Eleni Sarantinou bLU Talks 2019

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge

I was born in Greece, the home of olives and grapes. I studied Economics and had a successful career in IT before stumbling across Life Coaching and NLP. Today, I’m an NLP trainer, a Life Coach, a wife, a mother, a world traveller. Nothing gives me more joy than sharing what I’ve learnt, and am still learning, with you. Read more

Self confidence and our little ones

Waving goodbye to my own kids this morning, the word self confidence sprang to mind. So, there was my first subject! Watching kids walk, you can actually notice a great deal about their level of self-confidence and I know that I would like mine to walk with their head up high, looking forward to a brilliant day, trusting that the universe will give them what their hearts desire!

One of the main ingredients of parenting is provide the little ones with the self confidence to cope with life’s surprises, the hurdles or the unexpected events and above all their every day relationship with themselves and others while still young or when they grow older. That is how you are measured as a parent; this is when you know that not only you did a fine job but a marvelous one!

And then, a story comes to my mind from my own childhood. It is just an event on one specific day 30 years ago but it holds all the wisdom of my parents in one fist; a well-known secret which was applied on me abundantly during my childhood and became my most valuable tool during my life: the part of self confidence built in my cells through the mere fact that my parents would always stand up for me!

I was an A+ student and a nice girl. After 6 years of elementary school being the first in my class, at the age of 11, as custom still has it in Greece, I was chosen to hold the Greek flag on the national day, a day that means a great deal to all Greeks, let alone the children. I was chosen to carry the national pride and march while others would watch, give speeches and narrate stories.

Around me, marching with me would be other students with high scores in grades and behavior and they would surround me protecting the flag; symbolically. Hundreds of people had gathered outside in the school yard, when unexpectedly my teacher had a change of heart.

He thought that a girl is not the best choice to carry the flag. And just like that, in one moment, there went the flag from my hands and was handed to my schoolmate next to me, Tsafonis. Tears and a feeling of shock started shaking my body but before I could realize the injustice fully, my mother stormed in the entrance of the school where we were standing. She asked the teacher what this change was about, pointing at the flag. The teacher asked her to step out and let him do his job. My mother insisted with the passion of a tango dancer or a bull fighter, still very politely. The teacher explained his way of thinking to her. My mother smiled, took the flag from the 11 year old Tsafonis with a comforting smile and handed to me. He looked at the teacher and said in a soft low voice:” We will talk about this later. You will have to find a way to make this up to Eleni and apologize to her for putting her through this. Now it is not the time. The crowd is waiting.”

Oh boy! Now we had two kids crying silently, myself holding this huge flag and Tsafonis! And this way, my dear friends, I made it out to the school yard where the crowd was cheering and applauding and I held that flag tight for two hours straight, proud as I have ever been!

This is not the biggest intervention of my sweet mother; there were many others; she was always there; one way or the other; she was alert and in my life; even though she was strict and not always taking my side, even though she would yell and shout when I was being naughty or unfair to another child, I knew that she would always protect me and speak up for me when my young age would not permit.

She would filter what is just or unjust and teach me the difference. But in cases of prejudice or limiting beliefs of others put upon me, she would be right beside me, a noble warrior with her golden sword of reassurance and vote of confidence. A guardian angel who would do the extra mile in order to nurture my fragile young personality and make me feel like a true princess.

This is a gift, maybe even bigger than life itself! Thanks, mum!

Change Book Cover

The Change Book Series is all about empowerment and collaboration! My chapter with title ‘Sacrifice-less’ came straight from my heart in a flash.
Read more

10% Profits go to charities

Buy1Give1 Projects
The Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital