How to Tame the Diabolical Trio

30 April 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Change

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses” ~ Carl Jung

In last week’s blog I spoke about the Diabolical Trio – our inner critic*, inner perfectionist* and inner pusher*. If you missed out on that blog – you can read it here.

In this blog, let’s look at how to tame these inner voices.  No – it’s not with a whip!

First of all, acknowledge that our inner perfectionist, inner critic and inner pusher aren’t all that bad – they just want the best from us. They are actually trying to help us. Without our inner perfectionist we may never be inspired to change, without our inner pusher we would probably never move our bodies and without our inner critic we wouldn’t notice where we could improve. Let’s honour them – they are trying to serve us. The voices of the Diabolical Trio give us some useful feedback and information. The problem comes in when their voices become too loud and bossy. That’s when their intention to help hinders us instead.

The second step is to recognise their voices in your head. What do they sound like? What tone are they using? They love words like “should’ve, could’ve and would’ve”. When you recognise their voices, don’t try to resist them because they’ll only come back louder! Don’t ignore them because they will persist until they are heard! Instead, accept the voices and acknowledge what they say. Thank them for trying to help. The inner critic and pusher will be there when you eat, when you exercise and when you dress but don’t let them take centre stage.  Let them hang around in the wings or even better – send them backstage!

The third step is to thank, detach and dismiss the voices. It looks like this:

Diabolical Trio:
“Hmm you shouldn’t have eaten that no wonder you are so fat”
“Look at how big your bum is, you are so hopeless you will always be big!”
“That workout was pathetic, you are so lazy!”
“You are such a bad mother, you spend so much time working and not with your child”

“Listen here, I know you are trying to help me, but you’re behaving like a bitch, so shut up please…”

Diabolical trio move backstage.

The fourth step to tame the trio is to develop a new character that has been hiding backstage. This part of us must come out on centre stage – our inner nurturer.  This is the part of us that is kind, caring and patient. Every time we make small improvements, the inner nurturer appreciates and acknowledges our efforts. Our inner nurturer is very in tune with the voice of our heart and our body and what it needs. The inner nurturer balances acceptance with self-improvement. So we accept our limitations whilst doing the work to improve them.

Our inner voices have great power. The voices of the trio can help us see areas in our life that need improvement, but if they are too harsh they will cause suffering and inhibit change. Focusing on the voice of the inner-nurturer will be more productive and create lasting change. So, send the trio to the wings or backstage and give your inner-nurturer the leading role in your life!

Have a great long weekend!
Love, Xen.

*The Inner Perfectionist, Pusher and Critic are concepts from Jan Chozen Bays’ book – “Mindful Eating – A guide to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food”.

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