As adults—in the work­place and elsewhere—when we’re asked to do some­thing we’ve never done before, when we need to grow beyond our current capa­bil­i­ties, we can tap into what we natu­rally did as chil­dren, and perform our way to who we’re becoming.

For adults, though, play, perfor­mance, and pretending can feel anything but natural. We got the message in a myriad of ways as we left toddler­hood: Play is for kids, not for big people. We’re supposed to color inside the lines; know the correct answer; under­stand how to behave and fit in. And there’s no denying the impor­tance of that learning—obviously we need to learn how to safely cross the street, say our ABCs and wake up an iPad. But this need to get it right even­tu­ally takes over. We learn what we need to in school and by the time we get into the job market, the support we got to learn devel­op­men­tally as chil­dren is long gone. As an adult, it is embar­rassing to not know. There are reper­cus­sions if we don’t get it right. We feel stupid, and we make others feel stupid if they don’t ‘have it together.’ Many (most?) of us get stuck being ‘who we are’—as defined by ourselves and others—whether that’s our person­ality (and the initials that we’re assigned by the psycho­log­ical tools that assess it), what kind of job we do or career we can have, if we’re confi­dent or inse­cure, and more. Without real­izing it, we’ve gotten ourselves in a non-devel­op­mental box where there’s not much room for new learning, growth, or exper­i­men­ta­tion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. · Go to The becoming prin­ciple →