What happened to your inner child?

What were you like when you were young, and how much of your childhood self is still in you? We explore why staying in touch with our ‘inner child’ is so important, and how to reconnect with yours.

Often, as young children we are instinctively drawn to the things that are authentically ‘us’ – the activities we love and enjoy getting lost in – without questioning whether we’re any good at  them or or not, or whether they’re useful to our career path.

But sadly, as we get older, many of us lose touch with those instinctive activities. We doubt our talents, are influenced by what society (or our friends) think of them, or replace them with occupations that may bring us closer to a career goal.

This week, our Sunday blogger, the Daring & Mighty Katie Phillips, shares how she rediscovered her inner child – the little girl that somehow got lost along the way in life, and how much pleasure it has brought her.

How I suddenly remembered who I was

The other day I was writing my journal, and I suddenly remembered that when I was a little girl, I loved to be organised. In fact, I was supremely tidy – so much so that my sister used to tease me about my sock drawer being so sorted. I also loved to hang my clothes in colour order, and line my dolls up, just so.

My bedroom was immaculate. I kept a budget and a close eye on pocket money coming in and how I spent it. I saved carefully for Christmas presents and holidays. I was one organised young lady!

If I am honest, there was a slight sadness to my organisation – I guess it was my way of feeling in control and safe in a world where sometimes I didn’t feel too secure. But, as I journaled, I saw the humour and innocence in it too.

I fell in love with the younger me

I connected more deeply to me as a little girl and discovered that her essence was more than just organised. She loved to wear very bright colours and shocking pink nail polish. She would spend hours absorbed in drawing, sculpting and taking photographs.

She loved to sit in the garden with a cup of tea, eyes closed, and feel the hot sun on her eyelids. Music was her bliss. She loved to run long distances and swim in the ocean. To write stories and record them onto a cassette tape. She would laugh until she couldn’t breath and gosh, she was just so loveable!

I fell in love with that little Aussie girl as I journaled. And I was reminded of the truth of me – what really makes me tick. So I resolved to start living into all that lit me up when I was little. Because, what is the point of this life if we are not living into the truth of us?

And it occurred to me that I could even draw on the super organised little lady that I used to be and get certain areas of my life back in order… because deep down, I know I want to!

Get to know your inner child again

What about you? What lit you up when you were a little girl? And how much of that younger self is still in you now?

Often as adults we struggle to find things that are ‘us’. We’ve spent so long trying to be what other people want us to be – parents, teachers, friends, partners, employers and children – that we have lost touch with the things that naturally fire us up, breathe passion and life into us, and fill us with creative energy.

So if you’re feeling stuck on a new career or business direction, or just feel that you need to rediscover some purpose or joy in your life, try thinking back to your early years, and the simple things that filled you with pleasure for hours on end.

Okay, you may not want to start getting out play-doh (or maybe you do!) but it can help to start putting you back in touch with activities and themes that can help shape a more authentic life for you now.

Katie Phillips is the founder of Daring & Mighty, an organisation committed to sharing the importance of having a healthy, loving and conscious relationship with yourself.