Not long ago I felt trapped in my own business. One would say that this is something normal to experience these days but the reality was that I was putting too much pressure on myself to bring results. I could no longer connect to the joy of working on my business. I felt dreaded, stuck in a bad place with no good energy to pump into it.
Following a deep conversation with myself, I discovered that what my business needed was dedicated playtime. It was time for my inner child to come out to play and support me in my entrepreneurial journey.
Why is your inner child a key member of your team when building your business?
1. He/she believes anything is possible
The Adult in us forgets to dream big and to connect to possibility and magic. We are too scared of wanting big things for ourselves and we often choose to listen to the voice saying that “you should be happy with what you have right now”.
Well known entrepreneurs are strong visionaries. They dream big and never stop experimenting. Who else, if not the inner child is best at imagining things beyond your wildest dreams ? And since everything that we can imagine we can create, the role of your inner child is key in this process. Because he/she sees no limit for what can be accomplished. The voices of doubt and criticism are just soft whispers, if they speak at all.
2. He/she brings energy, joy and ease
As adults, we often forget why we started, we get entangled in the everyday routine and allow our mistakes and past failures to drain us. Working relentlessly to make things happen can easily lead to burnout unless we take the time to bring the spark and the joy into our daily activities.
If jumping out of bed with enthusiasm has become a distant memory of the past, reconnecting to your inner child can bring the relief you are craving for. Think of how you felt on Christmas mornings knowing there will so many presents for you to open.
3. Time for play
No joy, no play, no profit.
Any business needs a creative owner. Especially small businesses and start ups. But you tried everything and there is nothing else you can think of that could help.
Your inner child can help you with the experimentation and generation of ideas. So set aside dedicated playtime, even if you think you are not the creative type: go back to the period when you used to build castles out of nothing and use this energy to invigorate your business.
Playtime is not only about brainstorming and being creative. It means moving your body too. Kids jump up and down, run, hide and dance. Movement boosts your mood and makes you more focused. Your business needs a healthy playful owner.
4. Less judgement and no guilt
Kids have no expectations of how things “should be” and are extremely resilient. They scream, let everything out and start playing again. No resentments, no guilt, no worries for the future.
If you are judging yourself harshly for falling down and making a mess, adopt the child’s ability to bounce back really quickly. You owe it to yourself to get up and continue.
5. Stay curious and ask questions
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask”Albert Einstein
Adults get stuck in the “expert” role and believe they have all the answers.
On the other hand, kids are really good at being curious: they have a strong thirst of discovering how things work and always bring tons of questions at the table.
If there is something they want to find out, they make use of the gift that curiosity is and push further than the eye can see. They knock on doors, look behind and below all things and aren’t afraid to explore all options.
Sometimes embracing the beginner’s mind is all you need: this means fresh eyes, no preconceived ideas and expectations about what needs to happen and a place of openness to possibilities.
6. He/she looks up at the sky
If you notice children, they look up at the sky, cloud and the sun more often than us. While we are so caught up in our own stories, they are extremely present. The noise inside our head makes us overlook things that a child can easily notice.
How do you see the world?
When we feel overwhelmed we have the tendency to keep our head down and our spine curved. We keep looking at the ground and we easily lose sight of our vision, our mission, the heroes who inspire us and the clients who need you.
These are a few simple things that we, as kids, used to do naturally.
We lost some of the abilities along the way, as we tend to lose ourselves in daily routine. This is part of the natural process because we do need to grow up. We do need the Adult in our lives: he/she is the one able to manage the entire journey, to provide direction and keep a safe loving space for your hurt inner child.
Knowing when and how to access the gifts of the inner child is the art of managing yourself as a business owner. And, as you might be guessing, decision making, finances, strategy or planning are not to be left in the hands of a kid.
In case your inner child is really hurt be kind and gentle to yourself and set the intention to step into your Adult self, who can hold and space and find solutions. Last but not least, ask for support.
Finally, finding the right mix to make the journey joyful and creative requires your inner team to work together at all times. So don’t neglect it!