Whether you realize it or not, we all have an inner-child living inside of us. It’s best described as a subpersonality within the framework of the human mind. For some, it’s more prevalent than others, and frequently pokes its head through during the decision-making process. Some people listen more to it than others, but either way, it’s important to nurture and welcome this voice living deep inside our bodies.
One of the greatest problems I see in coaching sessions with my own clients is their desire to want to hush or silence the inner-child. Instead, welcoming this voice to the conversation can be very beneficial and help you in many areas of your life. When the inner-child speaks, it’s imperative that you listen, talk back to it and consider its point of view very carefully.
Here are four reasons this is so important.
There’s a kid inside each of us
Do you remember your mother telling you that you are growing up too quickly? Back then, you wanted to be an adult more than anything else. You wanted to drive. You wanted to wear makeup. You wanted to date. But now you’re an adult, and do you ever find yourself thinking, “I wish I was a kid again?”
That’s where your inner-child comes in. That’s the voice inside of you telling you to have fun, be silly and let loose. Forget about work for a day. Forget about the bills. Adult life is full of important responsibilities, but once in a while you just have to let go and have fun like a child. It’s healthy and good for the soul to not take things so seriously all the time no matter what’s going on in your life at the moment.
Recalling a specific time and place
Perhaps the inner-child is calling you to a time, place or specific situation from your younger days that was one of the most memorable experiences you ever had. Perhaps you were at an amusement park, sporting event or concert. Maybe it was a night out with friends. Maybe it was a certain vacation or a place you visited. Regardless, the point is that even though you’re all grown up, you need to listen to the voice and indulge in more of these adventures and activities whether they are big or small. When these feelings surface, this is your inner-child’s way of telling you to get away from the norm or status quo.
It’s about healing the wounds of the past
We can all recount bad choices and mistakes of the past, but unless you help your inner-child heal and recover, living in the present and planning for the future will always be difficult. Maybe it was something humiliating like kicking the soccer ball into your own goal, not reaching the bathroom in time and having an accident in your pants or walking through the school cafeteria and dropping your tray of food only to find all the other kids laughing and pointing at you. Maybe it was something more personal like a good relationship gone south, being arrested for shoplifting or inflicting hurt on another person.
The inner-child will rehash and relive these painful experiences until you learn to truly accept them, forgive, apologize (to ourselves or others) and let go. We must show love and acceptance to our inner-child, as this is the only way to heal, move on and not continue to be inflicted with the pain of these unpleasant times. This is the opportunity to go back in time and let your younger you know just how wonderful, beautiful and special you truly are.
One of the most prevalent times your inner-child is likely to appear is when you’re facing a decision you are unsure about. Naturally, when we were children, doubt and uncertainty scared many of us. So, it’s no surprise then, that when faced with these moments as adults, the inner-child decides to show up. Don’t let this scare you; instead, listen to that voice as it is trying to guide you in the decision-making process. Ask it questions, speak with it and listen to what it has to say.
When you can start to see your inner-child as your partner helping to guide you through this crazy life, it’s amazing what can happen. Don’t fight it. Go with it and see how it changes your life for the better.
Steve Siebold is a psychological performance and mental toughness coach. He is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class.