Helping a Teenager Build Up Self-Esteem
The Power of the Subconscious Mind
My just-turned-thirteen-year-old daughter Karina had several assignments due in school that involved presenting her projects in front of the whole class. She was fretting about it, feeling very uncomfortable, always pointing out how much she disliked it.
So one night I asked her if she’d like to listen to a special CD "Real Self-Esteem for Kids" using affirmations to give her more confidence. She didn’t mind and went to sleep as it was playing. The next morning she said: "I really liked that CD. Can I listen to it again tonight?"
So she did that for a number of nights, even turning it on herself if I had forgotten to start the CD player. Some nights I would also re-start the CD for a second run.
Within a couple of weeks I noticed slight changes, such as " Mom, can you read my speech? ...... Can you listen to me? I want to practice it."
Whereas at first she had been trying to avoid it and procrastinate, she was now taking steps to master the task. Then one day she announced: "I am going to time myself."
When I asked her if she had noticed changes in herself since listening to the CD, she nodded, initially having difficulty finding words. After a while she said: "I just feel it. It has given me another layer of knowledge."
On Valentine’s Day, my daughter came home, pleased as Punch. At the school Valentine’s Dance she had taken a seat on one of the benches when a classmate came and tried to push her off. Being more on the shy side, Karina has had a history of letting herself be bossed around, not daring to assert herself. As there were no free seats close by I would not have been surprised had she given in to her more assertive classmate and let her take the spot. However, that day Karina stayed where she was and told the girl to find another seat. She was so proud of herself and so was I...
Needless to say she wanted to listen to the CD again that night. Before going to bed myself I remembered to play it for a second time. The following morning, Karina told me that she had woken up in the night and pushed the start button once more. We both laughed when she realized it was the third run....
The presentation of her speech to her class of 20 went very well; she ended up in third place. The top two were to go on to the next stage of the in-school competition, which involved presenting to a larger group in the school cafeteria. When the boy, who came second, refused to give his speech again (he had been extremely nervous), the teacher asked Karina if she would want to represent her class. She said "yes".
To me, that in itself was a HUGE achievement for someone who didn’t want to do it in the first place. However, it got even better. She did a great job presenting to the entire grades 7 and 8 of the school, about 150 students!
Months later Karina still enjoys being lulled to sleep hearing affirmations such as:
"I live with the belief that nothing is impossible for me.
I have many unique talents and strengths.
I feel comfortable talking to all kinds of people.
I'm getting better and better at everything I do."
She is certainly showing more and more of the above in different areas of her life.
By Rica Gerhardt
First published in Tone Magazine May 2006
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