What advice do we give to children that we need to give ourselves as adults?

1.  Distraction

“ooh look, look what’s over here”

Adults distract children from tears and pain.  How we can we distract ourselves in a positive way?  What can we control in any situation and where are we placing our focus.

2.  Playtime

“Go and let off some of that energy and have some fun”

What do you do to have fun?  Children tend to be more active but their playtime is fun filled and active.  We need to laugh more as adults, the physical and emotional benefits of laughter are important and we should be actively finding people or activities that are fun.

3.  Are you following the crowd?

“If they told you to jump off a bridge would you do it?”

Are you succumbing to peer pressure or staying true to yourself and your ethics, morals and values? Are you spending time and energy on the things that are important to you or the things that are important to somebody else?

The time and energy you are investing?  Is that taking you forward to the person you want to become and the goals you want to achieve?

Are the people around you helping you get there, or holding you back?

4.  Outside break time?

“The fresh air will do you good”

Do you force yourself outside at lunchtime for some fresh air and a quick walk around the block, carpark or local park (if you are lucky)

Are you rewarded for working through the lunchbreak you are entitled to?

Would you be more productive if you stepped outside for half an hour and took the time to re-energise and refresh?

5.  Challenge Self Limiting beliefs

“Can’t was made to try”

No such word as Can’t.  How do you know if you haven’t tried?  Go for your dreams you can be anything you want to be.  You can’t …YET!  All things we were told as children to challenge any self-limiting beliefs that we had.  How often do you challenge these beliefs as an adult?  If you changed the internal conversation to one similar to a parent child how much more would you step outside of your comfort zone?

Are you allowing self-awareness to hold you back?  The lack of self awareness that children have is very refreshing.  Be more like ‘Phoebe from Friends’ run in whatever way you want, sing when you walk down the street, smile and say hello to strangers.  Stop worrying about what other people think of you, it really is none of your business!

6.  Bedtime is important!

“It can wait until morning; go to sleep!”

We get tired and grumpy just like toddlers and we don’t function as well either! Poor sleep can result in poor concentration and less productivity so sometimes leaving it until the morning is really not a bad idea!   How many reasons are you listing off as to why you can’t go to bed? Does it really have to be done right now or can it wait until morning?

7.  Screen time should be limited

“That’s enough for one day”

How much time are you spending on your computer, watching TV or even computer games?  Should you have a screen time limit?  What could you be doing that is more productive?  Does this type of activity reduce your stress levels or increase them?  If you reduced this activity by just 25% of the time what else could you achieve?

8.  Ask lots of questions

“because I said so”

Have you stopped asking questions because you don’t want to be seen as not having all the answers?  Are you embarrassed when you have to ask ‘why’? Ask, ask and ask again.  Don’t hold back from asking, it is how you learn.  Be a critical thinker, challenge what you hear and look for the evidence base from both sides of the argument.   Don’t be put off by the possibility of hearing the word ‘No’.  Fear of rejection is not a valid reason to hold yourself back.  Don’t say ‘no’ to yourself.

9.  Chores first fun second

“but you found time to do the things YOU wanted to do”

Start with the ‘Need to do’ tasks before you do the ‘like to do’.    Use the ‘like to do’ tasks as a reward for getting the other tasks done first.  If you are putting something off be honest with yourself as to why you don’t want to do it, especially if it is a task you have set yourself!

10.  Be nice

“If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all”

Be nice, be nice to people, be nice to people for no reason at all.  Being negative about other people fills your own head with negativity.  It doesn’t feel nice, it isn’t nice to do and people don’t like to spend time with people who do it!

Zoe Thompson

Springboard Trainer


The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd.

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