9 signs your inner child desperately needs healing

We all carry an inner child within us. This inner child is a direct reflection of our past – the joys, the traumas, the victories, and the heartbreaks.

Quite often, our inner child holds onto emotional baggage that we need to address for a healthier, happier present.

The tricky part? Our inner child doesn’t always make it obvious when they’re hurting.

In fact, there are subtle signs that your inner child might be calling out for healing. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards acknowledging and addressing those deep-seated emotions.

So, let’s delve into this. Here are nine signs your inner child is desperately seeking healing. And remember, it’s okay to give your inner child the attention they need – it’s not self-indulgent, it’s self-care.

1) You struggle with emotional regulation

Emotional regulation is a tricky business. It’s about balancing your feelings, not suppressing them, and definitely not letting them run rampant.

But if you find yourself swinging wildly from one emotional extreme to another, or if you’re constantly overwhelmed by your feelings, this could be a sign that your inner child is hurting.

The inner child is often the keeper of our most primal emotions. When they’re healthy and secure, we can navigate our feelings with relative ease.

But when they’re wounded, our emotions can become a bewildering, uncontrollable force.

2) You have a hard time setting boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential for our mental health and well-being. But for some of us, and I include myself in this, saying ‘no’ can feel like an uphill battle.

A few years back, I found myself always bending over backwards to accommodate others. My needs, my wants, my time – everything was secondary. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

The fear of being seen as selfish or unkind was overwhelming.

Then it hit me – this was a sign that my inner child was crying out for help. As a child, I had learned to put others’ needs before my own to gain acceptance and love.

This pattern had carried into adulthood and was causing significant stress and burnout.

3) You often feel inadequate

Feelings of inadequacy can stem from various sources – harsh criticism, high expectations, or unmet needs during our formative years. And these feelings don’t just vanish as we grow older.

Instead, they can burrow deep within us, affecting how we perceive ourselves and our abilities.

Psychologists call this the “Impostor Syndrome”. It’s a psychological pattern where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Impostor Syndrome is incredibly common. In fact, an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives, according to an article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science.

4) You’re constantly feeling guilty

Guilt is a normal emotion, a natural response to having done something wrong. But sometimes, you might find yourself feeling guilty even when there’s no logical reason to.

You say ‘yes’ when you wanted to say ‘no’ – guilt. You take time off for self-care – guilt. You make a minor mistake – overwhelming guilt.

This pervasive sense of guilt can be your inner child’s way of signaling unresolved issues from the past.

Maybe, as a child, you were made to feel responsible for things beyond your control or were excessively blamed for things that went wrong.

If you’re often burdened by unexplained guilt, it’s worth exploring these feelings. It’s an opportunity to reassure your inner child that it’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to prioritize yourself.

5) You find it hard to trust others

Trust is a fundamental part of any relationship. But do you find it incredibly difficult to let your guard down? Do you always brace yourself for betrayal or disappointment?

This could be your inner child’s way of protecting you, based on past experiences. Perhaps you were let down by someone you trusted as a child, or were betrayed in a way that left deep emotional scars.

It’s important to recognize this pattern. Building walls might keep you safe, but it also keeps you isolated. Healing involves acknowledging these fears and learning to trust again, at your own pace, one small step at a time.

6) You feel a deep sense of loneliness, even when you’re not alone

subtle signs that you are feeling lonely 9 signs your inner child desperately needs healing

Loneliness isn’t always about being physically alone. It’s possible to feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by people. It’s a disconnection, a feeling of not being seen or understood.

Your inner child might feel this loneliness acutely, screaming out for attention and understanding in a world that seems indifferent. This could stem from experiences in your past where you felt ignored, misunderstood, or dismissed.

It’s heartbreaking to carry this sense of loneliness within you. But acknowledging it is a brave first step towards healing.

Your inner child needs to know that they are seen, they are heard, and they are deeply loved – by you.

7) You often feel a sense of dread or fear without a clear cause

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in your stomach, that sense of impending doom, but can’t quite put your finger on why? I know I have.

There were nights when I’d lay awake, heart pounding, mind racing with an undefined fear. There wasn’t always a specific reason or trigger, but the fear felt very real.

This could be your inner child signaling unresolved trauma or anxiety. Past experiences of fear or danger can get embedded in our subconscious, resurfacing as inexplicable fears or a constant state of high alert.

8) You have a tendency to self-sabotage

Self-sabotage is a complicated behavior where you actively or passively prevent yourself from reaching your goals. It’s like planting landmines in your own path.

This could manifest in various ways – procrastination, self-destructive habits, or maintaining an unhealthy relationship. It’s like a part of you doesn’t believe you deserve success or happiness.

If this sounds familiar, it could be a sign that your inner child is in pain. Perhaps past experiences taught them that success leads to higher expectations, more pressure, or even loss.

9) You struggle with self-love and self-acceptance

At the very core, healing your inner child is about learning to love and accept yourself – all parts of yourself, even the parts that hurt.

If you constantly criticize yourself, if you believe you’re not enough, if you struggle to show yourself kindness and compassion – this is a crucial sign that your inner child is hurting.

The journey of healing isn’t about becoming someone else. It’s about reconciling with who you are, scars and all.

It’s about telling your inner child that they are loved, they are enough, and they are deserving of the best that life has to offer.

Let self-compassion be your salvation

The journey towards healing our inner child is deeply personal and complex. It’s about acknowledging the scars, embracing the pain, and nurturing self-compassion.

Whether you resonate with one or all of these signs does not define you. Instead, view them as a compass guiding you towards areas that need your attention and care.

Your inner child isn’t a distant memory; it’s the heartbeat of your being—the essence of your vulnerability and strength. Take heed of its whispers, for within them lies the roadmap to wholeness.

Offer it solace, for in understanding and compassion lies the genesis of healing. Embrace your journey; embrace your inner child.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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