More Wisdom From A 6 Year Old

Martin Blog pictureI know I’ve written about my daughter before, but I genuinely learn so much from her.


Rae is only 6 although in her view she can do anything already. Her favourite phrase at the moment is “I can do that!”


From driving a car, (no I haven’t let her try); to speaking French she has a belief that she can do anything. I have to admit as her father it is wonderful to see, nothing holds her back she is willing to try anything.


I was reminded of this the other day whilst we were out visiting my brother Philip.  He has been building a tree house in his local wood. It is by no means finished and the climb up to the viewing platform is a bit of a challenge.  Not a problem for Rae, no coaxing or reassurance required, she climbed up to ledge and spent a good 15 minutes looking out of the wood and the nearby fields. To be fair even more impressive was watching her climb back down unaided even though she was going backwards all the way down.


Now I can remember a time in the dim and distant past when I was equally as fearless, but that was a long time ago.


So what’s changed, why is my 6 year old braver than me?


It’s actually pretty simple… Rae doesn’t have that voice in her head telling her something can’t be done.  How many of us actually have that little voice on our shoulder telling us to not do things because we’ll either be no good at them or fail?  This voice is so compelling these thoughts actually turn into beliefs albeit ‘self- limiting’ ones.


I’m pretty willing to bet we all have a least one of these beliefs. In our infinite wisdom we mistakenly convince ourselves that they are keeping us safe. When in reality all they are really doing is holding us back!


As a leader those self- limiting beliefs are actually dangerous, they stop us from trying new things or approaches and have a huge impact on the ability to demonstrate ‘Flexibility’ & ‘Courage’ two of our underpinning leadership attributes.


So what can we do and how can we learn to manage and ignore the voice on our shoulder?  Here are some simple things to try:-


  1. Think logically about it, are there really good reasons for you not to give it a try? Do have data and evidence saying that it’s not possible, or is it the little voice on your shoulder just making stuff up?


  1. Consider what you’d gain by trying it and what, if anything, you’ve actually got to lose by giving it a go.



Thanks for reading



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