Building confidence

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I remember as a child, my mother always made me speak up. She never allowed me to be shy or speak quietly.

“MaryLynn, go up to the cashier, look him in the eye and say, '10 on pump three.' Then hand him the $10,” my mom said.

I was about 6 years old when she started making me speak to cashiers. I hated it! But now I realize that was important to do for many reasons. It helped with my social skills, it helped me understand money, and it helped me be assertive and confident.  

A lot of the students and adults I have worked with lack confidence. They do not believe  they can achieve anything they want. That puts a huge toll on their learning experience.

I now begin therapy by introducing the concept of goal setting. Luckily, I met the mother of Kosi Eneli, author of "How to Set and Achieve Goals for Kids," and purchased Kosi’s book. Kosi is only a fourth-grader and she is teaching my students the importance of goal setting.

“Goals will make you stronger and more capable. Goals will build your self-confidence and self-esteem,” Kosi stated in her book.   

This easy and relatable book brings up many important conversations with my students about their own goals, especially their speech goals.

My students learn how to set goals for themselves and how to achieve them as well. We discuss their official speech goals and they decide for themselves which one they feel can be accomplished first. We then tackle those speech goals. My students are excited to begin working on specific activities to better themselves and ultimately reach their goal.

Once a student reaches a goal, I applaud them! I act like it’s the best thing in this world. To be honest, I feel that way at the moment. It’s not an act. Then they become excited, feel proud and better about themselves. That bit of confidence instilled in them makes them want to accomplish their next goal. Self-confidence goes a long way.

“The better you feel about yourself, the better you will feel about your ability to have a successful life.”- Kosi Eneli.

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