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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Before Creativity There Is Confidence...

Lessons Learned…

Arrogance is not Confidence


We have muddled something up with respect to our children, whether they are our own kids, our students, or the players on our team, and it’s probably about time we take an honest look at what we’ve done. Beginning with the assumption of excellent and honorable intentions fully aligning with the best interests of the children, we adults shower the children, perhaps more likely deluge them, with superlative accolades for each and every good action accomplished. Although in and of itself, praise is lovely and right and affirming, but just as with so very many aspects of our lives these days it seems we chase it to the absolute extreme which in its overdoneness has the propensity of rendering itself meaningless, insincere, and drippingly excessive. This overkill of superlative accolades then hits the waves of social media and paints a bigger than life picture and surprisingly seems to build an ego much more readily than it builds confidence.  A torrent of glowing adjectives may impress and tickle the ears of others standing by and in turn sharing their torrents, but in terms of building the confidence and not the arrogance of the child we would do much better to encourage them to make good choices and assume responsibility for their actions and their time.  There is nothing superficial about confidence as it emanates from a place deep within an individual, a place of deep trust where he or she has learned from those significant in one’s life that his or her ideas, thoughts, actions, plans, dreams, schemes, and solutions have value and validity; a significant one who has listened intently and in some clear way said yes. Confidence is strong but it is also gentle. Confidence is bold but it is not brash. Confidence is willing to stand alone or stand up for something, but confidence will also patiently, quietly sit without demanding because confidence trusts and believes that its time will come. Arrogance demands and struts and bullies because at the root of arrogance is insecurity, an insecurity grounded in the superficiality of excessive, superlative accolades. Words of the glowing adjective variety take no time to spew and require no investment of time in the child for whom they are uttered, they simply float in the air and puff up ego’s sails without reaching meaningfully in to a child’s heart with an affirming yes. On the sports fields, in the classrooms, on the playground, on television and all around we witness a malignant and myopic arrogance that is disheartening, discouraging and truly represents the antithesis of confidence. We need to speak quiet, honest, and specific affirming truth into the ears and hearts of our children, and then intently listen as they reveal their hopes and dreams, encouraging them to press forward confidently, which they will then do.