How Our Brains Are like a Helpful Child

Photo of young child helping with food prep

Today’s article was written by Change Coach Becky Anderson


As I have been building my coaching business and what feels like “putting myself out there”, so many insecurities have come up for me that do not seem to fit the situation. And what I realized recently is that of course they have. My brain has had to be a little more creative, by digging up old insecurities about fitting in, competitiveness, and financial scarcity but it is doing its job of trying to protect me from moving forward on this scary adventure where I have to keep putting myself out there without any guarantees.


I started picturing an adorable toddler who “just wants to help”. I think when all kids are little they go through this phase of wanting to be older and being able to help with “adult tasks” such as cooking – so they get a chair out so they can see the counter and want to help their mom (or dad) cook. As adults in these situations, we all know it would be a heck of a lot easier without their “help” but it’s so adorable they are trying to help so we usually let them. I think this is what our brains are doing. They want to help SO BAD but just really don’t know how.


But what if we just let our brains “help” until these thoughts are acknowledged? We could start to see it as similar to when a toddler “helps” us until they get bored. We could let these “helpful” insecurities be there until the feelings behind there have been felt. We could also realize the feelings are similar to the toddler’s attention span in terms of not lasting very long. Or at least not as long as it seems like it will take when we are resisting them. This could be a way to “welcome what is arising” because the brain will always want to help – that is its job – and the more we see it that way, the more we can welcome these feelings, and maybe even see how adorable they are – just like a toddler trying to help.


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