The introject, as I understand the term, is the critical, disparaging voice we hear inside our heads after being criticized and disparaged over a period of time by others. That is, if there were people in my life who hurt me, I continue their abuse on myself long after the relationships with those people are over or minimized.
I’ve done some serious inner work this past year over firing my introject. It hasn’t been easy. This isn’t about going to the sink and getting a glass of water and feeling better. This is about taking an honest look at the limiting beliefs I carry around like barnacles and prying them off forever.
The introject says there are errors in my making. I’m lazy, I’m messy, I’m destined for a weight problem. I’ll never succeed.
The introject is insidious. It gets under my skin.
We all have known people who would make us feel incapable and insignificant at some point in our lives. I learned that I had recorded negative messages and played them inside my own head on a never ending reel. Noticing I held disparaging remarks as truth was a huge first step in firing my introject. Every time I noticed an introject thought, I countered it with a fact.
Introject: Getting in shape will never be easy for you.
Me: I hiked eight miles in the hills the other day and felt great, so stop talking.
Firing the introject requires a wholesale shift of the beliefs I have carried about myself for a long time. In the silence I will tell a new story, one with an open ending. One that says that everything is possible.
Identifying the inner critic is a big first step. Who have been the source of your introjects? Don’t be afraid of being disloyal. Nobody is reading this but you. What beliefs of others have you internalized as truth, even if they don’t feel right or good to you?
What do you imagine was going on with that critical person to make him or her disparage you? What compassionate thing would you say to him or her if you could?
List an introject message and then counter it with facts to the contrary. Do this as many times as feels good. Example: My introject says I am bad with money. The fact is, I have a roof over my head, I’m a contributing member of society, and I am very careful about my spending.
List ten things you would tell yourself as a young person if you could go back in time. What ten truths did you as a young person actually need to hear?
The poet Khalil Gibran once said, “Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.” What are ten truths you can share with other people in your life, especially younger people, that reflect kindness?