Inner Toddler Running Your Coaching Practice?
2 Essential Tips to Harness Your Inner Adult Instead.
Do you ever wonder if your inner toddler is running your life and coaching practice? Today I'm going to share some tips that you can use to recognize when this is happening and most importantly how to get back in control and how to be the adult in your coaching business and in your life so you can make progress.
If you prefer you can watch the
I offer all of this based on my years of experience working directly with coaches. I teach, coach and mentor coaches to build the businesses they absolutely love. This always comes down to building a business that's sustainable and allows you to do what you love to do, which is coaching in a way that's easy.
Free Guide to Support You in Running Your Coaching Practice
If you haven't already, you can download my free guide: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Life Coach. If you already are a life coach and you want to learn more about how to grow your business, or if you’ve always wanted to be a life coach, be sure to grab that free guide.
How Mindset Affects Running Your Coaching Practice
Friend, I can share all the strategies in the world. I can teach you everything that you need to have a business you love and to be successful, to have freedom, but all of those strategies really don't mean much if you don't deal with your mindset.
I know it's a little controversial to say it, but without your mindset in the right spot, nothing will really make a difference. If you find that you're one of those people who is always looking for the step by step, always looking for the right strategy to follow in running your coaching practice, here’s the truth:
Yes, strategy and tactics are important, but don't forget that how you feel and how you think affects the actions that you take OR your inaction and procrastination. You can know everything you need to do, but if your mindset screwed up, it's not going to do you any good
So is your inner toddler running your life? You can think about the biology of your brain as having two separate parts. The first is the primal brain, and that is the brain that keeps you safe. It keeps you secure and recognizes danger.
The primal brain is the part of your brain that dominates the flight, fight or freeze response, and we've all experienced that, and even if you don't remember right now, you can think about the dreams you might've had where you're wishing you could run away. But you're stuck in that one spot, you're frozen, you just can't run. It's also the flight, the I've got to get out of here, that quick response to just run away as fast as you can or some of us are more dominant in the fight.
Instead of running or freezing, you might stand your ground and put up your fists and get ready to fight. So the primal brain dominates that part of your life and its part of our evolution and part of our physiology, so it's always gonna be there. That primal brain is also the place for your inner toddler, your inner two-year-old. We'll talk a little bit more about that later.
The other part of the brain that I want to talk about (and yes I know it’s simplified) is the prefrontal cortex. This is the thinking part of your brain. It's the place where you do your executive reasoning, your logic, your decision making, where you decide on the right thing to do.
So ask yourself: is your inner toddler, or the primal brain running your life and your coaching practice or are you using your prefrontal cortex? Are you using the thinking part of your brain to run things?
5 Key Questions to Identify Your Inner Toddler
Everybody has these parts of the brain, so which parts active for you right now? Well, you can know if your inner toddler is running your life by asking yourself these 5 key questions:
- Are you procrastinating all the time?
- Are you second-guessing the things that you need to do?
- Have you taken a whole bunch of action and you're doing great work and all of a sudden you're second-guessing?
- Are you getting overly busy?
- Are you doing all the busy work instead of the important work? Are you justifying why it's not going to work?
When you find these things happening, and you find yourself in that justifying place, that may be your inner toddler acting up as well.
Are you feeling resistant? Were you digging your heels and even though you know that right thing to do, you're just resistant. You find yourself thinking “I don't want to! I don't want to!” So some of these things are your indication that your inner toddler is in charge and you can flip this in just a second.
You absolutely can make that change from your inner toddler to that prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of your brain, the one that's going to allow you to take the important actions, use the strategies that you know and get moving.
2 Ways to Comfort Your Inner Toddler
1. The Metaphorical Hug
You've got some ideas now about how that inner toddler shows up. For those of you who are parents -- and if you're not, I'm sure you've got nieces and nephews or you know young people in your life and you probably have seen this.
You've probably seen this grocery store scene with parents shopping with their kids and then when they get to the cash register, one of them really wants that candy bar that is at the cash register. I remember this even from when I was a kid:” I want, I want, I want that candy bar! I really want it, Mom.” You know that whining little voice. It just won't give up.
Now, it’s fine that they want it, but it doesn't mean they get to have it and you as the parent in that situation, you get to help them. You get to say, not today. We're not doing candy bars today. Remember, you've chosen your treats for this week. They're in the basket. We're going to be buying them and you're going to get your treats when we get home.
You as the parent get to parent that inner two year-old. The inner toddler doesn't get to run the family. Your inner two year-old is the child and the parent guides the child so they know how to better take care of them. I encourage you to ask this for yourself: how can you use this metaphor in your life? How can you be the parent to your own inner toddler?
Okay, so think about this. You know what it's like that metaphor and if you don't have your own kids, you've seen it happen in the grocery store where that inner two-year-old, right after they ask for that chocolate bar, and if they hear no, they may lay down on the floor and scream and yell and throw a temper tantrum, right?
You've seen this scene play out and the parent can choose how to react. The parent can pick the child up, dust them off, give them a hug so that they know that they're safe and they're loved, and that the parent will take care of them.
In this same way, you can pick up your own inner two-year-old, comfort your own inner two-year-old and say it's okay. I know that this is difficult, but I got you. This is one of the easiest ways, the fastest way.
Once you've recognized that your inner toddler is running your life or running your coaching practice, be your own parent. Pick up that inner two-year-old and metaphorically comfort yourself. Take good care of yourself. Self-care is so important. Every time you're stretching and growing in your life, wrap your arms around yourself and say, don't worry, I got you. I know you're scared. I know you're angry. I know you're feeling resistant, but I've got you. And then let the parent guide the way.
This is one key way to switch from that primal brain, the inner toddler, to the thinking brain: comforting them, acknowledging them, giving them a hug, even if it's a metaphorical hug, and helping them to know that there's going to be another way and that you care for them and that you're going to take care of them.
Here is the second way to comfort your inner toddler, and this is something that I still do all the time. It is one of the things that is the most powerful for me, AND it's the thing that I resist the most. Even though I know how well it works, I still resist it sometimes. So when I'm thinking, oh, I don't want to do this, I don't know what to do, maybe I'm not doing the right way, maybe everybody else has done what I've done, maybe I'm not good enough... You know, all that inner chatter, that inner voice of self-doubt.
I am just like you. I have that inner voice of self-doubt just like you do. And here's what I do. I pick up my pen and I pick up a pad of paper and I write, I journal.
I write whatever is on my mind. I might write that at the top of the page --. I might say, here's what's on my mind and then get myself to five minutes to write all the things that are on my mind. Getting that thought out of my mind and onto paper is one of the most powerful ways of getting back in control so that you can take inspired action and reach your dreams.
I might say I'm worried that…, and then I answer my own implied question. Who knows what I'm worried about? Give yourself two to five minutes to just free write in a journal. You might like to do this on your phone, or on your computer. My personal choice is pen and paper.
For me, journaling helps me to connect better in my brain. The physical action of hand-writing gets me closer to what's really going on. And if you saw caught a glimpse of my paper, you know my writing is terrible, but that's not what's important.
What's important is getting it out of my head and onto the paper so that I can see it – and then I can acknowledge what I was thinking, what I'm nervous about, what I'm scared about. Why am I procrastinating? What is really going on? What am I really scared is going to happen? Am I scared that I'm not going to have the impact that I want to have? Am I scared that I'm not going to be able to help as many clients as I want to help? What am I scared about? Am I scared about looking silly? Journaling helps all of these questions come out of my head and onto the page.
Running Your Life and Running Your Coaching Practice as an Adult
If you’re scared and allowing your inner toddler to run your world, you cannot do the work then you are meant to do in this world. If you're reading this, you've got important work to do in this world.
I believe in you. I know that what you've got to say, who you've got to talk to, the impact that you want have is really, really important, and I want more than anything for you to be able to have that impact that you crave in your life.
I want you to have the fulfilled life you desire. So I want you to know that of course you will get scared sometimes. You will because you're human, right? Because you've got the same biology that I do, that primitive brain and the more evolved brain, the primitive brain is always going to be with you and that primitive brain is gonna make it feel like you got a two-year-old running around in your head sometimes.
This blog post provides you with two ways now that you can just take back control of your primitive brain. The first is to parent your inner toddler, to tell yourself, don't worry, there is no major danger here. I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to keep you safe. Parent that inner child, wrap your arms around that inner child and practice great self-care.
If you're in a period of your life where you're really stretching and growing, but you are about to practice self-care and parent yourself, then your inner child will be able to not feel so scared, not feel the need to procrastinate and resist and justify and throw these little temper tantrums.
The second practice I recommend is to grab your pen and paper and write at the top: “Here's what's on my mind.” Then take five minutes and just write it all out, and once you've written it all out, it's out of your head and onto paper. Now you can look at it and you can decide using your pre-frontal cortex, is this all valid? Is this something that I need to be worried about or is it my inner toddler feeling scared?
If you haven’t already grabbed my free download, The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Coach, you can grab it here>>> LINK. And don’t forget to join me over on my Facebook page because over the next couple of weeks I will be doing more live videos on mindset.
I can teach you all the strategies in the world, but the real importance is not what you know, what's really important is how you manage your mindset so you can get over those fears and move forward anyway to have the massive impact you want to have on this world.
If you prefer you can always watch the video!