Youth Confidence + Self-Esteem Workshops

Highly Interactive Leadership Training Programs for Youth

Research suggests:

The confidence tools we teach in our leadership training programs for youth, Outstanding Youth: Confident + Unstoppable, are based on research which collectively suggests that learned power [confidence]:

  • Improves performance.
  • Leads us to approach rather than avoid challenges – and approaching leads us to feel more confident, optimistic – and happier.
  • Improves the ability to self-regulate (so important for today’s youth).
  • Improves executive functioning (the part of our brain that makes decisions).
  • Increases authentic feelings of power-confidence.
  • Enhances creativity.
  • Boosts authenticity.


Click on below images to view Youth Confidence Research

and Teen Self Esteem Research. 

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Power leads us to approach rather than avoid challenges, and approaching leads us to feel more confident, optimistic – and happier. Smith PK, Bargh JA. Nonconscious effects of power on basic approach and avoidance tendencies. Social cognition. 2008; 26 (1):1-24.
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Confidence, ranks high on the list of skills companies think employees are missing most. First-impression traits are the most critical...A manager can read you the moment you walk in the door, from the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your first hand-shake. Even the most seasoned of CEOs can get tripped up by the basics. Casserly, Meghan. Top Five Personality Traits Employers Hire Most,
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Fresh challenge-approach habits may help anxiety, and prevent problems from persisting into adult life. Negative thoughts are believed to drive and maintain feelings of low mood and anxiety. Changing young people's negative interpretations of situations may help those with anxiety, and may prevent problems persisting into adult life. Lothmann, C., Holmes, E., Chan, S., & Lau, J. (2011). Cognitive bias modification training in adolescents: effects on interpretation biases and mood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(1), 24-32. Self esteem in adolescence may be supported by our youth confidence workshop, Outstanding Youth: Confident + Unstoppable.
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Changing behavior, even when doing so is [initially] disingenuous, can create genuine, authentic and important benefits. Psychological Science. 2012; 23(11):1372-8.
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There is a strong association between negative thinking and depression in adolescents. Negative cognitions were associated with self-report measures of both depressive and anxious symptoms. Cognitions, depressive symptoms, and development in adolescents. Garber, Judy; Weiss, Bahr; Shanley, Nancy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 102(1), Feb 1993, 47-57.
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Challenge-approach tools like we teach may protect against Depression & Substance Abuse. High optimism protects against depression, and appears to cut the risk by nearly half in teens. Those with high optimism were less likely to engage in heavy substance use or antisocial behavior. Patton, G., Tollit, M., Romaniuk, H., Spence, S., Sheffield, J., & Sawyer, M. (n.d.). A Prospective Study of the Effects of Optimism on Adolescent Health Risks. Pediatrics, 308-316. Self esteem in adolescence may be supported by our youth confidence workshop, Outstanding Youth: Confident + Unstoppable.

Confidence breeds success and it can be taught

“…Confidence is teachable…it’s not something anyone is born with…We have responsibility to foster the next generation by teaching them to:  Speak up and speak confidently; Walk into a room like you belong there…”. Confidence Breeds Success — And It Can Be Taught, Beth Monaghan,

Youth may be inoculated against depression when taught skills that transform helplessness into mastery

Learning these skills [like the thinking tools we teach youth] not only reduces the risk of depression but boosts school performance, improves physical health, and provides youth with the self-reliance they need as they approach adulthood. Seligman, M. (1996). The Optimistic Child. New York : HarperCollins

Tools for engaging others, like those we teach, increase connection and lifelong happiness

Author Tamar Chansky reports that, “The path to happiness is not paved with the GPAs, SAT scores, salaries…instead research tells us that it is paved with engaging in meaningful and satisfying activities, staying connected to others and feeling gratitude for what one has.”  Chansky, T. (2008). Freeing your child from negative thinking: Powerful, practical strategies to build a lifetime of resilience, flexibility, and happiness. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press.

The capacity of a person to learn new skills will never be greater than during youth and the risk for depression increases as a young person gets older

The risk for depression increases as a child gets older. 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18. Girls are more likely than boys to experience depression.  Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15 to 44. National Institute of Mental Health.

Challenge-approach skills are associated with greater social support and more frequent, higher-quality social interactions

The challenge-approach habit of optimism is associated with greater perceived social support and more frequent, higher-quality social interactions. Even more, these habits lead people to exercise more, eat a healthier diet and refrain from smoking. Uchino, B. (2009). Understanding the Links Between Social Support and Physical Health: A Life-Span Perspective with Emphasis On the Separability of Perceived and Received Support. Perspectives on Psychological Science May 2009 vol. 4 no. 3 236-255.

Challenge-approach skills like those we teach boosts the immune system

Optimists have less illness, and recover more quickly than pessimists. Depression lowers the functioning of the immune system, while studies of optimism suggest that it influences good health outcomes. Allen-West, C. (2010). Optimism Boosts the Immune System. Association for Psychological Science.  

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Looking like a leader is the first step to becoming one

In order to portray [confidence – in adults we call it executive presence], superiors must perceive you as having ‘gravitas’, excellent communication skills, a polished appearance – and these things can be learned. This according to a study, Executive Presence:  The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, conducted by Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent and Innovation, and as reported by Forbes staff writer Jenna Goudreau in Do You Have Executive Presence?

Challenge-approach tools, like those we teach, improve academic performance - and reduce anxiety

In a study of students in the demanding medical and engineering fields, a significant positive relationship was found between optimism and academic achievement. In addition, anxiety was reduced. Singh, I., & Jha, A. (n.d.). Anxiety, Optimism and Academic Achievement among Students of Private Medical and Engineering Colleges: A Comparative Study. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology.

Stress and isolation increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, while the power skills we teach are shown to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and may increase social engagement

According to the World Heart Federation, a chronically stressful life, social isolation, anxiety and depression increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Harvard (previously mentioned study) showed that power skills reduced cortisol and stress. World Heart Federation, Stress and Cardiovascular Disease; more at

Self esteem in adolescence may be supported by our teen confidence workshop, Outstanding Youth: Confident + Unstoppable.

Increased confidence may foster world peace, as aggression appears to be driven by ego threat. Aggressiveness is eliminated when one’s sense of self-worth is boosted

A study of 410 people employed at various levels in various companies examined when and why power holders seek to harm other people. The present research found that that aggression among those in power [positions] is often the result of a threatened ego. Individuals with [situational] power become aggressive when they feel incompetent in the domain of power. Aggression appeared to be driven by ego threat: Aggressiveness was eliminated among participants whose sense of self-worth was boosted. Fast, N. J., & Chen, S. (2009). When the boss feels inadequate: Power, incompetence, and aggression. Psychological Science, 20, 1406-1413.

Challenge-approach mindsets like optimism linked to better long-term health

Challenge-approach young men were more likely to be in good health decades later.  In a 35-year longitudinal study, a habitual pessimistic explanatory style (the belief that bad events are caused by stable, global, and internal factors) is shown to be a risk factor for poor health. Peterson, C., Seligman, M., & Vaillant, G. (n.d.). Pessimistic Explanatory Style Is A Risk Factor For Physical Illness: A Thirty-five-year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 23-27.

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Learned confidence can reshape the brain for long term cumulative benefits
Exercises designed to change behavior actually change the brain and, most importantly, continues to change the quality of life. ‘So, when we change our habitual negative behaviors and, instead, respond to situations with greater resiliency, our brains will create a new map for continuing these productive habits. This powerful effect of neuroplasticity has been documented by esteemed medical reporter Sharon Begley (Wall Street Journal, Newsweek) and UCLA psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz’, reports Tamar Chansky, an expert on youth explanatory styles, per Nicole Force, “Humor, Neuroplasticity and the Power to Change Your Mind”, Self esteem in adolescence may be supported by our youth confidence workshop, Outstanding Youth: Confident + Unstoppable.

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Challenge-approach skills, like those we teach, boost productivity, perseverance and sales

A study done at Wharton’s School of Business, widely considered to be one of the world’s best business schools, looked to determine the effects of applying learned optimism in business.  After measuring the optimism levels of an sales force, it was determined that the optimistic sales people sold 35 percent more, and identified pessimists were two times more likely to quit in the first year than optimists. Schulman, Peter. Applying Learned Optimism to Increase Sales Productivity. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, (Winter 1999), 31-37.

A challenge-approach optimistic mindset enhances one’s quality of life

It is clear from research that the challenge-approach skill of optimism, which can be taught, enhances one’s quality of life across the lifespan with little cost and minimal side effects. Peterson, C., Park, N., & Kim, E. (n.d.). Can optimism decrease the risk of illness and disease among the elderly? Aging Health, 5-8.

Confidence telegraphs that you are in charge - or deserve to be (confidence referred to as ‘executive presence’ in the below adult study)

Executive presence was described as ‘an amalgam of qualities that true leaders exude, culminating in an aura that telegraphs you are in charge – or deserve to be.’  268 senior executives polled deemed gravitas having 67% support as “the most important” executive presence characteristic, followed by communication (28%) and appearance (5%). Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, Leader-Chivée, L., Sherbin, L., Gordon, J., & Dieudonné, F. (2012). Executive Presence. New York: Center for Talent Innovation.

Though this is adult related, we think it’s helpful: Gravitas is at the core of what is needed to telegraph that you’ve got what it takes – and gravitas and executive presence can be learned. This according to an interview Sylvia Ann Hewlett gave to the BBC. Sylvia Ann Hewlett on Welsh Roots, Class and Gravitas;

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