If I ask you what is your relationship with your self what would you answer?
Do you like who you are?
Do you feel comfortable being yourself?
If you think about your inner-child self what do you feel about it? Do you know what the concept of the inner child is?
The answers you give to these questions, can offer you a lot of information about yourself and why you follow the behavioral patterns you do. What influences your decision making, how you interact with others, whether you feel fulfilled in your life, how you have fun? All of these and a lot more can be understood by how you treat yourself and what you believe about you.
Think about it for a minute. What is your instinctive feeling when you think about yourself? Is it positive and comforting like connecting with an old friend? Is it neutral or uninteresting? Is it causing anger or disappointment? Does it evoke hatred or shame?
Whichever way you answer, it's important to remember that it's up to you to shape this connection. If there is anything about yourself you don't like and somehow it gets in the way of you living your life in the way you wish to, then perhaps it's worth the time and effort to explore and understand what makes you who you are.
To understand the inner child construct of self, we could imagine ourselves broadly operating in two ways: the rational and emotional or the inner adult and inner child. The inner adult or rational logical aspect of us would be responsible for decision making, right/wrong, doing what we need to, etc. The inner child aspect would be the emotional response to our experience.
When we have a healthy self-esteem and a relatively balanced relationship with ourselves, then these aspects of ourselves are in harmony. When our relationship with ourselves is not very positive, then most probably the inner adult and inner child become disconnected. What does that look like? Inner judgment, harsh criticism, emotional reactions, emotional disregulation, angry outbursts, anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms, unhappiness, low morale, low energy and lack of motivation, and so forth.
All our behaviours are a response to something or someone. When we don't consciously take the time to consider how we want to react to circumstances, we tend to react automatically based on previous experiences and long-held beliefs about ourselves and others.
Understanding these beliefs and automatic behaviours, helps to shift and change, towards a more authentic experience.
How can this be achieved? A good place to start would be:
1. Find your reason for change. This will be your motivation. For example, it could be you wish to feel more at peace in your life or would want to have more fun.
2. Observe your internal dialogue and how you talk to yourself.
3. Start using kinder and more neutral terms when talking to yourself, when you make a mistake or when things don't go according to plan.
4. Spend time figuring out what gets in the way of change and where you wish to find yourself moving forward.
5. Become curious again about yourself and your life, avoid taking things for granted.
6. Set small manageable goals as change happens one step at a time.
7. Allocate some time during the day to check in with yourself and notice how you are feeling.
Becoming more aware of your internal workings and connecting your inner child with your inner adult in a balanced manner, will open up the space for you to find a sense of contentment within.