Do it for your Kids

People ask me all the time how you build self-awareness, how you build self-esteem, how you build self-confidence or how I built it. So this is not an arrogant answer, it really isn't an arrogant answer. The reason I know my self-esteem is always so high, (don't get me wrong, I have had knock-backs and people didn't often believe in me), is because of my time in school. I don't know whether I've ever told you about this or not. Some people have probably heard this before; everyone always told me I'd never make anything of myself, all the time. And I know lots of you who followed my mum's health, out in Kenya and stuff like that for years have obviously picked up on this story My mum used to constantly reinforce the fact that I was the best thing ever, point-blank, period. I always believed in that because it was fucking drummed into me. It wasn't, obviously I didn't get up in the morning and get hit over the head with the self-esteem bash, but it was just instilled into me that I was special. I was really, really poorly as a kid really, really poorly. I was in and out of hospital, I was on antibiotics of all sorts until I was sort of five, six, seven. I didn't talk much, ironically enough, I didn't talk much, or I didn't talk actually at all to anybody really, till I was five or six, which is kind of ironic now because I fucking love talking. But obviously, I was special. I was special to them because I was the one that they thought they were never going to have. Then spent most of my life or my young childhood thinking they were going to lose me. So as I got older and older and older, I still couldn't do any wrong in their eyes, especially my mum's. I could have done anything, anything and my mum would have made some justification. I don't even know if she believed it, but she sure as shit went with it. She used to drum anyone, teachers, other kids' parents, anyone. I was the best thing ever to anyone ever, point-blank, fact. And that I think is where my self-confidence came from. I believed I was amazing because my mum told me I was freaking amazing. Not necessarily in that direct words, as she never specifically told me, but her actions for me showed it out everywhere; and for me actions speak louder than words. She showed me I was special. I could do things different to my sister, I could do different to everybody else. I was allowed to do different things to other kids. I was treated special, so I believed I was special.

Now I'm relating this to both how we parent our own kids now, but also to how we sometimes don't have lots of self-esteem. This could be because either someone else has taken it away from us, or because we never had any self-esteem in the first place. I talk to lots of people are like: I've always felt this way. I've always been body conscious since I was a child. I've always been this and shy since I was a child. I don't know how... how do you do it, Ben?  Where did you have this light bulb moment where you suddenly became or have all this self-esteem?"  Childhood is so important. I had it from a young age, from since I was born, I was special and I believe that because my mum, especially, made me believe that I was special, that I could challenge teachers, that I could do whatever I wanted. She didn't go on about mindset, like I obviously I talk about, you know, whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can't, you're probably right. She didn't say all that stuff. She was just a 100% all in on anything I did, she was committed to it. She was there and that's how I believe I want to teach my own daughter. You know, that I'm with her, 100%. I've always said that loyalty is my biggest thing. Loyalty and trust, it doesn't matter for me. People who are close to me, it doesn't matter what you've done, apart from towards me. As long as you're loyal and honest and straight with me, I don't care what you've done, whether that's breaking the law or doing something immoral. I'm with you because I'm loyal, that was taught to me, that you can't break that. This is just what was taught to me, which shows again shows that what happens to us when we're young impacts upon who we are as adults. So, flipping this now into the context of what we're talking about here. Yes, when I was at school, I didn't do very well. I still actually managed to blag my way through and somehow come out with a load of GCSE’s, although I didn’t even attend school in the last year, most of the time. But I think that's just due to my ridiculous memory, that I just remembered and retained information. Mostly it's all irrelevant, but anyhow, I didn't do very well, but I was never taught that, that was a bad thing. Obviously, they just said I wasn't using my potential and all that stuff you normally here. Where I want to go with this, is that I had the self-awareness moment, where I was looking around and I was aware that other kids didn't find me funny and weren't interested necessarily in how I was. I had the self-awareness to know that I was different from everybody else.I knew I was different; I just didn't care. I honestly didn't give care. I knew I was different. I knew I didn't fit in as much. Well I know I didn't fit in at all. I was different everyone else, I just didn't care, I literally didn't care.

So, there is no special story. What I'm trying to say is that although other people talk about their story and why they got into coaching was because of the whole "I was lost and then I was found" mentality, I didn't have any of that shit. So, I'm not going to bullshit anybody that I did. I didn't have any of those magical epiphany moments. I literally was just full of it, literally full of it. Full of self-esteem, and full of self-confidence from a young age. I just believed I hadn't found my path yet, I hadn't found my way, I hadn't found my journey. So whether you have that instilled in you from a kid or whether you want that now, you can create that either for yourself, for one, but more importantly for your children as I know most of you are parents. You can create that massive amount of self-esteem in your own children, but that starts with you because if you're in your own head, telling yourself you're no good, as much as you try to then pass that down onto your children, they will not believe you, if your actions and your words are not the same. If you treat yourself differently to how you're telling them, they're just going to model your behaviour. But there's a difference when you pass to your children, your self-esteem. If you have low self-confidence and you have low self-worth and you don't think much of yourself, yet you're trying to tell your children, especially if you've got young girls or young boys, about how to treat girls or how to treat women, they don't listen to you. They're not going to believe that because you're not practicing what you preach. So, it always starts with you. It always starts with you. So many people I work with are so hell bent on their kids having the best life they can have because they didn't or they weren't given that great start, they didn't have that. But if you're the kind of catalyst in the middle there, giving them the model of how to follow it, which is why working on yourself is so important. People who think that they hide their emotions from their kids, whatever they're going through, are deluded. That's not an insult, it's just fucking obvious. It's like animals can tell whether you're sad or not, so can kids. They feel the anxiety in you. They feel the fear in you. Whether you tell them about your feelings towards their dad or your ex-boyfriend, or whatever else it is for you, work stresses, financial stresses, they know things are not okay. Children are intuitive as fuck. They can interpret emotions, sometimes better than we can as adults, because we've gone through life filtering that stuff out.

As kids, they've not gone through that yet. They've not gone through that filtration process. They've not realised that bad things happens. They've not blocked any of that stuff out. Kids will often say it how they see it. Kids will just say it how they see it. Whereas, when we get to a certain age, we stop saying what goes on in our head, we stop doing that. Whereas kids know, they know your feelings, so anyone who thinks that they're hiding their emotions from their children, even if you are, even if you lock yourself in your bedroom and cry, they can tell that you're not okay. Which is why I'm going to say at the beginning of this, whether you have low self-confidence or low self-esteem, if you have got kids, you'll be passing things onto them if you don't work on yourself. I think that's the biggest spoiler of any situation that lots of people who don't justify working on themselves. Lots of people do not justify working on themselves, spending money on themselves, spending time on themselves, spending effort on themselves. They'd rather spend all it all on the children. Great, fantastic. That ethos, I'm with, spending it all on your children, but in order to be the best parent you can be towards your children, you have to be the best mum or dad or whatever. You have to be right within yourself because if you are not right within yourself, if you're not okay with who you are, how you are and how you're living your life, it will show. Whether you think it shows or not. It shows, your mask is not that great. Sorry to burst your bubble. If right now you're like: "No, my kids believe I'm wickedly fine. They'll even tell you I'm fine."  They know you are not.  So, if you think your mask is crushing it and everyone thinks you're happy, and your friends and your family and your clients and your colleagues or whoever it is tell you, "Oh my God, you'd never know" your kids do. Your kids know. Kids pick up on it, whether they tell you they do or whether they tell you they don't or whether anyone tells you that, they do. Fact. So if you won’t do it for you, do it for your kids.  They’re worth it.

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