Posts Tagged ‘self-sabotage’

Financial Self Sabotage: How Outer Children Acting En Masse Brought Down the Economy

© Susan Anderson 2010

Outer Child likes to sneak your wallet out of your pocket when you aren’t looking.  It hijacks your finances, ties up your assets, drains your bank accounts, and straps you with debt.

Outer child can act out and affect global conditions, especially when it makes poor decisions en masse.  Just look at the outer child antics that caused people to take out mortgages they couldn’t afford “I don’t want to wait, I want it NOW” and bankers to exploit their impulsivity.

What would have been the underlying cause of all of this heedless outer child behavior?  What “inner child feelings” might be going on within the American psyche at large?  My guess is that post NINE ELEVEN fear – the fear of annihilation– coupled with global warming anxiety, had spurred this wide-scale, reckless, Gimme-mine-now behavior.

Fear in the hands of mature adults, can be potentially dealt with and worked through.  But if our nationally shared “fearings”  (anxiety, vulnerability, panic, sense of impending disaster, urgency) remain unresolved, and if the executives in charge of our government and economy have a lot of unharnessed outer child behaviors, then “fearings” get acted out inappropriately – resulting in the debacle of the Iraq war, the mortgage crisis, the sinking economy, and foot-dragging on energy conservation.

When Outer Children interact with other Outer Children, it creates ripples and patterns of behavior at all levels of society – interpersonal, familial, governmental, and global.   These ripples and patterns constitute an Outer Child culture, which runs parallel to the larger culture.  We affect and are affected by all levels of Outer Child culture.

When Nine Eleven hit, Outer’s collective response to the nation’s “fearings” had a powerful impact on global affairs.  The attacks had created heightened, sustained undercurrents of fear that got a lot of Outer Children riled up.  We wanted to feel secure again, to anchor ourselves to the earth, which prompted many Outer Children to buy more real estate.

How did Outer Child culture contribute to financial market decline?  
At the Outer Child level of culture, fear and greed were already driving the markets – greed to make more money, fear of losing it.  Fear and greed were also driving governments – greed for power, fear of losing it.  Outer Children get drunk on power.  Politicians (who have lots of power and therefore very active Outer Children) get quickly addicted to power and need more and more of it to satisfy their habit.  Their decisions are often about getting reelected, not about what’s in the best interest of the country.  Many Outer Child leaders put forward a righteous image only to get caught with their hands in the cookie jar – some acting like TV evangelists who fall fowl of exactly what they tell people not to do.

The recession:  All of these Outer Children bought houses (and other things) they couldn’t afford, borrowing money from lenders who couldn’t afford to lend it.  When people needed to cash out, the structure collapsed – a crash that came as a shock.

Even top financial pundits began sounding like airheads when they tried to explain why they had been so far off the mark.  We realized too late that the heads of financial institutions had been more like Wizards of Ozes than people with real power and wisdom.  In fact, some had been operating on base instincts of personal greed, not on public interests.

Outer Child culture is rife with arrogance.  Arrogance led financial experts to assume erroneously that they had a handle on the markets.  They overleveraged their investment resources because they thought they knew what they didn’t know, but didn’t know they didn’t know it.  Their confidence proved to be Outer Child confidence.

Outer Children are impressed with confidence – especially their own.  But they also are impressed by other people’s.  This is another example of Outer’s attachment to false values.    What’s wrong with confidence, you might ask?  Displaying confidence is considered good form – and indeed we live in a “form world.”  The problem is that people can have lots of confidence and be completely wrongheaded.  Complete fools can have impressive confidence.  Conversely, people who really DO have a finger on the pulse of truth tend to be more guarded, tentative, careful about making absolute pronouncements. Some even have poor social skills.  Unless they can convey their ideas attractively (confidently), the public tends to dismiss them.

To an extreme Outer Child, only having good form counts; substance is entirely invisible.  Financial leaders weren’t investing in real assets, that they’d only been betting on numerical odds, but neither they nor we noticed.  Officials in corporate, government, and academic institutions had apparently conveyed impressive confidence.  This had our whole Outer Child culture hoodwinked.

What about hypocrisy?  At the Outer Child level of culture, people would rather project their shortcomings onto other people than look at their own.  Outer Children are holier than thou.  For example, the Western World had been pointing its finger at corruption in the Eastern World.  The West had a vested interest in diverting attention from its own corruption which was less transparent than the East’s.  We’d thought we had legal systems in place to stop corruption, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) turned out to have its own Outer Child self-deception going on.  For more, read Chapter 14 in Taming your Outer Child.



Is Your Outer Child In Your Way?

September 3, 2010 1 comment

This week my inbox is full of people complaining about their oppositional, obnoxious Outer Children. These hidden saboteurs have been wrecking havoc in people’s lives and making them look bad – making them fat, broke, pregnant, and lonely. It goes like this:

Here you are, a perfectly decent well-adjusted person, but your Outer Child seems to have Borderline Personality Disorder and also suffers from ADHD. How could this be so? Yet the destructive tirade you flew into yesterday seems to suggest it, and so does the fact that you can’t seem to stay focused on your goals.

What is this self-sabotage all about? What does it mean when the behaviors you choose sabotage your relationships and forestall your dreams?

When your Outer Child starts to act up more than usual, it means there’s a rift in your relationship with yourself. Big You is out of touch with Little You. When your adult self and your inner child are out of alignment, Outer Child gains power and acts out your neglected needs and feelings however it wants – to hell with your goals. Bottom line: If your head and heart remain disconnected, you can expect Outer Child to become more and more emboldened to butt into your life.

“I’ve quite smoking over a thousand times, and Outer Child keeps going back to it.”
“My Outer Child litters my life with unfinished projects.”

The antidote is to create a deeper internal bond. For this, you need power tools.

When my life gets hectic, my Outer Child becomes obstreperous. Lately I’ve had trouble sticking to my diet. In this regard, my Outer Child is stealthiest at night – it begins trolling the kitchen for something to stuff in its mouth and then the next morning, it conveniently avoids the scale.

Now tell me, how is this behavior supposed to help me with my goal to lose 10 pounds?
So what am I to do, but use one of Outer Child’s specialized tools – namely “Big You Little You” – to repair the apparent rift.

Doing the Big You Little You exercise gets you instantly in touch with your innermost needs and feelings. You discover what you want and feel in your heart of hearts. You gain access not just to your inner child, but to the inner child within your inner child – the tenderhearted stuff that going on down deep. It allows you to administer to these internal needs with self-love, self-compassion, and self-nurturance – not just intellectually, but emotionally and behaviorally. Through this process you, the Adult – not your wayward Outer Child – gains the power and makes the moves.

When you open up a dialogue between Big You and Little You, you’re not always learning something new about what’s been simmering and festering inside of you. Sometimes you already kinda know what’s causing you to grab for the quick fixes – to oversnack, overshop, oversleep, overwork, overdrink, and overthink. Rather than surprise you, the feelings you get in touch with have that all too familiar ring to them. But whether the feelings you encounter down deep come as a surprise or you’re already aware of them, the advantage is that now they are in your face. The exercise puts them front and center on the radar screen of your mind, where they blink and beep out to you, nudging you to do something about the conditions you have placed yourself (your inner child) in. Through this process, you gain the motivation you’ve been sorely needing to work toward your goals, step by step.

Up to now, you’ve been seeking substitute indulgences for these yearnings that, in the end, only make things worse. When you forsake your goals and dreams and grab for substitutes, you abandon your dreams. This is called self-abandonment. For example, I know intellectually that popping a helping of leftover chicken in my mouth late at night is my way of quieting the noise of need. I’ve been so busy lately and I’ve committed so much self-abandonment, that my Outer Child has become even more uncooperative than usual. Said Outer Child has also been blocking my efforts to actually sit down and DO the Big Me Little Me exercise by using its favorite ploy: PROCRASTINATION. In fact, writing this blog is just another clever way my extremely resourceful Outer Child has of procrastinating.

So now that I’m onto it, I’m going to write a dialogue starting right now.
Big: What’s going on Little?
Little: Silence
Big: I know I’ve ignored you lately, but I’d really like to hear from you…
Little: Silence
Big: I know I’ve been neglectful. This time I’ll listen and do something about what you really want..

The rest of the dialogue is too personal to post on a public blog, but if you see me tomorrow, I’ll probably be a little glowier from self-love, less hectic, and hopefully a few ounces lighter. And if I do it as an ongoing regimen for a while, you’ll actually see change.