Monkey Puzzle Blog

tug o war

The inner conflicts that are secretly sabotaging you

You are dying for some feet up time, but you can’t stop thinking about work. You really want that promotion, but just as you think it’s yours, you make a mistake that seems to put you back. You want to be close to someone in a good relationship but keep doing things that push them away. Is any of this familiar?

Whenever you want to do something, have the ability to do it but don’t do it then the secret sabotage of inner conflicts are at play.

You can either experience a tug inside you between one thing and another or you could do one thing and then do something afterwards to mitigate it; like standing up for yourself in an argument and then sucking up to them afterwards.

Why does this happen? We all experience these conflicts, it’s just that at certain times in our lives they come to the fore. As children we learned how to behave and picked up a lot of values and behaviours from our parents, most of this we didn’t make a conscious decision to do, it happened outside of our awareness. As a child you saw different ways of approaching even the basic tasks and decisions; Mum may have been a quick, spontaneous decision maker, whereas Dad took his time to think things through. As a kid you had no way to know which worked best in which situations, so you may have adopted a bit of both. As a result sometimes you will take a long time over a decision and sometimes you may make rash decisions. Or you may have such a tug of war over how to make decisions that you find them near impossible.

This is all normal stuff. As adults though these hidden inner conflicts cause havoc with our ability to master our time, have relationships, have success and make decisions. Some of the common inner conflicts people experience are:

Freedom Security Conflict – a swing between needing freedom and security

Me Time Others Conflict – a struggle with making time your yourself because you feel others need you

Work Relaxation Conflict – a struggle between working and taking time out, which may result in procrastination or extremes of both ends (working really hard then taking lots of time off)

Ideal Job Family Responsibility Conflict – dreaming of the ideal job but believing it will not be acceptable to your family. So you end up doing nothing and resenting or regretting it

Independence Intimacy Conflict – Wanting both independence and intimacy in a relationship, which is not possible so you will either swing from one to the other or choose one and be unsatisfied.

Making Peace

To overcome the sabotage you need to make peace with your inner conflicts, this is done in a number of stages:

  1. identifying your own inner conflict that’s sabotaging you right now. This takes self awareness. Have label for each end of the conflict; for example Freedom and Security
  2. Appreciate that both side of the conflict are trying to help you. Even if it doesn’t feel that way
  3. Ask yourself, what’s the positive things each side is trying to do for me.
  4. Appreciate the positive thing and begin to have internal dialogue that encourages them to work together.

Sometimes people only get to step 2 before the conflicts starts to lift.

How Can We help?

How else can we help?

If you’d like our support in making these ideas work for you and your business, please get in touch.

Click here to contact us


Join our email newsletter community

Sign up for our newsletter

Our monthly content to help maximise your People Potential.

Our newsletter covers our latest thinking to help your people take you further. We cover leadership, employee wellbeing and other people matters focused on building sustainable organisations. As well as our own content and resources, we’ll bring you external views that catch our eye. You’ll hear from us once a month, and you can of course unsubscribe at any time.


Please tick the box below to agree that you are happy to be contacted by us:

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link on our newsletters or by contacting us at info@monkeypuzzletraining.co.uk. For more information about our privacy practices click here. By clicking 'Sign Me Up', you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Read Mailchimp's privacy practices.

What We Do
Free Resources
About Us
Stay Connected
Call us : 0117 4501407
Monkey Puzzle Training Logo
Monkey Puzzle Training and Consultancy Limited
Unit 1, The Arcade, 69 High Street, Nailsea, Bristol BS48 1AW.
INLTPA Logo
ILM recognised logo 2021
NHS logo
PSA logo
© 2007 - 2022 Monkey Puzzle Training & Consultancy. All Rights Reserved. Web Design by DW Multimedia.