I appreciate the tools that Susan Anderson shares in her book, Taming Your Outer Child. I love the concept of separating the emotion from the behavior in order to bring awareness and address any self sabotaging behaviors. It also opened my eyes to the many forms of abandonment.
I did the exercises as I read the book and I have been writing a dialogue with my inner child every morning and with my outer child, when necessary. Initially, I debated whether or not I was going to do the exercises in the book, I thought I could just have the discussion in my head, that did not work, at least for me. Susan does say that if you’re not going to write it down, have someone you trust role play with you. Personally, I have to say that writing out the dialogue has worked for me. It has helped me reduce, and in some cases stop, my self sabotaging behaviors. It will always be a work in progress, meaning, with these tools, they can help you to gain awareness and take the steps to make change, but it will continue to be work. If you stay on top of it, you can keep outer child in check, if you don’t, over time outer child will start to act out again. Outer child can trick you into thinking that you are in control, when really they are driving the decisions.
Another concept that I liked in this book, that really resonated with me is that, once you tame your outer child, your little you (inner child) can develop healthy relationships with other people's little them. When we are fearful of being hurt, our outer child can act out by pushing loved ones away. By practicing writing dialogues with Little you and Outer, you can help navigate those behaviors and give yourself permission to feel your feelings with loving acceptance. I can say that I have noticed a difference in how I show up by allowing myself to feel the emotions that come up opposed to suppressing and ignoring them.
I recommend this book to you, if you are ready to stop your self-sabotaging behaviors, strengthen your adult self, listen to the Little you, and tame the Outer you. This book gives to you tools to help you take control of your life.
Susan Anderson contributed the blog post, What Is Outer Child? 12 Tips for Overcoming Self-Sabotage to the HuffPost June 23, 2015. I recommend this link if you want to get a taste of the book and if you want help to reduce your self-sabotaging behaviors.