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Inner conflicts result from the conscious mind wanting one thing, and the unconscious mind wanting another.
The unconscious mind’s role is to keep us in a familiar place where we feel most safe. The conscious mind’s role is critical thinking, planning, and creating strategies that will serve us well in our lifetime.
Suppose we have unconscious beliefs that we are safest when we don’t speak up and allow ourselves to be heard because, as a child, we were heavily criticized when voicing our opinions. In that case, we may not feel comfortable speaking up as an adult. We may even develop a panic attack at the thought of it.
The conscious mind, however, may have thoughts and ideas that conflict with that unconscious belief. The conscious mind may feel a calling toward public speaking, blogging, or conducting a live Facebook event to express and share valuable knowledge to the world.
Since these two parts of the mind conflict, you are kept stagnant. There is fear in expressing oneself, while there is a passion about sharing one’s knowledge.
Inner conflicts hold us back, keep us limited in our lives, and deny the world our gifts. If we resolve these inner conflicts, we won’t have as many obstacles blocking us from our desired goals.
Let’s look at how internal conflicts are formed in the first place.
At an earlier time in life, when we believed it was others who validate our worth, we felt it would be best for our survival to please those who take care of us—avoid rejection. Rejection feels like a punishment for not meeting their expectations of us. In order to avoid punishment and receive acceptance by those we look to for our survival, we adapt to their expectations.
Later in life, these expectations become our expectations on an unconscious level. This is our unconscious mind keeping us in a safe zone. Now, as an adult, we want to step out of that safety zone and share our gifts of wisdom, but we are being held back by these unconscious survival fears.
To resolve the conflicts that are holding us back, we must first recognize that there is a conflict. If we are not moving toward our goals in life despite our desires to do so, then, most likely, there is an internal conflict. Once we recognize that there are opposing agendas within our consciousness that keep us stuck where we are, we can begin asking ourselves questions about our inability to move forward.
It is best to relax your mind and body before asking yourself questions and considering the answers to them. This way, you will be receiving your answers from the unconscious mind where the survival patterns reside. When you tap into the unconscious mind, you are expanding into your intuition and observing the thoughts within you.
To relax your mind and body, and allow access to your unconscious mind, take the following steps:
1. Find a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed and where you can close your eyes and relax for about 20 minutes.
2. Take a long deep breath in and when you release your breath, release it into the center of your heart. Imagine the flow of your breath moving in and out of your heart like a gentle warm breeze. Repeat this several times, and feel your body begin to relax. As you feel the relaxation occurring, take a few more deep breaths through your heart center.
3. Next, begin to count down from 10 to one, slowly and softly with your voice, but with each number, follow with the words: “I am peaceful, I am calm, I am relaxed.”
4. Finally, ask yourself questions about what is holding you back from reaching your goals and pursuing your dreams. Here are some examples:
>> What might happen if I pursue my goals of (fill in the blank)?
>> How will that change how I feel about myself and others?
>> How will reaching my goals affect those I care about?
>> What do I fear the most if I follow through with my goals?
>> How do my fears of moving toward my goals with passion and determination relate to my past experiences?
>> What do I need to heal from the past so I can become present in the moment and step fully into my greatness?
This process may bring you immediate answers, or you may need to practice it a few times. Each time you do this process, you will gain more insight into what is going on within you—what’s holding you back.
Whether your goals are related to health, career, professional relationships, or personal relationships, the important part of the process is just allowing the information to come to you. Do not try to look for it. That would require you to call forth the conscious mind to analyze the thought processes which may take you away from your intuition.
If you try this process several times and still feel stuck, there is possibly a secondary gain issue. This means that, by reaching the goals you set for yourself, you will lose the received benefits by staying in the status quo.
An example of this would be staying in a relationship that you feel has reached its end. Your conscious mind wants you to end the relationship and move on with your life. You keep reasoning with yourself that you will deeply hurt this person and have been good to you.
On an unconscious level, you really may be experiencing the fear of losing the financial benefit of staying with this person. You may feel safe, but you continue to struggle internally with feelings of emptiness. This may cause you to find other ways to fill that emptiness, which will never satisfy your appetite for a deep connection with a partner.
Once you feel you have made a clear assessment of your internal conflicts, you may want to spend some time resolving them. This means weighing out the benefits and disadvantages of each possible decision and hopefully finding a satisfactory solution. Sometimes healing of an unsettled past may need to take place in order to end the internal conflicts.
We all have inner conflicts, and some of us have extreme conflicts that need extra attention. We must recognize that these conflicts are due to outdated survival patterns that we set up a long time ago. We must honor our ability to create a survival strategy when we believed our acceptance depended on it. As adults, we are in charge of our lives; but we can’t take control of our lives if we don’t release old survival patterns.