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Published on January 27, 2021

How To Deal With Inner Conflict And Free Yourself

How To Deal With Inner Conflict And Free Yourself

Imagine two souls locked up in one body fighting for dominance. Inner conflict is the most painful and mentally exhausting human burden that ravishes even the calmest of hearts. That turmoil within you is called inner conflict, and it is something humans have unfortunately created by themselves.

Inner conflict is a constant battle that hinders us from making a smooth decision. It is our thoughts and emotions trying to override what we know is morally right or wrong. This feeling of conflict translates into fear, anger, disgust, confusion, loneliness, etc.

What Is Inner Conflict?

As mentioned, inner conflict is a raging war within oneself. It is being indecisive, but it is much deeper than indecisiveness. This attribute can range from the simplest decision, like taking a bus or Uber to work to picking red shoes instead of blue ones. It can be anything morally, sexually, political, religious, and more. The decision to compromise or not is the result of inner conflict.

Generally, most people avoid conflict like a plague. They see it as negative energy or bouts of emotions that cannot be dealt with at the moment. As a result, many people suffering from inner conflict either suppress, deny, or withdraw from circumstances that exaggerate the situation or believe it does not exist. Well, the latter works great for external conflicts. In as much as inner conflict feels obstructive, positive outcomes do result from it.

However, when you decide (hoping it is soon) to deal with your inner conflict, only then will you win. Even if you lose, it is a win for acknowledging it. Never assume that dealing with your inner conflict makes you a winner. No, it does not always happen that way. It only means you are accepting and looking for viable channels to disperse the feelings within you.

Before discussing various types of conflict, remember this: Even though conflict is inevitable, freeing yourself from its grip is possible.

At the end of the day, conflict regardless of its kind or source challenges you to become more creative and smart about your decision-making. There are plenty of examples, such as a person who believes in women’s rights but thinks she must be submissive in marriage.

What Causes Inner Conflicts?

The battle between what you know and how you feel is an age-old one that will forever happen. The disagreement between our hearts and head is real. Your head will always be the deciding factor of your existence.

However, as long as we attach feelings to things, our hearts will come into play. Moreover, we live in a society influenced by emotions rather than thoughts, hence the beginning of the causes of inner conflict.

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Our desire to satisfy the needs of our surroundings is the cause of conflict. Our heads offer a focused and linear kind of intelligence while our hearts are free and illogical. Finding a common ground between these two is like being locked up in a maze.

There is no simple formula for resolving inner conflict. However, there are steps you can take to free yourself from such craziness.

So, what causes inner conflict? The inability to find a balance between our heart and head results in inner conflict, and when our actions match our values, we call it a win. However, when they fail to align, it results in shame, disgrace, and embarrassment.

What Is the Origin of Inner Conflicts?

Humans experience inner conflict for a variety of reasons, but tracing it to one source is not possible. Some factors that trigger it are:

  • Our background and upbringing
  • Our belief, doctrine, cultures, and traditions
  • Our society and the values we learned or adopted into our adulthood

The truth is that the more mentally attached you are to any of the above or anything in life, the more inner conflict you are likely to suffer from.

How Do You Know When Inner Conflict Is Arising?

You know inner conflict is brewing when you find yourself contesting your values or beliefs for options less significant. For example, it is fighting hard to keep your virginity while persuading your boyfriend to understand that you love and value your relationship.

Often, when a negative thought gradually overwhelms a good deed, inner conflict arises. When you feel that heaviness in your spirit or uneasiness in the pit of your stomach, beware because inner conflict might be around the corner.

Furthermore, when you find yourself forcefully trying to suppress the need to satisfy a bad one or giving significance to it, there is a problem.

How Do People With Inner Conflict Behave?

Inner conflict is defined as the confusion between accepting and aligning your belief with what is presented to you.

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A person suffering from internal conflict exhibits the following behavioral patterns:

  • cannot make up their own minds at any particular moment.
  • value the opinion and ideal of others than their own
  • does not accept their point of view as valid and significant (always willing to bend backward for others)
  • always doubt his or her credibility.
  • have no stable mindset about a situation and always.
  • do not feel challenged and are easily roped into guilt.
  • cannot make a decision and stick by it, and always seek the support of others to buttress their point
  • is uncertain about life and how to go about achieving their purpose in it.

Types of Inner Conflict

Now that we know more about the causes and effects of inner conflict, here are the different types that can affect us:

1. Sexual Conflict

This is one inner conflict that intertwines with other conflicts. An example of sexual conflict is denying your sexual identity because of what the world thinks. For example, today, we see people who are stuck in unhappy circumstances because of the failure to accept and acknowledge that part of ourselves.

2. Moral Conflict

This arises when our personal ethics and values are put to the test. For example, a person believes in being truthful and honest. Yet, they are willing to tell a lie to save a life or friends. Moral conflict arises when you are caught between two opposing sides and trying to fulfill both regardless of the consequences.

3. Religious Conflict

This is the most common type of inner conflict ravaging the human mind today. In the name of believing in God, many people become extremists just to display their loyalty. An example is accepting that blood transfusion can cure a loved one yet disregarding it because it goes against your belief.

4. Political Conflict

A clear example surrounds us in the recently concluded election in the US. This is a case where people know that democracy is for the people yet are willing to sacrifice it to please one man or for the selfishness of a few men who stake the lives of millions for a roomful of people.

5. Self-Image Conflict

This happens in many forms, but it is when a belief contradicts the image you have created in your mind. For example, a person disregards fat people because of how they look and believe their weight is the cause of their problem. Then, one day, they meet a big person who is confident and loves themselves. All of a sudden, you are caught up in relinquishing those beliefs and accepting the new angle.

6. Love Conflict

This happens when we love people and yet will not think twice about hurting them. For example, we love our partners but cannot tolerate their shortcomings regardless of how much we love them. This is the cause of marriages that end in divorce as even the ones we love, we have to let go sometimes just to find peace.

7. Interpersonal conflict

This is a battle between what you believe and what you like. For example, you hate parties because you accept it is a breeding ground for immorality and other vices to play out. Yet, you cannot wait to listen to the latest gossip about a party happening or just happened around. Another example is disliking smoking but accepting that it is okay for people to smoke if they like it.

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8. Existential Conflict

This is conflict arising due to your belief in the existence and occurrence of life as we know it. For example, knowing that God is a reality but doubting the idea of paradise or even life after death. It is also conflict arising from contradicting your declarations and beliefs about them.

Freeing Yourself

Having inner conflict affects us negatively. Here are ways you can free yourself from it:

1. Acknowledge the Inner Conflict

Genuine acknowledgment happens when the mind is open, receptive, and devoid of any form of criticism. Inner conflict drags us back and forth, making it challenging to ascertain the problem or devise a solution.

However, when you acknowledge the issues, it is easier to define the solution that will resolve them. Furthermore, you must be conscious of the duality of your mind. Do not take sides. But in that space, sit down and discuss the “whys” to ascertain what is best for you at the moment.

No one else but you should do this. It is a challenge as humans will seek to validate one over the other, but maturity and strength will help you through this stage. Remember, you cannot resolve what you do not agree with or deny.

2. Detachment

As mentioned above, when inner conflict arises, there is a duality that we must acknowledge. However, our desire to remain attached to beliefs and ideologies that do not conform to our present realities causes inner conflict.

If your perception changes, then everything else should, too. The consequences of inner conflict are rejection, fear, abandonment, loneliness, and more. If you cannot handle the consequences of inner conflict, then be stern in your decision and stay away from circumstances that might trigger such conflicts.

3. Gain Clarity

Lack of understanding is the broadest platform for conflict to grow, misplace priorities, values, and a clear and visible display of indecisiveness.

Clarity allows you to separate the “what” from the “how” and enables a deeper understanding of the things that need to be done. Gaining clarity requires deep insight within you and the willingness to accept the truth rather than what you want.

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4. Calm Your Mind Down

Your inner thoughts are almost likely negative ideas that are louder than the voices of reasoning. If you are alone when these creepy voices arise, practice small distracting activities to calm your mind. Calming your mind allows you to detach and gain clarity easily of the situation at hand.

It is not a way to escape from the problem but to put you in a place of peace until you can accurately discern what is next. Some activities to help are breathing exercises, music, reading, playing an instrument, cooking, and meditation, listening to positive affirmations, or nature watching.

If you are at work, step out for some fresh air or give yourself a minute or two to breathe deeply in the restroom.

5. Identify the Conflict

In this article, I have identified 8 inner conflicts that can crop up at any time. To free yourself from any situation, including conflicts, you must identify which one it is.

For example, imagine yourself arguing with your office colleagues about politics, but realize it is becoming religious or moral. It is time to step back and reassess the atmosphere before you get in too deep or say something that is not you. The ability to identify your inner conflict at any given moment heightens your understanding of the situation to enables you to channel your energy to the right channel.

Final Thoughts

While it is difficult to openly agree to the inner battles raging within us, ignoring and denying their existence means robbing yourself of positive energy in life. Inner conflicts are like your shadow—you feed them directly or indirectly. Rather than be at the mercy of your feeling, admit, identify, and discard them now.

More Tips on How to Deal With Inner Conflict

Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

11 Positive Thoughts for Your Everyday Motivation

11 Positive Thoughts for Your Everyday Motivation

The power of positive thoughts cannot be denied, even though sometimes it can seem a little like a cliché when you hear people talking about it. Well, I’m here to tell you that cliché or not, the mental and physical benefits of thinking positively are a proven way to give you more confidence, improve your self-esteem, give you motivation, and generally put you in a better mood. Thinking of at least one positive thought every day can have significant benefits for you.

Some scientific studies even suggest that thinking positively can reduce the likelihood of health conditions, like depression, hypertension, and a variety of other stress-related disorders.

This sounds amazing, but what does it really mean to think positively?

Positive thinking isn’t about finding your inner smile. Many people rarely have what they would consider joyous inner thoughts but that doesn’t mean they can’t be content with themselves and their life.

Positive thinking (thinking of positive thoughts every day) is more about finding the positive imagery in your life and viewing things through more optimistic eyes, especially if you’ve got yourself into a rut of seeing things negatively.

The biggest problem with positive thoughts is that they wear off quickly and things like rejection, negative experiences, setbacks, and heartbreak can soon put you into a downward spiral that gets you back into that negative funk you hate.

And, let’s be honest, being in a negative funk is a sure-fire way to strip your motivation and leave you unable to perform at the levels you know you can. If you’re looking for an instant way to boost your motivation, join the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. It’s a free intensive session that can help you identify your inner drive and build a sustinable motivation engine. You can sign up for the free session here.

So, how do you keep yourself positive in a world that seems hell-bent on bringing you down? Well, with the right routine of positive thoughts you can ensure that you wake up every day feeling motivated and looking forward to everything life has to throw at you.

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Here are some tips so you can start thinking of positive thoughts every day.

1. Be Thankful You Woke up This Morning

Not to start on a morbid note, but you woke up this morning. Some people didn’t. Don’t think of it is as a depressing morality tale, just use it to remember that you’ve won the greatest gift life has to offer – you’re alive.

It’s so easy to dwell on the negative aspects of our lives, but we always seem to miss the most obvious positive thing we have – life itself. Take a deep breath, look outside your window, and marvel at the world around you.

2. You Don’t Have to Listen to Haters

There’s no doubt that some people are really mean-spirited individuals who will love to ruin your day. Well, I’m here to tell you they can’t. Not if you don’t let them.

Ignore the haters. Dismiss their bile for what it is – vicious comments of unfulfilled people. Remind yourself that you are above them and nothing they say will bring you down.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

I know, I know. It’s easy to say, “Don’t compare yourself with anybody else.” But at the end of the day, we all have envious thoughts when we see somebody we perceive to be more successful than we are.

But think about it, are they really better than you and even if they are, does it even matter? By spending time being jealous you are wasting time on negative thoughts that could be spent pursuing something that makes you happy.

4. You Must Take a Chance

It’s easy to shy away from something that is high risk and high reward out of fear of being labeled a loser.

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Have you ever noticed that doing so actually makes you feel worse than if you’d just taken the risk in the first place? We know that rejection feels bad and failure can weigh heavily, but regret is a far stronger emotion over time.

Don’t hesitate if you have the chance. Go for it and tell yourself that if you fail, it’s no big deal. At least you tried.

Perhaps the perfect example of this approach is David Goggins. We all have a lot to learn from the inspirational David Goggins story and his priceless sayings.[1]

Goggins, considered by many to be ‘the toughest man alive’, is a retired Navy SEAL and the only person ever to complete SEAL training, the U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He’s also one of the world’s top endurance athletes and held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups, completing 4,030 in 17 hours.

He sounds like a ‘naturally gifted badass person’ right? But in his book, he reveals that he was actually ‘The weakest man in the world’, in his own words.

Overcoming obesity, poverty, racism, learning disabilities, abusive violent father, he came through the other side, inspiring people to embrace suffering and struggle, to find their greatness and inner peace. He took the slim chances he had and changed his life completely.

5. Accept That Things End

Even the best things in life end eventually, so don’t worry about them. Don’t fret about how the good times are about to stop, just enjoy them while they last. And when they do finally end, be happy in the knowledge that something else just as good will come along.

6. Don’t Judge Others

This ties in with point number 2 above – you won’t like it if others judge you so don’t judge them. We know it can be difficult to refrain from labeling other people, but doing so is a sure-fire way to start descending into a negative thought spiral.

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We all live in a world where passing judgment is tolerated, but not only is accepting people a great way to make others feel better, it’s also a fantastic way to foster positive thoughts within ourselves.

7. Don’t do Things for Others That Make You Unhappy

We all want to make other people happy, right? But what if the things that other people want us to do makes us unhappy?

If you’re doing something just for the satisfaction of others, don’t. Stop it right now. Your happiness and your time should never be sacrificed for the satisfaction of someone else. You won’t be able to think of positive thoughts every day if you are unhappy in the first place.

8. Don’t Like Your Job? Then Quit.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but nothing is more certain to drain your happiness levels quicker than a job that you hate. If you spend your evenings and days off dreading returning to the office, then start to do something about it.

We’re not talking about jeopardizing your livelihood by quitting (although the dramatic heading for this point certainly suggests so). What we mean is start to make plans and formulize an exit strategy. Nothing promotes positive thoughts more than a plan that removes something negative from your life.

Start simple by saving up funds to make the change and circulating your CV. The first step may seem difficult, but the sense of relief it gives will improve your thought patterns immeasurably.

It might be scary to start over at someplace new and going through a screening process that might be tedious, but once you understand that selling yourself can be easier than you think, you are halfway through.[2]

9. Take Control of Your Mornings

How you begin the day will set the tone for how the rest of it will go. Getting up in a panicked state is a very efficient way to kick start a negative emotional spiral. Get up bright and early, and give yourself time to prepare for the day.

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Though some of the mind-boggling thoughts you are having when waking up can be positive for you and even mean more than you imagine, it’s better to set up a fixed positive mental routine.

Think about the positive aspects of your life and tell yourself things like, “Today is going to be a good day” or “I’ll be amazing today.” Yeah, I know this sounds cheesy, but positive words instill positive thoughts.

10. Focus on the Good Things in Your Life No Matter How Small

You’re going to hit obstacles during the day. Things don’t generally run perfectly all the time. The trick is that when you encounter a challenge, don’t dwell on it and choose to focus on the positives you can find no matter how small they may seem.

If you get stuck in a traffic jam, don’t fret about how it is slowing you down. Take positivity in the fact that you have extra time to listen to the radio station you have been enjoying. If you head to your local store and it’s out of the ingredients you need for your dinner party, buy something else and create a different food masterpiece.

Focussing on good things is a great way to gain positive momentum in your life. The huge power of momentum is that even a series of very small things can accumulate to massive results – with the aid of momentum.

11. Look at the Funny Side

Even dark situations can have a humorous side if you look at them the right way. When in a dark or trying situation, remind yourself that what is happening to you will probably make a great story in the future and may even be passed on as a joke. Look for the funny side and laugh.

Final Thoughts

We all know that positive thoughts can be incredibly motivational but in modern life, it can be difficult to stay uplifted when the world around you seems determined to bring you down. By following some of the tips in our guide above, you could harness the power of positive thinking and find yourself starting every day motivated. So, start thinking of positive thoughts every day!

More Tips to Start Thinking of Positive Thoughts Every Day

Featured photo credit: Jacob Townsend via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Vision, Belief, Change: Best David Goggins Quotes
[2] Vision, Belief, Change: Is Selling Yourself Easier Than You Thought?

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