Bring Your Inner Child to Work

Bring Your Inner Child to Work

with Christopher Carrick

If you want to get to the next level of your business, you have to ask yourself: what would I have to change or let go of? What’s in the way? Often people are engaged in self-sabotage or blocked in another way.

When you connect with your Inner Child, you can surface the gifts you’ve suppressed, lost, or buried. You can start to understand the unhealthy coping mechanisms the Child developed a long time ago, and how that’s impacting your work. You can move through obstacles and understand opportunities.

It’s not traditional, but archetypes and spirituality can be powerful tools for entrepreneurs. Learn more about how to bring your Inner Child to work (and why you should) in this episode of Profitable Joyful Consulting with Spiritual Director, Christopher Carrick.

Key areas discussed in this episode

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:50 Why the Inner Child archetype is relevant to entrepreneurs
  • 5:32 What’s really helpful (but counterintuitive) for entrepreneurs and their Inner Children
  • 9:29 How to create a little separation so you can understand what’s your Inner Child and what’s your adult self
  • 11:47 My relationship with my Inner Child
  • 15:17 Moving through obstacles in business with the help of your Inner Child
  • 17:46 Bringing the Inner Child and adult self into balance
  • 19:51 How to be more creative in your business
  • 20:54 How we break through into new ideas
  • 27:49 Vulnerability in your business
  • 30:42 Ways to recognize that your Inner Child is showing up
  • 35:47 Some of Christopher’s success stories working with clients on the Child archetype

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Podcast Transcript

Today on the Profitable Joyful Consulting Podcast, I am speaking with my guest, Christopher Carrick, on the topic of the Inner Child and why it is important for you to bring it to work with you. Yes, even in a consulting business. Take a listen.

Samantha Hartley: Hey, it’s Samantha Hartley of the Profitable Joyful Consulting Podcast. This season we’ve been talking about consulting skills, and I took a little bit of a diversion down a road to talk about archetypes. And having and being aware of your archetypes is actually kind of an unusual, unexpected consulting skill. We spoke earlier this season about the Hermit archetype and the importance of you taking time away from your business for reflection and thinking. Today we’re going to be talking about the Inner Child, the child aspect of you and why it’s important to use it in your business. And I have my returning guest, Christopher Carrick.

Christopher Carrick: Hi. 

Samantha Hartley: Christopher is a Spiritual Director. He works with his own clients on finding a spiritual path and meaning in their lives. And he works with many of my clients, and also with me on bringing spirituality into our businesses, and also being just the best version of ourselves. If you’re new to the show, we have also done a previous episode about the Saboteur Archetype, so that is the part of us that causes self-sabotage to prevent us from moving forward and that we seem to constantly be at war with. And Christopher brought a really new and different direction to that one, so I’ll put a link to that episode in the show notes, as well as a link to the Hermit episode

So today, Christopher, I wanted to talk about this one because you’re working with my clients on this one and it comes up all the time. It’s not like I send them to you to work on Child archetype, like go fix your Inner Child or go discover your Inner Child. But I send them to you and that one comes up. So what is it about the Inner Child archetype that is relevant to entrepreneurs? 

Christopher Carrick: Yeah, it often seems specifically irrelevant. What I see over and over and over is that when people come to you, they’re wanting to go to the next level. And I feel like when we do that, we are unwittingly asking the question, “What would I have to change or let go of,” or “What’s in the way?” And a lot of times people are engaged in self-sabotage or there’s a block or something like that. A lot of the other archetypes are activated Victim, Saboteur, Prostitute. 

And the answer they’re getting without understanding it is, in order to go to the next level, this needs to be addressed. Here’s what’s in the way. And a lot of times there’s two versions of it. One is the thing you want to do involves the gifts that the Child has that have been suppressed or lost or buried that you’re out of touch with. So In a sense the Inner Child is saying, “I’m the answer, and you have ignored me or you’re not aware of me.” And so that relationship needs to be recovered. 

The other thing that blocks us is that we’re experiencing the coping mechanism that the Child developed in childhood. We develop these defense mechanisms and a lot of times what we end up talking about is that your problem is, you’ve put the wrong part of you in the wrong job. So with the archetypes, being aware of them allows you to send the right person into the right place, to talk to the client, to deal with conflict, that kind of thing. So when we are feeling threatened or there’s a problem, the coping mechanism of the Child will come up, and the Child is essentially telling you, “This doesn’t work. Don’t put me in this position.” So you will sabotage yourself through the Child to get you to pay attention to, “Don’t send your child in to do an adult’s job.” The child comes up because it’s the key to what you want, which is to graduate to the next level. 

Samantha Hartley: Awesome. So conceptually, that was a lot. And so can you give us an example so that we can have something to hang on to here? 

Christopher Carrick: So there’s this Scared Child, that will make you defensive. There’s the Special Child, which means not so much that you’re better than everybody else, it means this is your gift. And since that thing or that part of you has been suppressed, you don’t have access to that full gift, which again is the thing you’re going to need to get where you want to go. So it feels weird because you’re going back and dealing with a part of you that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what you claim to want. But the gift first off, children have access to imagination. The unfettered, like adult expectations. Like they can see things because they don’t have those limitations that adults have. And when you’re dealing with a client and you want access to that imagination or that creativity, if that part of you has been put away, you don’t have access to your genius. So if you’ve been told in childhood, for instance, that you’re special, but then the world doesn’t want to hear that and says, “Who do you think you are?” Or a lot of times that aspect of your gift is threatening to your friends, to your parents, to to various parts of the world. So that stuff will get shut down really quick. And a lot of times, again, counterintuitively, what I’m asking people to do is go back and look for the wound. Because it’s as though you went along, and you got told, “You’re wrong,” Who do you think you are?” “Stop that.” And so you end up saying, “Okay, this isn’t safe.” And you bury it there. But when you look back, there’s often a red flag there. There’s that pain. There’s that voltage. And we avoid that because it’s painful and difficult to deal with. But I would suggest that it’s the Child’s way of saying, “When you’re ready, this is where you’ll find me.”

Samantha Hartley: I’ll be here waiting for you. 

Christopher Carrick: Yeah. The other thing that’s really counterintuitive for entrepreneurs is, instead of doing “Business Stuff,” what I’m asking them to do is go back and be with that Child. Bring them in. Spend time with them. So when you think about what do children need? There’s some very basic things like being seen and acknowledged. And that seems like, “Is that a good use of my time?” But our suppressed Inner Child doesn’t trust us because in some way, unwittingly, we conspired to put them away.

Samantha Hartley: Yeah. 

Christopher Carrick: So sometimes once you open the door, they show up and they’re ready to go. But a lot of times they’re reserved. And so the thing I would ask them to do is to go back, look for that pain, and then say, “I see you there,” “I’m going to show up,” “I’m going to create a safe space.” Safety is really the key. And people usually want to say, “Okay, let’s go, let’s go, let’s get this over with!” Children don’t respond to that. So the idea is to communicate to that Child. I’m going to keep showing up. I’m going to keep seeing you in my life. I’m going to keep looking for the possibilities. I talk to people about when you get up in the morning, ask that part of you, “What do you want to do today?” “What do you want to wear?” “Would you like to play with me?” “What do you want to watch on TV?” Even if they don’t respond. You’re showing them that they’re seen. You’re taking them into account. It’s very important to keep showing up and saying, “If I never hear from you, I will include you in my life over and over and over.” After a while they will start to show up and they will start to integrate and they will start to give you their gifts. They will start to connect you to your intuition, to your imagination, to your spiritual connection. Children are much closer to wherever it is we came from than adults are. That’s another kind of way that the Inner Child will show up, and it’s very difficult to recognize, which is the “adultified” children. 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah like so many of us who were “born 30 years old.” 

Christopher Carrick: Yes. My Child is very hard to recognize because he learned to sound like an adult. So that’s why I had to go to some of those places where he got hurt and go, “Oh, there you are.” And if nothing else, it’s to make that time, create that safe container and receive them with compassion. It’s not a time to explain stuff to them to say, “Well, you know, your dad was this way.” Instead the conversation is, “A bad thing happened, it’s unfair, you didn’t deserve it, it wasn’t your fault, that should not have happened.” 

More than anything, it’s to allow them to have the feelings that weren’t safe to have at that time. So it’s really sitting with those feelings, that not enough-ness. When you do it that way, it creates a little separation. So when we were talking before about the Child coming up with its coping mechanism, what’s happening is the Child is taking over. It’s grabbing the steering wheel, which is not really what we want. So when you go into that adult witnessing perspective and presence the point is to just allow the Child to have the feelings that it wasn’t safe to have before so that it starts to learn, “Oh, there’s somebody I can trust now.” A lot of the problems that are in our way are because a belief was formed in a child state that never gets reexamined. I’m not enough,” or we’ll get very confused because our adult self says, “I think I’m pretty good at this.” Yeah but there’s some part gnawing at you saying, “I’m not.” So the child gets to experience, oh, I don’t have to be sent into that meeting where I don’t know what to do and be put in a bad position. You get to say to the Child, “I’ll do that.” So confrontation is a really good example because when the Child gets confronted, you go into a coping mechanism and you get defensive and you attack, or you run away or something like that. When you recognize that the Child is active, it’s in a sense what you’re doing is saying, “I’m sorry, I’ll talk to them.” “Nobody should ever speak to you that way.” “You go over there, I’ll deal with this.” And that way you don’t become The Child. You’re able to be with the Child, but choose who’s going to handle what situation. Then you can allow the Child to show up in the appropriate places to play to, but play in a constructive way that feeds the aims that you want. 

Samantha Hartley: Right. So I want there’s so much in there that I want to unpack and I want to practicalize this because I think a lot of what you’re hearing may be new ideas for some people. And because this is a language that we speak consistently, I always mention that Christopher is my husband, so I think that helps contextualize some of this. 

I want to go back to when I was at corporate and like a lot of my clients back at corporate, I was invited to be creative and to have ideas and things like that in a toxic environment, in an environment that was specifically not safe. And so Brené Brown talks a lot about going into organizations who say, “Yeah, we want that innovation and we want people to be vulnerable, we want this and that.” And then she’ll say, “You know, you don’t have the container for that, like this is not the place for that.” So when I was at corporate, I had a boss who said to me, “I want you to bring some of that theater experience you have.” And I said to myself, not aloud, “You will never, ever see that for me while I’m here.” “You’ll never, ever get access to that part of me.” And while I was there, I was in complete warrior mode. I had this helmet of a hairdo. I had these acrylic nails. I was in my suits with the shoulder pads every day, like I was in armor against any of that because it was not safe for my Child to come out. Now I was one of those 30 year old children who discovered later in life that I had an Inner Child at all with your help. So when I did, I realized, “Oh, that’s the part of me that, by the way, has great ideas.” When I was thinking about the way we began to access my Child it was asking, “Well how do you play?” And I was like, “I don’t play, I don’t even understand what play means.” And then I began to kind of crack the code of who my Child was and she loves puzzles. She loves, like solving things, figuring things out. She loves things like pickleball and badminton. So games that are not too hard for me, like I’m not that great at tennis. So I like those games where it’s more fun. I love to play with my animals, with my dog and cat. So slowly but surely, we kind of found the areas of play in my life and then we found them in work. 

I love to be at the front of the room with a flip chart and a marker. Getting great ideas out of smart people and brainstorming is one of the areas where children thrive because they’re not afraid of being wrong. They’re okay with vulnerability if you create a safe environment for them because kids don’t mind being wrong. They’re like, “ I don’t care about that idea, I have five more ideas,” “How about we go to Mars?” And then how about, “The cow is blue?” And you know, they can throw out those kinds of ideas. 

As I gradually and this is only in the last ten years that I’ve been working with a Child Archetype, I began to be able to bring that more and more into my work. So it didn’t just make me more creative. And we have other examples with my clients. It made me more empathetic towards my own clients’ children, so that I could ask, “What has gotten in your way of being all you can be?” And can we talk about some messages that you heard from your parents when you were at pivotal ages? 

So I would say to them, here’s some work that I’ve done with my Child and I’ve interviewed her. Asking her, “What do you like?” As you were saying, “What does she want to do today?” So one of the things that I do is I use all these multicolored markers when I take notes. I don’t have this kind of power pen that I used to have when I was in corporate with my Montblanc and whatever. I have fun with colored markers. Why? Because they make my child happy. I don’t have the expensive purse that I used to have. I have a purse with a monkey on it. Why? Because it makes my Child happy. 

So I surround myself with things that bring out that aspect of myself. And they’re a reminder to me to be light and playful. And I think when I’ve been that way with my clients, it’s been disarming in the way that children are disarming. So am I being silly, inappropriate, distracting, any of those kinds of things? Usually not, but very often I’m giving them permission to throw out some ideas, let’s play together. So that to me is where we practicalize the things that you’re talking about and where that turns into, I can move through those obstacles in my business because I identify what used to keep me stuck and where I’d hit my upper limit. If I look at my messages from childhood, I had so many positive messages, but there was a little danger with being bigger. My Child did get the message that being bigger was dangerous. And so those are things that I’ve had to work through and keep her safe. You referred to having an aspect like our adult self. I think this is important when we talk about this child before we talk about the guardian aspect that goes along with it. Because we don’t want you to want to bring your inner Child out and have her doing everything in your business. 

One of the places that my clients definitely run aground is something for example, LinkedIn Messenger: “So should I be writing those messages?” And “Oh no, I got my feelings hurt.” Well if your feelings get hurt and you’re afraid when you’re doing LinkedIn Messenger, you probably have the wrong archetype in charge of it. Or one time I had a client who had come back from a very stressful meeting and actually ended up crying in that meeting. She was so embarrassed and ashamed when she was talking to me about it. She was like, “I never cry, I don’t know what happened?” And I said, “Well, I think I know what happened, which is that your Inner Child felt unprotected and you felt vulnerable in that meeting.” It triggered you pulling the Child forward so that she was there. Then she was like, “Well, I got to go back and fix the situation, what should I do?” She has a real daughter in real life. So I said, “If that had happened to your daughter and you needed to protect your daughter, do you have some kind of grizzly mama or some sort of aspect who would come out and do it?” Suddenly she changed her posture. There was no more crying and she was like, “I would do boom boom boom.” I was like, “That’s who you send to the meeting.” So this is the way that has shown up in interpersonal relations for my clients. 

Christopher Carrick: Part of what you’re talking about is bringing things into balance. So our culture is very aware of overt power, of masculine power, of external power. The Inner Child has a lot to do with sensitivity and connection to that internal voice. Children are very quickly trained to be out of touch with that. This is dangerous without safety because the Child knows that it will get shut down, that it will be put in the position of saying everyone says, “You’re wrong, are you willing to stand up for yourself?” The child needs to know it doesn’t have to stand up for itself. It just has to know it doesn’t have to have the answer. And your adult witnessing presence, whatever form you experience that in, will say, “I see you, I validate you, I will stand up for you.” And in return, the Child gives you the gift of inspiration, insight, and as I said before, sensitivity. So sensitivity to your client, and sensitivity to your own signals, like “Something’s a little off here.” Overt power says, “Shut that down, I’m in charge.” As opposed to, “I value this, I hear you.” That’s telling the Child when you talk I will take it in and you don’t have to explain it or defend it. You just have to know it. And then I will handle that. And in return, you will get the thoughts, you will get the solutions, the imagination, the creativity that you can’t get from that overt, external power. 

Samantha Hartley: So you work within your own practice with entrepreneurs and artists. Or I would add what some of my clients are and I would consider myself this way, an artistic entrepreneur. What’s the role of the Child in those kinds of businesses? 

Christopher Carrick: Well it is creativity. It’s a connection to the divine. It’s an inspiration. It’s sensitivity. It’s all the things we’ve been talking about. 

Samantha Hartley: And how do you access that more? What’s the best way for us to get in touch with and to be more creative in our businesses? Or for example, if someone isn’t a creative entrepreneur, how do they become more creative in their businesses? 

Christopher Carrick: Again, I would say the thing to start with is to create a relationship with the Child. That’s the beginning. I see you, I’ll make time for you, I create a safe space for you. And then I listen. I can offer stuff. I can involve you in my life, but it’s working against the part that says, “This isn’t practical, this is screwing around, I don’t have time for this.” The message there is, I don’t have time for that Child. If you had a Child and their message was, “I don’t have time for you, you aren’t important.” What are you going to get back from that Child? You’re going to get a tantrum. Or it’s going to disappear or something like that. But there’s going to be some sort of problem. 

Samantha Hartley: Well, what I like is that we’re talking about ideation and brainstorms. And I was just on a podcast interview this morning with someone and I was telling him about that episode of the Netflix show that you and I saw, which was The Future of Plants. And they have the most forward thinking, innovative, creative ideas for what plants are going to do in our lives, how they’re going to store data on them and it was just outrageous. And what I said was this generation, meaning Z and later than Z, they’ve thought of stuff. Like usually I hear an idea and I go, “That’s a good idea, I see how you got to that idea.” But their ideas I was like, “Gosh, I could not even have imagined.” 

And I think we have that capacity within ourselves if we allow it. So I love free writing as a way of accessing the Child and play, but I also love kinesthetic things. So like Play-Doh clay, paints. Moving away from the verbal to access something else. Music, dancing and actually giving yourself the opportunity to be silly. So silliness during non-work times. So maybe it’s creative interpretive dance or rolling around on the floor or whatever. And those are ways that I think we can unlock ideas and information for problem solving. 

People are turning to all kinds of alternative ways to solve their problems. Everything from think tanks to journeys into outer space, to psychedelics, it’s like how do we solve these? You can’t solve problems from the same level of consciousness as they were created, right? So I need a new consciousness. The consciousness of adults tends to be pretty fixed. So how does consciousness change or evolve? Well specifically children come in and they look at your fixed consciousness and they pour Kool-Aid on it, or they topple over your Legos. So what is the way that you’re going to break through into new ideas? That to me is the role of inviting that Child in. 

Christopher Carrick: So part of what you’re talking about, I think, is shifting from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’ and creating an environment of discovery. So again, when you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve got too much to do, and you have so many jobs and you’re always feeling like you’re behind, it feels weird and unproductive. But to be able to give that Child the safe space to discover, to explore and to reconnect to the thrill of, “Oh my God, I never thought of that.” “Where did that come from?” The magic. Another thing is that children have a lot of magic that we lose as adults. And so creating a play space, whatever that means. And I would be really flexible and try to allow, if you can, that Child to show you. One image I usually use is like it’s almost like saying you’re going to let that Child out into the backyard and do whatever they want to do. You can offer stuff, but the point is they know you’re watching, you’re not interfering, but they know if they get too close to the road, you’ll intervene. So there’s enough safety where they can discover and be creative, and there’s enough room for them to discover and be creative. 

Samantha Hartley: Totally. I recall when one of my first jobs was as a camp counselor at a camp for emotionally disturbed kids. I was doing theater therapy there for them. And I had them do I remember kind of little scene work like we would have done. Christopher and I went to Sarah Lawrence College, where we were both in the theater program together. And so I would do scene work with them. I set up a scenario kind of like an improv, like where you’re driving a car and you’re going to the thing and you’re going to be a deer who runs up the road and we don’t hit them, but what happens? The kids could immerse in that. It was shocking. I would look at them and I would be like, I couldn’t get this kind of focus out of these kids if we were in any other situation and I was just struck by that so much. 

I bring that up because in my work I will often be doing role plays with my clients. So let’s run some ideas that you can see in the situation so that you don’t get into a conflict situation with the client and have to do it live. Let’s pretend and do this now, and people have a lot of trouble with us. I remember I was doing this with my coach a few times and I was like, “Why do I suck at this?” This is amazing, I have a theater background and I cannot do this. So the play and the suspension of disbelief and imagination, like that kind of piece, imagine how helpful that can be in your business. And the part of you who’s going to be doing that, if you’re not in touch with your Child, you’re going to be stuck. Or in my case, I was just so out of practice, it was just like a clogged pipe. Those ideas didn’t come through in my mind. 

Christopher Carrick: And it’s a lot of concern about being wrong. Yeah like you said before, a cow can be purple. And the way to respond to your Child is to go, “Yeah, cool, what else? 

Samantha Hartley: Right. This is where all the improv people come in, “Yes And,” we add to it. 

Christopher Carrick: And that’s another thing too, you’re developing the ability to deal with risk. You try and it’s no big deal. When you cultivate it there with the Child, that translates to the adult. So there’s several people who I’ve talked to whose sabotage strategy was to do the opposite. So they have hypnotized themselves to believe that they’re risk averse. What we actually find is they love risk and they’re good at it. It’s their expertise. So if you’re in something like insurance or performing or anything like that, or delivering presentations there’s a lot of risk in that. People’s main fear is speaking in public. A lot of times children want attention. They want to get up and be in front of people. A healthy child has a healthy relationship to attempting, trying, experimenting, discovering and turning experiences into an adventure. And that feeds into the adult world where you can mediate it and translate it into your business. 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah, I remember one of the first friends of ours who had children was this Russian couple and the little baby when she fell down, they were kind of trying to teach her to walk. But also when you fall down like crying, we don’t rush over. So she would fall down and be like, “Am I supposed to cry?” 

And he was like, “Упала, встала” which means you fall down, you get back up. And I really feel like so often if we can have more of “Упала, встала” like you fall, then go try again. So there is that, the fear of being wrong, but also a fear and the shame factor around that. And then just kind of like, I don’t know what’s going to happen, all of the vulnerability and risk. 

Christopher Carrick: The need to control. Yeah that’s most of the time and we pre-adultify it because things feel chaotic so that the Child without a supportive environment has to go into, “I have to take control, I have to imitate an adult.” I have to go into every situation and psychologically scan for danger and figure out what I should anticipate, what I have to take care of, who do I have to avoid? Who do I have to attack to create safety? 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah. So these are kids who have any of us who have had alcoholism in the family or unreliable adults or sometimes mental illness. Any time we had that kind of unsafe safety in the home environment, that’s the way a lot of us grew up. 

Christopher Carrick: Let me just point out that it doesn’t have to be that scale of trauma. It can be the scale of trauma of I got bullied, or my parents just responded poorly one time because they’re human, or as I said before they felt threatened. It’s a very weird thing that children are really powerful in a package that seems not powerful. And even though it’s unconscious, people around them will perceive that threat and move to shut that down. So a lot of times your power is presenting as a weakness, in the same way that sensitivity we’ve been taught is a weakness. And that’s to me is one of the core benefits of reintegrating a thing that seems to have no point. 

Samantha Hartley: So being sensitive in our business seems like, “You’re just going to get eaten alive.”

Christopher Carrick: Vulnerability. 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah vulnerability is a weakness when actually it isn’t weakness, it’s its own thing. Vulnerability actually means wound ability, which means the ability to be wounded and to be resilient (which is what we need in business). Which is what we’re going to end up needing to be in business. 

Christopher Carrick: And the version again, the coping mechanism around vulnerability is usually that the Child feels shoved out there. Like figure it out in front of people, and it freezes, as opposed to you having cultivated that vulnerability in a protective environment and then the Child will either want to go out and deal with people or will want to talk to you. But it’s creating that situation where that vulnerability becomes a strength. 

Samantha Hartley: How do we recognize the Child when this is a new idea? How would I know where my child is coming up? 

Christopher Carrick: Well one way to look at it is sort of like those fight-or-flight responses. So when you get a little more upset, like you’re saying, crying.

Samantha Hartley: This is what I’ve told people all the time because it doesn’t happen a lot, but from time to time someone will cry and be embarrassed about it. And I’m like, “Hey, this happens all the time. Let me tell you what’s probably going on right now.”

Christopher Carrick: So when that happens, what I tell people to do is go, “Oh, that’s my Child.” Instead of going, “Oh, I shouldn’t do this.” It is to recognize and go, “Oh, oh, you’re here, come here, I’m sorry, be with me.” “Yeah, that seems scary.” “Do you feel sad?” Something like that. 

Samantha Hartley: That’s overwhelming. You’ve been working too hard and there’s no end in sight. That’s not okay. Let me talk to your adult here for a second, see if we can do that better. 

Christopher Carrick: So overreaction is a big one. Disappearing, your flight, running away, going internal. Those kinds of things. 

Samantha Hartley: So how does somebody recognize, I have gone into flight? What does that look like practically? 

Christopher Carrick: Well you actually do disappear. People sort of wonder where you are. 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah. 

Christopher Carrick: So I’m going to not get back to people. 

Samantha Hartley: I’m going to give some examples: Ghosting. I am ghosting and I don’t know why or I have had three meetings that I didn’t go to. I didn’t really do this, by the way. But I know of people who have done this, missed three meetings in a day and said to me, I don’t know why? Why did I do that? Like, what is up? 

Christopher Carrick: Extreme disinclination. Where you’re going, “This isn’t really that hard, I don’t know why I’m so bothered.” 

Samantha Hartley: Like why can’t I make myself do this thing? 

Christopher Carrick: And if you sit with it for a second and don’t impose your adult perspective on it, you’ll probably start to feel that part of you which is just going, “I just really don’t want to do this.” And what we’re saying to that Child is, “Explain yourself, justify yourself, or stop that.” 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah, just do it anyway. 

Christopher Carrick: Or get out of here. You’re a problem.

Samantha Hartley: When have those ways worked with anybody’s child? 

Christopher Carrick: We’re going to that part of us and going, “What?” 

And the Child is just saying, “I don’t know, I just feel scared.” “I just feel upset.” “I don’t feel up to it.” 

Samantha Hartley: “I don’t understand. It’s too much. It’s too big. I’m not ready.” They have a legitimate reason behind it that if we spend time with them, we can actually hear it. Any other ways that we can recognize our child’s showing up? 

Christopher Carrick: I would say any time you recognize a Victim, Saboteur, Prostitute is a really good time to say, is the Child present? 

Samantha Hartley: Yes. So let me just take a pause to explain Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute, or can you can you give us the thumbnail on each of those three? 

Christopher Carrick: Yeah, the Victim is going to be chronic. It’s their fault. Yeah, it has to change. Why me? It’s deflecting everything. It’s the problem. 

Samantha Hartley: This is hard. 

Christopher Carrick: Saboteur is going to be that part of me that just inexplicably gets in my way. The Prostitute is going to be, in a sense, selling out. 

Samantha Hartley: I shouldn’t have taken that client, but I really, really wanted that money. Yep. I’m sorry, but I really needed that money. 

Christopher Carrick: Lowering your price in a way that makes you feel shame or resentment, and that kind of thing. 

Samantha Hartley: Those are good ones. So you said the Child is somewhere near when those ones show up. What’s that about? 

Christopher Carrick: So again, it’s putting the Child in a bad position. You’re experiencing the Victim coping mechanism. So if my child feels unworthy the coping mechanism might be to make it your fault. You know, somebody else should have done something. This system should be different. Not that those things aren’t true, but when that’s always true, when you can’t find your responsibility, that’s probably the Child. And again, that’s something that happened when that was true. Like that’s legitimately true when you’re a child, but that label gets put on it and then it doesn’t get reexamined. You become an adult and you don’t go back and go, “Oh, life has changed.” That thing has been programmed into your psyche because the Child has said, “Let’s never have this happen again.” So whenever I see that, we’re going to do the only thing I know to do. So that irrational response can show up as a Victim, Saboteur or Prostitute.

Samantha Hartley: You have had some fun successes and work with your clients on the Child archetype. So can you share one or two of those? 

Christopher Carrick: I’m surprised sometimes how quickly people’s child shows up when you just give them the chance. There’s a creative person I’m working with who as soon as he decided when he did his practice that he wouldn’t do the “shoulds” and the “musts.” “Here’s what I should be working on.” “Here’s what’s on the schedule.” And said, “What I feel like trying,” that that kid came out and suddenly he’s reconnecting to the joy of doing it in the first place. It translates it out of being an obligation and then suddenly there’s all this energy. His talent actually is elevated, it starts to restore his sense of like, “Oh, I’m actually good at this.” Otherwise he’s constantly telling himself this story of, “I should be doing this, I’m not good enough, I’m not doing enough.” 

Samantha Hartley: Turns out he’s brilliant.

Christopher Carrick: He’s special. We are all special, but we are all uniquely special, but special really means your gift. Not just your special and other people aren’t.

Samantha Hartley: And you have tons and tons of energy for it. 

Christopher Carrick: You know, another one is the risk thing I talked about, where there’s all this risk averse behavior. Then once you start to get in touch with the Child, the risk is really the price of being willing to go into an adventure and to not know the outcome. That’s another thing that happens in business because in business you want to go into goals: I want to get here. How do I get here? What’s the fastest way I can get here? And that’s going to rule out a ton of creative possibilities. And it’s going to be for a lot of people, it’s going to sap the thrill out of it. So one of the great things that the children give us is that desire to explore, which in a business sense seems like, “That’s great, but we don’t have time for this.” But the thing you’re really wanting is that when I followed the winding path and it took me to this ridge and I went over and I saw something I didn’t even know existed. But the goal focused person is never going to get there. But the Child is looking for what is there that I don’t know about. So that converts to, “What is there? I don’t know, but let’s go find out what there is.” 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah, I love it. Super exciting, super fun work. And you and I have done that together and I just keep every day enjoying being with my Child and pulling out the children of my clients and working with them more and more. And it just uncovers what the obstacles are and what the opportunities are. So I super appreciate you talking about this. And for our listeners, if you want to learn more about Christopher, where can they learn more about you? 

Christopher Carrick: I have a website, Christophercarrick.com. I’m on Facebook–same thing, my name. I also have Your Spiritual Adventure on Facebook. 

Samantha Hartley: Yeah. A really fun group called, Your Spiritual Adventure. So there should be more adventures! If you’d like to access some of the source materials for the work that we do on the Child Archetype, that is you can find those and some other links in the show notes. And until next time, Christopher and I are wishing you a Profitable and Joyful Consulting Business.

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