The Diabolical Trio: Part I

Filed Under: Change

21 April 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Who are the diabolical trio? They are like the 3 ugly stepsisters in Cinderella or The Three Wicked Witches of the West…

Sadly they are not fairy tale caricatures, but inner voices in our head that create misery and despair! I know them intimately – they lived in my head for many years and they still pop in to visit more often than I would like!

The first of the trio is Perfectionista a.k.a The Inner Perfectionist*.

She looks around and searches for her ideal vision of perfection… What she sees in movies and adverts. She aspires to look as close to those airbrushed photos of perfection in Vogue and Marie Claire. If she looks like those photos – all will be well in her world…

Enter the second of the trio, The Inner Pusher*, Imelda.

She comes to partner with Perfectionista and creates to-do lists and a goal plan that looks like this:

  • No Carbs, Wheat or Gluten
  • No Sugar
  • No Dairy
  • No Alcohol
  • Cardio 4 x a week
  • Weights 2 x a week
  • Boot Camp on Sundays

She is ruthless and relentless. Nothing is good enough, it could always be better or more or different. Satisfying this inner task-master is not for the faint-hearted!

However, the inevitable happens, the programme is too rigid and as humans we falter and have a slice of cake at our mother-in-law’s birthday tea, miss a workout or have a drink after a frazzling day.

Enter stage right…

Cruella the Critic*, the third and meanest of the trio appears with her loud, strident, high-pitched voice, telling the other two that they are hopeless and have no willpower or self control. They will never get this right – they may as well give up and never try again!

Cruella successfully creates an emotional avalanche of shame, guilt, regret and self-blame that refuels the same old cycle with the same protagonists and the very same sad ending. Does this sound familiar?

So, what do we have to do to change the script?

In next week’s episode, I will talk about how to tame this wicked trio…

Have a great week!


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

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