(Not) taking self (too) seriously
I spoke to my husband about "people who attend business conferences". I wondered what is it like to take yourself, your suit, your car and your title so seriously. I wondered if they sometimes remember to take the other suit off, the enchanted one that makes them look like they know what they are talking about, the one that makes them seem mature, capable and endlessly grown up, the suit made of all the little fibres of their beliefs, their millions of truths about themselves, about their place in the world and about others' roles in their life. And if they do take that suit off, how cold is the forgotten child underneath?
I remember how we used to play as kids: pretending to be grown up and serious, pretending to "do business". Looking around, I still see the same thing. I really believe that somewhere in each person playing the game of adulthood and business is a child that wants to be taken seriously. And I wonder: where does this need come from? What are they getting from this image of themselves?
As I grow my own business, I repeatedly laugh at myself playing this game. I hear the child within telling me to wear more serious clothes, to say more serious things or else... Or else? "They" will be onto me. "They" will see that I am a child making up the way through my life as I go. "They" won't take me seriously.
I pause. I turn to my inner child and I say: your playfulness, your creativity and your ability to see the wonder and the beauty of this world are just what I need in life. These strengths carry me through uncertainties. Your curiosity and openness let me learn new skills which I never would learn if I already knew everything. You are my source of joy.
Being taken seriously is a business suit that we as children put on when our innate strengths are not being valued. Turn to your inner child and notice your curiosity, playfulness, imagination, courage and sense of wonder. Remember how they've already served you in your life. Have trust in your strengths.
*In the picture: my inner child helping me to be a better counsellor