This is the typical words from a happy toddler when everything to them is fun and learning. You’ll also hear “I fix it!” and “Let me do it!”
At that age, children are curious about how everything works…
And naturally confident that they can learn how to “do it”.
That’s the voice of the Inner Hero.
I notice that young children show me their Inner Hero every time I am around them.
Maybe it’s learning to screw tops back on juice bottles, sippy cups, and other containers. Maybe it’s loving puzzles and seeing all the pieces come together (even more when they make sounds). There are as many amazing new things to learn as there are minutes in the day at that age.
Every child is amazing in strength and stamina for someone barely three feet tall.
The child’s Inner Hero is alive and thriving inside his or her psyche. The child is certain they can do whatever they put their mind to – and do it well.
And they can, before they are introduced to their Inner Critic.
Massive curiosity is normal for any toddler. It has not been dampened or dulled by criticism. Yet.
Your Inner Hero is an innate and important aspect of your psyche.
You were born to believe in yourself.
You aspire to win, not fail – and deep down you know you can.
Your Inner Critic is a learned thought process. You learn from others directly or indirectly (comparing yourself to anyone or everyone else) that what you are doing is wrong or not good enough.
The Genius Time of Life
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a remarkable author and storyteller. She maintains that nine- and ten-years-old is the genius time of your life. At that age, she says, kids pretty much know what they love and aspire to do, without having been discouraged by external criticisms of their dreams.
Think back to when you were nine or ten years old; that would have been the fourth grade or so for most people.
Remember your teacher? Your school friends? Your home life? Your pets? What your room looked like?
Now remember how you internally supported yourself in those early years:
Did you cheer yourself on? How?
What did you love and dream about doing then?
How close are you to those dreams today?
(Don’t even give your Inner Critic a chance to have any input here! Dreams shift, plans change, and life happens. Connect with your Inner Hero – your inner support system – and consider how far you have come.)
Or perhaps your youth was spent surviving: emotionally, physically, mentally.
Your Inner Hero was there, too, and helped you to survive, encouraging you from a deep place to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving forward until you could go from surviving towards thriving.
Changing Your “Inner Speak”
Often, your Inner Critic becomes louder and more outspoken than your Inner Hero.
In this world, it is much easier to criticize others (especially if they have different ideologies, cultures or lifestyles) than to understand each other. No wonder we are so critical of ourselves too.
Yet you can change that in your “inner speak”.
You are in charge of who talks to you internally, the Hero or the Critic, and how they talk to you. You can change those knee-jerk internal dialogs from jeers to cheers.
Getting to know your Inner Heroes is one step towards that new way of taking care of yourself. And yes, you can have more than one Inner Hero!
If you didn’t filter yourself at all, what could you admit to being awesome at? Take a moment and let us know in the comments section. Take that first step to listen to that Hero’s voice loud and clear.