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You may be wondering about how you can connect with your inner child. For a start, you may even have some doubts about the idea of having a wounded inner child. After all, it is not like the inner child is a being that you can actually see or hear externally. Let alone one that is wounded. How, then, do you connect with your inner child, if you are interested to heal aspects about your childhood?
Well….it is true that you can’t actually see your inner child with your naked eye. It may even feel like you are playing pretend when you close your eyes and attempt to see your inner child. Yet, just because you can’t see something with opened eyes does not mean that it does not exist. For example, just because you can’t see electricity does not mean that it is not working in the background when you turn the lamp on.
Everyone has an inner child whether they realise it or not. The idea of having an inner child comes from the psychiatrist Carl Jung, who described a child archetype in his work. The inner child is said to have the qualities of innocence, playfulness, and creativity, along with hope for the future. The inner child can also be a source of strength, since early experiences can play a significant part in your development into adulthood.
But what if the opposite is true?
What if you encountered negative experiences that prevented you from having a happy childhood?
What if the past left you feeling vulnerable, hurt, scared and alone?
Instead of being in a healthy energetic state, your inner child could be wounded. Thus, when childhood experiences negatively affect you, your inner child may continue to carry these wounds until you work on healing.
My recommendation is to suspend doubt and simply allow answers to arise for inner child work. While it is a fact that the past no longer exists, the inner child is still alive inside you. Sometimes, the inner child may take charge over your adult self especially when you get triggered. It is when you get emotionally reactive and you find yourself reacting from a wounded space.
Your inner child exists as an energetic form inside your mind. She resides within your subconscious memory. Chances are, you have put her wounds aside in order to function in the world. Yet, she lets you know that she is needing attention by surfacing her issues from long time ago.
Hence, in order to reach your inner child, you need to create the access subconsciously through your mind’s eye. Some people are able to access their subconscious mind a lot more easily than others. But I’d like to believe that everyone is capable of accessing their subconscious consciously. Giving yourself the chance to relax for deep-level access and trusting yourself intuitively can help a lot!
S.H.I.F.T. For Inner Child Healing
For Inner Child Healing, I came up with the S.H.I.F.T. framework so that you can easily remember the steps on what to do.
S – See your inner child through your mind’s eye. Suspend doubt and simply allow your inner child to present in front of you.
H – Hold a safe space for her. Be warm and inviting, rather than be suspicious or even judgmental of her.
I – Identify her feelings and sensations. Ask her to name the emotions she is having and the sensations in her energetic body.
F – Find out what her beliefs and needs are. Determine what conclusions or beliefs she made about herself and the world and what needs were missing for her.
T – Take appropriate actions to help her resolve her issues. Ask her what she needs from you right now. For instance, if she is believing that she is unlovable, what does she need from you to let her know that she is lovable. Alternatively, how best can you assure her that she is loved for what she is?
Hope you find the above tips helpful!
Learn more about how S.H.I.F.T for Inner Child Healing works by checking out my Self-Love Reparenting starter course. Alternatively, if you need more personal guidance on connecting with your inner child, reach out for a discovery call to find out more about working together.
Love and Abundance Always,
Self-Love Reparenting Coach
The post How to Connect with Your Inner Child using S.H.I.F.T. appeared first on Abundance Coach for Women in Business | Evelyn Lim.
What does reparenting yourself mean?
Reparenting yourself simply means healing your inner child and giving your inner child the love and the guidance and support that you didn’t receive when you were young, in the present.
[Update] Check out my new online course on How to Reparent Yourself.
How Our Childhood Experiences Affect Us
Children don’t just need food, cloth and shelter. As children, we look to our parents for love and support. Also, we need them for guidance on important life skills. For example, we learn from our parents on how to manage emotions, how to treat ourselves, make decisions or to set limits. Our parents are models for unconditional love and what healthy relationships look like.
In reality, many people do not have the perfect childhood. Our parents might have emotionally neglected us, for instance. They were far too busy trying to make a living. Or they were not expressive themselves and failed to acknowledge our feelings. However, as we know now, any absence of emotional connection can impair the healthy growth and development of a child.
When we were young, we might have been disciplined in harsh ways that led us to believe that they did not love us. One client I know was whipped by her dad with a cane whenever she was deemed to be a naughty child. Another client was often told that she would amount to nothing if she failed her exams. A third client would end up with bruises from being punished for her disobedience. These are devastating real-life stories from clients who sought help for healing their past trauma.
It is also possible that we were not guided or taught essential life skills. After all, our parents weren’t taught themselves either. They could have come from broken homes, suffered from abuse or had addiction problems. With no guidance or role models, they weren’t fully equipped nor have the resources to become better parents.
So it is that we weren’t given adequate support, safety and assurance that any child would have wanted. Since they were hardly around for us, we could not develop trust. The result is that we grew up feeling insecure and unhappy.
Where we believe that we are unlovable, we can feel the lack. Many clients reported to feeling numbed but as soon as they were willing to uncover their deeper fears about not feeling loved, they described sensing a gaping hole in the heart. Not surprisingly, experiencing a lack on the inside can drive anyone to look for ways to fill the gap; such as entering into relationships with partners and hoping that they would complete us. We develop insecure attachment styles, thus creating problems in our relationships.
Reparenting Yourself with Love
If we are to grow to be healthy adults, we need to learn important social and emotional skills and have the opportunities to practice them. At the core, what we need is love and we will need to find ways to address the lack. Fortunately, the answer lies in reparenting. In fact, as I call it….
Reparenting is an essential component of a healthy self-love practice.
When we no longer look to others for love and approval, we are likely to be less emotionally triggered and reactive today. Our decisions are driven less by the fear of rejection or abandonment and feeling the lack. Thus, we are more empowered to make wiser choices.
In the past, I had not realised how childhood emotional neglect and not having my feelings acknowledged can create challenges like having low confidence. Fortunately, I found out how it is possible to reparent myself.
It is with reparenting that I grew in acceptance, confidence and compassion. The result is an increased ability to take charge and inspiring others to do the same
Since we can’t change the past of how we were parented, the best that we can do now is to reparent our inner child. When we choose to do so, we are taking responsibility. We release any blame targeted at our parents and instead, direct our attention to healing ourselves. With reparenting, we are connecting with our inner child with assurance, care, and guidance. We give our inner child advice that is much needed.
Check out my latest course on How to Reparent Yourself and Heal Your Inner Child.
The post Reparenting Yourself: What Does It Mean and How to Get Started appeared first on Abundance Coach for Women in Business | Evelyn Lim.
If you have an insecure attachment style, you can potentially benefit from doing some reparenting work. Insecure attachment affects those in their ability to form healthy relationships, make decisions and/or to cope emotionally. On the other hand, reparenting yourself helps you to heal your inner child, gain trust and maintain emotional stability. Thus, you enhance your ability to cultivate close relationships, boost confidence and enhance overall well-being.
Attachment styles first came from the work of John Bowlby, a psychologist. He first proposed Attachment theory in the 1950s and 1960s. Attachment theory helps us to find out more about the nurturing that was experienced during the initial years of our life and how it affects us today.
Bowlby’s view is that the bond between mother and child is most important of all. The first formative 18 months is very crucial in the child’s development. Where there is adequate nurturing, the child grows up to be a secure adult. Conversely, the absence of adequate nurturing leads to insecure attachment and the forming of invisible emotional wounds that often results in maladjustments in the emotional, social and cognitive development of the child.
There are altogether 4 main attachment styles: Secure, Anxious-ambivalent, Avoidant and Disorganised.
Secure Attachment Style
A secure attachment style is created when there has been a warm and loving bond between parent and child. The child (assuming female) is able to perceive that she is cared for. She feels safe to explore, and experiences little or no anxiety separation as she is aware that her parent will still be there for her when she returns.
A secure child grows to develop social skills. She is happy to give, take, and share, and she shows empathy to others when distressed. Where she is secure, she tends to face no or fewer problems with forming long-term and intimate relationships with others during adulthood. She experiences little fear of abandonment and finds that she is able to trust her partner.
[My Comments] No reparenting is required as the inner child of a secure adult is likely to be in great psychological health and well-being.
All the other 3 styles fall under insecure attachments.
Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment Style
An anxious-ambivalent child tends to feel nervous and are not able to trust others. She has a fear of abandonment. As a result, she is fearful when she explores her surroundings. During the formative period, her caregiver may have acted nurturing and responsive one moment and unavailable or insensitive the next. The caregiver’s actions may not have been intentionally neglectful but the child perceives an inconsistency. As a result, she gains anxiety and tries her best to seek approval.
Ambivalence refers to having mixed feelings, thus potentially leading to indecisiveness or uncertainty in adulthood. Those with anxious attachment style tend to be clingy and emotionally dependent on others. They often feel unloved by their partners whilst finding it difficult to love themselves. Consequently, they tend to sabotage their relationships.
[My Comments] Reparenting of the inner child needs to involve alleviating any fears of abandonment, calming heightened anxiety and building trust with consistency and reliability.
An avoidant child finds it necessary to protect herself by becoming self-reliant. She holds the view that her emotional needs are likely to remain unmet. And so, she needs to behave like a “little adult”.
Her caregivers may have disregarded her needs by not being responsive and behaving in a manner that appears to be a rejection. For example, she may have been told to “stop crying”, “grow up” or “you’re acting like a baby”. Hence, she has no outlet to express what she feels. As a result, the avoidant child finds it hard to get into close relationships. In adulthood, she avoids intimacy and tend to shut down any form of attachment. During times of crisis, she often find it hard to cope emotionally and have trouble seeking help.
[My Comments] Reparenting is to involve acknowledging how the inner child feels, offering her a safe space to process her emotions and letting her know that it is okay for her to reach out for help.
Disorganised Attachment Style
Disorganised attachment is a combination of avoidant and anxious attachment. A child with disorganised attachment style often demonstrates intense anger and rage. The fearful avoidant attachment style is often seen in children who have gone through deep trauma or abuse.
During the formative period, the caregiver may have behaved chaotically or unpredictably. There is a huge contrast in behaviour, that puts the child in a lot of fear and the child perceiving the caregiver to be “scary”. The caregiver goes from being affectionate to aggressiveness and back again, without any logical explanation.
Fearful avoidant children with disorganised attachment face the challenge of having to adapt to their caregiver’s behaviour. They end up confused about how they should act. Another reason for fear is going through trauma that involves the attachment figure. For instance, the caregiver abuses the child (verbally, physically, or sexually) or the child witnesses the caregiver abuse someone else. The child is no longer able to trust the caregiver.
Those with disorganised attachment styles want to love and be loved but at the same time, they are afraid of letting anyone into their heart. They have a strong fear that the people who are closest to them will hurt them. Their fears often become self-fulfilling. As adults, they are afraid of getting into intimate relationships and can have a difficult time controlling their emotions.
[My Comments] Reparenting work needs to involve building safety and helping the inner child set healthy boundaries. Deep healing work is necessary where there is past trauma.
Addressing Insecure Attachment Through Reparenting
Refer to the graphic for a summary on the 4 attachment styles
Fortunately, it is possible to address insecure attachment styles. You may have started out as being insecurely attached when you were young but through reparenting and healing your inner child, it is possible to become a lot more confident, trusting and grounded.
In short, the message is…
“Reparent yourself, so that you can transform your insecurely attached inner child to one that feels safe, holds confidence and one that is able to set healthy boundaries.” Evelyn Lim
Check out my starter online course on How to Reparent Yourself and Heal Your Inner Child >>
Alternatively, apply for a discovery call to find out more about working with me, so that you can turn your insecure attachments to healthy reparenting!
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