Terminology for a Healthy Sense of Self

Some of the terms we use in our materials are familiar. We’ve given others have a very particular meaning. Here’s a list of the terms we most commonly use along with short definitions. Click the images for even more in-depth discussion of our terms.

Annihilation

Annihilation

A strong perception of being overlooked, not being seen and heard, not being taken into account, not having any impact in your environment, which is experienced as non-existing.
Black Hole

Black Hole

Metaphor for the terrifying sense of inner emptiness and invisibility, as experienced by a person with Lack of Sense of Self who doesn’t feel like (being considered) a “real” person and which, like a force of nature, sucks in approval based thoughts and feelings to fill itself. This condition of No-Self “naturally” fills itself with “ Feeling-good-about-yourself ” resulting from getting approval.
Direct Motivation

Direct Motivation

Motivation that is ordinary, simple, and based in the present. Direct Motivation is an indicator of a Healthy Sense of Self in that the person is driven to do or avoid things in a normal, healthy way. The incentive is pure, simple, direct, and without Inner Conflicts or Hidden Agendas .
Direct Relationship with Self

Direct Relationship with Self

A way of relating to your own being that includes body awareness, which means that you sense your Self without having to refer to achievements or other people’s opinion about you (in contrast to  Indirect Relationship with Self ).
Distorted Mirror

Distorted Mirror

The process by which the primary caregiver is unable to effectively acknowledge their child(ren) as a separate being(s), as the caregiver is too wrapped up in his/her own problems and emotional neediness. The child inevitably and naturally concludes that she IS the way she sees herself reflected by the caregiver, which is, in the light of the child’s mind, an understandable but incorrect conclusion that can have far fetching negative implications.
Early Childhood Survival Strategy

Early Childhood Survival Strategy

Conclusions drawn subconsciously by infants/toddlers/children about how to get their needs met when they do not feel acknowledged as separate (unique) beings by their caretakers. This process becomes the foundation for an unhealthy way of experiencing the self.
Ego-References

Ego-References

Subconsciously accepted requirements to feel and behave in certain ways, and achieve certain results, in order to feel approved of, as a substitute for feeling like a “real” person.
Enmeshment

Enmeshment

An unhealthy relationship between child and primary caretaker. The child’s identity and motives are merged with the adult’s, which leads to extreme dependence on approval.
Fear of Annihilation

Fear of Annihilation

Terror of being unheard by, and invisible to others. This SoS concept cannot be understood without also understanding Annihilation .
Focus Mode

Focus Mode

Relaxed movements of the eyes, with the ability to stay fixed in the same place for extended periods of time, and which indicates a grounded mood or person who does not have a Substitute Sense of Self.  
Feeling Good About Self

Feeling Good About Self

A fear-based emotional state (or thought) of feeling relieved and relatively safe, in the light of the absence of feeling compelled to produce certain results, gained from accomplishing what leads to approval from your parent, which serves as a temporary and unhealthy substitute for a sense of being alive as a real person.
Healthy Sense of Self

Healthy Sense of Self

The ability to experience and be present to your own person and to your own life and recognize both as uniquely owned by YOU. That includes the right to live and be as your Self and experience your innermost core as your ultimate home from where you live your life.
Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda

A subconscious purpose that drives your actions or behavior, which is not the obvious, ordinary, expected purpose but which is geared toward performing an Ego-Reference to perfection.  You perceive this as necessary to feel safe and on your way to achieving your Hidden Goal and “Feel-good-about-self.”
Hidden Goal

Hidden Goal

Your subconscious ultimate objective of getting the approval of your caregiver. This approval functions as an unhealthy substitute for feeling valued and related to (acknowledged) as a “real” person. (see also Hidden Agenda )
Hindrance

Hindrance

Any obstacle that can lead to anger or rage, which can be a gateway to violence or its counterpart, depression.
Indirect Motivation

Indirect Motivation

The motive for doing something is not what it appears to be; instead, the real motive is to get the temporary emotional state that is the substitute for a lasting sense of being a real person.
Indirect Relationship with Self

Indirect Relationship with Self

Sensing yourself as a “self” through achievements or the responses of others instead of a healthy abiding sense of being who you are. See also   Direct Relationship with Self  
Inner Conflict

Inner Conflict

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.
Internalized Parental Voice (IPV)

Internalized Parental Voice (IPV)

The often-repeated verbal and non-verbal messages that parents, knowingly or unknowingly, transmit to their children becomes (almost?) hardwired in the child’s mind so that it is perceived as an unquestionable truth (about and) by the child.
Lack of (Natural) Sense of Self

Lack of (Natural) Sense of Self

Characteristic of a person who never developed a natural, ongoing inner knowing that he or she feels truly alive as a “real,” independent human being. There is a lack of the healthy, appropriately-developed conscious and subconscious inner knowing and awareness of being alive and present as your own independent, organic, psychologically autonomous entity/human being that characterizes a Healthy Sense of Self.
Magic Formula

Magic Formula

A way of remembering the gist of the SoS Method, whereby you move away from the addiction to “Feeling-good-about-self”, towards the correct way of Sensing yourself, awareness of your body, your emotions and your mind.
Mirroring

Mirroring

The subtle, mutually subconscious process by which the primary caretaker conveys to his or her child the important messages of either being considered as a means to fulfill the caretaker’s emotional needs or as being a “real” and unique person—these messages function as a mirror for the child during childhood and are accepted by the child as the truth about who he or she is.
Motivation

Motivation

In general, it is what creates an incentive or urge to do or avoid something. Motivation is the drive that determines behavior, based on a desire you have.  The word motivation is used in this Method in the ordinary sense of the word. The Method distinguishes two distinct types:   Direct Motivation   and   Indirect Motivation . Indirect Motivation is a key concept in this holistic psychological Method.
Motivation Check

Motivation Check

A crucial tool for getting clear about the crooked nature of your (Indirect) Motivation as it serves to (a) detect your Indirect Motivations and Hidden Agendas and (b) to record and become familiar with what your Ego-References, Hidden Agendas, and Hidden Goal are
Natural Sense of Self

Natural Sense of Self

The subconscious sense—developed normally in childhood—of being alive as a “real,” definite person, with the unconditional right to exist as you are, regardless of what others think, feel, or say about you.
Quality of Life Level

Quality of Life Level

A normal, healthy degree of emotional reaction that is in sync with the degree of intensity of the actual effect of events or behavior of others on your life, and that is an indication of a Healthy Sense of Self. This is distinguished from emotions that strike down the level of your sense of existence as a self because you are dependent on a Substitute Sense of Self.
Real Self/Authentic Self

Real Self/Authentic Self

Your Self is experienced in the healthiest, most integrated way as an independent and autonomous being; actions and awareness are based on living experience, not contaminated by pathological motivation.*  See also Natural Sense of Self . *Not so much meant in a spiritual sense but more of a reference to the whole person you really are.
Restored Sense of Self  (RestSoS)

Restored Sense of Self (RestSoS)

The result of working with the SoS Method and healing from a Substitute SoS. This consists of a steady awareness of being your very own person, who is free to live life based on your own essence, preferences, abilities and limitations. There is an inner knowing of being separate from any parent or caregiver and free from any dependency on achievements or approval. There is an abiding sense of being (unconditionally) alive and real.
Scanning Mode

Scanning Mode

A person’s eyes moving around restlessly searching for opportunities to “score” (see below) which would fill the need for approval and “Feeling-good-about-self”.
Scoring

Scoring

Being successful in using a Vehicl e to improve on an Ego-Reference ; a success that feels like gaining points toward the Hidden Goal of getting parental approval, which results in a “Feel-good-about-self” as a Substitute Sense of Self .
Sense of Self (SoS)

Sense of Self (SoS)

A conscious or subconscious awareness of existing independently as a unique and potentially autonomous human being and of what intrinsically comes with it in your daily life.
Substitute Sense of Self (SSoS)

Substitute Sense of Self (SSoS)

A psycho-emotional structure that develops as the backbone of the psyche of those children who are treated by their caregivers as an extension of themselves, which leads to a compulsive drive for achievement-based approval.
Substitute Sense of Self Oriented Goal

Substitute Sense of Self Oriented Goal

A person’s subconscious, ultimate goal of convincing the parent to change his or her negative opinion about “me” into a positive one, which then gives “me” a feeling of being a “real,” normal person.
Substitute Sense of Self Oriented System (SSoS-or Sys)

Substitute Sense of Self Oriented System (SSoS-or Sys)

The entire subconscious complex of needs, behaviors, motives, habits, beliefs, goals, and fears that generates achievement-based approval, which functions as an unhealthy base for being.
Vehicle

Vehicle

An activity or behavior used to display the performance of specific skills or character traits rather than being done for the obvious, ordinary goal of the action or behavior. The performance is ultimately aimed at getting approval.

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