Everyone has an internal conflict over what is yours

How you can solve an inner conflict in 3 steps

10 Feb

Change job or stay with the familiar? Have children or do you prefer to wait? Go on a trip around the world or do you prefer a career? Are you studying again or is it already too late for that? Have an affair, separate from your partner or fight for love?

We always experience an inner conflict when we have to choose between two or more options - but each of the options feels somehow correct.

How should you make the right decision? What should you listen to? Is there any right or wrong to these questions?

The bigger or more important the decision, the more difficult it will be to make it. We weigh things up, ask friends and family, feel torn inside and when you think you have finally decided on one option, doubts immediately arise as to whether it might not be better to go for the other option.

Sleepless nights, stomach aches and restlessness are typical symptoms of internal conflicts. Decisions want to be made and as long as no decision is made, our system rebels.


If you are in such a bind right now, I have a super helpful method for you here.

The method comes from Friedemann Schulz von Thun, a pretty smart guy when it comes to communication models. Good Mr. Schulz von Thun says that we often feel so torn because we don't really listen to ourselves and have no idea how to deal with our inner team.

In case you are wondering what exactly he means by inner team: Your inner team consists of your different personality parts or your different feelings.

There is, for example, that courageous part in you who would like to take the world by storm. There's the shy part of telling you to hold back. Likewise, there is an anxious part who advises you to be careful and who wishes that you stay in your safe comfort zone forever. Then there is perhaps the adventurer who is curious and wants to try new things. Or maybe an inner weaker self who doesn't think much of trying harder than absolutely necessary, etc. If you listen to yourself, you can definitely find one or the other of these characters with you.

In the case of an internal conflict, you can imagine it as if all these different team members are now giving up their mustards on your problem and everyone is insisting that they are right. This is usually the moment when you lie awake at night and think your head is about to explode.



Step 1: you are the boss!

Strong emotions like fear, love, or shame can make us feel powerless and tunnel vision into things. Make yourself aware that your emotions and thus the different parts of you are part of you, but that you are the boss of the store.


Step 2: Listen to the individual team members

Your task as head of the team is to listen to and perceive the various concerns, worries and opinions of the parts in peace and quiet (even those that are perhaps a little quieter).

The easiest way to do this is to take 5-10 sheets of paper and briefly summarize on each sheet what the respective part or emotion wants. You write the name of the part at the top of the sheet (e.g. the daredevil, the fearful, the considerate, etc.). There are no limits to your naming. In the second step you write a typical sentence / the main wish / the main concern of the part under the name. Third, see what the positive intention is.

So that you can better imagine what it might look like, I am doing this as an example of an internal conflict on the topic:

Quit job and go into self-employment Yes or No?!?

Sheet 1: The fearful

“I am safe in a permanent position. I get my salary every month and I don't have to worry about how I will pay the rent. And even if I find my job rather unsatisfactory, I still prefer a permanent job to the insecurity of being self-employed. What if I don't make any money there? Or if I fail with my idea?

Positive intention: I want to protect you.

Sheet 2: The doer

“I have such a great idea for my self-employment and I really want to build my own business. I want more freedom of choice. I have managed everything in mine so far, then it will work too. "

Positive intention: I want you to shape your life.

Sheet 3: The Rationale

“We should take a close look at everything first and not break anything over the knee. A lot can go wrong there. On the other hand, it is not a state of affairs in a permanent position. Maybe it would be an idea to cut it down to part-time first? "

Positive intention: I don't want you to make rash decisions and keep a cool head.

Sheet 4: The creative

"I would like to create something myself and at the moment I just can't live my creativity in my job."

Positive intention: I want you to be creative and let color in your life.

Sheet 5: The security fanatic

"Oh my God! Absolutely no way! What if it all goes wrong? Will we end up under the bridge? Have no more money? "

Positive intention: I want to ensure our survival.

Sheet 6: The joy of life

“Life isn't there to do the same thing for 40 years. The fun only starts outside of the comfort zone! I want more intensity, excitement and joy. And there is not so much of that in the current job. "

Positive intention: I want fun.

Sheet 7: The brave one

"We'll get it sorted out! Step by step, then it works. What should happen in the worst case? That we will go back to permanent employment in 2 years? Then at least we tried. Solutions always open up.

Positive intention: I want you not to live below your possibilities.


Step 3: the team conference

When you see this lying in front of you, you are no longer surprised that you feel torn inside, do you?

You can now see that everyone in your team has a right to be there and everyone only wants the best for you.

As the head of your team, it is now your job to harmonize the different parts and to see who could talk to whom, who can support whom and which part just needs a little more attention and encouragement from you.

The nice effect of the "inner team conference" is that you are much clearer afterwards and the different parts and emotions were heard. As long as you push away or ignore a part, that part will be the loudest at some point.

The exercise works best if you put the pieces of paper on the floor and rearrange them in the "conference". For example, the fearful and the brave can team up and keep each other in check. Likewise, the maker can, for example, reassure the security fanatic.



1. The 10-10-10 method

Ask yourself what possible consequences each decision would have in 10 minutes? In 10 months? In 10 years?

If you could choose what your life would be like 10 years from now, what choices would be most likely to help make it the same?

2. Your 80-year-old you

We all know the inner critic, but do you already know your inner mentor?

Work out the date of your eightieth birthday and imagine where you will be on your 80th. Who will be with you What will you have experienced?

The introduction helps you to connect with your inner mentor / your 80 year old self.

Instead of listening to your fears, just ask your inner mentor what he thinks about the whole thing?

3. Connect more and more with your intuition

Often the very first impulse is the right one. Gradually practice listening to your intuition more.


I hope that the exercises help you to find clarity in your decisions and I would be very happy if you share your experiences with me in the comments.

Have fun trying.

All the best



P.S. If you want to know more about the inner team ofFriedemann Schulz von Thun want to know,I can highly recommend this book from him.

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