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Uncover the Power of Your Parts: Breaking Free from Past Patterns

Silhouette of a woman's head in space with light refracting in gold, red, blue and purple.

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a never-ending loop, repeating the same old patterns and unable to break free? When we struggle with food and our body life can feel like an uphill battle. The truth is, there are powerful energies at play within us that keeps us trapped in the past – our Parts.

Through the lens of Internal Family Systems (IFS), we can begin to understand how these Parts of ourselves drive our subconscious mind and keep us stuck in familiar patterns. These Parts represent different aspects of our personality, each with their own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours. They are deeply ingrained in our unconscious experience, influencing our actions without us even being aware it.

If you’ve ever found yourself halfway through a tub of ice cream before you even realise, or eating food you don’t even want, you’ll know what I mean.

Experts believe we have around sixty to seventy thousand thoughts in one day and ninety percent of those thoughts are the same thoughts as the day before. These thoughts lead to the same choices, which lead to the same behaviours, which lead to the same experiences, which lead to the same feelings, that trigger our Parts to run the same thoughts, and so on.

When caught in these unconscious patterns, how we experience the present is often through the lens of the past.  

Our Mind as A House

It can be helpful to imagine our mind as a house and each Part of us as a separate room. Some rooms may be cluttered with self-doubt, while others are filled with fear or shame. These Parts developed over time in response to past experiences that are often formed during childhood. They served as protective mechanisms back then but can become barriers to growth and healing as we become adults.

So how do these Parts keep us stuck? Let's look at some examples…

  1. The Inner Critic: This Part judges and criticises us, reminding us of past failures or mistakes. The blaming and shaming fuels feelings of unworthiness and prevents us from moving forward with confidence.

  2. The People Pleaser: This Part seeks external validation and approval, always putting others' needs before our own. It keeps us stuck in people-pleasing patterns and is afraid to be assertive or prioritise self care.

  3. The Saboteur: This Part undermines our progress by sabotaging our efforts towards change. It aims to shield us from pain or vulnerability by keeping us in familiar, albeit unhealthy patterns and whispers self sabotaging thoughts that convince us we don't deserve success.

These Parts operate on autopilot, influencing our thoughts, emotions, and actions without conscious awareness. If we keep thinking the same thoughts, making the same choices, demonstrating the same behaviours, we create the same experiences, all for the familiar feeling called ‘you’.

However there is no malintent; our Parts unknowingly keep us trapped in the past because how they respond, is based on past experiences and beliefs. But here's the key - once we bring these Parts into awareness, we can begin to change our patterns and rewrite our story.


Breaking Free from Past Patterns

The first step is self-awareness. We make the unconscious conscious, simply through awareness. We begin to get familiar with how we've been thinking; "I can't! What's wrong with me? It's too hard! I'll never change. I'll never make it. I'm too tired. Nobody loves me".

These are great examples of the kind of thoughts that are slipping by unchecked. They not only continue to pull us into the past but also create a very predictable future where everything stays just as it is.

The moment we become aware of our thoughts, what we say or how we act, whether our Parts blame or complain or make excuses or judge other people, we move from unconscious to conscious. There is an opportunity here for connection.  

I invite you to take a moment to reflect on your own patterns and behaviours. Notice when certain thoughts or emotions arise and identify which Part of you might be driving them. Once you've identified a specific Part, see if you can approach it with curiosity and compassion. Remember these Parts are here with the intention to protect, even if their methods are no longer serving you. Acknowledging their presence, offering gratitude and thanking them for their efforts helps to build a safe and attuned connection.

Engage in dialogue with your Parts. You can ask questions like; How are you trying to help me? What are you afraid of? What do you need from me? By engaging in this inner dialogue, you can start to build a relationship with your Parts and understand their underlying motivations.


As you develop a deeper understanding of your Parts, you can begin to shed light on the beliefs and behaviours that made sense back then but are no longer supportive in the present. You can help your Parts to rewrite their story, to change the pattern, to look towards a different future here with you.

The Power to Change Your Future

Our patterns are habits, a set of automatic unconscious thoughts, behaviours and emotions that become hard wired through frequent repetition. As you move from what is unconscious to conscious awareness through noticing and connecting with your Parts you have the power to change your future from a predictable unconscious one to a future filled with possibility.

Healing is not a linear process. It takes time and patience to unravel the layers of our subconscious mind and to get to know these Parts of us who have been recruited into their roles.  By paying attention to our inner world, and actively engaging with our Parts, we can break free from the patterns of the past. We can create new patterns that align with our values and allow us to show up in our personal and professional lives with confidence.

I invite you to embark on this transformative journey. Explore your inner world, embrace your parts, and rewrite your story. Be gentle with yourself as you navigate this journey but know you have the power within you to heal and grow. Together, let's move beyond the subconscious patterns of the past and step into a future filled with self love, empowerment and freedom.


Ready for more...


If you’d like to get started on healing your relationship with food you can access my FREE 20 page guide Working with Hunger and Fullness through a Parts Lens here.

If you are a professional interested in my 6 week training course you can find out more here.

Celia Clark is a Food and Body Image Specialist, Therapist and Course Creator who uses a Parts Work approach to help smart, sensitive women find true nourishment from within. She loves to share what she knows, so that women around the world no longer have to battle with food, their bodies and themselves.

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Me and my lovely team look forward to supporting you!



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