Favorite Gifts For Building Kids’ Confidence For A Lifetime!

photo-75In BEST BOLD U™ I inspire self-leadership, ownership & confidence in motivated Men & Women who create their own success. Not in kids. And yet think about where our confidence begins… yes, it can begin right there… in quiet moments of kids at play.

Whether you’re in that favorite-of-the-moment buyer category of retail marketers everywhere: professional aunts or uncles buying for nieces and nephews… or a wise grandparent uninspired by today’s toys… or a holiday-crazed Mom or Dad tired of tracking down top-selling toys only to discover they’re sold out…

Here’s an inspired solution:

3 FAVORITE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING GIFTS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE KIDS… FOR A LIFETIME!

…along with few BOLD Nuggets to eliminate the guess-work & make life easier for YOU: 

! 1.  THEIR OWN FULL-LENGTH MIRROR

The greatest gift we give ourselves, when it comes to happiness and success, leading and living the life we want? Self-Confidence. 

With ever-decreasing privacy, and ever-increasing parading of kids through social media as magical mini-me’s living up to our mega vision of what success and happiness could look like in their amazing life… (oh, the pressure!) Take a step back, and let the real gift in this gift be whatever reflects in THEIR view.

The simple gift of a Full-Length Mirror gives kids the gift of quietly discovering, play-acting, pretending, creating, wondering,  dreaming, dancing, making faces, smiling, crying, learning to love themselves just as they are… getting comfortable in their own skin now… to build their own confidence for whatever comes later… and eventually these little dreams turn to bigger questions: how will I ask her to prom, what will my wedding dress look like… 

BOLD Nugget:  Hang the full length mirror on the back of their bedroom door. So they can close out the world, eliminate distractions (yes, even you ;) and get into their own little dreamland, where they can learn to create their own happiness, believe in their own greatness, build their own self-confidence, love who they see reflecting back… and they just might have a greater chance to become adults who are comfortable in their own skin. (I could say much more, but you get it, and I didn’t intend this to become a lesson in self-leadership… only in gift giving ;).

Quiet time for you. Dream time for them. 

!! 2.  THEIR OWN VOICE RECORDER

As adults we know the importance of trusting our own voice, developing our own point of view, the confidence to speak up in our work and life: Voice Confidence.

And yet so often we’re learning this in action, in front of others, which is when fear and impostor syndrome threaten to stifle our best efforts as we struggle in self-doubt, self-sabotage, silencing our own voice, in some cases, before we’ve even had a chance to develop our own voice.

What if kids built their confident voice naturally, individually, getting use to that not-at-first-familiar tone, adjusting for whatever emphasis they want, becoming their own ME in their own special way, thru play?

BOLD Nugget:  The Voice Recorder needs to be one they can operate on their own. So no, the one on your smartphone isn’t what this is about. While I’m not writing to promote any brands, when our kids were growing up the Fischer Price recorder was exactly the gift that inspired this idea – way back then – some of the best strategies are exactly that: timeless!

Get ready to smile as you start hearing singing and crazy-fun voices and new characters coming to life in your own home… *Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen!* or *Everyone in their seats, quiet please, shhhh, it’s time for class…*

!!! 3.  FAVORITE SHOES THEY CAN MOVE IN

As adults we know the best way to get unstuck when we’re struggling is to Do Something: Get Moving! And when a more introspective response is called for – those times you need to stop, get quiet and reflect – well, at some point you do need to get moving again:  Confidence In Action!

I believe in giving in to brand-passion when it’s justified (and hopefully on sale!) If the athletic shoes they really want, they ones that will inspire them to get outside and get moving, playing, trying out new sports at least long enough to experience being part of an action-focused team… investing in their favorite athletic shoes can be money well spent.

Teach kids early on the importance of wearing clothes they can move in… starting with shoes they can move fast in.

BOLD Nugget:  This might be the time to pull out the stops… buying whatever Favorite Shoes They Can Move In – shoes they LOVE – that they’ll move in, run in, play hard in. Oh and let them get dirty. Great minds and active bodies are not built by staying out of muddy puddles, off wet grass, or walking on dry sidewalks.

Ah, memories! Without embarrassing our two now-grown kids… they’ve each followed their own life dreams and work in careers they love: one a sales pro & business owner, one a passionate teacher. Did mirrors, voice recorders, and athletic shoes they loved play a role in any of that? I have no doubt that in some way, they absolutely did!

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Strategist, Leader, Keynote Speaker & Mentor: “Navigating Success With Confidence! Self-Empowerment For Emerging Leaders & Motivated Professionals.” Subscribe to receive blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

 

What If You Really Are Amazing…

… just the way you are.

Aaaaand what about when you’re NOT?

photo-27David and I just spent a few days *Up North in God’s Country* Ely MN, where his company has a brilliant team, great community and beautiful office.

I went along for the fresh perspective a change of scenery brings in researching, thinking about, and writing my book.

(With morning temperatures of -25 and -35 degrees… Whoa! That air was pure Caffeine!)

I knew we would have a great time. What I didn’t expect in working on my book was this:

1.  I called BS on myself where I was NOT amazing.

2.  I tossed massive content where my voice has changed and am no longer about *that*.

3.  I thought about YOU – and all the Noise – and all the Should’s – and all the NOT GOOD ENOUGH’s – all the DODODO BEBEBE MOREMOREMORE – and those times when we own our greatness (BRAVO!) and yet what about those times we may need a fresh jolt, a wake-up call… yes, self-included. (see #1 above)

I came away from all that with this thought for you:

WHAT IF YOU REALLY ARE AMAZING… JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

WHAT IF YOU CLAIMED IT AS YOURS.

AND OWNED IT.

AND WHAT IF YOU ALSO CLAIMED & OWNED THE TIMES YOU ARE WELL, LESS THAN AMAZING…

This is where the gut-check reality comes in. BEING AMAZING INCLUDES TIMES WE ARE NOT ALL THAT AMAZING…

THOSE are the times that present the opportunities head-on: to grow, change, disrupt, re-invent… to be what you know you crave.

Reality check: Nothing shifts or changes or happens with any inspired thought until you apply courageous action.

So go ahead. Jolt your BOLD.  Bring your Amazing … to one situation, conversation, opportunity, presentation, challenge, relationship, work or life. Today

IMG_1621Believe It. 

Own It.

Lead & Live It. 

Deny Substitutions!

OK, it’s Monday. Just not feeling it?

Relax… there’s someone in your life who’d cherish your word of encouragement, your nod of *keep going!* or simply your smile.

Find one way to champion THEIR Amazing today. 

See what happens.

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© 1993-2013 Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Apparently lots of hot chocolate with marshmellow drinkers at the Ely Lodge!