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Looking to improve? First, ask yourself these 4 questions!

Source | LinkedIn | Ester Martinez | LinkedIn Top Voices | CEO & Editor-in-Chief at People Matters | People Matters TechHR

Parenting is an excellent opportunity for self-discovery. As parents, we learn every day from our children. In our home, we have two pre-teens; Like many children of our times, our two have hobbies they want to pursue seriously. For our son, it’s tennis. For our daughter, it’s dance. Of course, at home, mostly driven by the south-Indian side of our family (the Spanish side is a lot more laid back ) there is no compromise on excellence in all fields of pursuit. In raising our children, our parental attitude has always been: whatever you do, you need to do your best. That includes your areas of interest and – most importantly – your studies.

Not only does this put pressure on our children to excel in all fields, but it’s also a constant coaching and discovery opportunity for us as parents.

I was recently reflecting on a conversation with our son and what he was going through. He wants to pursue professional sports, and we’ve found that at every age there has been a phase of underconfidence that converts into overconfidence and back again. The cycle restarts every time we go through the lows of losing and the highs of winning. In this recent discussion, we were reflecting on what happens when you are under-confident and how that affects the way you take defeat – you feel bad, feel disillusioned, low or discouraged. I then asked my son to compare this to what happens when you are overconfident and again how that affects the way you take defeat – you hide when you underperform, give yourself excuses, blame others. Neither scenario is ideal. At worst, they’re both unhelpful. I find it’s useful to think of confidence as a continuum: a scalable line between utter discouragement and the total self-assurance that can result in arrogance. So, then, where should we aim to be on this continuum? And how can we shift our energies towards improving?

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