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The Secret to Raising Confident Kids - Part 2

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2019

Last week I spoke about developing confidence in terms of personal achievement, but the other part of that that I mentioned was developing confidence in more of a social context. This is what we work on with our students on the very first day. The first thing we teach them is the importance of eye focus, as we say. “Focus your Eyes”. Hugely important today more than ever, especially since society as a whole is losing this ability. As much as this makes sense on a basic common or not so common sense level, there is a much deeper layer to this.

About 20 years ago, a Kung Fu master taught me a lesson that greatly shifted my perception and led me to where I am today, and without it I’d probably be miserable at job that I hate instead of the job that I love. That lesson was that the mind follows the body, and the body follows the mind. You see a common idea is that the mind body connection as a linear path. You have a thought, feeling, frame of mind, and if you’re frame of mind is lousy, then your body will be slouched and sluggish, alternately, if your mind set is happy then your body will be upright, more alert, more likely to move, dance, get jiggy, whatever.

You might recognize the error in that thinking and find it obvious, as I do I, now... but at the time before I learned the truth I was a stupid teenager and none the wiser. When I started to think about what I had learned I realized that this was not a linear path at all.  The two are interdependent; meaning that yes, if your thoughts are sluggish your body will follow, but also, if your body is sluggish, your thoughts will follow.

If you are in a class sitting at a desk, and you’re slouched over, your breathing will be very poor, and if your breathing is poor, you’ll have less oxygen flowing to your brain, and if you less oxygen is flowing to your brain you have poor focus, you won’t be alert, this will make you tired, which will result in poor posture. If you focus your body, sit up straight, your breathing will be better, which will send more oxygen to your brain, causing you to be more alert, and if your more alert, your body posture can and will reflect that.

This behaviour can all be started off with a conscious decision of what to pay attention to, or as we say in Kung Fu FOCUS. Now having said that, let’s apply this wisdom to eye contact, eye focus, and how it is used for developing confidence. When you meet a confident person, they typically look you in the eye, introduce themselves clearly, and firmly and politely shake your hand.  The hardest part of this kind of introduction for people who lack confidence is typically the eye contact. This is why we start with the emphasis with kids.

If a student is confident mentally, they will have no problem making eye contact in most cases, but remember, this is not a simple linear path. While a confident person can make eye contact easier, a person who makes the habit of eye contact will also develop more confidence over time. The more a person is allowed to bury their eyes into their phone the more they will get stuck in that comfort zone, making it more difficult to step out and interact socially. So by holding our kids accountable and having an expectation of eye contact when speaking or being spoken to, the more confident they will become.

There’s one more step in this process that’s very important that we need to practice, and that’s honesty. An honest person will have a much easier time being confident than a dishonest person, so developing honesty is crucial if you want your child to have good confidence. This also is not a linear path. A person who is making eye contact will have a harder time lying, unless of course they’re a sociopath. That’s why people always say, look me in the eye and tell me the truth. So eye contact will pressure us to be honest more often than not. If you’re honest and have nothing to hide, then you’ll have a much easier time looking people in the eye, which will lead to more confidence. And if you’re confident in yourself, in your beliefs, your actions, and have nothing to hide, then there’s no reason to lie, which will make you an honest person.

I hope all this makes sense. I realize it’s easy to say but an entirely different matter to put into practice. The bottom line is that if we want confident kids, we can’t get them there without practicing eye contact and practicing honesty.  Although those two things require a bit of confidence, as we develop them through conscious practice we can also develop lots of confidence as a result, then as we do, we also develop more honesty and more eye focus. The better we understand this process the more confident our kids will be, and more confident kids today will mean better leaders tomorrow.

If you would like to have your child in for a totally free 2 week trial so you can boost their confidenceclick the link attached to this and you can get them a free private lesson with one of our professional black sash instructors, a free uniform, and 2 weeks of classes on us. If after the trial you decide this kind of training is not for you then that’s totally fine we will be happy to have given you the uniform and a great experience as a gift for trying it out, but either way you will see improvements in your child’s confidence level within the first week. Click the link below to get started; 



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