We all have conversations with ourself. Sometimes the inner conversations would be really embarrassing if other people heard them. Considering the inner voice is always part of our own mind, it is weird that we can often be more self critical in the way we talk to ourself than we would ever be to a friend or family member. Someone said to me once that they felt as if there was a whole group of people in their mind all wanting to have their say. This makes sense, and it is possible to build this idea into a really helpful concept. Imagine yourself as having different parts each with their own way of doing things. There is the inner confident person, the inner hurt child, the inner bitch, the inner joker and many more. No, it doesn’t mean you are crazy or going nuts because you have a different “self” for every situation.
I find it fascinating the way different situations can bring out the different parts of myself. If something triggers a reminder to abuse, my inner anxious self takes over ad goes into panic, and every other part is pushed to the back. Then there are some of the different parts that like to rule the show and dominate everything. Sometimes, we wish we could respond differently, but the very part that could make the difference to our behaviour that we want, gets pushed to the background by another part that thinks it knows better. It’s certainly easier to smile at this process that reflects what goes on in our head when we think of it like this. If you have seen the Disney movie “Inside out” this will make a lot of sense to you. The whole movie picks up on this process really well.
So what colour are your inner characters? And most importantly, who are your inner characters? Do any of them control the rest of the characters in ways you don’t like? Essentially, this gives a really awesome model to understand yourself better, as well as giving a tool to help with inner change and growth. How does your inner hurt child respond in different situations? It is useful to have a conversation with them in your imagination (No, this isn’t crazy either), and try and respond to them with your adult self. What would have been the most useful way for someone to have talked to you when you were most vulnerable? Maybe you can reflect on this in your inner conversation with your different parts. At the same time, maybe it would be helpful to persuade one or other part to move back a little and make space for one of the other lesser used parts. Maybe you can talk to some of the more ignored parts (like Confidence or Humour?) and help them to grow and have a stronger impact on your own behaviour and thought life.
This is a really fun way to engage in an ongoing process that can have a much deeper impact on your “Over the top” thoughts and beliefs. It is also a way to avoid being overwhelmed by lots of bad stuff. But the real key to making sure that it works and keeps on working, is to go through this exercise frequently. Just as you would never make friends by talking to a person in real life only once, you need to spend time with your inner parts and talk to them frequently over weeks. Oh, and if you haven’t watched “Inside Out” yet, why not get a few friends together and curl up with the kids and enjoy sometime watching it on DVD?
The Inside Out movie clip from Disney.Click Here