Remember how history lessons constituted primarily, getting acquainted with historical wars – episodes on the timeline of history when our collective world changed – as a country or for the entire humanity?
“Conflict” has played a big role in shaping the world’s history. What applies to the big picture also applies to each one of us. So it is not surprising that the issue of conflict management arises while supporting executives in their progression to owning their power, purpose and success.
Conflicts can be of various kinds and here I wish to address one called the CONFLICT WITHIN.
Conflict Within. Examples like, “move out of a relationship or stay on”; “move to a different place to uplevel in the professional ladder or stay in the familiar”; “invite a new relationship in your life, or feel threatened by the new to your life of self control”; “fire an underperforming employee or wait for them to leave” are just a few examples of the Conflicts Within.
While the examples are varied, there are two common themes embedded in each one of them – A> In each one of them we have the ‘power of choice’ to take a call. B> Taking the call promises to ‘shake our world or keep it the same’.
It is at the precipice of taking these calls, we often feel scared and confused. Because saying “yes” to something means saying “no” to something else. And if both choices are attractive saying no to one is naturally scary. ‘Which one is the most attractive one?’ is often the conflict in our heads. But at a deeper level what really is at cross purpose here is our inner and true values.
While we as a human race hold certain values dear such as peace, dignity, equality,freedom, there are some unique values that each of us holds dear to us and those are true values.
With years of self-work on the area of conflict (because harmony is one of my true values) – I have begun to see, how futile it is to believe that the opposite of our closest True Values must not exist. In my case, I learned that the opposite of harmony is not always ‘bad’. In fact, I learnt that the opposite of harmony exists in my life, it has a solid role in my life…and it has helped me grow, not necessarily in the ways I wished but it did. Conflict Within is Conflict of inner values.
Conflict Within is a Conflict of Values
And this conflict may come and go at various points in our lives. But here are 3 strategies to resolve the conflict, (which I have learned from my life experience):
- Embracing the opposite: By embracing the opposite of your True Values. This may not seem comforting at first, but there is gold in the shadow we wish away. See the opportunity that is created when you willingly embrace it. Example if you have valued stability or security all your life, embrace flexibility, say yes to new things, try them out, make yourself grow in the opposite direction.
- Look for Role Models: In my life in times of inner conflict, I looked at my role models. And when I looked closely, I found that they held the same conflict as I faced and they seemed to have taken the big scary jump towards ‘shaking their world’. And it somehow helped me in matching my frequency to theirs, by doing the same.
- Embrace “BIGNESS of SOUL” values: I call them BIGNESS of SOUL because they have the power to propel one faster in the direction of our dreams and vision. These values shifted my life from a good to a great life, without keeping me stuck in decision-making for long. And here they are…
- Full responsibility for your life and your desires
- Honesty with Self and Others
- Commitment to Excellence
- Respect, Compassion, Kindness for Others & Self
- Integrity and Impeccability in words, actions, and thoughts
- Disciplined action
Finally, I love to remember and remind that breaks and interruptions in our own life – which are likely to shake our world – much as they seem as disruptors of inner peace – are actually doorways for growth. So the conflict within caused because of the potential of “shaking our world” may just be a doorway of growth we have been looking for.