What I See with Peter Fiorenza: Encouragement core of kids’ self-esteem

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian

When I was a kid, my parents always encouraged me to “have a go”.

And even though I was pretty shy growing up, I always tried to keep this motto in mind.

This has led to an adult life in which I certainly, on most occasions, have the confidence to push myself forward when I believe the time is right.

And I reckon it has allowed me to take up opportunities that I would never have had otherwise: going to university at a later age, a dream job of ground announcer at the WACA, and becoming a local councillor.

None of this would have happened if I didn’t back myself in.

Another example was when I first went overseas.

Now, from a very young age I have always been interested in the outside world, people and places.

For instance, if I ever heard about a place, say on TV, I would get out an encyclopedia and find out where it was.

How fantastic it would be to actually go there.

Eventually, I decided this was only going to happen if I pushed myself.

Today, I am happy to say, I have seen a considerable amount of the world

Recently, I happened to be at the Nagle College cross-country event. A big deal on the school calendar, it involves hundreds of students running around a 3.2km course at the back of Spalding.

As you can imagine, there are a number who freak out at the thought of competing in such an event.

There are various reasons for this, but for many young people, something like this is clearly out of their comfort zone.

Why?

I reckon it’s because they are scared of failure and don’t want to lose “street cred” with their friends.

But I also believe if they put in a bit of an effort, they would gain so much.

As I watched most of the students run across the finish line, the feeling of achievement was evident across the board, from major winners through to those who had finished with a more modest time.

It was simply heartening to see most participants cheered over the line with great enthusiasm by their classmates.

And you would not believe how much such a selfless gesture can boost someone’s self-esteem.

By just having a go, some of these youngsters will undoubtedly now have that extra confidence to go on to achieve so much more.

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