A Confidence-Building Workshop for Little Sisters

The feeling of being judged by others is something we all deal with, but teens may be more susceptible to these thoughts and feelings than others. It can be very easy to create narratives in our own minds that are negative and counterproductive to who, and where, we want to be. Personal Development Coach and Big Sister Stephanie Wharton helped Big and Little Sisters develop strategies to counteract these obstacles to success at a recent Sister to Sister event entitled “Taking Action: A Confidence- Building Workshop.”

Stephanie lead the workshop to help Big and Little Sisters change their negative, limiting thoughts into positive statements. “There’s a thought process you can go through when you have limiting beliefs,” said Stephanie, “Or ‘lies’ as I like to call them… lies we tell ourselves. The first step is to ask yourself, ‘Is this limiting belief true?’”

Stephanie shared some of her own limiting beliefs and how she has reframed her thoughts around them. “For example, I work really hard and put in long hours on my blog posts,” said Stephanie. “However, when I’m ready to post, I get nervous.  I wonder ‘What if my colleagues judge me negatively because of this blog?’ That is a limiting belief. Then, I ask myself, ‘Is it true that people will judge me, or is that a lie I tell myself to keep from putting my thoughts out there?’”

She continues the reframing process with a second question – “If this limiting thought is true, what actions can I take to make it not true?”

Stephanie then ends her reframing process by thinking of her loved ones, her champions, the people who support her and who always have her back. “Everyone in this room has a champion, a supporter,” she said. “You all have a person who has your back all the time… probably the person who is sitting right next to you (your Big Sister). When you find yourself having limiting thoughts, ask yourself what your champion or Big Sister would say to you.”

Stephanie then asked each match to take the time to write down some of their limiting beliefs. Once they’d finished, each group set about reframing their thoughts, and sharing them with each other. This provided Bigs and Littles with a safe place to offer encouragement and support to one another.

“My biggest goal today was to get these young women to start thinking about how the limiting beliefs and stories they tell themselves stand in their way,” said Stephanie. “This is something even adults deal with. But if we can get people to start thinking about these things when they’re younger, they may develop the skills to overcome some of these obstacles.”

“These young women are more powerful than they know,” she added. “It’s just hard, when you’re in a negative situation, to see it from the other side, even as an adult. Giving them the tools to handle difficult situations in a positive way can make a big difference in their lives.”

Workshop participants not only learned techniques for handling their own limiting beliefs, they also learned that others in the room often had similar thoughts and experiences. One Little Sister tearfully encouraged another younger girl who was experiencing a lot of bullying and judgement from her peers. She said, “I was bullied at school too. I listened to, and cared about, what the bullies said. I regret it. I think you shouldn’t listen to them. You should be you and be successful and not let anyone tell you how you should be.”

The workshop proved to be a powerful experience for all who attended. One Little Sister commented, “I learned a lot of new things, including how to have a new mindset and how to be a more positive person.”

The Big Sisters who participated were also impressed with the program. “I love how they created a really safe space where people could get their thoughts out and we could encourage these young ladies so that they can grow confidently” said Big Sister Daphne.

Big Sister Ashley also found the group experience helpful. “It’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones who experience these limiting thoughts and that we can walk through these things together,” she said. “Limiting beliefs stick with us as adults, but doing the work to make them positive can, in turn, make us successful.”



For information about upcoming Sister to Sister, Brother to Brother, or other match events and workshops, visit our BBBS event calendar here

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