In the first part of this post, we looked how child’s play is as simple as A-B-C and how adopting a child-like attitude to life, can help us become more uninhibited, happy and fun loving. So if A is for changing your attitude, what is B for?
B is for Belief
Children believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the magic of life. They see things we don’t see. Their positive attitude helps with this. Children believe in fairy stories. What’s your story? Once upon a time, there was a lady (insert your name as appropriate) and she thought she could do anything! Is that you? Is that the story of how it’s all going to play out in your head?
My 7 year old Nephew told me that Father Christmas knew what he wanted to Christmas even though he’d not written him a letter (he doesn’t like writing, and would rather play football). I said ‘Oh yeah Fred, how will Father Christmas know?’ He said ‘He is like God Auntie Lisa, he can see everything, even when you are having a wee wee so of course he knows what I want for Christmas!!!’
I want to show you how a belief in yourself and your ability, can move mountains. This is something we do at my ‘The Secret Ingredients of Self Confidence’ workshop with the children. I want you to close your eyes and pretend you are standing at the top of a multi storey car park and looking down at all the tiny people and cars. Or I want you to imagine that there is a spider crawling up your leg. How you feeling there right now? If you are scared of heights or spiders, I can guarantee that you are feeling pretty scared. Like things that go bump in the night, you can convince yourself of your reality by the thoughts you think. Everything starts with a thought. This is also why I created my magical Smiley Thought Cards so that children can marinade in happy thoughts which make them feel good about themselves.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right!”
How strong is your self belief? If you tell yourself you are rubbish or that you can’t do it, then you won’t do it and you will be rubbish. You are in control of your brain and you tell it what to think. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and get you. Do not listen to the nay sayers who are fearful and doubtful. You become like the people you are around and their negativity can rub off on you.
C is for Courage
By courage – we mean stepping out of your comfort zone or experiencing change on a regular basis that feels uncomfortable. I see this all the time in my work. I’m so proud of my 10 year old client as she is starting to overcome her fear of rejection with some mini goals and gentle encouragement. In the last week she has asked her friends (some who are not always pleasant to her) 9 times at playtime if she could join in and play. To her surprise, they said yes 9 times too! There was a huge smile on her face and when I asked her what she had learnt, she said ‘If I keep practising and asking people, then my fear will get smaller – courage is stronger than fear!” Wonderful stuff. Then, when I asked her how she felt she said ‘I know it sounds strange, but my heart feels happier!” So we drew hearts with smiley faces in her coaching journal. What a lovely way to describe a feeling. When we told her parents what she had achieved, her Dad said he was taking her out that afternoon to buy a new tropical fish which they called Brave.
“Giving up is easy, Holding on and getting through it takes courage.”
Nothing lasts for ever and any temporary uncomfortable feelings will and do pass. Just as the good times do which is why we need to make the most of them. Sitting with horrible feelings can be quite tough sometimes.
Have you ever watched a child learning how to walk? What do they do? Yep, they fall on their little bots and then get straight back up and try again.
If you find yourself short of courage, I recommend finding a role model. When I’m coaching, we find somebody who we admire and want to be like. We match and mirror their every being, so we can fake it until we make it. I once coached a boy who was worried about speaking out loud in class. Together we discovered tips and techniques for overcoming nerves and speaking in front of class. He very cleverly related his fear to what the contestants of “I’m A Celebrity” were feeling. He recognised that the ones who focused on their fear, didn’t get far whereas those who thought happy and positive thoughts or distracted themselves were successful. He then declared that Dec would be his role model as he was a confident and entertaining presenter. Cue You Tube clips for matching and mirroring Dec’s presenting style. We had so much fun reading out loud from a book and critiquing each other. Stand up straight, shoulders back, smile when you talk, talk slowly, make eye contact (no staring, no looking at the floor), deep breaths and most of all believe in yourself. Children can learn some of these magical coaching techniques at my Secret Ingredients of Self Confidence workshop.
How much courage do you have when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone? Look at what makes you feel uncomfortable.
Child’s Play is as Easy as A-B-C
Remember a time when you were so much more carefree? You can go there again. Lighten up a little and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is short and life is precious. There are lots more childlike qualities you can develop to help you feel happier in your day to day life. Here are a few more to get you thinking:-
- Persistence – children don’t give up easily. If you tell them in 5 minutes, they will come back in two and ask you again! Are we there yet? Can I have an ice cream? You have to keep on going with life through low points and know and trust that good times are just around the corner.
- Repetition – a child who says the same thing over and over until you feel as if your ears may hurt – Can I play with Tom? Can I have a drink now please? Can I do it? Keeping on keeping on until you’ve mastered the art of something new. The more you do something, the better you become at it and the more confident you feel.
- Good Memory – if you have promised something to a child, you can guarantee (especially if sweets or money are involved) they won’t forget it. I think in life, this equates to remembering what your goals are and going back to basics when you become overwhelmed. Keep your mind active and challenge it. My weekly aerobics class is heavy on the choreography which means I’m challenging my mind and co-ordination, as well as exercising.
- Make Friends Easily – remember that non-judgemental attitude with no fear of rejection means they form connections with others easily. If you are wishing that you had more supportive people around you or you have outgrown old relationships, sign up to a new group and make an effort to get to know some new folk.
- Curiosity – Children who ask why? That was me! They are not accepting of things being just the way they are. They want to know why – how it happens – where it comes from. Are you challenging what you are doing and making tweaks to your life or are you just doing things the way you’ve always done them and expecting different results. That’s the definition of insanity apparently.
There is so much our children can teach us about ourselves and our lives. Look at your attitude, your self belief and your courage and try a childlike approach. Have fun, love what you do and make sure you get downtime to relax and reward yourself for all your hard work.
What child like qualities could you add to your daily life? Share your ideas with us here in the comments section below.