Personal Development
Types of Internal Conflict: How to Work Through Inner Battles

Types of Internal Conflict: How to Work Through Inner Battles

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Exploring Inner Conflict

Conflict is essential to all forms of literature as it drives the plot and creates a powerful, captivating story. Internal conflicts, on the other hand, are much more difficult to grapple with, as they arise from the inner struggle between who we desire to be and who we feel we need to be. Internal conflicts can be divided further into three main patterns: individual, interpersonal, and group.

Individual Internal Conflict

Individuals can experience internal conflict when their values, beliefs, and perceptions about themselves clash with what they want to do. This can be very difficult to manage as our values are a big part of our identity, so compartmentalizing them is not always the best way to understand the situation. To help with this, solutions such as Shiken offer tools to help with leadership, engagement, well-being, and inclusivity to create an inner shift in mindset, skills, and behaviors.

Cognitive Dissonance and Inner Conflict

Cognitive dissonance occurs when our attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors do not align. It can be divided into three main sources- forced compliance, effort, and decision-making- which further breaks down into six distinct misalignments which can lead to internal conflict. Trying to explain away our own behavior or the behavior of those close to us often leads to a morphed line between right and wrong. To prevent this, it is important to approach the internal conflict head-on and not attempt to change our thoughts to make it all fit.

Resolving Inner Conflict

Resolving inner conflict requires examining our own role in the situation and understanding the truth of the matter. To do this, take practical steps such as:

  • Question your own beliefs and values to better understand what you find important and why
  • Seek external guidance whenever you need help making a difficult decision
  • Understand the motivations of those involved in the conflict to better understand the situation
  • Align your values and goals with the external conflicts and struggles around you
  • Stay true to yourself by not allowing yourself to be convinced to do something against your beliefs

Heroes often resolve their internal conflicts by recognizing how their own goals can be combined with the greater needs of their community. We can do the same, by understanding our values and desires and finding ways to integrate them with our current circumstances.

Dealing With Inner Conflict Through Self-Reflection

It's natural to have an urge to quickly solve conflicts when our boundaries or values are challenged. However, the reality of life is much more complex than in books, with multiple opposing views and interests at play. Taking some time to reflect on our own values and those of others is vital to finding a balanced solution.

Start With Yourself

Our initial reaction to a conflicting situation can be guilt for going against our own values. This could simply be a misalignment between our values and circumstances, prompting us to react in a certain way. Our values and beliefs are essential, so we should take a step back to consider what our reactions reveal about our internal state.

Taking Aligned and Thoughtful Steps

We can take steps to bridge the gap between our beliefs and experiences. For example, if our job demands a lot of our time that would normally be spent with family, we can use this as an opportunity to prioritize our goals without sacrificing our values. Seeking an outside perspective and working with a coach can also be highly beneficial to understanding our inner conflicts.

Inner Work as Part of Your Daily Routine

The pandemic has rearranged our idea of what is necessary for mental health and wellness. Not only do successful organizations know how to cope with difficulties, but they prioritize staying aware of their own assumptions and nonverbal communication. This is known as 'Inner Work', and it can be helpful for deciphering our own and others' motivations.

What Does This Mean For You?

Inner conflict is an inevitable part of life, but finding solutions is possible. Through self-awareness and analysis, we can make balanced decisions that align with our values and make us feel satisfied with the outcome. Learning how to make Inner Work a part of our daily routine can help us better connect with ourselves and those around us.

The Benefits of Inner Work and How to Fit it Into Your Busy Schedule

Christine Carter, Rhonda Magee, and Shawn Achor have all studied the effects of Inner Work. This practice can help improve interpersonal communication, confidence, and performance levels. It is not a luxury, but a necessity to prioritize this work in our everyday life.

Forgiveness, Performance, and Resolution of Team Conflicts

In order to make progress in our personal development, it is necessary to learn how to forgive ourselves. Conflict resolution techniques can be helpful for handling team disputes. Understanding our "locus of control" and how it shapes our behaviour is an important part of this process. It is also valuable to be aware of cognitive dissonance and how it can affect our development and goals.

Harnessing the Power of Scalable Mindsets

We can use Scalable Mindsets to make changes in our skills and behaviours. As a result, we can improve our own performance and engagement, as well as that of our team.

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