Everyone has a Mini-Me (aka Inner Child). Mini-Me can be any age and each person’s Mini-Me is unique to themselves. While influenced by their Mini-Me every day, adults are often not aware of him or her. Feelings of fear, anxiety, abandonment, shame, anger, withdrawal, and loneliness are often Mini-Me’s feelings. These negative feelings can originate from experiences and memories in childhood that were overwhelming or not properly processed. These experiences are often associated with the relationship attachment with the child’s significant caregivers.
Some Examples - His Experience
Ben’s parents did not communicate to him growing up that he was capable. Therefore, as an adult, even though he owns a successful business, his Mini-Me’s unmet childhood need for affirmation causes an underlying feel of inadequacy. A meeting with other industry professionals triggered his Mini-Me’s feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Mini-Me’s overwhelming feelings caused him to try to manage the situation by manically reading over the meet agenda, planning every possible moment of the meeting in order to protect Mini-Me’s pain.
Recognising Mini-Me, Ben (the Adult) took a moment and said to Mini-Me, ‘Little Ben, are you feeling scared about this meeting and feeling responsible?’ ‘Well, the meeting is going to be fine, how about you let me (Adult) be responsible for the meeting, I think you are awesome, I really value you.’ Ben’s Mini-Me relaxed, calmed down and he went into the meeting as the Adult and ran the meeting affectively.
Belinda never heard her father say she was pretty. An adult now, she occasionally struggles with low self-esteem, and thinks she is not pretty. While she is married to a man who loves her, her unmet childhood needs for loving attention can leave her Mini-Me doubting her worth. The other day her husband went to play tennis and did not give her a kiss goodbye. On this occasion, it triggered Mini-Me’s vulnerability of not feeling loved. Belinda found herself busily cleaning the house in a slightly panicky fashion. After about 30 minutes, Belinda realised that her Mini-Me was doing the cleaning to try to cope with the feeling of not feeling loved.
Realising what was happening, Belinda put the sponge down, made a hot drink and went and sat on the deck in the sun. Recognising Mini-Me’s feelings, Belinda said, ‘Little Belinda, I understand why you are feeling this way, David does love us, he was running late and left in a hurry, you are pretty and very loveable, you mean the world to me, I think you are beautiful’. Belinda sat on the deck for a while and enjoyed the sunshine.
How is Your Mini-Me?
Think about your own childhood. Did you feel adequately nurtured, secure, loved, supported, noticed, and encouraged? Did you have any negative experiences that never really got resolved? As an adult, do you find yourself doing things almost against your own will? Do you feel small, experience negative feelings, or avoiding certain situations? What negative or uncomfortable feelings can you identify? If you can answer some or all of these questions, you may be starting to notice your Mini-Me.
Exercise to consider
If this blog has resonated with you, spend a week ‘noticing’ your Mini-Me, keep a journal of what you notice about how, why and what Mini-Me feels, and when he or she feels it.