How to Quiet Your Inner Mother

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The following is an interview with Dr. Paul DePompo on Mother’s Day.

  1. What do you mean by quieting your “inner mother”?

As a child we are helpless– the Mother is often the first protector.

Her voice was the loudest and it kept us safe – as adults the voice becomes part of our values – yet, once was “safety” can now have cost of “inhibiting” ourselves making us more anxious to make mistakes and we can turn quite critical.1.

  1. Why is it so important?

Society is becoming more “anxious” and there’s a discrepancy between what our parents want from us and the life WE want…when we step outside of “what Mom would do” we hear the critic: “Are you sure you want to do that?” “What if something terrible happens?

  1. So what should our goal be to combat this?

We have to move away from trying to “prevent” bad things from happening (because in life they will), and focus on our ability to be able to cope regardless of what happens. That anxious What If voice just means we are forging new ground in our adult lives

  1. What can we rewire ourselves to do this?

There are two ways to achieve this:

1st: We literally have to turn those “What If’s“(that only cause rumination) into “Then what’s!”

We need to hold that voice accountable and come up with our own plan for how we will handle it. I suggest you write the “What if” down, rate your anxiety on a (1- 10) scale and come up with the “Then What” of what you would constructively do about it if it did occur. Rerate that anxiety again – That anxiety ill go down when you have really worked that then what!

2nd: Look for ways to build confidence in dealing with the unexpected. Experiment with dealing with uncertainty. For example, decide in advance to get the third flavor of ice-cream in the store- regardless of what it is.  You come up with how to deal with it if it is not tasty to you…Get confidence in your ability to cope: a) eat it, b) throw it out if you don’t like it, or c) trade it with someone else.

 

  1. Anything else we should remember?

Know what your goals are in life. And, set aside worry time every day where you can practice putting those “what if’s” to “then what’s” – and challenge yourself every day with take steps toward dealing with uncertainty and moving forward in ways that you want to grow – this will help you become authentic you and live a life where you are living proactively and not defensively.

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