The Agony of Being Internally Divided

December 3, 2021

The agony of being internally divided is a struggle I’ve known all too well.

It’s when we become fragmented from trying to live this life.

This world we live in is made up of many systems.

Familial, educational, religious, societal, racial, cultural, and so many more.

Very few people escape these systems without some level of fragmentation and internal division. In fact, it’s a big aspect of our winning strategies.

There’s the person we are at our core, fully expressed as who we’re here to be.

And there’s the person we become to succeed, win, and stay safe in life. The facades we pick up to “get along” with others in the systems, especially those that meet the status quo and perpetuate the belief that we have to be or behave a certain way. Aspects of personality that learned to stand on their own in specific situations.

When we become internally divided, we end up with parts.

We all have parts, which doesn’t mean different personalities or separated selves. It just means that our subconscious has been divided (from trauma, systems, and experiences), and we’re likely to develop varying degrees of internal conflict.

I’ve talked about my biggest parts before.

There’s Free-Spirited Steph, the person I truly am at my core.

And there’s Successful Steph, the person I learned to be to stay safe and succeed.

Successful Steph came into existence due to traumatic relationships in my youth and from the damage of external systems (specifically familial, religious, and educational). I learned to tuck away the parts of me that weren’t palatable, celebrated, or welcomed and instead behaved in ways that produced “wins.”

This part of me dressed the part, got the grades, achieved all the things more quickly than most, and collected all the gold stars she could. While it may seem like she’s not really me, she is. She’s the part that built the business I have today, got the high-level clients and visibility opportunities, and made big things happen.

The agony happens when our parts aren’t integrated, or the parts we developed to fit into the world have too much control.

I liken parts work to shareholders in a company.

The more shares you have, the more power, influence, and say you get.

Successful Steph had too many shares for too long. And because Free-Spirited Steph is more of who I am, it caused a deep division internally that created tons of struggle, endless push-pull over the years, and an inability to live my purpose.

So what do we do with these divided parts?

We work to integrate them, or at the very least, get them on the same team.

It starts by identifying the parts at play and appreciating them for their role in your life. Maybe they’re not a part you need anymore or one that’s caused a great deal of damage. But they were all born from the same intention: to keep you safe and alive.

Once you’ve identified your parts, it’s about assessing which ones you need to fire, which ones need fewer shares, and which ones need a serious promotion. Then we get to dig into the fun work of figuring out what that means, how it looks, and what needs to shift in your life and way of being. It’s not easy in the least, but it’s so fruitful and allows you to become more of your most authentic self.

I do this work with my clients and would love to support you.

Book a free consultation now so we can assess what parts are at play and what your next steps are to living a more free, purposeful, and aligned life.

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