Nervous children come to coaching to feel more confident
It’s usually when they’re about to do something for the first time. That can be joining a new club, or meeting new people. I coach lots of children transition to new schools and help them settle in. I also help children who get performance anxiety around exams and school productions.
When I was a kid, nobody could understand why I got so nervous about dance shows – I loved to dance. Or why I stressed about exams and got nervous about making mistakes – I was smart wasn’t I?
People were baffled at how such a chatty child could be scared stiff of speaking up in class or reading to an audience.
To be fair, I was very good at hiding it. Inside I was afraid, ashamed and very tired feeling like I had to please all the adults around me.
As an adult, I’ve found ways to manage the nerves!
I am still underneath my bubbly Smiley exterior, a nervous person. I have overcome my fear of public speaking – you’ll find me on Facebook and YouTube. I’ve become more compassionate for my perfectionistic tendencies and less insistent that everything is just so. I’ve discovered lots of strategies for growing my confidence, one of which I want to share with you today!
Every night, one of my 10 year old clients – let’s call her Poppy – listens to the Get Your Happy on audio in the Smiley Sweet Dreams Pack. This is one of the eleven audios which help you say goodbye to the day and get ready for bed. It’s her favourite one.
People underestimate the power of this!
Lots of people don’t realise that while we are rushing around all day, we tend to shallow breath from up high in our chest. When we start to wind down at the end of the day, we want to use our deep belly breathing to send messages to our brain that we are ready for sleep. People are starting to realise the power of this – read more about how it’s being introduced in schools.
Deep breathing has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety
You can read more about that here. In the Get Your Happy On audio, Poppy listens to me talk through the lovely message of love, positivity, encouragement and confidence that you’ll find written on the Smiley Though Cards.
Poppy has a box of these already and likes to do them before she goes to school, but we all learn in different ways.
Do you know your learning style?
- Looking at the cards is VISUAL learning.
- Listening to the cards is AUDITORY learning.
- Saying the cards out loud is EXPERIENTIAL learning (KINESTHETIC learning)
Most Wildhearts are very visual with vivid colourful imaginations, however, they learn best when they are able to do – put their learnings into practice. That’s experiential (kinesthetic) learning.
Sometimes Poppy listens to the Get Your Happy On audio twice. It runs for 14 minutes. That’s a total of 30 minutes to wind down and fall asleep.
- The first time, Poppy repeats the affirmations (positive mantras) and joins in with me.
- The second time, Poppy doesn’t say anything. She listens and drifts off to sleep feeling safe, calm and relaxed.
Before the audio, it took Poppy over an hour to get to sleep!
Often her Mum would have to wait upstairs in her bedroom, so Poppy knew she was close by. Now her Mum can put the audio on (she listens through wireless speakers which are connected up to her Mum’s phone) and go downstairs to enjoy her evening. Although, her Mum did confess that she loved standing at the door listening to Poppy grow in confidence as she imitated my voice and spoke loudly and clearly each night at bedtime. Too cute!
Read more about The Most Common Reasons Children Don’t Settle at Bedtime
Why does this work?
1. In a relaxed state, the brain is open to receiving the affirmations. That’s why when children are stressed at school, they struggle. They use all their energy fighting that stress. 10 Obvious Signs of A Stressed Child that Parents Often Ignore.
2. The mind-body connection is strong. Our brain believes what we tell it is true – that’s a Smiley Thought Card isn’t it?! When we feed it the same information over and over again, that becomes true for us.
3. Saying words out loud and giving them our energy and attention is powerful. As is writing them down (but we don’t want to be writing when it’s time to go to sleep). There are two blank cards in a box of Smiley Thought Cards for you to enjoy creating your own Smiley Thoughts.
4. Not only does Poppy reassure and tell her brain it is safe by repeating the affirmations, but she is also creating neural pathways – rewiring her brain – and creating positive feelings that she associates with sleep and bedtime. In coaching, we call this a ‘positive anchor’. We can anchor ourselves to songs, smells, words, or anything that evokes our senses.
The affirmations also help Poppy to feel more confident
Poppy has been repeating the affirmations over a period of time which means she can say them to herself whenever she needs to. As she says the words, she automatically feels positive and relaxed. The anchor that she has created kicks in. This was handy recently when she had to sing in the school choir on stage in front of all the Mums and Dads. Poppy gets nervous about her school shows and worries about making mistakes.
I just wanted to provide feedback on your online learning tools. My 10-year-old daughter was very resistant but now LOVES your fun podcast and calming Sweet Dreams Relaxation Pack. We bought it to help her transition back to school. It has totally transformed bedtime for us and as a result, has really positively impacted the whole family and our stress levels. Long may it continue – Thank You!
Repetition over time is the key to overcoming nerves!
You cannot stop yourself from being nervous. Sometimes you need those nerves to keep you on your toes and ensure you do your best.
What you can do is manage and reduce the nerves. Don’t give up and don’t let them have power over you!
If your child likes this Sweet Dreams Bedtime pack, they will also love the ‘Truly Madly Smiley’ that has lots of episodes all about friendships, worries, angries and sads. It helps your child understand themselves and the world they live in. It grows their confidence and gives them easy practical tips to try out.
Children say my voice is reassuring + feels safe
It’s funny isn’t it how you don’t like the sound of your own voice? It’s the total opposite for the kids who tell me they love it. It helps them to feel safe and calm. They have created a positive anchor to my voice.
I also think that the children can feel the positive intention and kind energy that is poured into the audios when I’m recording them. I’m connecting with them on a different level. My voice is an energy – it has a vibration and sensitive children will connect into that and absorb it. That’s very healing in itself.
Bust those niggling nerves + get confident today!
Click here to pick up your very own copy of the Smiley Sweet Dreams pack today. Inside you’ll also find:
📕 ‘Reflect on your Day’ Smiley Colourful Printable so before you put the day to bed, you can take stock of what has happened and let go. We need to draw a line under it so we don’t drag it all into tomorrow. This printable has been created with that in mind for you to draw or write down your worries or anything you want to get out of your head before you settle in for the night.
🎬 Invite Your Worries To Tea coaching activity where Smiley invites you to invite your worries to tea, make friends with them and to stand up to them when they are being unkind or unhelpful. Nobody wants friends like that taking up space in their head, do they?!
📕 Get Your Worries Out of Your Head Journalling Page when you write your worries down and set them free from your head, they lose their power. They get bigger and bigger when they rattle around in your head.
🎬 3 Bonus videos and additional resources to help with bedtime, relaxation and mindfulness for children who are anxious or have busy brains that find it hard to switch off at night time.