But which of my “I’s” has spoken. This may seem like a very bizarre question since every time I “make up my mind” I think that it is my true self-speaking and am proud of coming to a conclusion – but not entirely. My conflict is more emotional than factual. My adult mind says why not do a certain action? Then my bullying mind appears and talks me down; it says how can you even imagine doing that? It will fail. You’ll be an outcast. Your reckless judgment makes me angry.
Which speaking mind represents the adult self? The adult sense of self lives in the present and is the real you. The mobilized internal “Freezing Parent” demands that you surrender. The “Freezing Parent” and the submissive “Frozen child” represent the past. Your adult sense of self falls for the “Child’s” terror and submits to the “Parent’s” bullying. The adult mind disregards its hard-won knowledge and surrenders its ability to decide. Your tyrannical “Parent” is stronger than your adult self due to early years of bullying which crushed your sense of self. A supportive parent encourages the development of self. A controlling parent does not. The suppressed “I” of your emerging adult drifts away like smoke in the wind.
Those raised by parents who shut us down do not develop an adult self. The sense of self largely remains in hiding. If following the “Freezing Parent’s” advice doesn’t work out, the adult accepts the blame. The adult’s perception of self-awareness remains confused. He is led by his ancient identifications.
It important for you to know your various selves, in order to determine which part is giving you its opinion. A person often is confused about which is the best path to follow. This is normal. A child learns by trying things out not by following its parent’s instructions. The same thing goes for an adult. Try your current plan and if that doesn’t work, try a different plan. Do not hate yourself for not knowing in advance as the “Freezing Parent” would have you.
Hating oneself for making a choice that doesn’t “work out” is falling into the “Freezing Parent’s” desire to take you over. Decisions are experiments to learn from. If something doesn’t get us where we want to go, say hooray for having a new insight and move on. Experiment and experiment again rather than to accept another’s solution. A sense of self is developed from trying things out, far more than from “winning.” Winning is an epiphenomenon of life. Doing is life itself.