Here’s a situation… Why wasn’t I pleased that everyone cheered for me? Because nobody cheered for anyone else so it made me feel different. It made me believe that before completing the wall run, nobody has expected me to complete it. Which made me realise the following… I believe the biggest obstacle to women practising parkour is confidence. And the biggest misunderstanding about confidence is that you gain it when people praise you BECAUSE… Too much praise suggests the achievement was a surprise, and what really builds confidence is: an adjustment of expectation I’ll illustrate what I mean. These practitioners have agreed to let me theorise on what my first impressions might be if I met them training: Flynn Slight with a bumbly walk He doesn’t look particularly strong He’s probably amazing though Neil He looks young enough to be my son Definitely doesn’t look very strong He’s probably amazing though Leon Quite muscly really He looks quite heavy He’s probably amazing though Building on this, we all know that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I might see Flynn do a dodgy handstand (he’s probably amazing though), I might see Neil failing a climb (and have… he’s probably amazing though), and you might see me stare at a jump that you can do and then watch me walk away from it… what I hope is that you think… To summarise:
- We can help more women gain more confidence by having higher expectations of what they can achieve.
- We should assume women can do the challenges they set for themselves.
- We should probably only cheer if it’s something that the person themselves didn’t believe they could achieve, not something that we didn’t imagine they could achieve.