virgin islands scene

Mighty things from small beginnings grow.
-- John Dryden
 

 

The MONTHLY Motivator - August 2015

Stop fighting with yourself

Are there things you know it’s not good for you to be doing, and yet you do them anyway? Are there other things you know you must do, and yet you avoid getting them done? Sometimes it can feel like you are not one person, but two people, each one in conflict with the other. Your logical mind knows how to act in your own self interest, while your inner feelings and impulses completely ignore that good advice.

When your logical mind and your inner feelings are in agreement, life can be great. When you know that spinach is good and nutritious for you, and you love the way spinach tastes, you have no conflict around eating spinach. You know it’s something good and right to do, and you enjoy doing it.

But what if you have a job that brings in the money necessary for paying the bills, but you don’t really enjoy being at that job? You know it is necessary for you to show up at your job every day, and yet you just don’t want to be there. That’s a big conflict, and it can be stressful and unpleasant. One part of you is constantly in conflict with the other part of you. What is the way out of such a conflict? How do you stop fighting against yourself?

The answer is really very simple. First, acknowledge that, yes, you do have a conflict. Then do what is necessary to satisfy both sides in the conflict, both versions of you. You will never be able to move forward when you are fighting against yourself. You can’t just let one side win, because that does not end the fight. The other side would end up fighting back even more vigorously. What you must do, is enable both sides to win.

Your acknowledgment of the conflict is a big part of this. Your logical mind wants to receive confirmation that it is right. Your inner, feeling self wants confirmation that everything is okay, and that its feelings are legitimate. What might seem like a conflict does not have to be conflict. Both points of view are valid, and there’s a way for both parts of you to enjoy real satisfaction. It’s important to acknowledge that. Instead of one side being right and the other side having to be wrong, acknowledge that both sides are right. The job is not pleasant, and the income it brings in is valuable. Eating a big bowl of ice cream is a delightful experience, and it adds unwanted fat to your body. See those things as facts, not as conflicts. Acknowledge the truth and validity of both perspectives.


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--Ralph Marston

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