She goes up the ladder. Turns around. Makes eye contact. Gets to the top, turns, makes eye contact. Gives a big grin.
If my eyes do not meet her's I hear, "mum, watch me!". Eye contact, of course, must be made at all times. I give her a thumbs up. She smiles. Comes down the slide. Runs to me.
I take her in my arms. She tells me that she did it!
On other occasions she runs to my arms to say that she couldn't. Currently, her most common sentence (to me) is "I can try." And certainly she can. I think she is learning independence, but mostly I'm learning to trust and that she can do an awful lot.
Regardless of age most of us feel this. Just at some point we don't have the courage to command "watch me!" or to ask someone to have our back or to give a smile or a thumbs-up every once in awhile. And we tend to resist running to supportive arms to say "I did it!" or "I couldn't". But we all need it.