As a young ambassador for The Prince's Trust, I was honoured to be featured in the Confidence Crossroads Crisis report released today, alongside Dr. Alex George youth mental health ambassador.
The report reveals...
Over half of young people agree they've lost confidence in themselves as a result of the pandemic.
1/4 of young people worry they don't have the skills for the jobs that are available to them
Less than 1 in 5 feel like they have the confidence to go after the jobs they want.
The pandemic has caused a real crisis of confidence among young people. The positive news is that confidence is not something we're either born with or not, it's a skill that we can develop and build... no matter our start point.
Here's both mine and Alex's feature in the report....
Knowing that confidence is not fixed is empowering, but as both Alex and I highlighted, the essential support and confidence building tools need to be provided and accessible.
Confidence should be an essential part of the national curriculum.
If nothing changes young people will continue to feel low in confidence and unable to achieve their potential. This has a huge impact on the wellbeing of the individual, but also society, with decreased employment and productivity, an increase in absence and increased demand on already strained services.
So, how can we build a confident and happy society during and after turbulent times?
Much of our confidence is largely based on our ability to control our chimp mind. The chimp is the part of our thinking mind that is reactive, emotional and exaggerates the truth. It's aim is to protect us from risk and it see's all new things and the unknown as high risk that should be avoided at all costs.
The chimp manifests in phrases of self doubt...'you're not enough', 'you'll be rubbish at this', 'don't bother, you'll fail and everyone will laugh'.
If you're like me, I'm sure you've heard those phrases before, listened to them and been persuaded out of doing something! Good news is we can always choose which thoughts we follow and we can build confidence by learning to choose helpful thoughts. The ability to choose thoughts and not immediately get drawn into the chimp's vortex of despair is achieved by building self awareness of our thinking mind.
We can use evidence based tools like:
Mindfulness to pause before responding,
Intentional gratitude to reframe and focus on the good and opportunity,
Affirmations to choose helpful statements that focus on our strengths,
Journaling to reinforce the objective, rational part of our thinking mind
Value setting to align our behaviour and thoughts to our core values
This is why I developed these proactive tools into a mental wellbeing workout, 5 tools that take 10 minutes each day (called the 5 To Thrive) that fills the confidence support gap.
Confidence can be built, our quest now is to get the support out there, and we can all improve, no matter our start point.
Let's stop the confidence crisis and empower people to thrive in the challenges of life. Please share this or send it on to someone you feel it can support.
If you’d like to try out our Pocket Mentor toolkit head here to get a 7 day free trial
You can read more and download the full report from The Prince's Trust here