Confidence, the feeling of self-assurance rising from knowing and trusting your own abilities, can be elusive.
For those of us who require external validation, like a compliment on an outfit or a “good job!” from a coworker, the pandemic has hit our confidence hard. Cut off from the office, dinners with friends, and social activities within our greater communities, it has been difficult to get the boost of assurance that we need to go through life with confidence.
Thus, we are left to build ourselves up through internal validation, through reminding ourselves of the things at which we excel, by putting ourselves into situations that make us happy and fulfilled, and accomplished. And there’s no better way to start nurturing our inner “I can do this” voice than by cultivating it in the garden.
Confidence vs. Self-Esteem
When talking about confidence, it’s easy to veer into the territory of self-esteem and self-worth. And while the two do go hand-in-hand, we feel there is a slight distinction between them.
While confidence is all about feeling good about the abilities you have, self-esteem centers more around how we are able to perceive ourselves. Self-esteem is loving yourself, feeling you are worthy of love, embracing your flaws. Being unafraid to fail at something new, trusting that you are smart enough to succeed, walking through life with a skip in your step–that’s confidence.
Nurturing Confidence in Children
Building confidence in children is a vital step in their development and growth–and not just because we want our kids to feel good about ourselves. According to science, confident children are more likely to succeed in school, stand up against peer pressure, achieve their personal goals and maintain healthy personal relationships.
The garden is a great way to start explaining to your children just what they are capable of. Start out by taking your young one to a nursery. Have them explore the different kinds of plants, picking out their favorites, and explain how plants require a special touch to thrive and flourish.
Once you get home, have them help you plant their selections. Spend time together over the lifetime of the plant, giving them as active a role as possible. At harvest, seeing the fruits of their labors tangibly can give them a boost of self-confidence and satisfaction.
Cultivating Confidence in Yourself
While we all want to raise bold children, it’s important to remember that the best way to increase confidence in them is to model it in yourself. Totally outside of the kids, there are also scientific benefits to building your own confidence. Studies have shown that people who are confident retain information better, are able to maintain better moods, and have more overall awareness.
When you step out into the garden, you are stepping into your own potential. You learn that you are capable of fostering life, of growing plants that will nourish and sustain you. Gardening helps you see, right in front of you, your presence in the greater world, in life itself.
If that doesn’t give you a boost of confidence, we don’t know what will.