Recognizing your Traitor

Some traitor characters are easy to recognize. Some are difficult.

The easy ones show up as easily recognizable characters such as Self Put-Down, Self-Critic, Inner Shamer, Constant Comparer, Never Good Enough, Poor Pitiful Pearl, and the like.

The ones that are more difficult to discern are a bit craftier. They show up disguised as do-gooders. For instance, Pusher says, “Do just one more errand or email and then call it a day.” The Stuffer says, “They're liking what they're getting so give them one more concept and activity. They'll like that.” The Celebrator says, “You deserve to eat whatever your want. You earned it.”

You may read the above and think, “What's wrong with any of those? They all seem good.” However, if you put them in context, they may not be so good.

For instance, The Pusher who wants you to do one more thing may be trying to prove that you are good enough but not taking care of your energy level or your life/work balance. The Stuffer may be trying to prove that you are competent and not paying attention to the fact that the others have really had enough and are stuffed to the gills. The Celebrator may not be thinking of you long-term, and instead is giving you short-term pleasure for long-term pain.

So, always, we have to listen to the characters and discern where they are coming from and what their motive is.


When you hear an inner voice that wants you to follow it, ask yourself the following:

  1. How do I imagine I'll feel an hour from now if I do this?
  2. What is another way that I could take care of myself right now?
  3. If I don't do it (whatever it is), how do I imagine that I will feel and can I cope with that?

By answering those questions, you may get a sense of whether or not this is truly an angel voice or if it is a traitor disguised as an angel.

The more you practice this, the more you get better at discerning who is really on the angel coaching team and which characters are actually making it harder for you though they think they are protecting you.

The more you can appreciate the intent of the traitor, the easier it is to thank the character and put it aside. More about this next week.

Have a great time attending to your inner characters, discerning who is for what.

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