Toddlers are my favorite people on the planet, hands down. They’re open, honest, brave, and they freely feel all the feels. Aside from being thankful I can use the toilet and drive, being a two-year-old is pretty much my dream.

I used to dance around in my backyard in my underwear eating PB&J (guys, I was legit). But somewhere between my wild and crazy kid days and now, I’ve let the views and opinions of others control how I go after my dreams.

Growing up can be cool, but it also has a way of majorly screwing you over.

Somewhere between my wild and crazy kid days and now, I’ve let the views and opinions of others control how I go after my dreams.

The career world comes with a crap ton of rules, and adults are to blame for all of them. For the most part, the rules are helpful, but we often get so caught up in the protocol that we lose the power that comes from thinking and acting like a kid.

I have to remind myself to look around at the kids I know and take a few notes. They may be little and loud, but when it comes to living life, they don’t mess around.

Do you struggle and stress over how to act and what to say? Hold up and take a big breath. Seriously, take one right now. I’ll wait.

Listen–yes there are rules you should follow, but going rogue can be a powerful move, too. In a world filled with boring business clones, harnessing your inner kid sets you apart.

Don’t overthink this (that’s an adult move). It’s easier than you think.

4 Toddler Power Moves You Need To Master

1. “Let’s be Friends!”

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Picture this. You’re tearing out the playground in all your toddler glory while devouring your fruit roll up. Diving into the sandbox, you land next to another kid playing with trucks.

Before you know it, sand is flying and you’re having a grand time together. Doesn’t matter that you never met before—the sandbox unites you, so you just get down to playing. No worrying or analyzing if they like you or don’t. You’re both there and you’re both playing. Why not play together?

Jumping in and just going for it can have its advantages.

Toddler Power Move
Start assuming everyone wants to be your friend. Why wouldn’t they? You’re amazing.

Stop entering into every new relationship like, “maybe, if you’re not busy, do you wanna maybe sorta kinda be my friend, only if you want to?” Be confidently available, and if they’re not into it, their loss. You’re awesome, and awesome people don’t need to beg.

Why It Works
Unless all the people in your life are Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada (p.s. they’re not), most people actually want to make new friends and connections. Deep down, everyone is a little insecure and worried that no one will like them, so use that to give you strength.

Be assertive and make the first move—most people are just waiting and hoping someone will so they don’t have to.

2. Be Fearless

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I arrive at my friend’s house to have coffee and hang out. She has three little kids, each one cuter than the last. As I walk in the door, I hear “Hannah!!” as a million little feet stampede to the door to say hi. It’s adorable.

Before I’ve even been inside two seconds, one of the kids marches up and asks “Can you open this?” I’m handed a suspiciously sticky box of super hero figurines, open them, and hand them back. He’s off and running.

He took a chance and boldly asked for what he needed–no analyzing if I would help him or not or if I would think he was weak or dumb for asking. If I couldn’t help him, he’d find someone else to, simple as that.

By simply asking, he got what he needed.

Pro status, bro.

Toddler Power Move
Curious about something? Ask a question. Need help? Seek it out. Want to accomplish a goal? Find who can help you and ask for help.

Stop worrying what people will think of you if you ask for help or admit you don’t know something. Toddlers don’t give a crap about what people think, and look how fast those stinkers learn!

Those who aren’t afraid to ask for help can quickly remove the barriers that hold them back.

Those who aren’t afraid to ask for help can quickly remove the barriers that hold them back. This leads to massive growth and success, and who doesn’t want that?

Why It Works
Here’s the thing: Yes, you’re taking a chance, but there are only two outcomes. Either they help you (yay) or they don’t. If they don’t, you’re no worse off than you are now. But if they do help you, you’ve just saved yourself from plowing through the mud on your own.

Identify what you need to move forward and succeed, and then boldly go after it. Take a chance and reach out. What have you got to lose? (Spoiler alert: NOTHING.)

3. Be Unashamedly YOU

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When it comes to fashion, little kids take it to a whole ‘nother level. There’s no telling them what looks good and what doesn’t. A Christmas sweater, orange tutu, and plastic Barbie high heels in the middle of summer? It’s their style, and they’re rollin’ with it.

Toddler Power Move
Turn off that inner Mean Girl who’s always crampin’ your style. Everyone has something that makes them unique. It could be the way you dress, your sense of humor, or your killer personality.

Whatever it is that makes you YOU, start rocking it.

Why It Works
The world is filled with people who are terrified of being different. They think that, in order to be successful, they need to look, think, and act the same as everyone else. Yeah, they may get ahead a little bit, but they’re never going to be leaders or world-changers.

The real movers and the shakers are those that aren’t afraid to embrace what makes them unique.

What makes you special? How are you strong? Stop looking to the people around you to define you. Grab onto your strengths and start building on them. You’ll stand out and people will take notice.

4. Take Chances

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I have a one-year-old boy. Hilarious and with cheeks the size of cantaloupes, this kid is mega adorable. He’s the fastest crawler I’ve ever seen, and I’m confident if it became an Olympic sport, he would bring in the gold. He also can pack away pancakes like nobody’s business, but now I’m rambling.

A week ago, my little dude started to walk. He’s totally a newb, so he’s taken a lot of spills. The thing is, no matter how many times he biffs it, he always tries again with the same amount of gusto as before. And guess what? He’s really good.

Because he’s not afraid to try, he’s mastered walking a lot faster than I expected. Like, it’s only been a week and he can walk across a room already. When he wants to take off, he pulls himself up and goes for it. Crashes and all, he takes it in stride. (See what I did there?)

Toddler Power Move
Kids run around like chickens with their heads cut off, and they love every second of it. They wildly jump in pools, show off their dance moves, and sing loudly with abandon.

Embrace the freedom of diving in and living life boldly.

Embrace the freedom of diving in and living life boldly. Don’t live life terrified of making a wrong move, just go for it. Sometimes the best thing is to just give it a try.

Why It Works
Everyone talks about all the great things they’re going to do, but most people just sit on their rear and never act on it. Not taking chances is the fastest way to guarantee you’ll never succeed, because you can’t succeed if you never start. There is incredible power in actually making a move.

You don’t have to be fearless, you just have to try.

By going for it, you’ll set yourself apart as someone who’s not afraid to take risks, learn, and grow. Sure, you’ll trip and fall sometimes, but if you’re willing to keep trying, you will succeed.

Activating Inner Toddler in 3, 2, 1…

female friends laughing

There is mind-blowing power in thinking and acting like a kid. Not only does it set you apart from the people around you, it frees you up to live life and do business on your terms. Life is too short to be chained to drudgery.

Start paying attention to kids around you. They might be yours, a friend’s kids, or random ones you pass in stores, at parks, and in restaurants. Listen to how they talk, act, and express themselves and their needs. Notice the freedom, and then think about how you can incorporate those principles in your own life. It’s easier than you think (and way more fun).

Toddlering is the future. License to act like a kid? #yesplease

This piece originally appeared on The Leading Lady.


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