Sep 1, 2022
Introduction: Anna Pinkerton is a trauma specialist,
therapeutic Coach and founder of My Kinda Life Methodology.
She is a leading expert in stress
awareness, chronic stress and trauma. She is a clinician, with 28
years’ experience working with Leaders, athletes, organisations and
people in the public eye. Anna is an author of two books; The first
is called My Kinda Life in Leadership: Live & Lead with
Kindness for better relationship, be respected, create impact. The
second book is called Smile Again: Your recovery from Burnout,
breakdown and overwhelming stress.
Podcast Episode Summary This episode explores the pervasiveness of
Inner Brutality, a phenomenon or entity that we have lived as a
property of us rather than a narrative we have built to survive.
Anna shares how we can employ a Methodology to shift our
relationship to self and expand our emotional palette for a fuller
and more content life.
Points made over the episode
- The red thread
that weaves throughout this podcast is the idea that we can take
back the power of the Inner Bully and expand our emotional
competence to live through life’s experiences good and bad with
greater kindness and companionability to self and
- Anna experienced
Trauma 11 years ago. Initially she succumbed to her inner bully and
found it difficult to forgive herself for choosing an ill-suited
- She then saw the experience as a
privilege to understand how as humans we can be so out of control
of our own neurological system.
- It took Anna 3/4
years to recover and in that time she fashioned an alternative
methodology called “My Kinda Life”
- She describes
the ways the inner bully works and how it creates a personal
- The methodology
surfaced from Anna’s personal analysis and questioning to wonder
what an alternative could be to the ferocious and pernicious inner
- The idea of
Kindness to self and companionability to self-emerged.
- Kindness was the
generic term for compassion and caring that Anna chose. She also
wanted something more dynamic than compassion can be and chose the
Brutality can best be described as the words used by self to stay
stuck in a self-imposed prison or cul-de-sac. A person who refuses
to allow themselves to move through their emotions and move
conversations in the minds eye include statements like; you are an
idiot, useless person, stupid and much more profane language than
can be repeated here.
- We have
assimilated this kind of inner talking as normal and not as a thing
and Anna wanted to surface this practice as a thing, a thing we do
not have to live with.
- The power source
of the Inner Bully is the pain of an emotional experience that has
been aligned with lack of safety, so it is
- We are primed
now to show inner strength, to be resilient and that brings with it
its own pressure. We tend to demonise certain emotions such as
anger, grief and jealousy. Simply put we have aligned pain with
- To expand and
accept all of these emotions for their purpose to help us feel as
humans means that we get to move through life.
- Two reasons in
particular help Leaders she the veracity of Anna’s work. 1.
There is a sense that something is happening internally that is
scuppering someone’s success and 2. On paper someone might have
achieved considerable success but they feel
- Inner Brutality
is so pervasive that people can see themselves reflected in the two
- Why employ this
methodology on Teams is a question that gets answered by way of the
loss in understanding, communication and energy consumed by team
members who have different emotional palettes and ways of
narrating. Conflict often ensues.
- Inner Brutality is conveyed and
projected onto others.
- If every member
of a team can take responsibility for dialling down their inner
bully and increasing their emotional palette things get easier on
teams, conflict melts, communication is easier and the energy made
available can be used for productive purposes.
- Inner Brutality
sits on a spectrum between being very loud and domineering to a
- Imposter Syndrome, Self-Saboteur,
Perfectionism are all manifestations of the Inner Bully at
- Start by seeing
the Inner Bully as an entity and build a relationship with it, it
arrived for a very purposeful reason and in all likelihood has out
grown its usefulness.
- Kindness does
not have to be seen as paradoxical to Leadership. Kindness means
empathy, means communicating in way that other can understand
- Selling Kindness
is often made simpler by selling unkindness.
- The Methodology
is exquisitely simple but intoxicatingly difficult because it is
being levelled against a complex system that is a
methodology comprises 8 steps:
- Step One: Visualising -The Companionable
Can you envisage a time when you
will not brutalise you? Find out how it hurts you, how it hinders
you and how the inner bully affects you. Can you imagine the
fluidity of acknowledging if you have done something, feeling the
pain of that and moving on to do differently next
- Step Two: Your Inner Brutality-how it reveals itself and
how it controls your reality. Your inner brutality is pushing you from behind
saying come on hurry up be better be faster be something you are
not. The Companionable way comes along side you and says “Hey, I do
not feel fully ok with me now, but I am going to re-learn how to
- Step Three: Recognise the power source of the Inner
Brutality-The decisions made about yourself based upon your
experiences. It is rarely someone’s experience alone that causes
long term suffering but a value judgement against self. Ask what
are the value judgements made against self that are true and
- Step Four: Being fully human with a full emotional
- 10 Main emotions: Fear, Love, Happiness, Sadness, Envy, Pride,
Disgust, Surprise, Grief & Anger.
- Step Five: Determine your own objections to lifelong
companionability- look inside of you, look without judgement. What
does your head struggle to accept about living in a kind and
companionable manner with self? Look for reasons not
Six: The Vow-vowing to
yourself from this day forward- you will struggle to make lasting
change unless you make a decision to do so.
Seven: Your companionable
alternative to Inner Brutality of Thought. Your brain has it
favourite put down. It is habituated and like any habit it takes
commitment until companionability is wired in and brutality is
- Step Eight:
Installing your Vow and living companionably
- 30% more energy is available to a person by
working through the methodology.
- We are born with 10 globally accepted emotions.
Our familial system and societal norms washes many out. We are left
with a reduced palette.
- We are born to feel and move through our
experiences in life. Our inner brutality thwarts this natural
phenomena. We create objections that the Inner Brutality convinces
us are necessary. It convinces us that by suffering and hurting we
are taking responsibility but this only keeps us stuck, in a
- The Vow is underpinned by the foundational work
of Anna’s methodology.
- A companionable alternative looks like someone
who appreciates that they have a full emotional palette, gives
space and time to process emotions, uses companionable words like
“what a shame you did that and you do not feel proud of what you
have done” allowing the pain of that realisation and moving
- Anna is a testament that the methodology works.
We have to be able to overcome the stigma of looking after self.
Remember Kindness and Companionability is contagious just as Inner
Brutality is -you chose for a better leadership
- My Kinda Life In Leadership- Anna
- Smile Again : Your recovery from
burnout, breakdown & overwhelming stress-Anna