Example 6 The Inner Critic
The Inner Critic is truly single minded. All it does is criticize! It’s the voice in your head that points out every one of your mistakes and weaknesses. It looks at other people and finds you lacking in comparison. You’re never as sophisticated, as good-looking, as wise, as wealthy, as happy, as generous… as the next person. And when the critic is around and running wild, it’s a lose-lose situation, because if you ever did become the best at everything it would criticize you for being too perfect! The Inner Critic makes it easier for you to deal with judgments that come from the
outside – it hurts less when you tell me I’m no good when I’ve already told myself the
same thing. But when the Inner Critic takes hold it makes life miserable, diminishes selfesteem
and can lead to depression and despair.
Example 7 The Seeker
The Seeker has its eyes set on the future – a future of more understanding, more happiness, more connection, more fulfillment. Often linked with the Spiritual self, its concerns are less on the here and now and more on how life might be. The Seeker (aided by the Pusher) demands courage. It keeps you moving forward, always looking out for whatever it is that will help you to ‘grow’.
From the Seeker’s perspective, the journey never ends. It knows that there’s a better you around the corner, so its bags are packed and it’s ready to go. When the Seeker has the power, it’s hard to settle down or to feel content. It looks disdainfully at the ‘settlers’ and moves on.
Example 8 The Playful Child
For the Playful Child, life is joyful. In fact, there’s hardly anything that it can’t turn into a game. Spontaneous and creative, it laughs a lot, and the glint in its eye makes its energy infectious. Ever searching for like-minded playmates, it will do its best to bring out the kid in everyone. There isn’t much the Playful Child likes more than the head-in-the-clouds feeling of early relationship. But when there are so many games to play who’s got the time for serious things! Unburdened as it is by everyday concerns and responsibilities, an unboundaried Playful Child can wreak havoc when there are serious ‘grown up’ issues to deal with. The Playful Child looks at people with furrowed brows and calls them ‘boring!’
Example 9 The Protector-Controller
The boss of it all! That’s what the Protector/Controller wants to be. And who can blame
it when there is so much at stake. Its job is to protect your vulnerability by keeping you
safe in the world. Forever monitoring and evaluating danger, it’s a master controller –
the head of a network of big guns (your Primary Selves team) that it keeps on alert 24/7.
The Protector/Controller has a clear vision of the kind of behaviour that gets rewarded
and that which gets punished, and is quick to judge and disown any self that it deems
embarrassing or inappropriate. With the reins held tight and Be Prepared emblazoned
on its crest, an all-powerful Protector/Controller makes it tough to be spontaneous or to
embrace the new.