How Embracing Your Inner Child Helps You Thrive as an Entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the biggest and most beautiful personal development journeys you’ll ever go on. It is deep, it is confrontational, it is empowering. And it brings up all kinds of stuff from your past, that is blocking your way to success. As you delve into this exciting adventure, at some point, you will meet your inner child. And they are often the key to some of the most valuable insights, and help you to open many doors previously locked – but only if we dare to face the truth.
I went on a women’s retreat this past weekend. A large part of the work we did, was around seeing our inner child, and what patterns, beliefs and habits from our childhood were still having a major impact on our current lives.
You sometimes think you’re OK, you’re past that, you’ve got it all worked out, you’re cool. And then, when you peel off another layer of the onion, you find out there are still issues buried deep down that need to see the light. Because those issues are often beliefs that are no longer serving us.
Looking at ourselves as a 7-year old
One of the exercises we did on the retreat, was to look at a photo of ourselves as a child. What could we see? What were we told back then, by our parents, relatives, teachers? How did it make us feel? And how was this still affecting us to this very day? It was powerful to gain those insights, especially as we were asked to say positive things back at ourselves as a child, looking at the photo.
You can do this exercise at home, right now. Find such a photo of yourself, and try it. Look at yourself as a child. What did your parents tell you? What beliefs about life, and yourself did they instill in you? How do you feel when looking at this photo?
Write down all that comes up, in your notebook.
Perhaps you always heard that you had to be quiet, that your ideas were worthless, that you were ugly, lazy, not as smart as your siblings, didn’t work hard enough…that you had to do as you were told. Perhaps you were told not to bother other people. To not cry. To be strong. Or that ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. Which messages are still very much alive in you to this day? Which have shaped you? Who said these things to you? How are they holding you back?
What would you tell your 7-year old self in that photo right now? Would you say those same things to them? Why not?
Your inner child deserves love and nurturing
Doing the inner work is hugely important to me, and it is an ongoing journey. It is teaching me so, so much. And it helps me in all aspects of my life, including my business.
My little version in my photo was already so incredibly talented, smart, funny, and creative – I know that now, aged 44. But she was also shy, serious, and not putting herself forward enough, not taking center stage. Scared to make mistakes, to draw too much attention, to be ridiculed. Believing others were smarter, or more talented. So she chose to shine only in her local, familiar circles, keeping herself small, to stay safe.
And what have I done for way too many years in my adult life? Exactly that. Not believing I deserved huge success in my career, or a huge income, or everything else I ever dreamed of. That was meant for others, not the likes of me. Where did these beliefs come from…? My mother, my father. Their parents. The generations before that. “We are simple people”.
Do you recognise these patterns in your own life? Are you keeping yourself smaller than necessary? What was said to you at a young age that you still believe?
Become a better entrepreneur by changing the story
So much of our current struggles and blockages come from our childhood. As an entrepreneur, this can really rear its ugly head. Perhaps you are the first in your lineage to be your own boss, or to do something very different with your life. When you start to grow, and become more successful, you often suddenly hit a wall. You don’t deserve this, and can’t do this. You are not good enough to go any higher than this.
These beliefs come straight from our parents, and their parents. Generations back. It is not their fault, they were simply not conscious or aware. Their parents taught them and then your parents raised you. But we can break that cycle, and change the limiting beliefs of our inner child. Tell them they are safe and more than capable. This is necessary if we are passionate about our personal growth.
Only today, I had a powerful call with one of my coaching clients, who, despite hitting her initial income goals, had hit a mental block. We talked about her core values, and discovered that many of them were in fact values she felt she had to have, in order to fit in and get outer validation. They were not her most important values at all, but instead were drilled into her by her family, her catholic background, and the fear of being different. We listed her most important values that were truly belonging to her. It was confrontational. She was afraid to put those into the spotlight, because her inner child was taught to be a ‘good girl’, and not be weird or cause trouble.
Without honoring your true spirit, you will end up at a dead end sooner or later. It will keep knocking on your door until you finally embrace it.
The holistic approach to business coaching
As I am learning more and more about doing mindset and inner work, connecting to your true self, and how to overcome negative self-beliefs, I integrate these things more and more in my work as a coach. I see the benefits, when working with clients.
I hold space, and offer a safe environment to bring their true feelings, mind blocks and values to the surface. And then I help them integrate what they discover about themselves.
Being an entrepreneur to me is a holistic process. Just working on marketing won’t cut it. You’ve got to work on all aspects. It is such a personal journey, and I love being a small part of that journey, planting seeds, and helping my clients on their way to grow in confidence, and manifesting their dreams. It is wonderful to see the transformation in them over the space of six months.
Whatever your inner child stories are, don’t believe any of them. They are not true. You are a shining star, and you can achieve anything you want in life.
I am here if you need me.