The Confidence of Your Inner Child
“Don’t be mad,
cause I’m doing me
Better than you doing you.”
— Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)
What did you love to do when you were a kid? (What did you love to do when you were alone, or with friends?) Was it build huge structures and worlds out of legos? Was it drawing weird creatures and imagining them coming to life?
When I was growing up I did so many things. I would draw, build legos, fight imaginary battles with a tree branch as a sword (still have the scar to prove it) My sisters and I grew up in a great neighborhood with a flock of kids the same age. We would bike, skateboard, run around, climb things we weren’t supposed to and all manner of shenanigans. (My own version of sandlot)
The older I get, the more value I see in being childish. I have a strong gut feeling that the closer we get to our inner child, the closer we are to our true self. Our true self is the kind of person we would love to be, someone who doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable things, or from trying new things. Someone who just does things. Someone who is resilient, kind, insightful, opinionated and capable living past fear, and boldly moving on from failure.
Our inner child Is filled with wonder and possibility and has no doubt about who he or she is, no fear of failure, no worry or stress about what to do or who to be. Our inner child just is — he / she loving who we are, the way we are.
I think as kids we feel invincible.
We don’t shy away from things, because what’s there to shy away from?
But somewhere down the line circumstance tells us to be cautious.
And in some cases, the circumstance is right. We should be cautious. Crossing the street can be dangerous. Sometimes stranger-danger is no joke. And if you jump off enough things, you’re bound to injure yourself. The problem is being cautious is a slippery slope towards being hesitant.
We are hesitant to make new friends because, ‘what if they don’t like me?’
We are hesitant to try new things because, ‘what if I suck at it?’
We are hesitant to go outside our comfort zones because, ‘what if I embarrass myself?’
And the inner child in all of us says 'So What?'
Kids don’t think, ‘man I really suck at this’.
No! They think they’re great at everything! And maybe their josh-awful at it, but at least they are trying. To master anything, you must start as a beginner, just like everyone else, and then you must give it your all.
So what if I embarrass myself? Own it. Go ahead embarrass yourself. What’s it to them? By stepping outside your comfort zone, you’re doing what 80% (just made up that number) of the population won’t do. Be proud of that.
As humans, we are not invincible. (Just vincible) But that doesn’t mean we play our life safe. Be cautiously optimistic. Feel invincible while being smarter too.
You might end up worse, or better off. Play it safe and you’ll only get the same.
Your challenge today is to do something you loved to do as a kid. (Something no average mainstream abiding adult would ever do... scratch that — especially what no average mainstream abiding adult would ever do)
It could be something as simple as an activity you haven’t done in years:
Throw frisbee with a friend, play pretend and build an epic imaginary adventure across your city, join a pickup basketball game with strangers at the YMCA. Build a pillow fort with your kids. (Building a pillow fort is always a great idea)
Whatever you do, the sillier the better. There are no brownie points for half-assing things. (Sure you could play Mario, but so is everyone else in the world, 50 years old and down)
Challenge: Do something childish.
Call a friend and invite them to do it too.
Take a photo, tell me what you did! tag me @renaissance.life on Instagram or email me Josh@renaissancelife.com. Make it public for all to see. Make them jealous of your new childlike freedom.
Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
“The most sophisticated people I know - inside they are all children. ” ― Jim Henson
"I think you have to keep a childlike quality to play music or make a record." — Beck
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'" — Eleanor Roosevelt