Grow Business Confidence: Lessons From a 5-Yr-Old

I am like most parents who look at their children, and are awestruck by the way they confidently walk (or in our son’s case, RUN) through the world. And recently, watching him in the deep end, realize he has many lessons business owners can learn about how to grow their confidence and attain their goals more effectively.

My five year old son – oh, I’m reminded, he’s five and A HALF! – FINALLY got to realize his dream from last summer: to jump off the high dive. AND, yesterday, he learned to dive.

THE 10-FOOT DROP

Last summer and periodically throughout the winter, he reminded me that he was going to be old enough to jump off the high dive this summer. Mind you, this board is 10-feet high (!) so last summer, despite his confidence, I was too fearful to have my 4-year-old jump off of that high dive and simply said “not this year.”
This summer, I knew he was going to be unstoppable.

The first weekend the pool opened, we were there. Jacob went straight to the high dive and lined up behind kids that were head and shoulders taller than he was. The first time, he walked slowly to the edge of the board, 10-feet above the pool, and without too much hesitation, jumped off. Several jumps later, he was running to the end of the board, jumping and landing do he would spring into the air and “fly” for a few moments before landing in the water.

Now, every chance he gets, he asks to go swimming so he can jump off the high dive.
(As a side note, in some conversation he heard the word “thrill-seeker” and asked what it meant. After I described it, he said “That’s what I am.” Oh boy, it’s going to be a fun ride!)

THE DIVE

Yesterday, while he was jumping off the boards, I was having fun too and practiced diving off the low board. He asked me to teach him. So I told him where to “glue” his chin, arms, and hands… where to aim… showed him what it looked like… and he did the rest!

He started at water level and easily dove in. He seemed to be pleasantly surprised and proud of himself, as he should be… That bolstered his confidence and he felt ready to do the same thing off the low diving board, but when he tried, his feet wanted to leave the board too soon, and so it became a “dive jump.” He tried a couple more times, and then went back to having fun jumping off both the high and low dive.

Today, he begged me to go to the pool again, and we returned for an after-dinner swim…
After some high dive jumps, he practiced diving off the ledge at water level.
I praised him for diving so well and suggested he try it at the ground level, which was about 6 inches higher. After a couple adjustments to his aim, and allowing himself to lead with his hands, he got it!

I was looking at my phone, preparing to record a video of his ground level dive and when I looked up, he was in the middle of his first dive off the low board! Executed wonderfully!

In a two day period, I watched him develop the skills and confidence to dive off the board and thought about what it took for him to do that… and how developing his jumping and diving skills relate to succeeding in business…

BUSINESS LESSONS FROM THE DEEP END: Tips to Grow Confidence and Attain Your Goals More Quickly

1) Envision yourself accomplishing goals and rehearse it in your mind.
Jacob saw himself jumping off the high dive for almost a year.
He studied the “big” boys and girls (and adults) as they took the 10-foot drop. He told me repeatedly that he was going to jump off the high dive this year.
By the time I gave him the green light to try, he had no doubt in his mind that it would become his reality.
He had been thinking about it and replaying it in his mind, so that when he had the opportunity, he was completely prepared to “jump with both feet in.” (pun intended)
Do the same with business (or personal) goals – and you will find yourself reaching those goals more efficiently with fewer roadblocks and increased ease.

2) Get guidance to shorten the learning curve.
He was developing this new diving skill … and after learning a few tips to turn a “dive jump” into a true dive, it clicked and he was able to apply that knowledge and quickly and confidently develop the skill.
You can shorten the learning curve by finding the guidance you need.

3) Be persistent and keep practicing.
It’s refreshing to see our son continue practicing a skill, such as diving, and not judging himself when it doesn’t go as planned. When that happened a couple times, I suggested he think about letting his hands touch the water first and his feet touch the water last. He took those tips and kept practicing.
After several repetitions, he felt more confident and was ready to take those skills to the next level – the diving board.
As you practice skills in your business, make micro-adjustments along the way. Observe the results, and keep practicing. As you do this, your confidence will grow and the new skills will feel more natural and familiar. With familiarity, you will feel more confident and more ready to stretch yourself.

4) Stretch yourself for increased growth.
Instead of staying in your comfort zone, find out what might stretch you to move to a higher level of challenge in your business. With higher challenge often comes greater reward.
Also, realize that the stretch usually doesn’t require completely new skills.
Jacob’s dive off the board incorporated the same skills he used to dive from the water level. He was confident in using those skills. It just took a little more courage to use the same skills three feet off the ground.

5) Believe in yourself.
It’s so wonderful to see such confidence in my son.
He didn’t “psych himself out” before trying to dive off the board. He just went up and did it.
Sometimes, it can be that simple. Practice saying to yourself, “I can do this.” And then, take a deep breath, and just do it.

6) Get support and celebrate successes along the way:
“Did you see that, Mommy!?”
“Watch this, Mommy…”
“That was fun!”
“I did it!”
These are some of the things Jacob said when he wanted to share his recent jumping and diving accomplishments.
When you go through your business day, try using some version of these phrases that easily flow out of children’s mouths and you will experience your own confidence beginning to soar. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way with supportive people: “Listen to this!” Enjoy the process: “That was fun!.” Get praise from others. “Did you see what I just did?” Congratulate yourself for the milestones you reach, and even the landmarks along the way. “I did it!”

These lessons my son revealed from jumping and diving into the deep end can more easily become a reality in your business through success coaching. If you want to learn more about how, click here to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.