Inner Parenting for Self Sabotage, Self Sacrifice and Procrastination

Merja Sumiloff
10 min readDec 7, 2020

Most of us struggle with some level of self sabotage, self sacrifice and procrastination. Who knew it was an inside job!

[Excerpt from the 4 People WithinⓇ 6-month self discovery journey]

Self Sabotage

Self sabotage is a behavior or thought pattern which creates unnecessary problems and interferes with our life goals.

Interestingly most of these challenges are a direct result of an unhealthy or an absent Inner Parent. Self sabotage is usually a pattern that originates from the fears of our Inner Children, to which our Inner Parent is unable or unavailable to attend. A great example of a self-sabotaging pattern is when one of our Inner Children is allowed to spark up and continue the spiral of negative inner dialogue.

Allowing one or both of our Inner Children to point out and focus on our flaws can leave us stifled in life, relationships or at work. For example, a negative inner dialogue around lack of self worth at work stops us from asking for help, and we get buried with tasks that are not even ours to complete. At home, if we believe that we are not as important as our children, we forget to prioritize ourselves and end up burning out.

Many can relate to self sabotage through perfectionism. When one or both of our Inner Children feel “not good enough”, their low sense of self esteem is triggered. This triggering requires the Inner Parent to step in and soothe the Inner Children. If the Inner Parent is unable or unavailable to soothe the Inner Children, the Inner Children take this as a sign that they are not safe. Much like actual children, our Inner Children crave compassionate and effective leadership. If they are deprived of it, they will begin to take over. After all, someone has to be in charge.

At first, when the Inner Children take charge, they begin to make statements around not being good enough. Then, as support from the Inner Parent is not forthcoming, the Inner Children begin to look for evidence of it actually being true. This is particularly dangerous as our conscious mind has now given our subconscious mind a Captain’s Order to look for evidence of our shortcomings. And of course, the subconscious agrees, looks for it and finds…

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Merja Sumiloff

Integration Mentor, personality profiler, Founder of Sumiloff Academy of Human Integration