Have you ever said “part of me really wants to quit my job, but there is another part that doesn’t.” or“part of me wants to lose weight but there is another part that thinks it’s just too hard”? We all know how to lose weight, eat less and exercise more. Yeah, yeah. We all know how, but it’s why we’re not doing it, that’s the real question. If all parts of you wanted to lose weight, you would. So which part of you is sabotaging your weight loss success?
We all have different aspects of our personality that make us unique, however these parts can have different motivations than we are consciously aware of. Through various techniques, we can access our inner saboteurs, and change our beliefs at the core.
For example, have you ever felt like you can’t stop yourself from doing something that “part of you” doesn’t want to do? For instance, you would like to lose a few kilos and decide you are going to go on a diet. You spend hours researching the best food and exercise plan and know that this time you are going achieve your goal. Nothing is going to stop you from creating the body of your dreams!
The first day or two goes well and then catastrophe strikes. You may suddenly wake up from a sugar induced fog to realize you have eaten a whole packet of biscuits or you have no idea how you ended up in the McDonalds drive thru and scoffed a big Mac. Let me reassure you, it wasn’t the devil that made you do it. You may seem to “come to” wondering what the hell happened! You were so motivated, so focused, how could you have gotten so off track?
We are all familiar with the analogy of the little angel and devil on either shoulder, trying to persuade us to do their will and like that, we may have different parts with very different motivations from each other and our conscious goals.
Sometimes there are parts of our psyche that are in conflict with the rest of us or in disagreement with our conscious mind. This is a normal psychological phenomenon because we all have parts of our personality that have split off and keep us struggling to make decisions. Just as with any team endeavour, life flows better when our parts are working together.
Like multiple personalities, we have different characters within us that make up our personas. We may have a child part, a rebellious teenager, a critical parent or a wise guide within us. The average person has between five to seven different “parts” or “ego states” that take over during any given week. These parts may have different ages, different names, even opposite sexes. They are normally developed from some sort of trauma, and trauma can be something as simple as being embarrassed, or upset, by something. These “parts” then develop in order to keep you safe from experiencing that pain again. How they avoid that pain may not be in alignment with your conscious goals and desires.
The problem with our “parts” or “sub-personalities” is that most of us do not have conscious knowledge of them. And it’s pretty hard to change something that you’re not even aware of.
Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of accessing these unconscious aspects of ourselves. Parts Therapy is a proven technique used in conjunction with hypnosis that helps us communicate with these aspects of our subconscious. To find out why we do things we may be ashamed of or can’t just stop no matter how hard we try, talking to these parts gives us a level of understanding and control that can help us transform our lives.
When clients speak of qualities they don’t like about themselves or try to disown a part or state in therapy, I explain that all your so-called “faults”, all of the traits that you don’t like about yourself can be your greatest assets. They may be simply exaggerated and you need to tone them down. In doing this, you will be able to turn weaknesses into strengths and negatives into tools that can work for you. You just need to see the gifts in the negative behaviour, learning to use them in suitable moments. By embracing the parts you don’t like, you can see the gifts that these qualities can bring and guide you toward your goals and self-acceptance. Basically, this process will help you to reframe your outlook of yourself.
By learning to forgive ourselves for being human and imperfect, we learn to accept and forgive others as well, which can transform our lives. Sub-personality awareness also brings great understanding to the important relationships in our lives and how we may be projecting unconscious aspects of ourselves onto another person.
During my training in “Parts Therapy”, I went to a therapist to experience it for myself. I decided to address my own sabotaging behaviour with my weight. I had no conscious awareness of why I always seemed to sabotage myself, as soon as I neared my goal weight – I would start eating everything in sight, gaining back every kilo I worked so hard to lose.
In the session, I accessed a younger part of myself that said no matter what, she was going to try to make me as fat as possible in order to keep me safe from any negative male attention. This part of myself had decided that by keeping me overweight, she was keeping me safe in the best way she knew how. Throughcommunicating with my sabotaging part, the therapist was able to help my part see that she wasn’t actually helping me to stay safe and there were better ways to develop a feeling of safety. This process was a revelation for me; I realized that some of my thoughts around food were coming not just randomly, but were being driven by a part of myself that had an ulterior motive.
After that session, I just seemed to stop having that internal battle. I experienced an inner peace I had never known before. I stopped struggling with my eating habits and my weight normalized. Now and then I may get an urge to eat food that I know causes me to gain weight. I am able to have a conversation with myself, finding out what may be driving this urge. Once we’ve had our “little talk”, the unhealthy desires seem to shift.
“Parts Therapy” is, and continues to be, a powerful tool that I use to assist clients in changing their lives. These parts are very real to the client. Recognizing the parts desires and negotiating a change that is agreeable to both allows you to end the constant “to-and-fro”. We have all experienced it. Bringing these parts into alignment creates a more peaceful existence, and who wouldn’t benefit from that?