How to Break Out of Your Shell at School

Guest article for Teen Vogue by Dr. Carol 

Moving to a new state and starting over at a new school sounds exhilarating — until you realize it’s time to socialize with a whole new group. With so many changes, acclimatizing to college may seem more difficult than your advanced calculus class. But remember: Everyone is feeling the same way as you — some students are just easier at hiding it, Dr. Carol Langlois, a teen and youth culture expert and author of Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image, tells Teen Vogue. With that in mind, use these tips to help you break out of your shell so college is no sweat.

Sleep tight

Yes, eight hours of shut-eye is definitely your ticket to staying awake during class, but it also presents an opportunity to begin a new slate and help manage those night-before jitters.

“Set yourself up for success before you go to bed. Have your alarm set to play your favorite song so you wake up in a comfortable space. Or, have a photo of you and your best friends by the bed that you can look at first thing in the morning. I’d rather wake up looking at that instead of a bunch of schoolbooks sprawled across the floor,” Dr. Carol says.

Similarly, anything that reminds you that you are talented, valued, and loved creates the same effect. Dig up any trophies or special ribbons and splay them across your night table.

Start your morning off on the right foot

Yes, breakfast is definitely a must, but overnight oats aren’t going to do you any good if your mind isn’t in the right place.

Dr. Carol suggests practicing positive thinking for three to five minutes before you get out of bed (that does not include scrolling through Instagram!). Keep your eyes closed and remain calm, breathing in and out.

“Tell yourself ‘Today is going to be a good day. I am going to have fun with my friends. School is going to be okay,’ and so forth,” she says. “You have to consistently manage the negative attitude, get out of bed with a clear head, and start the day in a positive space, or at least move in that direction.”

Don’t overanalyze

Think about all those times you tried to rehearse what you’d say out loud, only to beat yourself up after it came out wrong, or someone spoke over you and you missed your chance. Conversations that flow organically breed deeper bonds.

“I know this may sound strange, but don’t think too much. Stop constantly second-guessing, questioning, and wondering. I know blocking out the negative can be exhausting, but what’s the alternative? Being depressed, sad, or angry? Think of all the energy you waste dwelling on those feelings,” Dr. Carol says.

For more on this article click HERE

Girl Talk: Teen Monologue Series Coming to SF Aug 24th

My play “Girl Talk” is in a playwright festival honoring female playwrights this summer teenage girl Sharing Secret With Friend In Parkin SF.

Young actors perform powerful teen stories about real life struggles, peer pressure, anxieties and how they survived.  Dr. Carol Langlois created this play version of her acclaimed book, Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image. Teenagers and their parents are especially invited!

Information
Date: August 24th, 2017
Time: 7:30pm
Location: “Thick House” is now “Potrero Stage”

Tickets: FREE through the festival.Hope to see you August 24th!  Reserve your FREE tickets today! Click Here.

For more information about Dr. Carol & Girl Talk, click here.

How to Tell Your Parents Your Being Bullied

Most teens don’imagest want to tell, worry or burden their parents when they are bullied, so they keep it inside. You should tell your parents every time and any time you feel you are the victim of bullying. Just because you can “handle” the bullying situation, doesn’t mean you should have to. I know it may seem scary, but you have to tell an adult. If not a parent, then maybe a teacher you trust. How do you bring it up? Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Find a time when you have your parents’ full attention. Maybe this is while you are driving in the car with them, eating dinner, or taking a long walk. Think about what to say beforehand so when you tell them you won’t get too nervous and forget everything. If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, say: “I need to tell you something that I’m nervous about and it’s important.” I guarantee your parents will pay close attention. It’s OK if you get upset while telling them. If you want to tell a teacher instead, that’s OK too. Maybe after school when the rest of your class is gone you can ask to speak with them. Again, practice what you want to say. If it helps to bring a friend along for support, that’s OK too.

I can’t stress this enough, don’t avoid the issue for too long. This can lead to you minimizing the severity of the situation and adapting to the poor treatment. Some teens build a defense mechanism around the issue to avoid it. They pretend that it isn’t actually happening. Does pretending really help? No. The bully will continue. Remember, avoiding any situation doesn’t help. Stand up for yourself when dealing with a bully.  Protect yourself; demand that the bullying stop. Say something early on. Don’t “accept” it. That’s not a healthy way to cope!

Now if your friend is the one being bullied, what can you do? Well, a lot of things. You can tell your friend that you are there for him or her. If the bully isn’t violent, you can confront the bully together. Show the bully you aren’t taking it anymore. Or, maybe if your friend is just too scared by the bully, you can tell a teacher on his or her behalf. Some teens just don’t know what to do. Be a good friend and do something.

Bottom line— Tell a parent or tell a teacher, but don’t let it continue.

Trade in the “Time-out” for Meditation and Reflection

I’m a firm believer in meditation and it’s many forms. When talking about children, imagesmeditation can simply be a moment of silence, deep breathing, or just lying still on a rug.  This can be the start for building a great mediation practice.

I think more schools should look toward meditation as a preventative method to deter negative behavior and deal with disciplinary issues. Meditation helps balance ones’ breathing which naturally calms the system. After meditating and opening their eyes, kids are more alert, rejuvenated and ready to get back to work.  Mediation teaches focus that can help kids through the rest of their school day. And if used as a form of disciple instead of detention, a child will emerge less aggressive and more reflective.

I think parents could utilize meditation in the home as well. Putting a child in “time-out” really doesn’t do much more than create frustration, boredom or anxiety.  Kids end up counting the seconds, simply waiting for the time out to be over and they can sometimes emerge from the “time-out” angrier than they went into it. They don’t learn from the experience.

A preventative method for parents would be to start the day with your child doing a short meditation practice in the morning. It will set the day off right and produce a more aware, calm and focused child.  Overtime, this may cut down the need for punishment (or the time-out) by creating a more self-aware, mindful and relaxed child.

Teaching Your Child To Learn From Failure: 4 Steps To Success

Guest blog by: Rebecca Temsen (http://www.selfdevelopmentsecrets.com)

The old adage holds true: We learn from our mistakes. Making mistakes is especially how childrenteengirl learn. Unfortunately, too many kids (and even some adults) have never learned the value of making a mistake. I plead guilty too.

Too many fail to realize successful people find new routes to their goals and they don’t let setbacks derail them. Succeeding ultimately depends on sticking with their efforts and not letting setbacks hold them down, especially with kids.

Here are some tips for helping children recognize that mistakes don’t necessarily mean failure but instead can be learning opportunities in disguise.

  1. Stress that it’s okay to make mistakes

The very first step is helping kids realize that mistakes aren’t the end of the world is to simply say, “It’s okay to make a mistake.” By giving kids permission to fail and helping them recognize that mistakes can be positive learning experiences, we are opening the door to success later in life. Let them know that even the most successful people makes mistakes. When is the last time you told your child, “It’s okay to make a mistake in our house?”

  1. Admit your own mistakes

Whether you know it or not, your child sees you as all-knowing and all-powerful. Obviously, grownups make mistakes, too, but too often we hide them from our children and spouses. Don’t let the ‘duck syndrome‘ take control of your life. Admit your errors to your kids. It helps them recognize that everyone, even Superhero Dad or Wonder Woman Mom, mess up sometimes — and that’s okay. Keep in mind, though, that they’re also watching to see how you handle failure. 

  1. Show acceptance for mistakes

Whenever your child goofs up, show your support with both your nonverbal reactions and your words. The fastest way your children will learn to toss the idea that mistakes are the most horrible thing in the world is to allow them to feel their parents’ accepting responses to their errors.

  1. Tell your children how you overcame the obstacle

When you make an error, tell your child not only your mistake but also what you learned from it. If, for example, your dinner menu was a failure, first admit the mistake to your family quickly before they tell you themselves, and then say what you learned from the mistake. Here’s what this would look like:

“I sure messed up this recipe. I learned that I should always read the whole recipe first before adding the broccoli.”

Did your children witness you running late for work? Here’s how that conversation might go:

“I was late for work because I lost my keys. I learned I need to put them in the same place every time I come home so that I can find them when I need them.”

Use this template for your own conversations with your kids. When your child makes a mistake, ask him or her, “What was your mistake?” Follow up by saying, “What did you learn?”

Conclusion

Create a household where mistakes are acceptable. Stress that everyone — adults and children — make mistakes and that no one is perfect. Mistakes are how we learn. Emphasize over and over: “Don’t worry about your mistakes. Instead, think about what you’ll do differently next time.”

If we help kids learn from them, mistakes can be valuable lessons. Once your children realize failures aren’t the end of the world, they’ll be more likely to hang in there and not give up.

 

Impostor Syndrome- What is it Really?

The term Impostor Syndrome gets tossed around a lot these days.  I thought I’d share with you the origins of this concept, what it really means and how to gauge if you exhibit any Impostor Syndrome characteristics.

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The Origins of IP

IP (Impostor Phenomenon) was coined by Pauline Rose Clance, Ph. D in the late 70’s after she strangely experienced feeling like a fraud amongst her peer group in grad school, but couldn’t explain why.  She thought that she would fail exams even though she was well prepared, she felt other students around her were smarter than her and that she was passing her classes based on luck and was really just a “fraud” in school.

Later in life when she was teaching at a University, she realized that a lot of her female students had similar thoughts and feelings that she had when she was in grad school. Here she began her research on this topic and the originals of Impostor Phenomenon began.

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the imposter experience) is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Some studies suggest that impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.[2]

Psychologists hypothesis that Impostor Syndrome is most common among high achieving women.  Interestingly, many women experience it for the first time while in graduate school.  (A very intense and high stress experience.)

It’s not surprising that we see Impostor Syndrome among women at coding bootcamps since bootcamps are (in many ways) similar to graduate school.

  • The expectations are higher
  • The lessons move very quickly
  • There is a lot of work outside the classroom
  • You need deep focus & discipline to succeed
  • You get very little sleep
  • It’s a highly competitive environment.

Further research also shows that IP can be even more pervasive among women of color from marginalized populations. The research regarding Impostor Syndrome has traditionally highlighted groups who are “excelling in areas that were not always readily accessible to them”.[2]

This would certainly be applicable to women in tech.  (A culture dominated my males where female credibility can be tested on a constant basis.)  We hear stories of female software engines being the only female on their team, sometimes second guessed by their bosses, and even asked if a project was in fact “their own work”.   This is a high stakes environment where women are not always expected to necessarily succeed. Knowing more about IP and how it works can be helpful in understanding your own thoughts and views regarding your own success.

Here are a few sample questions from Dr. Clance’s  Impostor Phenomenon scale. 

  1. I have often succeeded on a test or task even though I was afraid that I would not do well before I undertook the task.

(not at all true)    (rarely)    (sometimes)   (often)   (very true)

  1. I can give the impression that I’m more competent than I really am.

(not at all true)    (rarely)    (sometimes)   (often)   (very true)

  1. I avoid evaluations if possible and have a dread of others evaluating me.

(not at all true)    (rarely)    (sometimes)   (often)   (very true)

*Sample questions may not be representative of the entire 20-item scale. To access FULL scale permission, please contact Dr. Clance (drpaulinerose@comcast.net).  

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Dr. Carol talks Empowerment, Self-esteem and Women in Tech. 

Recent interview with UnknownDr. Carol where she talks about empowerment, self-esteem and women in tech.

https://soundcloud.com/breakingintostartups/59-dr-carol-langlois-how-self-esteem-empowerment-are-changing-the-ratio-through-hackbright