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  • Writer's pictureMike

Building self confidence

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Where do you start to gain self-confidence? If all of your life some teachers, adults and even people of your own age keep putting you down, telling you you're no good, so many times that you start to believe it.

We hear stories about bullying, isolation, loneliness and feelings of low esteem, particularly at school but also at home. Young people sometimes search for a safe place behind their social media profile only to be followed there by the same bullies and trolls.

At Unlocking Community Potential CIC we provide a safe place for young people to start the journey back to self-confidence and self-esteem. Our 'Chats 4 Change' programme lets young people talk through their worries openly with other people in a similar situation and this leads to them overcoming their fears.

For example, to get people started with 'Chats 4 Change' we held 2 classroom sessions about what causes them to lack confidence and have low self-esteem. 

Then we brainstormed words to represent how they could improve confidence and self-esteem. 

We gave examples of our own experiences and discussed those experiences in a group. 

Then we made a mobile display showing the positive words that they would now associate with themselves.

We also brainstormed out the words which came out from how we feel to find ways to resolve any issues.

Finally, we developed strategies together for self-improvement and to build on existing strengths.

Many of our young people have had bad experiences with our education system. For those suffering from mental health issues or disabilities, it can be even worse. Those that are still at school age just go truant and those that have left can become NEET. Unfortunately, this does not mean that they are tidy. It means Not in Education, Employment or Training. The risk is that they drift into long term unemployment and become another jobless statistic.

At UCP we welcome all young people whether they are 'NEET' or still at school. Once they start to feel better about themselves, they develop the confidence to study for nationally recognised qualifications. UCP can develop a full training programme tailored specifically to their needs incorporating maths, English and subjects that they are passionate about driven from their hobbies and interests.

UCP do qualifications from entry-level to level 3, in a variety of areas such as animal care, business administration, entrepreneurship, horticulture or sports coaching.

Self-confidence builds slowly with each small success. Many of our young people have lost it during their time at school but once it starts to build with their first successful task completed at UCP, they can go on to achieve an accredited qualification which may lead to further education or a job.

Here is a conversation, I overheard whilst at UCP

Student: 'I hate teachers'

Graham: 'I'm a teacher'

Student: 'I don't mean you. You're not like a teacher'

We all learn from each other.

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