Innocent Smile

Do you ever feel like you know too much to solve your own problems?

Sometimes it can seem as though all our big brains can do is circle a challenge over and over again.

It’s like we are circling around the block passing up lots of empty spaces in hopes of finding that illusory space that is closest to our destination.  It’s never there.

If we had parked at the first space we found, we would be there now.  But we did not.  Do we cut our losses and just grab the next space we see? Or will we be lucky and come across someone leaving that space right in front of the building?

And why are we quibbling about walking a couple of blocks?  Don’t we need the exercise?   How many times are we going to keep circling around the block?

The kinds of work challenges that can get our minds heading in a circular direction typically include logistical and political factors, making them very complex.  Not to mention, we need our paycheck.

How do we address issues without endangering our job?

For example:

You have a new boss who seems to have chosen “favorites” among the staff, and you are not a member of that particular club. 

Or, you have a colleague that is relying on you to do part of her work for her – and you don’t know how to politely decline.

Possibly, you have just been given responsibility for a new project, but given no power to get it done?

And the perennial favorite; you just lost a member of your team and your boss does not feel he needs to be replaced.

How can you untangle the web of feelings and realities that you are faced with when these challenges arise?

As a coach, I know that it is almost impossible to untangle an issue with the same mind that created the tangle in the first place.  Outside perspective that leads you to your own answers, is the key to gaining clarity quickly, before you have a real knot on your hands.

It’s time to summon that inner 5 year old.

5 year olds are old enough to understand the world but not old enough to have layered their own perspectives over most situations.

They can understand plain English, but if you start getting more complicated in your thinking than is necessary, they will stop you and ask what the heck you are talking about.  They also can see through most people and will give you insights that would never occur to the older “smarter” you.

For example; you tell your inner 5-year old “My boss has favorites and I am not one of them.”  She might say “So?”  And then you have to ask yourself “So? Does it matter?  Why?”

Or, she might say “That’s not very nice.  Why is she being so mean?” and you have the opportunity to look at the world through your new boss’s perspective.  Why is she being so mean?  Can you empathize with her and would that begin to change the dynamic in your relationship?

Your inner 5-year old is just you without the life experience, judgments and assumptions that you (and all of us) have accrued over the years.   Why not give her call?

Coach Me Quick Tips for Summoning Your Inner 5-Year Old:

  1.  Decide which form of communication will work best for you.  You may want to talk to your inner five-year old out loud.  Or you may want to have a written dialogue.  You could also just close your eyes and picture her having a conversation with you.
  2. Identify one challenge that you have been rolling around and around in that spectacular brain of yours.  What is your question?  There may be a few questions, but just start with one.
  3. Imagine that you are that 5 year old and ask yourself the question.  If you were five, what would you say?  Would you ask for more clarity?  Take what you get without editing.  There is real wisdom there.
  4. It is good to have a pad of paper nearby to jot down her ideas – so you can review them later.

Remember that we have all of our own answers.  It’s just that we are not always good at finding those answers without a little help.  Your five year old is standing by and can’t wait to be of service!

Summoning in L.A.,


P.S. If you would like to have a coach in your corner as well as your five-year old, why not schedule a complimentary phone session with me?  I would love to hear more about the challenges you are facing and help you to find your own best answers.  Just email me at

Photo credit: Vincent_AF via Compfight