• Being Bold and Increasing Confidence—Mighty Parenting 225 with Fred Joyal

  • being boldBeing confident and being bold are not, in fact, the same qualities. Confidence is a state of mind; boldness is taking action. However, both of these are all too often difficult for our kids to develop for themselves. Entrepreneur and author Fred Joyal joins Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler and explains to us how we can adjust our parenting styles to increase confidence and encourage boldness in our kids, to help them find security in themselves and take joy in life even when societal norms would dictate otherwise.

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Shyness isn’t who we are, it’s a behavior we can change.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Being Bold:

    Quote about being boldWhy be bold? Because otherwise you’ll likely stack up regrets later in your life from things you didn’t do when you had the chances.

    Confidence and boldness are not actually the same; one is a feeling and the other is a type of action—you can feel confident without being bold in your actions, and you can also behave boldly without feeling confident about it.

    Boldness isn’t about showing off or taking advantage of people or being pushy; it’s about bringing your full self into every situation. A helpful mantra for when you’re uncertain in a situation? Tell yourself I belong everywhere.

    Shyness—like boldness—is not a character trait, but a type of action. Many people behave in a shy way in certain situations. Instead of using shyness to define who you are, think of it as a behavior—a behavior that you can change if you want.

    Here’s a useful life skill—how do you make someone feel like the most important person in a room?

      • Listen: when conversing, when they’re talking, just listen to them—don’t be thinking on what your response will be.
      • Ask a question: when you have the urge to say something, ask them a question (“Tell me more?”). Stay focused on them.
      • End the talk positively: compliment their topic and conversational skills, and reiterate part of the conversation so they know you were paying attention to them (e.g. “Hey, this was a fun talk! I especially liked your story about ______. We should do this again sometime.”).

    This skill is an incredibly important parenting tool—our kids are more likely to trust us and be open with us when we make them feel like we’re actually paying attention to them and really, truly listening, not just going through the motions.

    Preparation is the foundation of spontaneity; build it so it’s a constant reward process with the PRIDE method. You can find more about this in Fred’s book Superbold: from Under-confident to Charismatic in 90 days.

    It takes being bold to let your child fail, and to allow your child to bounce around the world, away from home and safety, and find out what it means to fail when they don’t have you to fall back on.

    If you see your child is struggling, the bold choice (rather than just telling them to do whatever action they’re afraid of doing) is to ask them what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, and see if they want to discuss it. Ask them why they’re struggling in whichever situation and talk them through the best- and worst-case scenarios. 

    Being bold comes easily for some people; for others, it’s a process. Build your boldness muscles step by step so when situations arise, you step up.

    We can’t make our kids do anything. They’re human beings; they make their own choices, including being bold or being shy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help them build up that boldness muscle until they discover what being bold looks like for them.

    How to build your kid’s boldness muscle:

      1. Function like a wingman for your child. Give them ideas and nudge them along; start simple and work it up.
      2. (If you see them resisting then you’ll know you’ve given them too large a dose, too much of an experience; throttle it back a bit. Make a smaller lesson.)
      3. Control the dosage of the experience to what they can handle.
      4. Then step it up. Push them, just a little.
      5. Watch them figure out how good being bold feels and how to keep doing it themselves.
    Often we forget that every choice we make is just about the thoughts in our heads. Quite a few of those thoughts have been placed there by society. And then we tend to blow them way out of proportion, and then create this fear around what happens if we “break the rules.”

    Pick apart those societal fears and figure out whose opinions should really matter to you, and how much they should matter to you. Do you really care what a stranger in the Hallmark store thinks when you find a funny card and you laugh out loud? Or do you care more that maybe you find it funny, and you want to laugh, so you’re going to laugh, because it makes you happy?

    People are not thinking of you or about you nearly as much as you think they are. Also, does it really matter if they are thinking about you, and what they’re thinking about you?

    The idea is to get your kids to the point where they’re like, “Well, I care about what my family thinks.” Maybe, “I care about what my friends think.” But get them away from, “What is that lady in front of me in line going to think if I’m jumping around because I’m excited to see this movie?”

    We have to break out of the mindset that not fitting in is dangerous to have interesting, fun, exciting lives. Meet the people we want to meet, say the things we want to say, try the things we want to try. That’s where the real life is because life is going by much faster than we think, and it’s too easy to find ourselves holding too many regrets about things we wished we’d done over the past 20 years.

    When you change your behavior, you create new neural pathways. As you start going places you haven’t gone before, doing new things more regularly, talking to people you were too scared to a few weeks ago—those pathways become more solid with each repetition.

    The last important part of being bold? Keep doing it! If you don’t do it frequently, then those pathways don’t form, and your brain says you’re dabbling, not habit-forming. It takes a week to form a habit, but you have to participate every day.


    Superbold: From Under-Confident to Charismatic in 90 Days by Fred Joyal

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    Our Guest Fred Joyal:

    Fred Joyal discusses being boldFred Joyal is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business advisor. He co-founded the most successful dentist referral service in the country, 1-800-DENTIST. He has previously written two books on marketing, has dabbled in standup and improv comedy, acted in bad movies and excellent TV commercials. His latest book, Superbold: from Under-confident to Charismatic in 90 days, was just released in October. He once beat Sir Richard Branson in chess and was also a question on Jeopardy. He is an avid cyclist, a below-average tennis player and an even worse golfer. He lives in Los Angeles.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit www.fredjoyal.com.

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