Making a “Decision” vs Having an “Inner Conflict”

As you’ve read many times, I’ve always been a fan of resolving Inner Conflicts. It’s takes 15-20 to get them right but once accomplished, they become a long-term, lifelong benefit. This article recommends an easier technique for resolving what may not be a full Inner Conflict. Perhaps what you are experiencing is that you simply need to make a decision. I call this method “Pros and Cons.”

Occasionally a SELF-Parenting Practitioner has trouble implementing the 8-Steps of Inner Conflict Resolution. In this situation I’m happy to review their Step Two, which is writing out their Inner Conflict. The basic instruction is that any conversation you hear inside your head (or gut) for 3 days or more, is an Inner Conflict. Thus, you ideally begin to write it out to establish a win/win solution between the two inner selves.

The first thing this does is get the Inner Conflict out of your head (or stomach) and onto the page.

Occasionally I’ve observed a possibility which is as follows; sometimes the “three days in a row” conversation simply means you need to make a decision. If this is not really an Inner Conflict, there is a much easier way to make this decision than to follow the 8-Steps.

If your decision was easy, you would have made it already and never even have noticed. Since it’s not, there’s a good chance that various factors need to be addressed and it’s just too complex to sort it out without writing it down. To resolve this is straightforward. Here is how it works

The “three-day Inner Conversation” rule still applies. Anytime you hear a recurring Inner Conversation inside your mind for three days or more, write it down. Let’s say you can tell that it’s not really a conflict between the 2 selves, it’s more a tricky decision you need to make. The three-day conversation has simply alerted your IP to the fact that you are not making this decision.

When you write out what you hear, it will reveal there are still two positions that need to be considered. In this case, it is between the two choices of your decision. The most direct way to work this out is called “Pros and Cons.”

The great thing about Pros and Cons is you don’t really need a definitive understanding of which side is your Inner Parent or Inner Child. In fact, you are both working together as one to sort out this situation. The “two opposing sides” part is based on the decision options. These are like “Yes or No” or “Stay or Go” type of situations. Here is how to proceed.

It starts by naming your decision at the top. Next, create two columns captioned “Pros and Cons” and write each choice into a column. Next, simply list the pro and con options for each decision. Doing this alone often reveals your preferred option right away. If you have 10 Pros and 2 Cons, you pretty much know it’s a good decision. If you have 6 negatives and 1 positive, then it’s likely a bad decision. This will be much easier to see when it’s out of your head and on to the page.

There could be a wrinkle where one Con is very strong, and three Pros are slightly weak. An easy way to sort this out is to have a second column where you can use the famed “On a scale of 1 – 10, how good is this idea?” question for the Pro column and for the Con choices, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how bad is this idea?” 

Write your consensus number for each choice. Next, simply total the points and subtract the Pro numbers from the Con numbers. This will give you a strong sense of which choice is best based on where your values lay.

If your decision does become snarly, you may find that you actually are in a battle to the death between your Inner Parent and Inner Child. If so, you will have to complete the Eight Steps of Inner Conflict Resolution to get to your win/win solution. This will now be much easier as you’ve already listed the pros and cons of your decision with a numerical value.

Here are the advantages to “Pros and Cons” vs “Inner Conflicts”

  1. The same rule applies. Any strong “Inner Conversation” you have rolling around inside your head for 3 days or more, is a problem that needs to be addressed.
  2. You don’t need to immediately decide “IP vs IC,” both selves can just fill out the columns.
  3. The logic and purpose are the same, to get the “issue” out of your head and onto the page.
  4. Once the choices are clear, it’s easy for both selves to figure out your best option, without really going any deeper into needs, etc. You probably won’t even need the 8-steps.
  5. This can apply to many more areas of your life, without getting into the Inner Conflict aspect of:
    • Work/job issues
    • Health problems
    • Relationship problems
    • Financial decisions
    • Life path decisions
    • Should I stay or should I go issues
    • Pretty much anything you are unclear about
  6. It is an easier and more direct process to complete and follow
  7. It takes less time to get a suitable result re: a simple decision.

I’ve created a form for this which you can download to give it a try. Let me know how it goes.


Dr. John