đź“šROC THOUGHT – Cruising with Confidence

Upon meeting teenage boys at their first coaching session, we talk about how they are travelling at the moment and together we establish a starting point for our coaching conversations.

Confidence always pops up in our conversation within the first 20 minutes or so. We establish what the term confidence means to them and if their confidence is on the lower or higher side, and finally we decide if it’s an area they would like to work on. It’s interesting to note that just about every teen male I coach makes it very clear to me they don’t want to be TOO CONFIDENT, because no-one likes a guy who is too confident.

Teen looking thoughtful

Here’s where the conversation gets gritty. Awareness and learning happens fast.

Interesting. No-one like guys who are too confident. With this in mind, teen boys share with me that they are inclined to keep a lid on their confidence to avoid any labels or hassling from their mates or non-mates.

A few months ago I was watching cricket with my son who is a mad fan and Jake Fraser-McGurk a nearly 18 year old, had recently joined the Victorian cricket team. In media interviews when well known players were asked about him, they all commented the same words again and again, “He’s confident, but he’s not arrogant.” This comment really stood out for me as it was obviously important for the world to know (especially males) that Fraser is confident, but he’s not arrogant. Ah ha, so that’s the sticking point.

The difference between confidence and arrogance needs clarification. It’s obviously a grey area and too many boys are swimming in its uncertainly, causing them to play it safe, hold back and sit tight, in fear of appearing too confident, being referred to as arrogant and being un-liked by their peers. Boys often exclude other boys who are always talking them selves up and displaying an out-of-balance belief system about self and their abilities. Cocky, arrogant and up yourself are banded about and once thrown, these labels tend to stick and stay stuck for a long time. It takes great self-awareness, effort and skill for boys to flick this kind of reputation.

So, why is this so interesting?
From my 30 plus experience in education, coaching and parenting, teen males often fear being labelled as arrogant, and with such strong misunderstanding around this, they can easily fall into the trap of holding back their natural confidence. In doing so, they often fly under the radar and I highlight this sad trend in ROC and RISE’s aptly named chapter – Cruising with Confidence. Teenagers love this chapter, often commenting it gives them the HOW-to of confidence.
Page 205 shows clear and helpful examples, articulating exactly what confidence IS and IS NOT. 

There is a massive difference between confidence and arrogance. The two should not be confused.
Confidence – is a balanced feeling, trust or belief in yourself that you can achieve, show up or do your best, whilst understanding that you may have areas to work on, weaknesses and shortfalls. It’s a healthy and well-rounded perception of ones self that rumbles on the inside and is organically shown on the outside. In coaching sessions and in ROC and Rise, the difference is very clearly shared and discussed.

Arrogance – is an exaggerated outward show of superiority, recognising mainly one’s strengths and talents and failing to recognise any areas of lack or weakness. It’s an out-of-balance perception of oneself, which doesn’t always necessarily match what’s going on, on the inside (that’s a whole different conversation.)

After explaining this to male teens, they often feel much more comfortable stepping forward, stepping up and truly shining, knowing that their own style of confidence is natural and it can ebb and flow. Confidence is a good thing and should not be confused with arrogance, which of course has a place when used in moderation (but this too is different conversation for another day.)

Confidence is NOT arrogance.
The more boys know this, the better it is for boys. Thank you for having this conversation with young men in your life.

This idea is shared with teens in Claire’s book  ROC and RISE. Endorsed by Maggie Dent and loved by teenagers and their families worldwide.

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