Recalling Your Childhood Self

Nathan Rodgers
November 8, 2022

How remembering a childhood memory can help you deal with the stress and overwhelm of building your business.

One of my favorite childhood memories is playing in the river with my dad and mom, my younger brother, and our dog.

This was before my dad died and everything changed.

It’s a sunny summer day.

The trees and long grass blow in wind.

The river is cold, and the smooth rocks beneath my feet are slippery.

We are playing and splashing and laughing in our clothes. I’m sure the idea was just to wade in a bit, but then we ended up soaking wet.

I found this memory a while back when I did an exercise to remember who I was as a child.

What I wrote down then, that I now read daily, is that my childhood self was…

Complete…Playful…Joyful.

(Compared to what I wrote to describe my adult self: Caring…Dedicated…Disciplined.)

My father dying when I was nine shattered the feeling of completeness.

And it’s difficult to go back to that childhood playfulness and joy with the stress of daily life, of bills, of building a business, of raising kids with Cystic Fibrosis.

But I see my daughters, and I want them to grow up feeling whole, and I want to help them to retain their playfulness and joy for the rest of their lives. 

Which means that I have to find my way back to my own childhood self so I can help them create happy memories just like my dad did with my brother and me, even though he was dying.

If he could do it in the face of death, I know I can do it too.

Having a memory like that day at the river is a powerful way to remind myself of who I was, and who I can be again.

If you struggle with overwhelm, stress, anxiety, or depression as you work to build your business and a better future for your family, it can feel as if you’ll never again laugh deeply or smile without it being forced.

I recommend the exercise I did.

Recall a happy childhood memory.

See who you were then, before all those adult things piled on.

Find that core of who you were.

Somewhere, perhaps buried deep, you are still that person. 

Connecting with that person may be difficult, and it may not happen all the time, but it is possible.

And when you do, that memory can refresh and inspire you to keep going.

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