How to Resolve Core Conflicts

by Andy Wood on June 12, 2012

in Five LV Laws, Following Your Passion, Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Freedom

Pam is a worrier.  She knows she isn’t supposed to, but her underlying insecurity tends to frame every thought or situation in terms of what’s the worst thing that can happen.  When people tell her it’s a sin to worry, she just worries more about that.  She would like some joy in her life, but after a couple of times being burned or disappointed, she feels the need to protect herself from pain.

Pam is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is her boss, Alex.

Alex lives his life in pursuit of excellence.  Work excellence.  Play excellence.  Family excellence.  Financial excellence.  Your excellence if you get close enough.  The problem is that everything has to be so excellent that most times nothing is.  Because Alex can’t settle for ordinary in anything, he’s haunted by mediocrity in everything.

Alex is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is his sister, Teri.

Teri is one of the walking wounded.  Her life has been a vicious cycle of injury, followed by failure, followed by injury, followed by failure again.  It seems that whenever she’s working on forgiving somebody else, she becomes haunted by her own past sins or consequences.  These past mistakes and conflicts have left her fearful of trusting and shy of trying anything or anyone new in her life.  She knows her version of “playing it safe” is only adding to the sadness.  But she’d rather have a sad heart than a seared one.

Teri is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is her son, Will.

Will spends most of his life on Someday Isle.  Someday I’ll finish my degree.  Someday I’ll start my own business.  Someday I’ll get my spiritual life in order.  Someday I’ll settle down.  The problem is that Will’s focus on someday keeps him from ever actually figuring out what today is supposed to look like.

Will is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so is his former chemistry professor, Troy.

Troy is nothing short of brilliant.  He can see more possibilities, analyze more scenarios, and outline more contingencies in minutes than most people can do for hours.  But he’s a victim of his own intelligence.  Troy suffers from the paralysis of analysis.  He wants to figure out every possible move, project every possible outcome, and have a plan for every possible contingency before he takes the first step.  The result:  he never takes the first step.

Troy is living in the tension of a core conflict.  And so are you.

You’re no different from any of the fictional people mentioned above.  All of us, as noted earlier, face core conflicts that come from unmet needs, uncertain futures, unrealistic expectations, unresolved issues, and unchangeable circumstances.  Left untended, these core conflicts can leave us paralyzed, frustrated, defeated and rejected.  But that doesn’t have to be the story of your life.  Here are five ways to resolve the core conflicts you face.

1.  Reprogram your thinking.

The fact that you’re being pulled in two different directions indicates that you may be buying into some misinformation.  In other words, you may be choosing to believe a lie.  Go back to your core values and priorities.  Challenge your assumptions.  Talk it out with an objective listener.  Get some sanity and reality checks going.

This is especially important when it comes to recognizing your worth to God.  Core conflicts are often the result of thinking we aren’t worth much to God or that He isn’t interested in our issues or dreams.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

2.  Redirect your priorities.

Core conflicts often are the result of one or more priorities that are out of place.  Everybody is seeking something.  But some people seek the wrong things, or the right things in the wrong order.

Other people mess up their priorities by compulsively trying to list them.  Let’s see… God first, family second, work third, now what was fourth and fifth?  Is it golf and money?  Or money then golf?

Who cares?

It doesn’t matter what your number five or four or seven or seventeen priority should be.  What does matter is building your life around one and only one overarching priority and purpose, out of which every other priority is ordered… out of which every other standard of success or failure is gauged.

3.  Resolve past mistakes and conflicts.

Learn to say, “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.”  Learn to let go of the injuries inflicted by other people.  Otherwise like an evil weight the issues of your past will drag you down and anchor you to people or events you were never meant to carry for a lifetime.

What I’m trying to say is, your past will destroy you if you don’t bury it.

4.  Restrict your focus.

How would it affect your life if you refused to concentrate your emotional or mental energy on anything related to the past or the future?  All you would have left is specific problems or opportunities that can be addressed with positive action.

What can I do today?  Can I do anything about it today?  What is today’s assignment or challenge?  Those are the kinds of focused questions that generate unified souls and integrated lives.

5.  Respond with action.

Remember, it is easier to steer a moving vehicle than one that’s sitting still.

Do something.  Now.  Put an idea on the table.  Start something moving forward.  Propose something.  Try something.  It doesn’t have to be a headlong dive. You don’t have to burn your bridges behind you.  Just respond with some sort of action, then make adjustments along the way.

And what if it doesn’t work?

Repeat this after me, out loud. (Yes, I mean out loud.)

Okay.  So that didn’t work.  What’s an even better idea?

The whole idea behind resolving core conflicts is to get you to focus your head and your around on one thing.  One big idea.  One key priority.  One first love.  One next right thing to do.  To do that you have to say no to your fears and tears, and no even to some good things that get in the way of the best things.  But in focusing on today’s “yes!” and your ultimate priorities, you can transform core conflicts into a unified, powerful heart and life.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ada December 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm

This was a perfect read. Thank you!

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