Building Confidence in Young Adults

As young adults are moving from the comfort of their homes, the known friends from high school, the familiar teachers and settings of their own towns, it’s becoming increasingly important for them to have a deeper understanding of who they are.

Part of this understanding starts in high school, however, as we look at the society we live in, we are bombarded by the need to look outside for validation of our own thoughts and opinions. Our young adults haven’t spent enough time on their own with the important questions to understand themselves.

Confidence is a journey not a destination. Every aspect of our program at Parzival Academy is meant to expand the students’ relationship with themselves and the world around them in a way that brings awareness and a sense of comfort in their own skin.

Confidence is the belief that inside I have all the resources to deal with any situation that life throws at me.

Confidence is not Arrogance nor is built by faking it ‘till we make it.

We start our work from inside-out.

Our students will spend meaningful time in guided reflection of their own perspectives and how they are creating the results they want. 

Exploring the Relationship with Self

The first part of our work is building the relationship with Self.

We bring out the Observer and train our students to be able to detach from a negative internal conversation. By shifting the Observer more possibilities open up.

“I find that I worry much less now  about things that I ought to do and the differing opinions of others, as Time and Others are totally beyond my control and not things I can change. I am also now  more aware of the little conversations that happen in my head, and of the voices that have them, having Held the idea of the Observer role for all this time in a much clearer way than I normally do or have in the past.” O.E. Waldorf Alumni and Student at Parzival Academy.

The next aspect of the relationship with Self is noticing the stories we live in. Most of our perceptions about ourselves and others are learnt or borrowed unconsciously from our environment (parents, culture, social norms).

All our actions today are generated by our perceptions. Our stories become the truth. A lot of our work with our students involves learning to see the stories as simple assessments instead of the truth.

We can only go through this stage by developing self-compassion. This is a first step to self-confidence.

“I look at myself in a more forgiving manner than I did previously. I used to get easily frustrated with myself, but now I’ve developed the skills to recognize and honor my inner child and have patience with myself. I can now admit that I’m not even close to perfect and I’m completely fine with that. “ M.S.- Student at Parzival Academy

Bringing the Outside Perspective

The second part of our journey to building self-confidence is working on the relationships with others and the world around us.

As we look at this part we are working on understanding our values and our care in the world. 

We become aware of our truth, and develop the ability to say No without feeling guilty or less than the other.

Peer pressure or adult pressure can lead to making a wrong decision. By looking at our relationship with saying No we look at the consequences of overwhelm, frustration or resentment that can show up. 

Our feeling realm is an important part of our work.

There are other aspects we work on in this second part like: managing commitments and generating trust, asking for help (such an important lesson even for adults), understanding the difference between promises and expectations, and honoring our limits and barriers.

Moving from teenage years to adulthood, young adults might feel alone and uncomfortable in an unknown territory, their confidence starts to shake. Self-doubt creeps in, manifesting in the internal, self-deprecating conversations.

Parents and mentors at Parzival Academy aim for our young adults to be happy with who they are. 

Their sense of wellbeing comes from a deeper awareness, not from having a certain college degree. That’s what we call confidence.

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