10 Confidence Building Skills We Should Teach Our Daughters By The Age Of 10

The following is an excerpt adapted from Jane Wurwand’s new book “Skin in the Game: Everything You Need Is Already Within You”:

My practical English mother was my greatest mentor. She empowered me and my three sisters by her example. Very young, she told us that it was important to learn to “do” something. I didn’t know then the impact his words would have on my life.

My sisters and I were born and raised in the UK. When I was 2 years old, my family’s life changed dramatically when my father passed away suddenly, leaving my 38-year-old mother with the responsibility of caring for herself and her four young daughters.

Luckily, my mother was a trained nurse and she was able to call on this portable skill set to reinvent her life and support us. My mother taught herself to drive an automobile, so she wouldn’t have to limit her workplaces based on the bus route. She was so pragmatic, but very positive.

Jane Wurwand, founder and author of Dermalogica.Courtesy of Jane Wurwand.

Her accompanying advice when one of us girls felt a little sorry for ourselves was, “Stop whining and eat your sausage” – meaning “don’t complain, just go on and deal with it.” Her incredible strength and her sense of pragmatism were the qualities that I admired the most in her.

Her advice on learning to “do” something inspired me with so much confidence, even from a very young age. Below is what she taught me and what I think all girls should know by the age of 10 to feel better, confident and empowered. Obviously, this takes time and practice with a parent or guardian. But the gain is worth it.

1. Fry/boil/poach an egg. Learn to do all three.

2. Wrap a gift and write a beautiful thank you card.

3. Wash and dry dishes by hand.

4. Do some laundry (and carefully fold a king-size fitted sheet; I’m still working on this).

5. Hemming a garment.

6. Sew on a button.

7. Unclog a sink and a toilet.

8. Set a dinner table.

9. Pump gas (no reason to wait until you learn to drive).

10. Go to a bank and open a checking account and a savings account.

And if you’re struggling with your own self-confidence, especially when balancing a career, relationship, kids, and more, take another page from my mom’s playbook: “Life Isn’t About… balance ; it’s a matter of resilience.

So think about:

1. Slice it

If we want to eat a big melon, we have to slice it. Cut it into bite-size pieces that can be swallowed more easily. We’ll also enjoy it much more in smaller pieces without the skin.

Many things can fall on us all at once like a crushing avalanche. Expect. Pause. We can only manage our capacity. If we are already full, no need to try to add more. Take a breath and get ready for the next play.

2. Put self-doubt in the back seat

We all doubt ourselves sometimes. Some of us doubt ourselves most of the time. What is that ?

It’s usually something that’s been told to us over and over and is deep in our brains. And that’s usually completely wrong. We believe it because it has been told to us so many times by someone who probably had them say it and they just pass on the toxic waste. And now we repeat it.

When others doubt us, we can begin to doubt ourselves. This self-doubt takes root in our psyche. These other people start writing the script that you store in your head and determine how you see yourself. Don’t let that happen. Remember, whoever said that doesn’t even want us to try what we’re looking for, because if we did, we’d have exceeded their own efforts. They want us to stay small so they can feel big. And these toxic recordings continue to be stored in our brains. Whenever we’re in a situation that triggers them, we just hit the play button.

Go through all those mental recordings in your luggage and erase them, replace them or put them away and never listen to them again. They don’t serve us, they serve the one who told us. Next.

3. Replace “scared” with “excited”

Failure is the primary fear in the Book of Lists. Number one. Death is number three, so clearly, we’d rather die than fail. When I’m doing a big presentation in front of a few thousand people, or even a small one in front of half a dozen people, I’m like, “Jane, you’re not scared; you are excited. And sometimes it actually works. Adrenaline is released in our body both when we are very excited and very frightened. The sensation is chemically identical.

I focus on my breath coming and going and saying to myself: Breathe in the strength and excitement and breathe out the stress and fear. I repeat it over and over in my head until I step forward to speak. It doesn’t always work, but at least I’m safe and not suffocating. After all, I’m still breathing.

4. Choose your answer

Let go of anger and attitude when something happens that you don’t like. It distracts you from your main objective.

You can’t control what happens, but you can very well choose your response. I wink at you with my only hidden eye to remind you.

5. Find your edge

Make yourself comfortable in the place in your brain where you feel most at risk. Where you feel most vulnerable and have the most to lose. Sit deep in your discomfort and let the force overwhelm it. Stand on the edge of the abyss. From the edge you can see and feel everything. Do not be afraid. To have courage. And don’t descend into the void.

6. Uproot the cynics

We all need problem solvers around us, not just problem seekers. Identify those who start from no, seeing the problems and never the solution, and call them. Take them out. They will infect others quickly. Including you. Find those that start with yes and find the solutions.

7. Find your biggest why

Many measure their success in purely personal terms. It’s a bad fault: running after power and prestige without committing to a principle. To find our raison d’être, we must want to make an impression by making a difference. No matter the risk. What does he do for others, not just for us? Our success must matter to someone else and benefit them. Otherwise, it will escape us.

Why are you fighting? More importantly, who are you fighting for and why?

Jane Wurwand is the founder and chief visionary of Dermalogica. An innovative business leader, her advocacy for women’s economic empowerment has earned her a platform at the United Nations, the White House and around the world as a sought-after thought leader and speaker. In 2018, Wurwand launched FOUND, a nonprofit initiative offering funding, mentorship, unique incubator programs, and educational resources for entrepreneurs who have been underserved or neglected by traditional systems.

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