3 Last-Minute Confidence-Building Gifts For Kids: Positively Influence For A Lifetime!

photo-75MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPYHOLLYJOLLYHOLIDAYRUSHRUSH!

Before you head out for last-minute holiday gifts for the kids on your list…

Consider these confidence-building gifts that could positively influence kids of any age… for a lifetime. 

OK, so they may not be asking Santa for these – and no, you won’t find these on any Hot Gifts list. And they likely won’t be featured by brands positioning for your holiday dollars or purchasing power – at least not for these reasons.

I created The BOLD! Factor® to inspire success with self-leadership, ownership & confidence – self-empowerment for emerging leaders and motivated professionals.

For adults. Not for kids. So…

Why Suggest Confidence-Building Gifts For Kids? 

We all know where self-confidence can begin and flourish… yes, right there… early on… in quiet moments when kids still have a chance to dream their own dreams… before adults try to decide their future for them.

Whether you’re in that favorite category of retail marketers everywhere: professional aunts or uncles buying for nieces and nephews… or a wise grandparent or holiday-crazed Mom or Dad tired of tracking down top-selling toys as they become burnt out and the toys become sold out.

Here’s my favorite solution or two – ok, three – which kids on your list just might eventually love…

photo-833 LAST-MINUTE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING GIFTS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE KIDS… FOR A LIFETIME!

…along with few DO ONE BOLD THING action steps to eliminate the guess-work… and hopefully positively impact 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? CONFIDENCE.

Confidence is Believing In Yourself(!) even in that moment – especially in that moment – when it’s easier not to.

Give A Gift To Build Self-Confidence. Their Own Full-Length Mirror.

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… as they start learning to feel comfortable in their own skin now… building their own confidence for whatever comes later.

In mirrored self-reflection, simple smiles transform as bigger questions:

How will I ask her to prom? Will I get married on a tropical island? What kind of business will I own someday? What do I really want to do when I grow up?

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Buy a full-length mirror. Simple or decorative. Hang it on the back of their bedroom door. So they can close out the world, eliminate distractions (yes, even closing out you ;) as they immerse in 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, staying true to who they are, while also seeing the greatness in others.

(I could say more on this but you get it, and I didn’t intend this to become a lesson in self-leadership… only in positive-influence 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, and the confidence it takes to speak up for ourselves in both everyday and challenging situations in our work and life:

Give A Gift To Build Voice Confidence. Their Own Voice Recorder.

So often we learn this on the go, in action, in front of others, which is when fear and impostor syndrome threaten to set in, to overwhelm, stifling our best efforts as we struggle in self-doubt, self-sabotage… often silencing our own voice, in some cases, before we’ve even had a chance to develop our own point of view.

What if kids had an opportunity to build 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?

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Gift a Voice Recorder. One they can operate on their own. I’m not writing to promote any brands – only sharing from experience: 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… inspiring new personaes, new possibilities… 

*Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen!* or *Introducing The Star Of The Show!* or *And The Winner Is…* or *Everyone find their seats, quiet please, shhhh, it’s time for class…*

A much safer way to build confidence… trying out new voices as kids… rather than getting to our stage of life when it can feel like too big a risk to test a new voice, or voice a new idea, or share our own fresh perspective

And so we don’t… because it’s too risky… and because it’s just easier not to.

!!! 3.  SHOES THEY WANT TO MOVE IN

As adults we know the best way to get unstuck when we’re struggling – Get Moving! DO Something! Take Action!

Sure, at times introspection calls for stopping, getting quiet, thinking, reflecting… and then at some point you’ll need to get moving again… !

Give A Gift To Build Confidence In Action! Shoes They Want To Move In.

I do believe in giving in to brand-passion when it’s justified (and hopefully when it’s on sale!) If the shoes they really want are the 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 favorite shoes they can play in and want to move in can be money well spent!

Teach kids early on the importance of choosing outfits they want to move in… starting with shoes they can move fast in!

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Buy whatever favorite shoes they want to move in – shoes they LOVE – shoes they’ll want to walk in, run in, play hard in.

Oh and let them get dirty!

Great minds and active bodies are not built by stepping around mud puddles, staying off wet grass, or walking inside the cracks on finally-dry sidewalks.

Do gifts of Full-Length Mirrors, Voice Recorders and Shoes They Want To Move In actually play a role in helping to build and reinforce kids’ Self-Confidence? Passion? Success? Happiness? 

Discover the positive impact for yourself… 

I’d love to hear what happens when you do!

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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

In My BOLD Opinion: The Unintended Consequences of Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce & Girl Scouts “Ban Bossy” Campaign: More Bullying?

photo-28In response to these powerful Leading Ladies, including Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce, Girl Scouts, and more… on their latest *Lean In* bandwagon inspiring Women and Girls to ban the word Bossy and claim they are not being bossy… they are *leading*…

STOP. EXIT THIS TRAIN.

(Per my comment posted on Mashable today, sharing my BOLD opinion as Counterpoint. As always, interested in your thoughts, please comment below, as you wish!)

Before YOU consider whether you want to be part of *Ban Bossy*… please consider the potential impact of Unintended Consequences of this Campaign: 

How many YOUNG GIRLS will misunderstand this complex leadership message… if they’re being told to see themselves not as bossy, rather as: I am a Leader! This is what it means to be a Leader!

How many MID-LEVEL WOMEN will start seeing Kindness as Weakness?

AND how many BOOMER WOMEN (my age, and yes, I’m shouting us out here!) will use this campaign as yet another force, another excuse, for blaming MEN for somehow holding back their own Confidence, Success & Happiness?

How soon before THIS Unintended Consequence becomes reality:  Bullying At ALL Ages INCREASING(!) as otherwise-wonderful Girls & Women start trying their best to practice what they’re now being advised by these influential women role models… believing, for example, *this is not being bossy – this is what being a Leader is all about – Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce and Girl Scouts KNOW!*

YIKES. Respected leaders? For sure. Mis-directed message? You decide.

How will YOU respond to this newest wave of supposed Women’s Leadership?

Men, interested in your thoughts, too – as you know I believe any change requires us ALL being in this game of business and life together!

I’m going to keep encouraging, inspiring and championing as I have been since 1993:  BOLD Confidence & Success & Happiness… thru Self-Leadership & Ownership.

Instead, try this:

DO ONE BOLD THING.™

CLAIM YOUR CONFIDENCE WITH CALM & CLASS. 

It’s YOUR Success, YOUR Happiness, YOUR Life… And It’s Up To YOU.

OWN IT With Calm, Classy, Courageous, Contagious, Calibrated(!) CONFIDENCE.

BRING YOUR BEST. BOLD. YOU!

Your Turn! Are you onboard their campaign? If so… If not… Which & Why?

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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

PHOTO:  I like to take my own photos for my website and blog – professional or not it’s a passion of mine. I took this photo in a hotel last year, and wondered when will be the first time I use it to signify to readers: EXIT THIS GAME NOW. This is the Topic & Today is the day!

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 To Do When Fear Of Failure Risks Your Next Success

photo-73It’s not that you can’t. (You can!)

It’s not that you’re not willing. (You are!)

It’s not that you don’t want to. (You do!)

It’s not that you don’t know what to do or who to ask for help. (You know!)

It’s not that you’re lost. (You’re here!)

It’s not any of that…

So what is it?

What’s stopping you from taking that one next step?

What’s stopping you from moving forward to create your next success?

What’s stopping you from achieving that one dream that still keeps you awake in giddy excitement at even the thought of it? 

That one thing you would do… if only you could… if only you were willing… if only you really wanted to… if only you knew what to do… if only you could find your way there…

OK, just breathe for a minute and trust me on this one.

I feel your angst. I know your pain. I hold my breath at the thought of wanting to get there so bad you feel like you will explode – or implode – if you don’t.

I know the feeling when all you can produce are tears.

I’ve been where you are.

This morning I was there. 

And then I remembered the one thing I forgot to do. 

Trust me enough to hear me out… I’ve got your back on this one.

Instead of fighting forward, it’s time to step back.

To the beginning.

And before you can step back you need to

STOP.

STOP being afraid.

STOP being so certain that you will fail. Or that you’ll fail again.

STOP being so certain that you don’t already have everything you need to get there.

STOP being so certain about everything you are so certain about.

Where from here? Ready? Here it is.

You simply missed the very first step.

Start here:

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

That’s it. THE KEY TO THE END IS HOW YOU BEGIN.

Name your Success. Claim it. Own it.

Get Going. Keep Going. Even if baby steps are all you can move forward on right now. Know, trust and believe YOU will succeed… and that it won’t be perfect… and that it will be tough and it will be exhilarating and just plain FUN to be on your way there.

Keep Going even when others insist you will fail.

You’re not doing this to please them anyway, are you?

Keep Going even when YOU insist you will fail.

Not everyone is going to buy in to what you’re doing… because what you’re doing is not going to be for everyone. It’s for the people you’re creating it for. And that’s enough.

And if you think for a moment that you don’t already have everything you need to succeed, scroll back and read the first 5 lines again.

So there you go. Watch you soar…

Send a postcard from the stratosphere of your renewed Confidence in you!

You had it in you all along!

You simply forgot to start at the beginning.

The place to start your next Success is right where you are:

Do One BOLD Thing.

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

OWN YOUR SUCCESS WITH CONFIDENCE.

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich Inc.   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  Last Sunday at our cabin, I had no idea my phone camera would capture the stunning essence of the moment: sparkling water and rippling sky in effervescent shades of blue. And in that moment I realized how grateful I am to choose to live my life without dreading blues on Sundays. Ah, the gifts we gift ourselves.