When we see things clearly, we tend to feel calm and self-assured. This short article outlines the two key reasons for lack of clarity in our lives (not following our values and dealing with inner conflicts) and briefly explores what we can do to address them.
The importance of values
Self-doubt can result from a lack of clarity and it is simply feedback that we are not following our own values. Our values are things we naturally treat as important without the input or obligations put on us by others. If we try and overly please others, we will not follow our own values, and this can lead to inner confusion and lack of clarity. To learn more about values you can read my article on listening skills to improve your relationships or check out the Values Factor book review here.
Key to finding clarity – honour yourself
The key to finding clarity is honouring yourself by recognising and listening to your inner voice. In my experience, this is more challenging than it sounds as many people have a problem with recognising the difference between their inner voice and the part of them that is trying to comply and please others (the “outer voice”).
Your inner voice leads you towards fulfilment and is innate and unique to you. Your outer voice can be thought of as the voice of others operating within you. You can recognise this voice because it focuses on obligations, expectations of others and/or society and expresses itself with words like “should”, “must” and “have to”.
Key to finding clarity – managing the “outer” voice
Listening predominantly to our outer voice requires willpower and discipline. Therefore, when we listen to the voice of others, our minds easily get tired and confused.
In our psychology, we create “parts” to cope with this type of problem. When a part of us needs to be disciplined and compliant, we create another part to balance it in our minds – a “part” of non-compliance or disobedience. If we consistently spend time cultivating the disciplined or compliant part of ourselves, the non-compliant part of ourselves will eventually manifest, usually in another area of our lives and it will normally seek out pleasure. For example, this is often the reason why we can reach for food or alcohol when we have had a hard day at work.
Inner conflict v outer conflict
Many people feel upset when they come into conflict with others. In these circumstances, the first step to clarity is becoming aware that upset comes because of an inner conflict.
When we have an inner conflict, one part of us wants to go down a certain route and the other part wants to do the opposite. Say, for example, when passing the sweet shop your child tries to persuade you to get them a bag of “pick and mix”. You may feel conflicted because they have been a good child all day and you want to reward them, but you may also have a conflicting thought that you shouldn’t spoil them. Some people might get upset and even react by telling the child off.
The reaction to the outer conflict arises because of an inner conflict. In this example, the conflict could be between caring for someone by giving them a treat or caring for them by maintaining their health in the long run. We feel like we are being asked to suppress one of these parts when we naturally want them both to be expressed.
The best way to manage outer conflicts is to recognise and work with the parts of us that are in conflict. In the above example of the child, some might even encourage the child to “work” or do something healthy to get his reward – this is normally the wise choice in the long run as both parts of the conflict express themselves in the resolution. We could link the two by suggesting that they can have sweets only once they have eaten their greens at tea or done all their homework.
Transformational coaching at La Crisalida Retreats
Understanding the mechanisms and inner causes of conflict in your life can be a difficult job to do on your own. One of the key benefits of transformational coaching at La Crisalida Retreats is that an expert coach helps you to uncover the hidden conflicts that are creating problems in your life. In a transformational coaching session you can expect, amongst other things, to integrate any conflicted parts that are unconsciously running your inner world. In these sessions we also look at values by seeing what you are naturally drawn to for fulfilment in your life.
Success in transformational coaching is measured by achievement of an inner sense of calm and self-confidence. You can find out more about online transformational coaching or Life and Success coaching on our website.