We all know that we can sometimes be our own worst enemy. Usually, this is because there is some aspect of yourself that you have restricted, or some part of your life that you have not been willing to fully embrace. There are many reasons why we might hold ourselves back including our early experiences, more recent negative experience, and a lack of experience with more positive potentials. We manifest our holds against ourselves with negative thinking, emotional instability, and a lack of imagination.
Negative inner dialog is sometimes referred to as the “inner critic.” You may not have heard this term before, but I would bet you are familiar with that voice inside your head that says negative things, tells you that you are not good enough, or criticizes your actions. Our inner dialogues are shaped by voices from our past, our thinking habits, our chosen environments, and the effects of the stress and strain of life. Thankfully, there are ways to effectively deal with each of these forces that shape our inner world. Here’s how:
When familiar voices from the past fill up our mind, we can confuse them with our own thoughts. If we listen closely, we can distinguish that these thoughts are not in our own voice, they are in the voices of those people who impressed their views on us. When we bring awareness to what we are hearing/thinking, and we are able to name the person that is speaking to us in the form of our thoughts, it disempowers the thought. It is not what we think. It is what the person who is speaking it thinks.
Some habits die hard. One habit that is particularly difficult to eliminate is the habit of imagining a negative outcome or assuming the worst. When we engage in this type of thinking, we are both less happy and more closed to alternate outcomes. A reframe, is when you take a situation or a thought and restructure it to be both true and positive. For example, a simple reframe can be removing words like never and always to create more room for a positive experience.
The company that we keep makes a huge difference to our inner dialogue. The companions of today may become the “voices from the past” that fill your head with negative thoughts. The way the people around us talk, talk to us, and act will all have an effect on the way that we think. If you are trying to overcome some negative inner dialogue, you might want to take a look around you and see what the people around you are saying and doing. Make a choice to be happy and surround yourself with people who are happy.
The stressors of life can wear us down over time. As we get run down, we tend to get more negative. Our bad habits come to the surface. They can even take over. It is important to take really good care of ourselves so that we can have the strength to be positive. So, if you start seeing more negativity in your thinking, pause and take stock – are you taking care of yourself in the best possible way?
If you are feeling held back in your life, if you are wanting more in each moment, check in with what is happening between your ears. If there is a lot of negative thinking, or even a little, take some time to apply the suggestions above to shift to a more positive perspective and liberate yourself to be more of your full, true self. And tell those negative inner voices – buhbye!
Tune in to this podcast by Dr. Kate on Transforming your Inner Critic. Listen here.
Oxford English Living Dictionaries defines Gratitude: [mass noun] The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In the vein of “paying it forward,” here are a few ways you can show gratitude and kindness through action:
Team up with all your friends and family this Thursday and donate to help end hunger in the United States. For every dollar donated, the Feeding America network of food banks secures and distributes 22 meals to people facing hunger. Think about what an impact you can make if everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner donates just $5.00 …
Thank your reps for the work they’ve done or plan to do (and if they’re not doing that work, you can always mention that too…). You can find your representatives here.
Show compassion and kindness to a community that is often marginalized. Community through humanity.
We see a lot of these around the holidays, but don’t be afraid to keep it up year round! Hunger and poverty don’t quit, and neither should you! Check out these resources.
The fish, dolphins, turtles, and the planet thank you.
Step up to the plate for a group of men and women who stepped up in the biggest way for all of us. Do more than write a thank you letter and take action with this list of helpful steps.
and raise money for an important cause while treating yourself to a physical challenge. Run with a team to optimize your fundraising impact and your fun!
As a translator you will “help non-profits organizations overcome communication barriers, increasing access to critical information and services while fostering a climate of understanding, respect and dignity in times of great need.” More info here.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters has been around for years because they are good at one they do. Join the team as a mentor.
Transform your life so you can optimize the change you make in the rest of the world. Hold positivity, light, and love within yourself and it will infuse everything you do. Be thankful to yourself for who you are and show yourself kindness.
According to some psychoanalytic and psychological theories there are five personality types. These personality types grow out of the experiences we have during the first seven years of our life, called the imprinting phase. Unmet needs from these early childhood experiences carry into adulthood and shape our personality traits and our defenses. Below, I have outlined the five personality types and their associated unmet needs. By examining ourselves through this structure we can gain insights into our own traits, defenses, and needs.
Experiences in infancy shape this personality type’s strong connection to and awareness of the spiritual aspects of life, great capacity to connect with feelings, and profound creativity. This type is also often ungrounded and has a difficult time creating and sustaining relationships, and dealing with the day to day.
An early wound occurring in the womb or around birth, in which the child’s needs for safety were not met, results in a chronic lack of safety. This lack of safety creates a fear of connection and a fundamental lack of groundedness. The adult tries to protect herself from feeling the rage and fear brought on by these early experiences by avoiding contact with others, disassociating, and prioritizing the spiritual.
Experiences in the first year of life shape this personality type’s deeply nurturing nature, capacity for abundance and joy, and deep intuitiveness. This type is also often needy, has difficulty standing on her own two feet, suppresses her emotions, and believes that she must give to get.
The early wound of abandonment by caretakers early in life results in a sense that this type’s needs might never be met, as well as a difficult time using the energy and resources they do have. This type will use depletion, dependency, and compulsive giving to defend against feeling.
This type has a high capacity for pleasure, humor, optimism, playfulness, and joy, and a deep desire to be of service to others. This type also believes that she must please others, suppress all negative emotions, and suppress her own will in order to be loved.
Extreme efforts to be nice, kind, and pleasant defend against losing love and a feeling of inferiority. A deep anger rooted in not being allowed to express oneself results in intensely felt emotions that are repressed. This person may have a difficult time knowing what they think or feel and may use passive aggressive methods to communicate.
This type is a natural born leader with strong abilities to guide and inspire others. They are true adventurers and seekers of truth. They can be humble, honest and loyal. They can also have a difficult time being wrong, be skeptical about everything, and have a difficult time with vulnerability.
This type will defend against being wrong , vulnerable, or out of control by getting aggressive or controlling others. They are likely to use divisive tactics to gain the upper hand in situations and protect themselves from feeling controlled and dominated by others.
This type can be incredibly passionate in relationships, competent in life, and have a strong ability to go with the flow. They can have an appreciation for beauty and the capacity to create beauty. This type can also be unwilling to be vulnerable, have a strong need for perfection, and may choose superficial superiority over real connection.
This type will often use an intense focus on superficial perfection to protect from feeling rejected. In relationships they are likely to withhold either sexual or emotional feeling to protect against re-experiencing the rejection they fear from their childhood. This type will also often use overworking as a defense mechanism.
Our defense mechanisms can be extremely pervasive and determine much of our existence. The extent that they do so is usually determined by the severity of the wound we experienced and our awareness of it. It is interesting to note that what we defend against is often also our greatest potential asset.Using this five personality model we are able to identify what we are most afraid of, find mature ways of creating what we need, and begin to find the gifts hidden in our wounds.
To explore deeper, take the quiz here on our website and sign up for the extraordinary life series. The quiz will help you determine your core wound and the extraordinary life series will help you find positive ways of working with it so that you become less hampered by your defense mechanisms.