Playfulness

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Watch young children or animals play and you see them learning about themselves and the world. Their curiosity, creativity and confidence develop as they try things out, fail, adjust their approach and try again. There is no sense of failing simply an enormous enthusiasm and sense of joy when they achieve.

It is an approach which works incredibly effectively you only have to watch babies approach the process of learning to walk. No matter how many times they fall down they simply get up and try again. There is no emotional baggage around not succeeding first time, they don't care what other's think, fear of failure is a non- issue and they move from their first tentative steps to competent walkers who can run, skip, jump and climb in very short order.

So what is the essence we lose which makes so many of us feel we can't, that failing is such a big deal and limits our lives and our aspirations. I believe that the critical component is playfulness. When we play and I mean play full out and embrace the joy of being who we are truly meant to be, the constraints which keep us boxed in by our sense of limitation and fear of failure disappear.

If that sounds trite and simplistic at one level it is. Whilst the principle is a simple one, achieving it can be really tricky especially when you first start. You are all familiar with the saying: "practice makes perfect" and that is certainly true here.

You may need some help to identify the beliefs and fears which hold you back from being your truly wonderful, magnificent self and some strategies to help you to deal with them effectively.

Playfulness is different for each of us and to be truly playful means it should be a positive experience for us and for those we inter-act with. It can be as simple as an Autumn walk in the woods where you jump in puddles and kick through piles of leaves or singing along with the radio and being an air guitarist, playing with your children and entering the world of their imagination.

The real essence of playfulness is approaching your daily life with openness and curiosity and a ‘can do’ approach. Making the decision that you will engage the same optimism and enthusiasm as you did before you forgot how too.

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