of making a change in your actions.

1) How can I model confidence to take action?

2) How can I communicate high expectations for my children?

3) How can I help my children reach their fullest potential?

4) What activities can I involve my children in that will help them build their confidence?

5) How can my family be more supportive of each other's endeavors?

6) What are the initial steps I am planning on making?

7) How will I know I have been successful?

Here are a few family activities that help reinforce the confidence to take action condition.

A great way to build confidence is to help your child learn and master a new skill. Some suggestions might be throwing a Frisbee, juggling, reading a difficult book or learning a foreign language. Practice, and practice together.

Post your child's accomplishments. The refrigerator is a good place or a bulletin board in a place where everyone can see all the great things your child has accomplished.

Make it a point to tell you child one positive thing they did during the day that you appreciated.

This is the final article examining the eight conditions that support student aspirations as outlined by Dr. Quaglia and the National Center for Student Aspirations team at the University of Maine. If you have any questions concerning student aspirations, feel free to call me at Kenai Central High School or visit the National Center for Student Aspirations Web site at

Hank Overturf, the assistant principal at Kenai Central High School, has 26 years of experience in education. He has been with the Kenai Peninsula School District for 10 years.

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