How to Help Teens Overcome Self-Doubt

Some kids are fearless. They start new hobbies without any reservations. Kids start snowboarding or rock climbing like they are in no danger at all. They make friends easily and have no issue stating their opinions to others.

Yet, other kids struggle to say “hello” to strangers. They cling to you when they try anything new, from playing sports to visiting family. You might assume that they will grow out of these things. Yet, as they grow into teens, they might continue to have feelings of self-doubt.

Self-doubt can impede a teenager’s ability to explore and find themselves. They might not feel secure in trying new things, making friends, or standing up for themselves during a conflict. You might wonder how to get your kid to overcome self-doubt. You can start by focusing on developing self-concept.

Developing Self-Concept

Often, when you see a problem, you try to fix that problem directly. You focus so much time on improving the weaknesses. With a teenager struggling with self-doubt, you want to help them overcome what appears to be a weakness and an obstacle. Instead of fixing self-doubt, you can help your kid develop their strengths and their self-concept.

Self-concept is the way that you view yourself. Often, teens struggling with self-doubt do not see the value of their strengths. Where others might view them positively, they only see their flaws and weaknesses. Your teen needs to develop a healthy self-concept to overcome self-doubt.

The beliefs that you have about yourself drive your self-concept. For example, if you have a daughter with an eating disorder, she might have a distorted view of herself. She might feel like she is not thin or pretty enough. No matter how much reassurance and compliments that others give her until she genuinely believes that she is good enough, the praises of others will not matter very much.

Unconditional Love and Confidence

Reassuring your child with positive messages and compliments is still helpful. Always let your child know that you love them no matter what. Unconditional love will help them build a foundation for confidence and a healthy self-concept.

When kids know that they will be loved and accepted no matter what, they are free to explore the world and make mistakes. They know that they will not be rejected for making mistakes or for having issues, whether your kid fails a math test or deals with severe anxiety.

The Value of Messing Up

Messing up and making mistakes are crucial to developing self-concept and overcoming self-doubt. Your child will need the space to learn that making a mistake is not the end of the world. They need to know — and feel — that the world will not end because they messed up or made a mistake.

Focusing on self-concept means that your teen feels okay with who they are after failure, facing adversity, or dealing with consequences. They recognize that each mistake has a lesson. Each setback is an opportunity to learn to look for new solutions. Every failure is a chance to learn how to do something better the next time around.

Overcoming Self-Doubt Takes Practice

You can’t tell someone to just “be confident” or “stop doubting yourself!” Kids need experience and practice to develop a healthy self-concept. When kids have a healthy self-concept, they will feel that they can overcome issues and are deserving of love and acceptance. 

Learning from mistakes will take practice. Your child will need to practice making mistakes. They will need something to focus on that will ultimately not hurt them. When young kids play, they are learning to deal with the real world. They act the part of being sad, angry, happy, or other roles to practice what these emotions feel like. 

Getting your child into something that they can safely fail and learn something new will help them find value within themselves.

Taking Action to Help Your Child

How can you take action to help your child develop self-concept and overcome self-doubt? You can enter their world and find activities along with them. 

Some parents might not understand what their child is “into,” and they just steer clear. You might not understand your child’s taste in music. Maybe your kid is into anime, social media, goth culture, or other trends you just don’t “get.”

Let your child teach you about their interests. Ask them questions about why they like the things that they like. By taking an interest in their interests, you start to help them overcome self-doubt and build a healthy self-concept. Once you understand your child’s interests, you can begin to take action to find new hobbies to build confidence. 

Perhaps your child loves music even if you don’t understand it. Maybe they would like to learn a musical instrument? Your child might wear all-black and love the supernatural. Perhaps they could meet others playing games like Dungeons and Dragons at a local comic book store? 

Get to know your child, accept them for who they are, and guide them to new challenges that will help them overcome self-doubt and build a healthy self-concept.

Parents want to see their kids succeed in life. They want their kids to find something that they love, take on new challenges, and share their gifts with the world. You know that your child is unique and talented. However, if your kid does not feel confident in themselves, they might struggle to overcome self-doubt. They might shy away from doing any activity that might challenge them and shatter their self-esteem. To overcome self-doubt, kids need to develop a healthy self-concept. Self-concept is our internal view of ourselves and drives our feelings of confidence — or a lack of it. For teens who struggle with eating disorders, addiction, self-harm, anxiety, and other issues, Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center in the Colorado Rockies is here to help teens overcome self-doubt and develop a healthy self-concept. We offer therapeutic support while exposing kids to challenges like outdoor adventures, animal therapy, and academics. Call us today at (303) 443-3343.

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