Self-Parenting: How to actually love yourself…
and manage your emotions so you can build a thriving business of your dreams!
Many of my audience are in the helping professions. Many want to start or grow their businesses. They could be coaches, yoga teachers, accountants, healers, or practicing other creative and spiritual endeavours.
Being a helper is a privilege. But it can also take a toll.
Who is there for you? What do you do after you’ve given so much to so many? How do you restore, recharge or truly love yourself?
If you’ve been around the personal development world, you know the adage that you must learn to love yourself, or you must practise self-care!
The question is, “how do you do that exactly?” Is it always about taking a bubble bath?
Well, I have an answer to that question. And it’s deep. It’s a technique I learned almost thirty years ago.
It’s called Self Parenting.
In this blog I am going to:
- explain the philosophy behind it,
- show you the technique for how to use it, and
- summarize some of the benefits, particularly as a business owner.
By the end of this read, you will know if adding this technique to your self-care routine is for you.
What is Self-Parenting?
We have to set the stage here before we can really define self parenting. And the star of that stage is the Inner Child. 👶
Self-Parenting and The Inner Child
The Inner Child is the emotional part of our personality that didn’t totally grow up. It’s where we got stuck because of trauma. It’s how we handle life when the adult part of us isn’t strong. It’s also where a lot of our energy, passions and exuberance come from.
There is a long history in psychology of working with the Inner Child. In fact, it goes back to Jung and his Divine Child Archetype. And Freud with his Ego, Id, and Superego. In and among these concepts lies the part of you that feels like, sees the world like and acts like a child.
There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with your Inner Child. The problems in life, and in accomplishing a big goal like becoming self-employed and responsible for your own income, is when your Inner Child runs the show or the shop!!!
“I feel out of control.”
“I feel overwhelmed.”
“I’m really worried about what others will say.”
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“I get scared and angry and just too emotional.”
“I feel hurt so easily.”
“I don’t feel like doing that.”
“I’m going to eat that huge desert even though I shouldn’t.”
“I’m my own worst enemy.”
“I’m not showing up for myself.”
“I tend to self-sabotage.”
Above is the voice of your Inner Child. And yes, you have one.
Self-parenting is learning how to become a loving adult parent to that inner child and in turn heal a lot of hurt, trauma and disturbances.
- First and foremost, you must learn to hear the voice of your Inner Child. That means being mindful, and witnessing the things it’s saying without reacting. It’s really a meditative technique. Be mindful of the inner dialogue. Remember, the Inner Child is your emotional brain. Listen for the complaining, the moods, the “I don’t want to’s,” and the fears. Simply listen. Don’t react.
- Get grounded in the Adult/Parent part of you. Call it up if you have to. Ask yourself, “Am I being the Adult here?” It always helps to take a few deep breaths. And keep reminding yourself, “I am the adult here.”
- And say nothing. It’s really easy to re-traumatize your Inner Child with negative, critical or harsh comments or behaviours. You are much better off simply listening.
- Ask quietly, “Inner Child, what do you really need right now?” And listen again. Don’t be surprised if you get some really strange responses. Your job is to really explore what you, as your Inner Child, really need at this moment.
- And then meet that need. If your Inner Child is actually hungry or tired or in need of adult help to tackle a project, simply give it in the most adult and loving way possible. Here again, you need to call up your Loving Parent part. Be the adult you are and take care of the situation in an adult way.
Self-parenting: The Complete Guide to Your Inner Conversations
I learned how to practise Self-parenting almost thirty years ago through a book called Self-parenting: The Complete Guide to Your Inner Conversations by John K Pollard III.
It was life changing.
In this book, Pollard explains how we have inner conversations going on in our head all the time. Mostly, it’s the Inner Child expressing its needs in childish ways, and the Inner Parent being critical or totally absent!
Here’s an example of what used to go on in my head all the time.
I’d look in the mirror and I’d hear myself say, “I’m ugly.”
And then I’d do stuff like eat a ton cake and ice cream to make myself feel better.
Then I’d hear a lot of criticism for my behaviour.
“What’s wrong with you. Don’t you have any discipline? Something must be wrong with you. You hate the way you look and then you just eat to get fatter and uglier…”
The dots indicate the non stop criticism I used to hear in my head.
It could be about things other than how I looked. It could be about what I did or didn’t do. It could be about something I might have said earlier. It could be something I hoped for about my future. Or, I often felt totally alone when it came to solving problems or accomplishing my goals.
You see, dot dot dot. You name it. I could be mean and critical of myself or abandon myself.
And here’s the most amazing thing of all that, I would never, and I mean never say or even think such negative things about anybody else or abandon them!
I treated people so much better than I ever treated myself.
Argh! It’s hard to even think about it. And I heard in my therapy, in the self-help books I read, you know, Louise Hay!!! LOVE YOURSELF. That was a solution that I didn’t know how to attain.
Learning to Parent Yourself as An Adult
Pollard’s book changed all that.
Self-Parenting: The Complete Guide to Your Inner Conversations shows you how to stop the critical inner voice and listen, love, support and nurture your Inner Child.
Through a series of questions and answers, done as a journal exercise daily, I learned how to first hear my Inner Child, identify it, and listen quietly. The daily journal exercise is to write out questions from the Loving Parent side, and write out the answers from the Inner Child side.
I even drew a line down the middle of the page to be able to identify the different voices.
Truth is, when I started, I could not tell the difference between the two voices. I just wrote out the questions on the left side and any answers I heard in my head on the right side. But soon, I started to really hear it and feel it.
There really was a difference in tone, quality and feel.
My Inner Child was ANGRY. She refused to answer most of the questions.
For example, the starting question for a session might be, “Inner Child, how are you doing today?”
And I’d get back, “What do you care. You’ve never asked me this before. What makes you think I want to answer you now!”
No kidding. And honestly, that was nothing. She was REALLY ANGRY. It took almost three months of daily Self-parenting sessions for her anger to go away.
But that meant, MY anger went away. Right?
I started to feel a lot less angry about my life in general. It was a revelation. And a relief.
What Are The Benefits of Self-Parenting?
It’s a great feeling when your Loving Parent starts running your life! Even when the emotional excuses come flying, you, as a Loving Parent, know how to go after what you want. First, there’s the simple self-care activities like flossing 😁 but then there is going after your goals and your dreams methodically, consistently, and successfully, the way an adult would. Can you say “Leave my joyless job and start my own practice?” With self-discipline, you can do that.
The Inner Child is considered the seat of your joy, at least your joy here on earth. There is likely another more spiritual source. But in the meantime, as you are working towards the spiritual joy, you will find you are happier, have more fun and feel more energized once you stop all the incessant inner criticism. Your Inner Child blossoms.
Oh yeah baby. This is the good stuff. Just when you think you’ll never figure out how to love yourself, you start to love yourself. Losing that critical inner voice and replacing it with a loving voice is in fact a great definition for self-love. In the absence of criticism, there is love. You don’t even have to work at it. It just pops right up to fill the vacuum.
When my Inner Child was running my life, I was addicted to pain, suffering and drama in my romantic relationships. Stepping more fully into my Loving Adult Parenting Self, straightened me up. I guess you could say it helps to heal the trauma’s that had caused that unhealthy, immature behaviour in the first place.
And it’s not just romantic relationship. It will help improve your relationship with your kids, friends and family. Even your work relationships will improve because at least you know there is ONE adult in the mix. 😀
A Thriving, Viable Business
You simply need to be able to manage your emotions if you want to have a successful business. Nobody really wants to do all the work you have to do to make it happen. Really. We would much rather do the fun stuff or play the victim and give up when it’s too hard. All that is your Inner Child. Your Loving Inner Parent will help you to grow up. And that’s what it takes, a mindset of Emotional Maturity to put your head down and do the work of being an entrepreneur.
There you go. How about that? Isn’t it interesting?
Just to follow up, I spent an entire year journaling those Self-parenting exercises each morning. I don’t know where I got the discipline to start, but once I had done them for a few weeks, I was hooked. I didn’t want to stop. I could feel things changing in me.
And just so you know, I never hear myself saying mean and critical things about myself anymore. I treat myself as kindly and as lovingly as I treat others. I’d say that’s a big WIN!
If you think you’d like to include Self-parenting into your personal growth routine, I suggest you purchase Pollard’s book.
Also Check out his Website.
And if you want to get started right away, come to my workshop. I’ll teach you how to get started self-parenting right away.
Self-Parenting: How to actually love yourself and manage your emotions so you can build a thriving business of your dreams
Self Parenting Workshop
✨ Tired of watching yourself self-sabotage?✨
What do you think it really means?
No discipline? Low self-esteem? Not good enough?
What if it meant you were just doing a poor job of parenting yourself?
Honestly, all the behaviours we call “self-sabotage” show that your Inner Adult has left the building and your Inner Child is running the show! Yahoo!!! Whoopee!!! Not going to bed! Pass the ice cream!!!
Learn how to wake up that Inner Parent and meet your Inner Childs needs in a very grown up, mature way.
Join me for a FREE Self-Parenting Workshop where I will show you how…how to feel better, how to keep the promises you make to yourself, how to truly love yourself so that you can accomplish all your dreams, desires and goals.
This Mindset Mastery Technique changed my life over 30 years ago. It can help change you too!!!
If you are looking for…
✔️ A thriving viable business
✔️ More joy
✔️ Improved relationships
✔️ More self discipline
✔️ More success in achieving your goals
… then ask your Inner Parent to get you to that workshop.
LIVE… Thursday, October 28th 7-8pm Eastern EDT
(Replay available to registrants for limited time only)
👁 See you there.
Thanks for reading, Lisa