Thursday, 20 November 2014

6 Things 12 Year Olds do Way Better Than Us!

I have an admission. I wasn’t looking forward to my 12 year old son’s school concert. As excited as he was, I was imagining a 60 minute ear-assault followed by polite clapping and a headache.

But as each group, pair and soloist took to the stage, I was struck by the fact that these pre-teens had more spirit, courage and resilience than the vast majority of their 40-something year old audience.

This is not a stage school. The students volunteered to perform solos or in small groups rather than being selected. Some of them looked shy and uncomfortable under the spot lights. Some made mistakes by forgetting words or missing a note. But they performed, they bowed, they sat down, they beamed.

How many times have you held yourself back? What have you opted out of or avoided because you were afraid of what might happen or of what people might say? What is your equivalent of singing on stage in front of 250 people?

So what is it that makes a 12 year old try what a 42 year old wouldn’t?

Characteristics of a 12 year old (and what we could learn from them)

  • They think “yeah, why not? I can do that!” (self-belief)
  • They are willing to give it a go even if they haven’t done it before (balanced approach to risk)
  • They imagine that it will be amazing (positive mindset)
  • They have fun (motivation and their purpose!)
  • They do it with friends (positive environment)
  • They keep it simple (clarity about what’s important)

What would be possible if you adopted some of these characteristics? The next time an opportunity comes up which you’d previously have shied away from, try thinking like a 12 year old and see what happens.

If you want to find out more about increasing your clarity, motivation and self-belief, drop me an email

Stephanie Smith is a coach specialising in the world of work. She works with individuals and teams on personal impact, choice and change. Find out more at:

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