This approach is something that is talked about in both Positive Intelligence and in Dr. Dyer’s work. I’ve also coached people using this approach (and I’ve used it for myself) and, when executed correctly, it’s very powerful.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Find a childhood picture of yourself (ideally a picture from when you were fairly young). I use the one above from when I was about 5 years old.
Step 2: Take at least 3-5 minutes to quiet your mind. You could take a brief walk outside or just take a few minutes and do some deep breathing exercises.
Step 3: Look at your childhood picture. Don’t judge yourself, your hair, your clothes, etc. Just really look at who you are in that picture. Notice your eyes, your smile, your spirit. Really see your essence, your spirit. Then think of (and write down) some “I am” statements. For example, when I looked at my picture, the “I am” statements that came to mind for me were:
- I am bold
- I am courageous
- I am confident
- am playful
Step 4: Put that picture somewhere where you can see it every day. You might even put your “I am” statements with it.
This might seem like a silly exercise, but I promise you when you execute it well, it will change things for you in powerful ways.
For example, I had a client who is a high-performing senior manager and I was worried that he’d think it was a stupid exercise. But he embraced the activity and he said it changed him in the following ways: it helped him to re-connect to the kid inside of him, it brought him tremendous empathy for himself (which he could also then extend to others), and it helped him re-connect to the joy in life, his wife and his kids.
Any of these approaches will help you find and trust the inner spirit that served you so well back in the day.
Do you know the one?
The one that wasn’t afraid to conquer new worlds, who found joy in the adventure and didn’t worry about falling short or failing – because that was all part of the fun.
I hope that you’ll give one of these 3 activities a try, or better yet, use them all. They work together.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a note. I am always happy to answer questions!