Episode 137: Raising Luminaries: How to Raise Humble, Confident Kids

October 27, 2022


I know we all feel called to raise these incredibly confident kids. But at the same time, we want them to have humility, too and have the right perspective on the world. As entrepreneurs, we are naturally pretty confident people otherwise, we wouldn’t take the leaps that we do take. We are sure of who we are, we know what we stand for and we are confident in our own ability to do something or to figure out how to do it. But, how do we raise confident people? 

Is this a learned skill? Is it modeled? Is it in our DNA? And where does humility come in? How can kids be both/and? Today’s episode is an important conversation around raising humble, confident kids.

Let’s raise them up right!


[2:09] Confidence and Resilience 

Confidence is something we all crave. We want to see our kids brave enough to be themselves and courageous enough to go after what they’re called to. We also want them to have resilience, the ability to keep getting back up because that’s how they make those deposits in the confidence bank. When they face a challenge, when they do something hard or when they fail and still get back up and try again, all of a sudden they’re seeing what they’re capable of, and what’s possible for them. 

So confidence, in my humble opinion, is not something that we can just tell them that they are. And it’s not something that we can just shout at them. And it’s not something that we can just repeat over and over as we look at them in the mirror (although those affirmations of confidence are important). We have to help them do the things that are going to make those deposits in the confidence bank. So it’s going to come from the nurturing of us as leaders and parents. It’s going to come from modeling what it looks like to become confident and showing them what’s possible, but it’s also going to come from them leaping out on their own and doing the things that yield growth and confidence for them. 

So we are going to break down those differentiators and see how you can kind of tap into all of those categories.

[3:40] Open Conversations 

A really good starting place, and something that often is brought up around our dinner table, is having conversations about what we see in others, things that we want to emulate as well as the things that we might not want to emulate or pursue. 

So, talk about those confident traits in the people in their lives, what makes them appear confident and how they can embody and emulate those things themselves. This gets their wheels turning about what confidence even is and this applies to children of any age. Explain to them that it’s about having that ability to go after something that’s important to you and that without the confidence to at least take the leap, that could hold them back from pursuing what’s on their heart and what they’re meant to do.

[7:05] Show Them the Power of Entrepreneurship 

Next, confidence is about doing the things that make you uncomfortable and starting to develop some level of comfort with doing them, some level of familiarity with it. So, how can we teach confidence by giving our children more experiences and opportunities to do things? 

This is a really hard thing for me. I want to catch them before they fall, figuratively and literally. I don’t want them to suffer or experience pain. But I also know at the same time that the only way that they’re going to develop that confidence in themselves is by trying things on their own, by experiencing things that make them see what they’re capable of or see where they need to grow in order to be capable of it. And it can start with really small things: ordering their own dinner at a restaurant, learning how to make eye contact when they’re talking to another person, calling about a broken toy, etc. Put them in places where they are uncomfortable and allow it to be a fruitful experience in terms of building confidence for their future.

[9:51] The Balance Between Humility and Confidence 

When it comes to the humility side of things, I heard a quote recently: “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking of ourselves less. We don’t need to be a wallflower to be humble.”

We mistake humility for thinking less of ourselves, but really it’s just realizing your gifts while you are also thinking of others and coming from a servant’s heart. That’s the essence of what we’re seeking to raise our children in, that servant’s nature of using your gifts for good in the lives of others. 

Confidence and humility balance each other out. They create  well-adjusted, well-rounded, strong children who can go forward and really make a powerful impact. And they can do it from a place of a strong heart, knowing they’re in the right place at the right time doing the things that they’re called to do, because they have the confidence to do it but they also have the humility to know that there are a lot of people in their past that helped them get there. It’s also acknowledging the process and for us, it’s faith. It’s helping them realize that God has given them these gifts and they don’t get to take all the credit for it. That takes the cockiness right off the table and just adds a little humility into the ring.

You have a special gift as an entrepreneur to really infuse a different level of confidence and humility into your children, and you get to be the prime example of it. Sometimes we need our own little reality check in both of those categories. I know there are times where my confidence bank is pretty empty and my kids can see that; or there are times where maybe it’s too full and I’m not leaning into humility enough, and they see that too. So, as we’re teaching them, they become our behind-the-scenes accountability that helps us remain true to those two worlds. 

I hope this episode helps you really honor your calling while being a humble, confident leader, so you can raise your own humble, confident leaders.

We would love it if you would subscribe and leave us a review! And come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.

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