Remember a time when you knew for sure that you could do something. Maybe it was when you had studied for a test and suddenly knew that you could answer all the questions. Or maybe it was when you had been working on a particular dance move and suddenly it seemed like you had been doing it forever. Or perhaps it was when you were learning how to play the flute and it amazingly began to sound exactly like you thought it should. It was at that moment you knew you were capable. You knew that you could handle the situation. You had faith in yourself and you knew you had worth and value. That feeling of self-efficacy is a result of know that you are capable.
C4K has a video, I Am Capable which focuses on three strategies to help young people learn that they are capable. First the video covers the importance of imagining yourself successful and then practicing the habits of capable people: focus, concentration, respect, discipline, confidence, and responsibility. Secondly the video talks about the importance of making the decision to become capable and the importance of setting realistic short term goals which can lead to more long term plans. Finally the video talks about the importance of choosing success phrases to repeat over and over, becoming the self-talk mantra you need to chase doubt away.
Although it may seem so, you don’t just wake up one day and find out that you are capable. There are no “overnight” successes. It takes intentionality and practice along the way to become truly capable. Sharing strategies that will help youth feel more capable is an essential part of your work as an afterschool leader. Remember, every day, in every way, you are a role model and mentor for youth. Be the very best you can be and give the young people you work with the permission to do the same.