The DJ's in your head
We are not singular in our psychology.
The multiplicity of the human mind is widely recognised, natural and universal.
Inside every person exists a unique and elaborate system of ‘parts’ with a uniting ‘core self’.
The practice of understanding your parts becomes easier and more enjoyable if you can open your mind to the possibility that your parts are like little beings that dwell inside you. I love how Dr Richard Schwartz describes parts:
‘They’re little inner beings that are trying their best to keep you safe and to keep each other safe and to keep it together in there. They have full-range personalities: each of them has different desires, different ages, different opinions, different talents, and different resources. Instead of just being annoyances or afflictions (which they can be in their extreme roles) they are wonderful inner beings.’
You might like to think about your parts as you inner DJ’s.
For a brief period in my early twenties, I had a second job working as a DJ for a mobile party company. My job required me to travel to eighteenth and twenty-first birthday parties at RSL clubs across Sydney. I sucked at being a DJ. I shook with nerves every time I had to make an announcement on the microphone and spent most of the night standing stiffly behind my decks.
To get through each excruciating party, I devised a standard playlist. I would always play Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper (a cry for help), Love Shack by the B-52s (because it was the 90s) and American Pie by Don McLean (because it was over eight minutes long, giving me enough time to go to the toilet).
Much like I did, your parts have a limited and predictable playlist. The tracks that often play in my head include Everything is Urgent and You Can’t Handle This.
Here are some more examples of different parts and the songs they love to play inside our heads.
- The Judgemental Part: To survive, you’ve got to figure out what’s wrong.
- The Controlling Part: You’ve got to stay in control, whatever it takes.
- The Hyper Achiever Part: Your achievements are proof of your worthiness.
- The Catastrophising Part: It is going to be this bad forever and life will be unbearable.
- The Victimised Part: The deck is stacked against you, and you are powerless.
- The Know-It-All Part: You should have all the answers.
- The Hyper Planner Part: You must have a plan for every possible scenario.
- The People Pleaser Part: You should always put the needs of others first.
- The Pusher Part: You should be working harder – it’s not enough.
- The Comparer Part: You are so much better/worse than that person.
- The Impossible Standards Setter Part: It have to be perfect – you’ve got to get it right.
- The Mr Tough Guy Part: Whatever happens, don’t show any sign of weakness.
- The Fixed Mindset Part: You’ll never get it.
- The Discomfort Avoider Part: Don’t even try – you won’t be able to handle it.
- The Just Lucky Part: You just got lucky this one time.
- The Imposter Part: You are a total fraud – and any day now they’ll find you out.
- The Shamer Part: You’ll never be good enough – there’s something wrong with you.
- The Critical Part: You’re stupid/weak/naïve/selfish/ugly/fat/greedy/disgusting.
- The Fear of Failure Part: You’re just going to make a complete fool of yourself.
- The Wine Lover Part: Just have a drink – you’ll feel better. You deserve it.
- The Shop-a-holic Part: Buy something nice and just forget about everything for a while.
However, your inner DJ’s are not always what they seem.
By trusting they are all doing their best to keep you feeling safe, connected and worthy, it becomes possible to get to know them.
You can’t turn your inner DJ’s off, but you can learn how to turn down the volume on their go-to tracks.
With practice, you can change your relationship with your thoughts – and remember that your thoughts may or may not be true.
And that they are certainly not reliable instructions on how to behave.
The result? Over time, you build the capability to reconnected to your true power – your ‘core self’, and feel more authentically empowered.
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