I came across a story the other day of a teacher, Chen Miller, who is a special education teacher from Israel. With great patience and determination, Miller transformed one of her pupils from a very angry, destructive and frustrated little boy, to one who was open to learning and who placed his trust in this person who believed in him.
Everyone else had all but given up on this boy – teachers, the headteacher, even his parents who had all told him he was ‘disturbed’.
By repeating one phrase daily to her pupil: “I know you have a big heart. I know that you’re clever. I know that you’re a good boy,” Chen Miller helped to change this boy’s self-image – the simple repetition of these words helped him to see himself differently.
If you tell someone enough times they are stupid, if they are vulnerable they will start to believe it. They question why else would they be told this if it wasn’t true? Men and women in domestic abuse situations are often held ‘captive’ because of not just the physical side of the abuse but also because of the mental aspect of what is being continuously said to them. They see no way out of the situation because the one person they spend most of the time with, is leading them to believe they are stupid, incapable and not worthy of anything else.
Without an understanding of the principles of The Winning Edge, it is hard to realise nor grasp that choosing your situation, for the most part, is within your control. For some, undeniably it can be hard but it is possible with immense strength, fortitude and determination; self-belief is paramount and that is where the stumbling block is for so many people. It is believing you are worthy and that, if you’re not lucky to have the encouragement of those around you, you can make this transformation alone.
As an adult, we have more understanding of how our brain works and the power of our mindset; as a child, we do not have this comprehension and that’s why those around us and what they do and say to us, can begin to leave an impression on the development of our self-image and our self-esteem. It’s surely then our responsibility as adults to empower the children around us – our own children, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces, nephews and so forth, to help bolster their self-image and thus their self-esteem and to help them to comprehend that the control lies within each of us to make choices – that no one can make us do or feel anything. As these young people grow, armed with this powerful knowledge, if they do cross paths with individuals who attempt to exert their control over them, they are able to handle the situation because of their own high self-worth.
As Chen Miller said: “Education is the forming of impressions on souls,” and I believe we all have a moral duty to ensure the children around us learn their value and that they can do or be anything they want to through self-belief and determination, choosing to let no one stand in their way.
I believe the following quote should apply to all grown-ups, not just parents, who have some kind of influence in a child’s life:
“Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.” Alvin Price
By Kirsty Perrin
About the Author: Having been immersed in the Winning Edge principles from an early age, Kirsty’s philosophy is to be the best you can be and to enjoy what you do in life.
Kirsty knows that personal development is a continuous journey and therefore has a genuine desire and enthusiasm to help people realise their full potential, to be a success in their life-whatever that may mean to them.
Kirsty’s thought-provoking blogs, prompt readers to think consciously about how their thinking has a huge impact on their life, it informs their emotions and therefore their behaviour. Living life consciously is the cornerstone to the themes of Kirsty’s blogs. You can contact Kirsty directly here