Young Carers WA spoke to two young carers about their unique experiences with confidence. Jasmine is female, now 21 and cared for her Mum, who had Multiple Sclerosis, from when she was in year 1 to year 11. Jay is male, now 19 and has been caring for his brother, who is on the Autism Spectrum, since he was 14.
What does confidence mean to you? What does it feel like?
Jasmine: Confidence to me means a lot of different things. Mainly it means just trusting in my passion, abilities and lived experience. As a young carer I found you can experience imposter syndrome frequently, not necessarily feeling like you belong in any specific group. Sometimes just taking a moment to establish self-trust in what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about it allows you to be more confident.
Confidence doesn’t need to feel like you’re invincible. It’s just about trusting yourself.
- Confidence has help me in a way where I can do a lot of things such as communicating:
- With friends and family, trying new things.
What kind of effect has being a young carer had on your confidence?
Jasmine: As a young carer I had times where I felt incredibly confident because I knew all the crucial information about my mum’s chronic illness; her medication needs, mobility needs and how best to help her communicate but there were many times I wasn’t confident in a group of my own peers because I just felt like a fish out of water with a whole different set of issues.
- Feeling down.
What advice would you give another young carer who is struggling with their self-confidence?
Jasmine: My number one piece of advice for young carers is to find something you’re passionate about outside of your caring situation. Passion has a flow on effect allowing you to become more confident in your abilities and confident in yourself.
- To stay calm and to believe in yourself
- Give it your best shot.
- Push yourself to fullest.
- It’s all about selling yourself to the best of your ability.
Jasmine also told us how being a part of Young Carers WA affected her self-confidence.
Young Carers WA massively helped my self-confidence as a young carer because it gave me the opportunity to explore hobbies and interests at workshops and activities as I didn’t have time to do that at home because of my caring situation. It sounds simple but knowing what I enjoyed gave me confidence in myself.
The Young Carers WA camps were also extremely beneficial. They were always the highlight of my school holidays not only because of the respite aspect but because it meant when school term commenced and all my peers were talking about where they travelled with family and what they got up to I had something to contribute and I didn’t feel “othered”. The Young Carers WA activities were always just so engaging and unique. Chances are three kids went to Bali each break but not many had ever swam with sea lions whilst snorkeling.
Read here for Jasmine and Jay's tips on improving your self-confidence.
Read part one of the Confidence Blog set; Confidence: Defined.