Do you avoid doing jobs because the thought of it stresses you out? Do you give up on your health regime after that first glass of wine? Are you late for things simply because you didn’t leave on time? Chances are you’re letting your inner child take control of your life… I know, I know, you start out with really good intentions at the begining of the week. You’re going to eat sensible, healthy foods. And yet by Tuesday you’re on your second take-away.
Have you ever considered that your inner child has taken over and is running the show!
What Happens When You Let Your Inner Child Rule
That inner whining often goes something like this: “it’s not fair, I’m tired, I don’t want to work, I can’t be bothered to go shopping, I need a treat now, I deserve it!” And giving in to it means that you – the adult – are no longer in charge. Let’s face it if you were, you might be able to have a more grown-up conversation with yourself!
Your inner adult might say something like: “I know you feel like you deserve a treat, but if you do eat those crisps or drink that extra glass of wine, your workout at the gym will feel even harder and ultimately the dress you want to look stunning in next weekend will feel tight and uncomfortable. You’re just hungry let’s get something yummy and healthy to eat right now and if you still want crisps after you can have them!”
Many years ago, I did some work with the dynamic authors and couple therapists Helena Lovendal and Nick Duffell. This is where I first heard the term ‘rape of the heart’. A phrase afforded to the men who as boys, became the confidante and major source of emotional support to their mothers.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, though fundamentally as a result of the father being absent whether literally as in dead, estranged from the family, unavailable due to work commitments or more often emotionally absent. This coupled with needy or emotionally stunted mothers, sets the scene for a ‘rape of the heart’.
Similarly to girls, boys have a heightened awareness and sensitivity to their mothers needs. By the time a boy is 5 years old, he is said to know all of his mothers unfulfilled dreams and heartaches. This is mentally confusing and emotionally too much for their hearts to bear. In an effort to survive psychically, they detach themselves in favour of climbing trees and kicking footballs.
In this detachment they shut down their hearts for protection, not wanting to continue the painful connection because ultimately they cannot meet the needs of their mother or fix her pain. The fact that it is not their place to do so, is beyond their comprehension. The already emotionally overburdened boy, carries a sense of guilt for not being able to be the ‘man’ his mother needs.
Disappointed and disillusioned with the ‘absent’ husband, the mother can unconsciously or consciously place both insidious and overt demands on her son to ‘hold the space’ emotionally for her. This makes contributes hugely to the later failure in his relationships and the subsequent emotional and psychological pain and torment that can plague his life.
Fast forward 30 odd years. The boy, now a man, is in a troubled relationship. Sitting in front of me with his partner, I ask what they want from therapy. He says with a pained expression “I just want her to be happy” she says with frustration “ He doesn’t get me because he never really listens to me”. Neither of them can understand what went wrong. Both tell me how much in love and happy they were in the beginning. They thought they were a perfect match.
Naturally it will take time for them to explore their dynamic and to understand some of the more subtle issues in their relationship.
If he is able to grasp the concept that the closer he and his partner become and the more intimate their relationship, the more threatening this feels for him at a deeper unconscious level. His visceral memory associates closeness and intimacy with the deep emotional wound of not being ‘enough’ for his mother.
As his partner opens up to him, expecting connection because for her, this is the foreplay, the intimacy. He instinctively pulls away and shuts down. He is fearful that he wont be able to ‘fix’ his partner, so it’s easier for him to disconnect. As this unconscious reflection plays out in their relationship it threatens their connection.
Once he gains understanding and insight of this unconscious programming, he can start to clear the mental fog of confusion and become more congruent. In time he learns to feel more comfortable with the intimacy and improves his communication with his partner.
If you have found this article thought provoking please feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think would be interested too.
If you don’t care about being overweight then fine, don’t read on but if you’re constantly striving to lose weight only to put it back on, or are stuck in the yo-yo pattern of dieting you might want to try a new approach.
The majority of people with weight problems tend to be consumed by thoughts of what, when and how they will eat or drink. Constant worrying about food and focusing on feeling fat are your worst enemies in the pursuit of losing weight.
I know that the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off is to change your mind-set. Here are 3 ways you can do it
Update Your Mental Software.
Throw Away Your Scales.
Reprogram Your Mind using language it understands.
Change your mind and keep the change
Discover the best way to finally dump your negative thoughts and feelings. Upgrade your mindset and rebuild your self-esteem with my Mindful Weight Loss approach.
1. Update Your Mental Software
Are you interested in the quickest way to do this? Hypnosis. Reprogram your mind, by-pass the negative inner chatter and input positive thoughts that will change the way you feel. 21 days of consistent listening to positive, upbeat suggestions of self-love will have you automatically making better choices. You will find everything easier when you feel positive and confident.
The biggest part of your mind, the subconscious mind believes whatever it is told. What are you telling yourself about your size, weight, or the way you look?
2. Throw Away Your Scales.
Hopping on and off of scales create a hopeless addiction, get rid of them, they’re work of the devil! They lie too! Have you ever jumped on your scales and felt your heart soar because you’d shed a little weight? Only to get on your friend’s scales (because you couldn’t resist) to find you’d gained some weight?
Scales encourage negative thinking that will quickly spiral you down into feeling out of control, this is my opinion based on 28 years of facilitating weight loss with thousands of people.
Stop kidding yourself. You WILL KNOW WHEN YOU’VE LOST WEIGHT when your trousers feel loose or more comfortable, or when you no longer need to loosen your belt whilst eating. Resist the temptation to buy clothes in bigger sizes and work your way back into the wardrobe you have, by being kind, encouraging and loving to yourself. I go into the psychology of this more in the course.
3. Picture The Best You
Picture The Best You… develop the habit of putting yourself into a gentle state of relaxation (yes, this can be done on the train on your way to work, or just as you drift off to sleep) once relaxed; create pictures of you in your minds eye being the best version of you. Imagine yourself feeling, fit, flexible and strong. If you’re visual (I’m not so I just get on and imagine) visualize yourself doing and being who you are when you are what makes you feel the best. For example, see you looking very much in control, relaxed, confident, peaceful, in love with and loving yourself. See yourself sufficiently confident to make better choices. Encourage yourself to exercise by persistently picturing yourself swimming, walking or taking a class in the gym.
Your subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it… what are you telling it?
More importantly the language of the biggest part of your mind (the subconscious) is imagery, so it prefers to receive positive images. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself regularly.
Don’t be shy, take advantage of the Ask Sue facility here on the website and ask me any questions you have about losing weight.
If you’ve any questions about my Mindful Weight Loss course ask away! The course is unique and I created it more with the idea of helping people to become happier and more at peace with themselves with the weight loss being more a by- product of that. There is no dieting involved in this course, although you do need to want to lose weight and be prepared to make a commitment to doing so.
So if you know someone who would find this useful please pass it onto them.
If you’re one of those rare people who was never shouted at or nagged by your parents, you are truly blessed! For the rest of us it pretty much goes with the territory of having parents and even being one.
This means there’s a part of your brain that holds all the recordings of things your parents and significant carers said or did to you. Only trouble is today you probably think these negatives are coming from you.
For most of us the ‘parent part’: –
Say’s “you should”
Whilst the above list is pretty universal, your individual parent part is specific and personal to you. Have you wondered why, without warning you can suddenly morph into some unrecognisable version of you? And find yourself shouting, nagging or demanding?
Have you ever wondered ‘where you’re coming from’?
If you’re lucky you may have a glimmer of reason from the adult part of you who thinks eh? What happened there, why did I suddenly flip! If you stay in the parent part you’ll just justify your behaviour. But if you dislike feeling like that and would prefer to be calm, rational and ‘adult’ the following exercise will help you to recognise the behaviours of this part sufficiently to avoid them in the future.
In your journal write the heading The Parent Part: –
Now scribble down as many messages as you can remember receiving from your parents when you were growing up. We’re only looking for the negatives here because obviously what isn’t broke doesn’t need fixing!
These messages make up your early programming, so if for example your mother tended to be meek and passive but your father had an explosive temper and shouted a lot, your list will look something like this.
Mixed up isn’t it! You can see that it isn’t always easy to understand what makes you tick. However by making an exhaustive list of your parent part messages you start to understand your programming and as a result stand more chance of being able to choose a different way of responding in the future.
So many people feel beaten up psychologically and lack self love and self-confidence. I believe one of the reasons for this, is due to old programming. Naturally unless you’re introduced to this way of working you would have no way of separating out some of the negative messages in the back of your mind. Once you’re able to allocate this thought process and that behaviour to the parent or child part, you’re free to build on the ‘adult’ aspect of you and be the person you feel you’re really meant to be.
If your ‘parent part’ shouts a lot and is also passive and meek as in the example above, what would the opposite of these behaviours be? Reasonable, rational, assertive? So your adult part might start to look like this.
From time to time I talk about Transactional Analysis, the psychotherapy model that suggests that we have three ‘parts’ running in the back of the mind, that of the parent, adult and child.
For the purpose of this blog and to keep it brief, let’s assume that the programming of the Parent Part and the Child Part is from our past conditioning and as a result, set in stone. This would mean that the only part available for us to grow and develop is the Adult Part.
Because the subconscious mind believes whatever we tell it, we can program the Adult Part of the mind with positive thoughts and ideas.
If we think of the adult part as a clean slate for example, with no past programming, we can set realistic and achievable goals out into the future in order to have, be, or achieve the things we want in life.
If you don’t have a goal, how can you get there?
If we sent 22 footballers out into a field without the goal posts, there would be no game!
When coaching clients, I help them to explore how they would like to see themselves in the future.
Play around with this idea now. How would you like to see yourself in five years time? What will you be doing? How will you be living? What work are you doing? What sort of holidays are you having? What sort of relationships are you enjoying?
If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
The kind of life you would like to lead and the future you would like to have is unlikely to happen on its own, it wont just magically appear. Let me ask you a question. Do you really think that someone else will come along and read your mind, somehow know what you want and need and then provide it? Nope. No one can know what you want and need more than you!
As an adult, you’re in charge of your life and it’s up to you to make it happen.
Try this exercise; pick one area from the following list:
My working life/career/business.
My health and fitness.
My personal goals, this can include travel, courses, and education.
My community/what do I give of myself to others e.g. time money support expertise.
Now ask yourself these questions: If I don’t have to worry about anyone else or what they think, if I don’t have to worry about money or paying bills, what would I be doing? (in the area that you picked from the list).
Quickly write down the things that come to mind.
Build on this idea a bit more by asking more questions like what would it look like, it sound like, how would it feel, what images come to mind?
Does it make you feel light hearted and excited when you imagine that future you?
First of all get to work by dreaming it. I’m going to pick this up again in my blog next week, so be sure to read it to know what to do next.