Many children and young people have this debilitating habit of putting themselves down. They feel that somehow they are unworthy and will never be as good as anyone else and so begins the downward spiral into low self-esteem, but it doesn’t have to be this way – and teaching professionals hold the solution – according to author and positivity expert Michael Younge, Founder of Powerful Positive Thinking.
It’s one of the ironies of life that children and young people frequently set ridiculously high expectations for themselves and when they fail to reach those levels they respond negatively and assume they are failures.
It’s not uncommon for young people to describe themselves as “stupid” or “not good enough” and so begins a pattern in life that reinforces itself with an expectation that failure will automatically happen every time they try something new – and of course they are never disappointed.
Teaching professionals witness this every day in classroom situations where students have already given up because they believe they will not achieve the right results. Even worse, students suffering this level of low self-esteem believe that they alone are the failures.
The mission of course is to reverse those levels of negativity before it turns into mental illness when children simply give up which is why positive thinking courses are now proving so effective at schools and academies worldwide.
Children can be taught that failure should be a learning experience. The world’s greatest entrepreneurs and successful business people have all failed on numerous occasions but have learned from their mistakes and tried again and again until they found the formula that worked.
Part of the success formula means eliminating debilitating negative phrases and replacing them with “can do” options. “People will think I am stupid” can be replaced with people will “think I am cool for trying.” Words such as “I am not good enough” can be replaced with “I will always do my best.”
In our courses for schools we find that it’s the students who can quickly think of other alternative positive phrases to replace the negatives and once they get the idea it can automatically become habit forming with attitudes changing into “can do” from “can’t do.”
When you use life examples to remind students that success has to be earned and worked for – and that failure can be used as a positive for the next time -then they begin to get the message. Always remember that billionaire Richard Branson started his business from a phone box and X Factor stars that made it to the big time will always tell you of those months and years learning their craft in dusty clubs and music halls – and getting this message across starts with the right words from inspirational teachers and counsellors.
Michael Younge is founder of Powerful Positive Thinking which provides positivity courses for schools and academies worldwide. To know more visit: www.powerfulpositivethinking.org/courses