Four Simple Tips to Handle Inner Conflict
Sometimes the holidays feel like good news/bad news. It’s actually fairly common because the expectations during this time of year may stretch common sense and cause you to feel torn in several different directions causing inner conflict. It may feel our sound like this in your head: “Part of my feels ___________ and the other part of me feels the opposite.” Or it may come out as the good news is…and the bad news is language. Sometimes this internal unrest is just a commentary and doesn’t really present a problem. Other times it can be a BIG problem. When this kind of problem creates stagnation, frustration and indecision, it’s unlikely to go away without taking some kind of action.
There’s a wonderful NLP (neuro linguistic programming) technique to resolve this problem called a Parts Integration. A Parts Integration is neither easy nor quick and most often requires an in person visit, however it can yield profound and lasting results because it resolves the inner conflict at a very deep and unconscious level.
If you don’t need or can’t do a Parts Integration, you can still work on this yourself. Here are my tips:
1. Identify the inner conflict by stating the “good news/bad news” or what you feel conflicted about. It can also be expressed as “part of me wants to __________ because…and the other part of my wants to do something else because….”
2. Once you have identified the two conflicting aspects you can begin to weigh them. Write the cons first and then the pros. Don’t get stuck in the story of the pros and cons, simply acknowledge them (this may be a challenge so keep at it).
3. Notice and write down the feelings for the pros and the cons that arise.
4. Notice if there are any similar positive feelings on each side. This is where you’ll want to focus since this is in agreement. Stay with the good feelings because they are your motivation.
I’ll give you my own example as to how it might sound in your head.
“Part of me can’t wait to finish my teacher’s certification in Chicago. I’ve been looking forward to completing this work so I can teach it to others because it’s so amazing. The other part of me doesn’t like the thought of traveling to Chicago where it will probably be freezing and I’ll miss my cats and my nice comfortable bed. It’s such a pain to travel.”
I hate hotel beds.
I’ll have to eat all my meals out and that’s a challenge.
It’s a long day of traveling.
I’ll miss my home.
I don’t know what to expect.
Feelings (Step 3)
Dread, annoyance, excitement, fear of the unknown
The time will pass quickly.
I’ll be learning amazing new skills and information.
I’ll meet wonderful people.
Traveling is only a short part of the process.
I’ll be home before I know it.
It’s sort of a mini vacation.
Feelings (Step 3)
Excitement, anticipation, relief, joy, satisfaction, confidence
Do you notice any similarities between the pros and cons? In this instance, excitement was in both “pros and cons.” When you focus on the commonalities and the positive feelings, it automatically reduces internal conflict.
If you don’t get any similarities initially, keep pondering the situation and repeat the steps. Eventually you will find some common ground. For deeper-rooted issues more advanced work may be necessary.
This is a quick exercise. It may take all of a couple of minutes to do in your head and maybe 5 minutes on paper. Isn’t it worth your time to reduce the inner conflict? The important point to remember is that you end this, or any exercise, on a positive note. The mind remembers the last sentence, thought or action that happened.