Partnering with your Inner Child for personal transformation

The concept of the Inner Child, first proposed by renowned psychologist Carl Jung, offers profound insights into understanding the negative reactions that often hold us back in life. I believe that our Inner Child holds the key to re-deciding our future self and paving the way for personal growth and emotional well-being.

Social anxiety, angry outbursts (or inbursts!), and self-destructive behaviours are just a few examples of the ways in which our wayward Inner Child presents itself. It can also be behind the reason we find ourselves being taken advantage of, or in bad relationships over and over again.

These situations can leave us puzzled and frustrated. It is only when we realise that we have an Inner Child with a psyche of its own that we can start to do something about it.

When we start delving into the realm of our Inner Child, we can shed light on what’s really going on. This is because our Inner Child carries the unresolved emotions and experiences from our past, which shape our present behaviours.

I would go as far as to say that developing a relationship with our Inner Child may hold the key to re-deciding our future selves.

Your Inner Child has its own way of looking at the world

Let’s delve into the essence of the Inner Child. At its core, the Inner Child embodies the innocence, vulnerability, and authenticity within each of us. It encompasses the emotions, experiences, and beliefs that took root during our early years. When we grow up in an environment where our feelings are acknowledged, and we receive the necessary support and love from our parents or caregivers, a healthy Inner Child thrives.

On the other hand, when a child lacks adequate parenting or emotional nurturing, they develop beliefs as a form of defence.

These beliefs, created as coping mechanisms during childhood, serve to protect us from further harm. However, as adults, these manifested behaviours can sabotage relationships, hinder career progress, and prevent us from fully experiencing life’s joys and opportunities. 

Consider some common limiting beliefs that originate from childhood:

1. “There’s something wrong with me”

2. “It’s all my fault.”

3. “I’m not good enough.”

4. “Nobody is interested in what I have to say.”

5. “I’m always a burden.”

These beliefs can lead to poor boundaries, controlling behaviour, and anxiety disorders as adults. It becomes evident how these beliefs hinder our ability to live fulfilling lives.

However, we have the power to challenge and overcome these limiting beliefs. Many individuals are not even aware of their own deeply rooted beliefs. Once uncovered, we can begin the process of reparenting our Inner Child, providing the care and support they may have missed in their formative years. By addressing these wounds, we can heal and create a more empowered adult.

Say hello to your Inner Child

Partnering with our Inner Child is the path to soothing the scared Inner Child and overcoming limiting beliefs that interfere with our adult lives. This partnership involves recognizing and validating the emotions and experiences that were not acknowledged during our childhood. By connecting with our Inner Child, we create an opportunity to rewrite the narratives and beliefs that drive our unwanted behaviours.

This partnership involves practical steps that allow us to effectively connect and communicate with our Inner Child. For example:

Validate unrecognised feelings

As children, our feelings were often invalidated or disregarded. By partnering with our Inner Child, we acknowledge and validate these emotions that were once overlooked, offering the compassion and understanding they deserve.

Uncover limiting beliefs

By getting in touch with our Inner Child, we bring our limiting beliefs to the surface, making them available for change. Through this awareness, we can begin to challenge and reframe these beliefs, reducing or even eradicating the negative feelings that drive unwanted behaviours.

To further illustrate the process, let’s explore three moments when it is beneficial to check in with our Inner Child and how we can overcome limiting beliefs through dialogue:

1. When Facing Self-Doubt: In moments of self-doubt, we can talk to our Inner Child, reminding him/her of their inherent worth and capabilities. We can assure him/her that they are deserving of success and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone.

2. When Navigating Relationships: Challenging beliefs around trust and vulnerability is crucial in developing healthy relationships. By engaging in a dialogue with our Inner Child, we can heal past wounds and foster a sense of emotional security, enabling us to form deeper connections.

3. When experiencing fear of rejection: Reassure your Inner Child that their voice and opinions matter. Encourage them to express themselves authentically, knowing that their thoughts and feelings are valuable.

4. When dealing with perfectionism: Remind your Inner Child that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Emphasize the importance of self-acceptance and self-compassion.

In partnering with our Inner Child, we work together as a team, harmoniously guiding ourselves toward the desired outcome and life lessons. By offering our Inner Child the support, love, and understanding they may have lacked, we create a space for growth and transformation. 

READ NEXT: Could Logotherapy Help You Discover Meaning and Purpose in Life?

As we embark on this journey, it is important to adopt an attitude of patience and trust in the process. Change takes time, and altering automatic emotional responses does not happen overnight or with the flick of a switch. However, with consistent practice and commitment, it is possible to make profound shifts in our lives. Be prepared to visit and revisit discomfort as part of the healing process, and consider seeking coaching or professional support to guide you through this transformative journey.

Partnering with our Inner Child is a powerful pathway to transformation. Commit to change, and embrace the support available to you. The rewards of a healed and integrated self are immeasurable.

Photo: Barbara Olsen

Stephen Ellerker
Verified Coach
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Stephen Ellerker is a Counsellor, Transactional Analyst and Life Coach helping people discover their purpose and to create a life of meaning and fulfilment. Book a free consultation here or email hello@stephenellerker.coach

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