Parts Work: All of your energy going in the same direction

One of the most efficient AND self-compassionate ways to get anything done, is to have all of your internal parts pulling in the same direction.
Why is this important for a marketing podcast? Because if we have internal parts resisting the thought of "putting ourselves out there" or believing that you don't have what it takes - your marketing will inevitably reflect that.

Show notes

Hello hello, welcome back! So last week, I shared a big announcement; that this podcast has changed it’s name to Holistic Marketing! If you haven’t heard the trailer for season 2 yet, I highly recommend you go back and listen to it as it will give you insight into what holistic marketing is and what’s to come from this rebranding.


This first episode in season 2 is going to be about the most fundamental thing that you need to know for all of the things that I will be teaching you. There will be so much juicy content coming up around how to market in a way that is in integrity with your values and feels good to your soul – which ultimately will help you attract and sign on a lot more clients. To understand the concepts that I’ll be teaching you from here on out, you need to know what parts work is and how it works.


I’ll share the concept that has been one of the most life transforming practices that I’ve come across. It has completely changed how I think of myself, the world and also how I coach my clients. I’ll go into what parts work is, how it works and how you can use it to level up your own life and business.


You know, it’s so funny when we’ve known about a concept for a long time and that it has literally become the default way of thinking. So much so, that we think everyone else knows about it as well. And parts work is one of those things for me. So, I spoke to my coach a few weeks back and I told her about a mindset that I’m working on at the moment. In a bi-sentence, I mentioned how I was doing parts work and she stopped me to ask what parts work was. I just assumed everyone knew about this – especially those who are into self-development and psychology field. And so, after I explained it to her, she was like “why aren’t you creating content around that?!” Although I already actually had some episodes in the pipeline surrounding this concept, I just hadn’t thought of it as a big deal. But, when she reflected back to me that I lit up and literally used my whole body to speak and give examples when going into the topic, I realized that there was some real gold to be shared here. It’s really my jam and something that I believe to my core will transform the level of self-compassion AND productivity a person can experience.


And, as a side note, this is one of the great things about having a coach; that we get reflected back things that we don’t see about ourselves. Just like my coach reflected back to me that I had something super valuable to share – that I just took for granted. Everyone should have a coach – and especially if you are a coach yourself! We’re walking the talk around here!


Any whooo, let’s jump into this fun topic! I first learned about parts work from one of my mentors, Teal Swan and I will start by telling you what parts work is and how to leverage it in your life and business, and then I’ll create more episodes specifically related to situations such as self-sabotage and how to overcome subconscious resistance to your goals etc. – that are sort of sub categories to parts work. If you have any questions around this topic – or any of the concepts that I talk about on this podcast for that matter, just shoot me a message on Instagram @martinethomassencoaching. I would love to hear from you!


Various types of Parts Work

So, PARTS WORK: This is a well-established concept within many branches of psychology. The concept goes by different names, such as: Internal Family Systems, Empty chair work in Gestalt therapy, Inner Freudian psychology, Art therapy, Play therapy, Jungian psychology, Inner Child Work, Ego State Theory, Voice Dialogue, and the list goes on and on.

HOWEVER, the essence is always the same. And the very essence of parts work is that you, as a person, is made up by an ecosystem of internal parts, or aspects of the central self – the central self being who you call by your name; meaning the sum of all of your parts. Within you there might be a Negative Nancy, Positive Polly, Anxious Anna, Excited Ellen – well, this is partly a joke as your internal parts are way more complex than just having one emotion that they express. One part can for example be an internalized parent with all of its facets. Another might be the part of you who gets super anxious in social settings due to some things that happened in your childhood. Also, keep in mind that we’re unconscious of most of our internal parts. So, through introspection, shadow work, self-awareness practices and coaching, we start to discover them. Once we start to know more about these sides of ourselves, the patterns they’re stuck in, their fears and resistance – even to success, we can actually do something about it. When we start to create understanding between the parts, we make all of our energy pull in the same direction. I want to add that, when people just say affirmations that one or more parts of them don’t believe, we can actually create more resistance toward the very thing that our central self is trying to achieve. I’ll go more into how to make affirmations work in a later episode, so stay tuned!  


Now, having all of these inner parts who feels differently about any given situation or circumstance is why we experience inner conflict – or should I say, having a hard time getting the results that we want. We’ve all experienced this, but let’s look at an example: One part of you is super keen to sign on a new client, but another part of you is worried that you won’t do a good enough job in helping the client reach their desired results – and that you’ll disappoint them. This part would prefer you don’t sign a client because it would protect you from the feeling of “being insufficient” or “disappointing the client”. The parts that are holding you back from signing a client are literally trying to save you – and they honestly believe that they’re doeing the most loving thing for you. To these parts, emotional, mental and physical safety are the most important priorities. And this is what I mean by reaching a new level of self-compassion. Once we truly understand that these parts of us are wanting what’s best for us, we can start to figure out ways where all inner parts are moving in the direction of our goal. As opposed to having one part pulling towards the goal and one part pulling away from it and toward what feels safe.


How does parts work really work in practice?

As I mentioned, there are a myriad of ways to go about parts work, but there is one very simple way to discover limiting beliefs or resistance that your inner parts have. Your internal parts will always speak to you through “negative” thoughts and feelings that you often mistake to be YOUR (or your central selves) thoughts and feelings. So let’s say you’re about to hold a presentation. You are super excited to talk about what you love and you know that this presentation can both help a lot of people, but it can also potentially lead to having people reach out to work with you. HOWEVER, you also feel nauseous, nervous and like an imposter. You think to yourself: “who am I to talk about this?” and “why did they even ask me to speak when there are so many other in my industry doing so much better than me” etc. As you can see here, there are two very distinct trains of thoughts – and these are your two opposing inner parts that are playing out. But the good thing is that now that you’re aware of them, you can use more effective methods than simply telling yourself: “Pull yourself together” and then bulldoze your scared part. Which, by the way, will bring out your inner saboteur and have your “inner critic” get even louder.  


Now, it’s important to focus on understanding the two; really getting curious and finding out WHY one is afraid and play out the worst-case scenario. But, and there’s a big BUT: do not approach this by trying to FIX the part that is scared. Imagine if you were about to get on a rollercoaster, which made you shit scared, and your partner said “what’s wrong with you?” You need to fix yourself, pull yourself together. I don’t need this behaviour in my life”. How would you feel? You’d be pretty annoyed, right! And it certainly wouldn’t make you any more keen to get on that rollercoaster!  


There are various ways to have a dialog between the two opposing parts, but I often journal or visualize the dialogue. It can be a bit hard to do it on yourself – especially in the beginning. However, I cannot emphasize enough the amazing results that I see in my clients as a result of this work, so if you want help, as always, just send me a DM on Instagram!


Self-Awareness is Key

So now that you have the AWARENESS about actually having a lot of sub-personalities you can start to propel yourself forward towards your dreams and goals in a way that is so much more efficient and sustainable than having one part bulldozing another part – which, as I mentioned, will make that other part fight back by pulling in the opposite direction. I have to add, that having the realization that we have all these personalities might feel a bit like having a personality disorder, but I can assure you that it’s all good. You just have a normal human brain which is simply using this tool to help you cope and to keep you safe.


I’ve realized that a rule of thumb is that the human ego is simply a conglomerate of those inner parts that are trying to keep you physically, mentally and emotionally safe. The ego is the collection of your protector parts, so to speak. However, for every generalization there are exceptions, but I just want you to start noticing it for yourself as it creates great self-awareness. When you start getting access to your internal parts, you will realize that some of the beliefs that are holding you back from getting the results that you want doesn’t make logical sense to your central self. Never the less, it’s a belief that one of your inner parts are holding onto – and they are always valid, no matter how irrational they seem. Sometimes, these beliefs can even seem childish – and the reason is often that they stems from childhood and that you never matured this belief because it was hidden in your subconsciousness – until now.


Hustle and Forced Positivity

In the self-development field, we can often see an almost toxic positivity culture. And in the entrepreneurship department, the focus is largely on hustle. We literally shame ourselves for not being efficient enough or doing enough. And so, when you combine the two; hustling your ass off and stay fiercely positive about it, no matter how tired, burned out and *over-it* you feel, GOD FORBID the universe picks up on it, because then you won’t manifest what you want, right!? I’m exaggerating to make a point – or am I? It’s pretty full on how people push themselves and still force themselves to stay positive because aint nobody got time to sit with their emotions, right?! I’ll go more into this in one of my upcoming podcast episodes about overcoming resistance, so make sure you tune into that.


Understanding Your Inner Parts

We have to remember that the universe is a mirror of all of our parts, even the suppressed, subconscious limiting beliefs or negative feelings. That’s why it’s so important to always improve our self-awareness – so that we can consciously direct ourselves the way that we want to be headed. Instead of heading in a default direction that isn’t in alignment with living the life we most want, we can now take responsibility and steer towards our goals in a much more powerful way. We want to understand our inner parts; really hear both sides of the story and figure out WHY one might be in opposition to something we want to achieve. So, in other words, the ultimate outcome in doing parts work is to create resolve between the two opposing parts. We want all of us to pull in the same direction; the direction of your overall desired results. And, resolve is not created by bulldozing parts of yourself, which is more like emotional self-abuse – I’ll get into this more in the episode about self-sabotage. You NEED to hear that episode if you feel that you’re struggling with this pattern.


Being in a Healthy Relationship with Yourself

I like to put things into perspective by comparing them to being in a romantic relationship with somebody. So, in the case of signing on a client that we spoke about earlier where one part of you is super keen to sign on a new client, but another part of you is worried that you won’t do a good enough job and that you might disappoint the client. What many of us do is to default into anxiety and procrastination. We might do seemingly self-sabotaging things, like not replying to the potential client’s emails, getting brain fog during the consultation call etc. In that case we often get frustrated or angry at ourselves thinking “what’s wrong with me” or “I’m not cut out for this” or “I’ll never get fully booked”. OR, we might default into trying to drown out the “inner critic” and just sign on the client –  yet, the limiting beliefs are still there and thoughts like “shit, how am I going to help this client?”, “I’m not good enough of a coach to get them results” keeps coming up. And so, you might start to show up in a less powerful way towards your client and drift into “self-sabotaging patterns”… and so the spiral goes. You then try to self-coach and FIX the things that you think is getting in the way of you signing more clients. But we’re coming at it from a mindset of “there’s something wrong with me”. SO, I want you to picture that you are now the part of yourself that is anxious and afraid of disappointing the client and your romantic partner is the one that wants to move ahead and sign them on already. Your significant other tells you to shut up about your worries, tries to stuff you into the closet and silence you while they move on with it. How would you feel? You’d feel neglected, disrespected and thinking that your partner was an absolute ass hole. And that, my friends, are what we’re doing to ourselves every day when we’re ignoring the parts of us that are in opposition to our goals!


That was everything I had for you this week, but make sure to tune in these upcoming weeks for some amazing tips around self-sabotage and subconscious resistance.   


Let me know your biggest take-away from this episode by tagging me in an Instagram story @martinethomassencoaching

xx Martine



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