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VIDEO: Is Your Inner Adaptive Child Sabotaging Your Life?

This the second video in a 3-part series to boost your confidence, take control of your life, and form meaningful connections with others.

The adaptive inner child is the little voice in your head that keeps you stuck in old patterns and behaviors. Sound familiar? These adaptations developed as strategies to help you navigate tough times as a kid, but now those patterns might not serve you as an adult. Watch now to break free from those outdated patterns!

Video Transcript

Welcome back to our empowering three-part video series, where we delve into the different aspects of your inner self to unlock your true potential. Today, we’re exploring the concept of the adaptive child, as described by Terry Real internationally recognized Family Therapist, Speaker and Author, and how it influences your life.

The adaptive child represents the automatic and compulsive reactions we find ourselves doing over and over again. These reactions are the result of the strategies and behaviors we developed during childhood to adapt and survive challenging circumstances. While these adaptations were necessary at the time, they can become ingrained patterns that no longer serve us as adults.

Traits of Your Adaptive Child:

Let’s take a closer look at some common traits of the adaptive child:

Protective Armor – Your adaptive child developed a protective armor to shield you from emotional pain and vulnerability. This can manifest as keeping people at a distance, not fully expressing your true feelings, or being cautious about opening up.

Avoidance and Denial – The adaptive child might resort to avoiding difficult emotions or denying them altogether. It can be a way of self-protection, but it can also hinder your growth and prevent you from fully experiencing life. For example, you might distract yourself with work, hobbies, or substances to avoid dealing with underlying feelings. Or perhaps you dismiss or downplay the significance of certain emotions, pretending they don’t affect you.

Maladaptive Coping Mechanisms – Your adaptive child might have developed coping mechanisms that helped you navigate challenging situations in the past. However, these strategies can become maladaptive when they no longer serve you well. This could include excessive use of food, alcohol, or other substances, engaging in risky behaviors, or isolating yourself from others when faced with challenging emotions or situations.

Compulsive Reactions – Your adaptive child’s reactions can feel automatic and compulsive, often occurring without conscious thought. These reactions may not align with your current desires or values but can still exert a powerful influence on your behavior. For instance, you might have a knee-jerk reaction of defensiveness or anger when receiving feedback.

  – The adaptive child tends to repeat familiar patterns, even if they no longer serve you well. These patterns can manifest in various areas of life, such as relationships, work, or personal habits. It could be repeatedly attracting toxic relationships, encountering the same obstacles at work, or engaging in self-destructive habits that you can’t seem to break free from.

Resistance to Change – The adaptive child might resist change and cling to the familiar, even if it hinders personal growth or prevents you from reaching your goals. You might feel comfortable in the familiarity of the status quo, even if it’s holding you back from personal growth and fulfillment.

Healing Your Adaptive Child:

To heal and transform your adaptive child, consider the following steps:

Awareness and Mindfulness – Cultivate awareness of your automatic reactions and patterns. Through mindfulness, you can observe these behaviors without judgment, creating a space for conscious choice and change.

Interrupting the Cycle – Practice interrupting the repetitive cycle of your adaptive child by consciously choosing a different response. This requires self-awareness, patience, and a willingness to challenge old patterns.

Emotional Regulation – Learn healthy ways to regulate your emotions. By developing emotional intelligence and coping strategies, you can respond to triggers in a more conscious and intentional manner, rather than reacting impulsively.

Support and Self-Compassion – Seek support from loved ones, therapists and coaches, or support groups to navigate the healing journey. Embrace self-compassion throughout the process, recognizing that transforming deeply ingrained patterns takes time and patience.


Remember, these traits are not set in stone, and self-awareness is the first step towards growth and transformation. Recognizing these patterns within yourself can empower you to make conscious choices and embark on a healing journey to overcome the limitations of your adaptive child.

Thank you for joining me on this transformative journey. In the final video, we’ll explore the concept of the wise adult within you. Stay tuned and continue to nurture and heal your adaptive child. You’re making remarkable progress!

Take care and see you soon!

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