DISCOVERING YOUR “INNER MEANIE”
Who is it & What Does it Want From You?
Last post (“Does Your Inner Meanie Sabotage Your Life?”) I talked about how your “Inner Meanie” sabotages your life and I suggested supportive strategies to help end that cycle.
I trust you’ve found success challenging some of your own negative thoughts that can lead to self-sabotage.
In this post, we’ll be exploring the Inner Meanie: who it is, where it comes from, what it wants from you and I’ll introduce you to 7 types of inner meanies.
WHO IS THIS “INNER MEANIE” & WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Growing up, we’ve all been on the receiving end of negative messages from authority figures. Intended or not, negative messages from parents, teachers, family members, siblings, religious groups and the media have all influenced us. Like a broken record in our minds we replay these negative messages over and over. For most of us these messages continue to shape who we are.
Regardless of where it came from the “Inner Meanie” is not you. You’re merely the person aware of the critical inner meanie voice. Your true, authentic self is kind, creative, loving, compassionate, joyful, inquisitive, and supportive.
The awesome news is you can learn how to make friends with your “Inner Meanie” and pave way for your true inner voice, but first you need to recognize and separate “the meanie” from the true self. The best way to do that is to get to know the true purpose of your inner meanie.
It might help to think of your “Inner Meanie” as a child. Like a child, your “Inner Meanie” lacks the vocabulary and resources to help the adult you. That’s why it’s so mean and blunt. It’s acting in inappropriate ways to get your attention. But it does have a purpose.
Your inner meanie’s job is to warn and protect you. It does this by trying to get you to avoid rejection, disappointment and pain. At its core, it’s trying to keep you in the status quo, because there it feels safe, comfortable and cozy. The problem is, by avoiding situations, people and opportunities that may cause you pain, you also miss out on the opportunities for personal growth, caring support, loving connection, spontaneity, curiosity and joy.
I encourage you to pause for a few moments and write out what you’ve discovered so far about your “Inner Meanie” and the inner messages it’s trying to tell you.
Psychotherapists Bonnie Weiss and Jay Earley have identified 7 types of “Inner Meanies”.
See which one resonates with your “Inner Meanie” the most.
(#1) THE PERFECTIONIST – pushes you to do everything perfectly or not at all. It sets impossible standards and lets you know when you don’t live up.
(#2) THE TASKMASTER – is like a drill sergeant, urging you to overachieve or show extreme discipline.
(#3) THE UNDERMINER – discourages you from taking risks. It wants to prevent you from failing by persuading you not to try. This ultimately undermines your self-confidence and self-esteem.
(#4) THE INNER CONTROLLER – forces you to hold back and ignore your instincts. It fears your instincts will lead you to rejection.
(#5) THE GUILT TRIPPER – attacks you for something specific you did or didn’t do that violates a deeply held value or belief.
(#6) THE MOLDER – compels you to fit a certain mold that family, society, or your culture wants you to fit into. When you conform it praises you. When you rebel it attacks you.
(#7) THE DESTROYER – makes persistent attacks on your self-worth. Its weapons are shame and embarrassment.
WHICH TYPE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Does your “Inner Meanie” take on the voice of one of these 7 types?
Several of them?
All of them?
These “Inner Meanie” types all have their particular characteristics, but their objective is the same and that is to keep you from evolving and locked in to the status quo.
I challenge you over the next week to start noticing when your “Inner Meanie” is trying to get your attention. Acknowledge it. Listen to its deeper meaning and what it’s wanting from you.
Ask yourself what can you learn from it?
When you pay attention to your meanie, do you notice it starts to get a little quieter and less intense? Or does it have a bigger influence on your thoughts and actions?
Your natural tendency may be to push it away, sweep it under the rug or get involved in a multitude of unproductive thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, just notice it. Don’t judge or punish it. This makes it possible to develop a harmonious relationship with your “Inner Meanie” and transform it into a positive resource for your growth and development.
Try sending it some tender loving care as you continue to become more familiar with its personality and super crafty shenanigans!
If you haven’t already downloaded my FREE REPORT “How To Keep Your Sanity And Thrive Through Your Transition” I encourage you to do so.
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It discusses more in-depth tips and techniques you can implement right away to help you successfully navigate through your challenging transition and find clarity through what may seem chaotic.
I look forward to connecting with you,