My favourite advert right now is the Haribo one. The one where the aging, hairy rockers have children’s voices lip synced over their own. There’s another version that shows a work meeting full of adults extolling the virtues of Haribo in the same childlike voices. I always smile when they come on as the visual image of grown adults, with such childlike voices always comes as such a surprise! It also feels like a stroke of genius to show grown adults in this way!! 🙂
Part of what makes me smile is the sense that really, even as grown adults we’re often feeling, acting and thinking exactly as we did back then as children. What’s on the outside might look different and our voices have definitely changed, but we’re still the same on the inside. We’re still ham strung by some of the same thoughts and feelings that kept us stuck back then. We’re all going about our business with an inner child, who’s sometimes scared; often playful and who’s always trying to get his/her needs met.
Our inner child is triggered and taking over when we feel that we’re;
- Always striving to do everything perfectly every time
- Thinking that if only I could achieve that one last thing everything would be OK
- Working too hard to accommodate and look after others, putting your own needs to one side
- Somehow not enough; not good enough, young/old enough; thin enough; successful enough etc etc
- Doing long hours and working extremely hard but still left feeling ‘I could have done more.’
Do you recognise any of those? Are there any others you’d add to the list?
The theory is that when we aren’t feeling OK, at some level there’s a younger version of ourself who’s feeling scared and vulnerable and who’s only able to see things in a very child like way. Take the example of perfectionism and that need to ensure that everything’s done perfectly. No mistakes. No errors. 100% perfect all the time. Even writing that feels like a pressure. Rationally and logically we all know that perfection is an illusion and that errors and mistakes are all part of learning and progress. And most importantly to err is human isn’t it?? If only we could give ourself permission to fail; or allow ourselves to draw a line under something when it’s good enough or fit for purpose. What would that be like? The inner child might be fearing the consequences; be worried about the ‘what if’s, but perhaps the rational, more adult part of you could begin to see that there is another way?
So, your homework for this week is to see if you can catch those moments when there’s a definite ‘childlike’ quality to what you’re thinking, feeling or doing. You might spot them as those moments when we’re probably feeling anxious, nervous and under pressure.
Take a couple of minutes to check out how you’re feeling and what’s triggering you. You don’t have to be critical or unkind with yourself here – remember there’s a Haribo voiced child in there who’s scared!! A great way of capturing these is in a journal or diary. Make it a habit to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. It might not make sense at the time; but when you look back days later, things that were hidden from view at the time become crystal clear in hindsight!!
If you can catch and check out those moments, you’ve then got a better chance of making a conscious decision about an approach that feels more rational and less emotionally laden.
I’d love to hear your experiences of catching and checking out your own Haribo moments. Please feel free to let me know how this helps and what you learn about yourself from this.
As always if you’re looking for someone to help you with this, then get in touch. Trust me, I know how much this stuff keeps people stuck, unhappy and in a rut. Give me a call and let’s see if I can help you to find a way through things!!