Reclaiming my Childhood Self

(Estimated reading time 1 1/2 minutes)

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I was asked that question recently and really couldn’t remember wanting to be anything. What I could remember is that my pre-school self was utterly absorbed by being in the moment. I remember filling giant holes with water and submerging myself in the mud. I remember bossing my brothers around as we drove our toy cars on the driveway. I recall exploring the magical place under the willow tree, running riot with my cousins on the farm, eating fairy-tale castle cakes and listening to my mom read stories that filled my imagination. If I think about that 5-year-old self, what she had was an ability to be entirely in the present moment. Perhaps my parents will correct me, but I remember enjoying myself. A lot. I was happy.

Strangely, this is what came to mind as I considered the question. I didn’t want to be anything other than who I was. The very next thoughts were of how far away I have managed to travel, as an adult, from that place of acceptance, presence and enjoyment. Over the years, I became caught up criticizing, re-hashing and rehearsing. I forgot about joy. I lost acceptance. I overlooked the magic of the moment.  

The most significant personal growth work I’ve done recently has been learning to be present and reminding myself to find the joy in what I am doing right now. I have just realized that it’s not about learning these things for the first time but returning to who I was naturally as a preschooler. It’s a new perspective. I’m not struggling to teach the old dog new tricks but rather nudging myself towards what I already knew at a young age, towards what once came naturally. It’s a letting go of striving, of expectations, of what should be, could be and realizing that we are made for joy and joy is found right now at this moment.

My 5-year-old self is nudging me to reclaim playful, joyful, creative, present, accepting, open and imaginative.

What parts of your childhood self do you want to reclaim?

A short clip from last week’s interview

Here’s a one minute eighteen second segment of my interview with Joie Garrity where I describe why I became a courage coach. Spoiler alert – it has nothing to do with being good at courage!

You can find the rest of the 20 minute interview here

I’d love to hear how you are practicing courage and what you have learned in the process. Let’s be brave together!

Sue Das, Courage Coach, CPCC, ACC, B SocSc (SW)

If you want to learn more about coaching with me, you can connect with me here

3 thoughts on “Reclaiming my Childhood Self

  1. That is good advice. As adults we definitely have wider perspectives and better consequence prediction than we did as kids, so it can be difficult to experience “care free” moments. But as you suggest, with practice we can increase our joy by being in the moment, and recognize times when it’s okay to not have everything in control. Very few things beat a shared smile with someone. You miss those if you use your adult focus. It’s better to rediscover the child’s pleasure of the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to be looking for those shared smiles more often and even the inward smiles. Yesterday instead of giving myself an endless to do list, I finished what had to be done and went for some “play time” in the woods with my dog. It was lovely and it felt very different from “I have to walk the dog”.


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