The experience of an inner battle between two or more competing and incompatible inner mandates that work toward experiencing a Substitute Sense of Self. This leads to high anxiety because the competition causes a no-win outcome.

In this method, an Inner Conflict describes a specific situation in which children and adults who have been unable to develop a strong, stable sense of being an independent person have created for themselves certain inner mandates, “things I must accomplish, or ways I have to be.”


These “things I must accomplish, or ways I have to be” are initially geared towards getting approval from their parent or other caregiver, which leads to “Feeling-good-about-self”, a state that is the closest you (if you have a LoSoS) ever get to feeling like a real person. Later in life, they are geared toward getting that same “Feel-good-about-self” but now the approval comes from within yourself by means of the judgements of your Internalized Parental Voice.


Over time, people tend to adopt so many inner mandates that they easily conflict with one another. Now situations can come up in which satisfying one mandate means sacrificing success with another – for example, “practice until perfect, or leave now to be on time”.


Since so much is perceived to be at stake in the outcome of trying to satisfy these mandates (Fear of Annihilation), the anxiety and stress such a no-win conflict generates is out of proportion compared to the ordinary outcome of the intended action or behavior.


A high degree of anxiety accompanying a seemingly relatively minor incident in life often indicates that more is going on beneath the surface. This anxiety can be the leading cause of severe insomnia and other physical problems.

Related Posts

  • Illustrated Card Set for the Language of the Sense of Self Method
    Ego References?  Substitute Sense of Self?  Vehicles?  The terminology used in the Sense of Self Method takes a bit of getting used to.  But as you do you begin to see them not just as explanations but as useful tools for recognizing and dealing with circumstances and suppositions that keep you separate from your Healthy ...
Read more related posts