Life Lessons from My Toddler

My girl decided to start taking steps the day before her first birthday. It was just about the coolest thing (right next to her first coo, babble, roll, crawl, laugh, etc. etc. … you get it - #parenthood). Yet, I find I’ve been awestruck more by her continued practice in the couple of weeks since. The resilience. The curiosity. The perseverance. The progress. It’s just all so incredible to watch.

And this morning was eye-opening. She was just toddling back and forth, back and forth … and I was sitting at the kitchen table, throwing back coffee and learning life lessons from my toddler. Watch the video and read on …

Four Tips From My Toddler On Doing New/Hard Things:

  1. Do it in a safe space. Notice the baby gates on either side. She knows I’m close. As a result, she’s able to give it her all. It’s always smart to do hard and risky things in safer places (or, with knowledge that you have safe people to process with or turn toward).

  2. Be okay with falling. I don’t think she enjoyed falling, but she seems to accept it. How we view our inevitable falls, failures or mistakes as we explore new things can make all the difference in our ability to move forward.

  3. Allow yourself to take a break. I love when she just lays down. We have to allow ourselves to rest and reset when we’ve been doing a hard thing - whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.

  4. Reach for support when you need it. There are points when she just reaches for the stability of the couch. The touch is just enough to give her confidence to let go. It is WISE to reach for help when we’re feeling off balance or stuck or lost. 

PONDER: When’s the last time you chose to do a new or hard thing? What helped you succeed?

The Subconscious Mind Matters

Anybody else resonate with this, or is it just me?!

Seriously though, it’s experiences like these that can teach us a lot about how our brains work. They’re designed to be efficient. What our brain CAN put on autopilot, it’s going to put on autopilot. For example, breathing, walking, chewing ... most of us don’t actually have to think through how to do those things, right?

That’s because when we repeat something — behaviors, thoughts, or feelings — our brain takes the cue and works to make that repetition easy to recall and continue. Our brain does that for necessary, life-sustaining behaviors, as well as any good, healthy habits we may set out to build. However, our brain doesn’t discriminate in its drive for efficiency. That means our not so helpful ways of being and doing also can easily become automatic.

PONDER: Have you ever felt like you didn’t have control over how you felt or reacted to something (or someone)? Ever find yourself stuck in a thought pattern you can’t quite shake?

Frankly, you may be feeling less than awesome BECAUSE your brain is so good at what it does. 

Fortunately, we can leverage your brain’s awesomeness for positive change, as well.

Want to know how? In a word: neuroplasticity. The process? An intentional, conscious one. It starts with getting clarity on what automatic processes aren’t helping you anymore.

Make an appointment to get started on changing your brain … and, ultimately, your life for the better!