The bond that you and your daughter share is the most consequential and your words matter more than anyone else’s
Women today face many challenges. And for moms with daughters, knowing how to build confidence from a young age is critical for her future success as an adult.
I’m not talking about challenges like equal access to education or pay, or a lot of crummy things women have to deal with because of their gender, like being harassed, put down, or misjudged. And let’s not bring up the monthly visitor that has the potential to wreak havoc on our lives as females!
All of this aside, there is everyday trickiness to deal with while growing up that can affect your daughter’s feelings of self-worth and prevent her from becoming the empowered, strong woman you know she can be.
Adolescence and young adulthood are not just about getting good grades and having fun. There are boys and bestie relationships to navigate, surging hormones to regulate, and peer pressure and social media influences to counteract, too.
Girls are trying to fit in and figure out their unique place in a complex and speed-of-light changing world
Carol Dweck, a Standford psychology professor says, “If life were one long grade school, women would be the undisputed rulers of the world.”
Somehow, through all of the upheaval during puberty, girls get socialised into the notion of perfection. They get it in their heads that they can’t or shouldn’t do certain things. They are not enough.
They grow up to become women who continually underestimate their abilities and struggle with self-doubt and self-respect at every turn, whether it’s something like bringing up a conflicting opinion in a conversation, going for their dream job, or initiating a relationship.
A “less than” view of themselves could ultimately cost girls and women fulfilment and success.
The good news is that self-assurance and self-worth can be reacquired. It’s time that we became the enablers of our daughter’s confidence; something that’s the most important determinant of her future – even more critical than intelligence.
Mom, the bond that you and your daughter share is the most consequential and your words matter more than anyone else’s. Empower her now by sending her wise messages that will up her chances of becoming a self-assured, happy, and healthy woman.
And, even if you’re not a mother, you can still make a huge difference in a girl’s life by sharing the secret to success.
Here are the 15 confidence-building quotes moms should tell their daughters that every strong woman should know:
1. Self-care isn’t selfish
Take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. You’ll be rewarded with a foundation of good health for the future. Mental health is just as critical and demands the same kind of investment.
Journal, get a massage, take a nap, or simply a time out to reflect and recharge.
Make sure that you’re always putting your needs first or else you won’t have anything left to give someone else. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s table stakes.
Know your strengths, who you are, what’s important to you
2. Mindfulness matters
Many women haven’t experienced the power of mindfulness, and it’s a shame because it is simply life altering.
Plan for the future but live in the present. Experience this moment as it is now, without judgement. When you adopt a grateful and mindful attitude, you bring calm and self-acceptance into your life. You also connect to your inner guidance and make the best possible decisions for yourself.
3. Stay true to yourself
Know your strengths, who you are, what’s important to you. Uncover your brilliance and connect to what matters to you, even if it feels like you’re standing alone (you’re not).
Respect yourself. You’re going to face many tests in the years to come. People will ask you to do things you won’t want to do or things that you know aren’t good for you.
It’s healthy to set boundaries for yourself and to proudly and simply state “No”. You will never regret living an authentic life.
4. No one is perfect
Everyone has a “thing”. That thing might be a struggle with weight, a physical disability, or something that goes unseen like a mental illness or personal demon.
Accept that you won’t ever be perfect, and neither will anyone else. You’re human. You will stumble, you will fall, you get back up. Learn this and you will lead a compassionate life.
5. You’re beautiful
You don’t have to live up to some false ideal of beauty. You know that pictures can be edited, right?
Always remember that you’re beautiful, inside and out. It doesn’t matter what you wear, how you do your hair, or how tall or how thin you are – you’re the same wonderful person on the inside. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
6. Life isn’t a popularity contest
Your friendships are going to change over the next few years, and throughout your lifetime. At some point, you might find that you don’t have much in common, or you discover the friendship isn’t healthy for you. Make space in your life for other people.
Don’t get so attached that you lose your sense of self. If you feel like a friend is trying to change you, or doesn’t like you anymore, have the courage to move on. True friends will always love you just the way you are and have your best interest at heart.
The real gift is liking yourself.
Don’t get so attached that you lose your sense of self. If you feel like a friend is trying to change you, or doesn’t like you anymore, have the courage to move on
7. Put yourself out there
You’re going to meet a lot of people in your life. Remain open and curious, and share something about yourself. When you get vulnerable, people will open up to you, too, and that’s how great bonds are formed.
Who knows, that person might turn out to be a great networking contact, your new best friend, or your true love.
8. Do what you love
With enthusiasm and hard work, you can accomplish great things. Lead with your strengths, and never lose sight of your dreams. In fact, often childhood ambitions lead to the most satisfying work. Whichever career you choose, you can figure out how to make it happen. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t do, be, feel, or have anything you deeply desire.
Always do what you love, and you will shine.
9. Trust yourself and the universe
There will be times when you doubt yourself. Stay grounded, have hope in the goodness of all things, and always trust yourself above all else.
10. You are not your mistakes
On the road to success and happiness, you will make many mistakes. Recognise that it’s inevitable and just part of the human condition. You are not your mistakes, so try not to beat yourself up. Give yourself the loving kindness you extend to others.
Most importantly, continue to take chances and be grateful for all life’s experiences. Fail fast and move on. You can recover from little mishaps – even big ones – and learn a lot, becoming a much stronger woman as a result.
11. You are not alone
If you get into a jam, or you have a difficulty of any kind, you have someone to turn to. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 46.
I may not always give you the answer, but I will listen, and we can find a solution to any problem together.
12. You’re worth it
Never shy away from something you want. Promote your strengths and contributions with authority. Speak your truth, ask for a raise, and get your needs met in your relationships. You deserve every opportunity and every happiness.
Proudly tell people about your accomplishments. Get used to tooting your own horn.
“I may not always give you the answer, but I will listen, and we can find a solution to any problem together”
13. Your happiness depends on you
A fancy car, beautiful house, heaps of cash or perfect-looking family will not bring you lasting happiness. Happiness resides in you, not outside of you or in your accomplishments.
You have the power to make your day great and your dreams come true. Take responsibility for your feelings, your thoughts, and your actions and outcomes.
14. Be kind
In the children’s book, Wonder, R.J. Palacio writes, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”
Kindness matters. The decision in a moment to be kind – offering a helping hand and a compassionate, generous heart – will not only positively impact someone else, but it will change your life, too.
Most of all, be gentle with yourself. If you lead with kindness all around, you’ll live a much happier, meaningful life.
15. I will always love you, no matter what
Above all else, remember that I love you. I’ll be there with my invisible string cheering you on, whispering affirmations in your ear, and holding space for you to be the best you can be.
If you share these pieces of wisdom with your daughter – and model them yourself – she will thrive in her young adulthood and beyond. You’ll be giving her the priceless gift of self-worth, and opening the doors to greater confidence, success and life-long joy.
Lisa Petsinis is a career- and life coach who works with strong and resourceful women who want to build life-long skills like confidence and resilience and create a life they’ll love. Visit her website to learn about her services, contact her for a breakthrough coaching call, or sign up for her newsletter for even more advice.
In Western Cape > South Africa