Family is not only important as a unit to provide structure, love, and security to the members. Family also provides confidence for its members young, medium and old alike. We crave our family for the love they give us and for the peace we feel when we return home after some time away. However, the element we mostly tend to ignore is the confidence factor and the role this plays in individual and group development.
The family unit provides confidence by encouraging our strengths
Where else in the world can kids (and adults) ‘practice’ their talents without critical judgement? In normal families kids are encouraged to work at their strengths and practice the thing at which they’re most talented. Even if they’re not that good, parents, grandparents – and even aunts, uncles and older siblings cheer them on and give them the first tools they need to spread their wings. We don’t pay much attention to this aspect of family because we take it for granted that they do these things out of love. Nevertheless, recognising our strengths, having them pointed out to us, and getting the encouragement to use and perfect them is the sure-fire way of building confidence. The family unit does all of these naturally and organically. By the time kids go out to school, they have already built up the confidence they need to recognise they have something of value to give to others.
The family unit provides confidence by showing us acceptance
A large part of the reason people lose their confidence is because they think there’s so much wrong with them, that no one would like or accept them. This is the difference between larger (or obese) people who brim with confidence, and those who live hermit lives – not being able to step foot out the door. It’s also the difference between disabled people who’re shy and retiring (because they can never accept they’re perfect as they are) and those so full of confidence, they compete at the Para Olympics.
Families provide confidence by showing us we’re accepted no matter what we’re like or what we look like. They help us build that tiny part of our personality which could potentially suggest we’re worse off because we’re not like everyone else. Families accept us ‘warts and all’ which prepares us for life outside this unit. They show us that we’re no different from anyone else in what we’re worth.
The family unit provides confidence by giving us a place to belong
No matter what happens outside the home, we know we have a place to come back to. This security enriches our lives and our personalities. Parents, grandparents and other extended family members give us a sense of belonging. This is the psychological prerequisite for confidence building. The sense of belonging is the first ‘awareness’ we build up after birth. We do this in the form of bonding. We ‘belong’ to our mother, and we find her by her smell. Then we ‘bond’ with our dad and other close family members. The older we get, the wider the circle of belonging becomes. Knowing we’re save, loved and ‘belong’ is a vital element of building confidence – something the family unit provides without thinking about it.
So, how about you? Are there other obvious ways your family has helped you build confidence?
This post comes to you with the compliments of www.opendoorloan.co.uk
Anne, the author of this post writes about building confidence at her blog, ‘How To Build Confidence’.