Teaching your child self-belief - 3 tips!

Have you ever heard the term ‘self-sabotage’? Well just take a closer look at your kids when they are facing a challenge that seems too hard!

Unfortunately, most of us have conditioned our minds to doubt! WHY??? Why would we do that to ourselves? Well very simply: it’s our defense against possible failure!

Some geeky science fellows looked into this. They used magnetic resonance imaging and brain mapping to show us exactly how the brain’s filters process information, including our thoughts, opinions, beliefs and attitudes—for better or worse.  

Mental toughness and leadership expert Andrew Wittman puts it like this:

"Where self-doubt is concerned, these filters create medical, electro-chemical and bio-physical self-fulfilling prophecies. We put the limits on our own potential."

But WAIT!!! The cool thing of course is that we’re dealing with the ALL POWERFUL brain! And if it has been conditioned to doubt - then it can also be CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE!

What do we need to DO as parents (in less geeky terms)?  

We need to train our kids (and ourselves) to focus our attention in a certain way. Exactly like we would strengthen our muscles - we build ‘brain muscle’!

Here are 3 simple things that you can do with your child to build up their self-belief:


Help your child accept that they are not going to be great at first, BUT that they are going to learn and grow every day! This is ALL about having a growth mindset.


Identify where your child’s self-doubt came from. Are they mirroring your own doubts? Have they tried before and failed? Remember that failure is a necessary step toward success, but you need to teach your child to view it as ‘just another way NOT to do it’ ….!


Find out what their self-doubt is protecting them from! Somewhere inside their minds, the risks or the failure seem too greatAsk your child what would happen if they DID fail? Often the assumption of the outcomes is far worse than the reality. And then you remind them that even if that did happen, there’s always the opportunity to learn from the experience, and try again!hat failure is a necessary step toward success, but you need to teach your child to view it as ‘just another way NOT to do it’ ….!

The science of positive psychology tells us that negative thoughts are just perceptions. We can CHOOSE how we interpret those thoughts. So at its most basic: teaching your child how to overcome doubt and think constructively is a brain exercise that improves over time. Call it mind-gym!