Do you know that you have an inner child within you? The inner child is your younger self that have experienced different things in life which may affect you today. As a child, we are supposed to be loved and taken care of by our parents or caretaker. We look to them as our role models and to give us the things we need to grow and develop.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, in order to meet our fulfillment or happiness in life, we have to first meet basic and psychological needs.
Our first basic need consists of physiological needs. These are things we need to survive. This includes: food, water, sleep, clothing, and even shelter.
The next basic need is our safety needs and knowing that we are secured by our parents. This may include being free of abuse/neglect and being protected.
Psychological needs is the next section on the pyramid. This is the most important section. The first psychological need is the sense of belonging and love needs. As a child growing up, we want to be shown love. We want to be accepted and build intimate friendships or relationships with our family. This then leads to the next section of the pyramid which is esteem needs.
Once we feel loved and accepted by those around us, it will help us value ourselves more and build our self esteem. As a result, we will reach our highest potential (the top of the pyramid) which is self actualization.
Now, imagine a child growing up and going through the stages of this pyramid. Lets say the child’s basic needs were met, however the psychological needs weren’t met. How will the child feel a sense of self-actualization in adulthood?
If a child is constantly berated, judged, criticized, and not shown real love by both of their parents, they will grow up with a broken inner child. An inner child that is still hurt by the things from their childhood, who is now an adult struggling to fix it. This child will have a hard time building intimate relationships, keeping friendships, and will have low self-esteem.
As an adult, it is important to sit down and reflect on your inner child. If he/she is broken, take some time to get to the root of the issues and fix this child. If you continue life without fixing the issues, you may never reach your potential.