I feel inspired to write about inner conflict today, having just found out its World Hello Day. Let me explain…….World Hello Day is an opportunity for you to express your concern for world peace by encouraging leaders to use communication rather than force to settle external conflicts.
You can do this by a simple greeting of ‘hello’ to 10 strangers.
Whilst I applaud this worthy cause – I always advocate You being the change you wish to see in the world – what I see often in my role as Business Success Coach is outer conflict (and at the opposite extreme, paralysis) being caused by inner conflict.
If you’ve ever taken it out on other people because you feel frustrated at not knowing what you should do next………..
If you’ve ever despaired because other people seem to be able to deal with things that you struggle with………….
If you’ve ever felt that you’re being pulled in different directions……….
If you’ve ever felt that your head is saying one thing and your heart is saying another,…..
Then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
There are some people who seem to be in a constant state of struggle and inner conflict, and others who experience one part of themselves disagreeing with another, only occasionally. Whichever it is for you, it can be useful to discover what you can do about it.
But first it’s important to understand the effects of internal conflict. It’s exhausting. It can keep you in a state of almost constant anxiety. And anxiety and fatigue are the biggest contributors to stress. If you fail to stop their progression it can, in extreme cases, lead to emotional and/or physical breakdown. Obviously, it’s good to tackle before you reach this point!
5 Tips For Dealing With Inner Conflict
In terms of what you can do….here are my suggestions. Choose one or more that resonates with you and take action.
- Inner conflict often occurs when you believe you have only an either/or choice. Open yourself up to the possibility that there might be a way of integrating both, or even a different, third or multiple ways.
- For each of the areas causing you distress, ask yourself……..if I make this choice how will I feel? Then really listen to your body. There will always be a feeling, or at the very least a brief sense of how you will feel, if you allow yourself the time and space to listen, and if you’re genuinely curious rather than judgemental.
- Don’t suppress your thoughts and feelings. For example, if your feelings and emotions are so powerful they’re literally blocking clear thoughts and making you feel like you’re going round in circles in your head, you can release these negative feelings by asking yourself:
- Can I allow this feeling? Acknowledge it? Embrace it?
- Could I let it go?
- Would I let it go?
- Get out of your head and into your body. Establish the intention that you ‘want the truth, more than you want to be right, or liked’ then do some physical activity. This can open you up to new insights about yourself or your dilemma.
- Examine where your thinking about this is coming from – a place of fear or a place of trust. For example, you want to try something new but you’re afraid it will fail, so you procrastinate whilst you argue with yourself. Once you identify ‘not taking this action’ is based in fear and ‘taking this action’ is based in love or trust, you can make a more conscious decision, which will often allow the inner conflict to just dissipate.
On World Hello day let’s not forget to greet 10 strangers. And on every other day, let’s remember to help ourselves by dealing with inner conflict as soon as we become aware of it, and certainly before it creates external conflict.