TED Conversations

Morgan Rich

Life Coach, My Family

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How can we help kids and teenagers develop the deep belief in self they need to feel worthy, to be motivated, to feel confident?

The concept of those who feel a sense of love and belonging are those who FEEL WORTHY of love and belonging is awesome. In the same way, teenagers saying they want to live their passion, know who they are, and live the life they were born to live, is a great idea.

The challenge is that these things are easy to say, but hard to do. I'm curious how we help our young people gain the strength and capability to actually feel worthy, discover their Real You, feel confident, and know who they are.

Yes, Grit is important. How do we learn it? I'm interested in answers beyond, you just commit to it, or just do it, or try it out. Sure, but not the shy kid who lacks confidence or the bully who is insecure beneath the bravado or the lonely kid who feels alone and broken.

If these things were easy, we'd be doing them, but we struggle. How can we help our young people feel worthy, be gritty, see the good and positive things?

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    Jul 20 2013: As this talk has had 1.7 million views, a lot of people seem to think the speaker has an interesting take on your question: http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career.html
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      Jul 20 2013: Thank you Fritzie, I'm excited to take a look. I will check it out and get back to you.
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      Jul 23 2013: I'm curious about your reaction to Larry's talk. How did you see it as a take on my question?

      It feels like it gets to the heart of what I am asking. How do you gain the strength to be able to say "unless" and stop making excuses? In the same way, I'm down Brene saying "those worthy of love and belonging are the ones who think they are worthy of love and belonging."

      Oh, great, just say unless. Or just think you are worthy.

      Um, my reflection is that it's harder than that. It's been so for me, and I see others struggle with it. And so I get curious. How can we help these go from ideas, hopes, goals, to people's reality?
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        Jul 23 2013: I offered the talk because it has appealed to so many rather than because it is the way I talk with or work with young people.

        I take a strategy of showing by words and actions that kids are capable. If you get to know kids and give them chances to succeed at things they value and at things they did not realize they could do, these strategies build a belief in self, motivation, and confidence. If kids are never challenged or given responsibility, they do not know they can rise to challenge. If kids are held to higher standards than are reasonably accessible to them or are presented only challenges that are beyond them, without chance to see and feel repeated success, they will not feel capable or the value of perseverance.

        In teaching this is about the right level of "cognitive demand" and considering "the one of proximal development." It must be tunes to the kid rather than to an average across a heterogeneous cohort.

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