Discover a 4–Step Method to Transform Inner Conflict. Have you ever felt like you’re getting in your own way when it comes to fully expressing your life purpose? Welcome to the human condition. This episode is about breaking free from those kinds of blocks.
2:00 – How your inner committee members might be sabotaging you
9:10 – Examples of typical inner committee members
19:00 – How to find a win-win agreement with all committee members
25:00 – Ways for the inner Mediator to troubleshoot
THE HARMONIZATION PROCESS: A 4-Step Method to Transform Inner Conflict
Worksheet and Video Tutorial
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This is EP 73 – THE HARMONIZATION PROCESS – A 4 Step Method to Transform Inner Conflict. Have you ever felt like you’re getting in your own way when it comes to fully expressing your life purpose? Welcome to the human condition. Today’s episode is about breaking free from those kinds of blocks. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger, and this is the MindStory Speaker Podcast.
So, it’s common for people that some days you feel ‘on purpose’ and other days, you feel entirely disconnected from that. Sometimes you can feel disconnected for years. In this episode I want to introduce you to a powerful 4-step Harmonization process I created a number of years ago, that’s worked for thousands of people. It allows you to transform inner conflict, or those inner voices of sabotage so that could become your allies, working together in harmony with you instead.
So many of my clients have felt a victim to these voices, without realizing that maybe all they needed to do was really listen to what was underneath the naysaying message. In some cases they may need help to re-educate, reframe and restore them to a more wholistic, supportive perspective. And in many cases they needed to create a collaborative, win-win agreement with them. I call these inner committee members also “stakeholders”. They hold a stake in your wellbeing and forward movement. While you may have people in your everyday life like that, I say you also have them at an energetic level. Whether you want to call them “parts of your personality”, or guides, or something else, that’s up to you. I call them guides, and I think we all have them, and can call on them anytime to help. We can also upgrade, retrain or replace those guides if they aren’t doing their job in the best way possible. We live in an inverted system, so sometimes those guides get inverted and stop our growth, but through the power of your intention you can switch that. The ego, the personality, is simply a software with a series of instruction sets that work in story form. These MindStories can work for you or against you depending on how you program them, so this process helps you do that. We’ll call upon a voice called The Mediator. This is like a neutral, benevolent energy you can call upon to help you do that. It’s always there to sort through these programs and upgrade them where necessary, but you do have to call upon it. It’s like the Prime Directive in Star Trek, it will help but you have to ask first. The problem is, many people don’t even realize they can do this.
As such many people live for decades struggling away on their own, and then one day in a pit of despair reach out for some kind of help, not knowing who they’re asking, and lo and behold, help shows up. Perhaps it shows up in the form of insights, ideas, synchronicities, opportunities, helpers, miracles, everything on a project going from stagnation to flow and success. I’m sure you’ve experienced something like that at least once, if not regularly. I find it shows up regularly because I ask, and because I’ve gotten to know who is helping me. Lest this sound way out there for you, there is plenty of growing scientific evidence to show that we maybe living in a virtual reality game whereby you’ve agreed to play a certain game, and there is a “pit crew”, like a race car driver’s pit crew that is there to help you, nourish you, fuel you, coach you, egg you on, if you stop and let them. You could, of course, keep driving past until you run out of gas, which many people do. But why waste this incredible resource? That said, sometimes a race car driver’s pit crew get into arguments with each other and with you. They have different ideas about what you need to keep going with the game. That’s when you might find yourself stagnating. It’s a lot more common than you think, especially if you don’t take the time to get to know the team, to understand their needs and motives and ensure the team is working in harmony. That’s what we’re doing here.
Most people DO have inner conflict about moving forward with their life purpose, or in a new direction. I’m sure you’ve experienced that when at a crossroads in life. Parts of you wants to go in one direction, parts want to go in another direction, some parts are afraid, some want to overcontrol the process. Here’s another metaphor. It’s like working with the board members of a company. You bring on people with different expertise to advise you, the CEO. You often need to hear out the different perspectives and find an outcome that works for the majority of board members or stakeholders. While you may have dozens of voices to content with, for this exercise we’ll focus on six that usually have a big opinion about your life direction. The benefits of doing this is that it allows you to reframe inner conflict so that you can move forward with your life purpose, or it might be a new career direction or a more specified career direction. Sometimes, you are going along in your business or role in life and something is off. Is not that you need to change what you are doing, but more how you are doing it. Often, our life purpose is more about of being state, then specific tasks you are doing. For example, I’ve essentially kept the same kind of business for over 20 years in terms of what I’m doing. Have an expertise in the area of managing transitions, enhancing communication, upgrading mindset in helping leaders and entrepreneurs grow their role. But I’ve had to change who I’m being cyclically in order to continue to fulfill my life purpose. Because that changes who I serve, how I serve them, how I connect with them. So, as the world changes, your life purpose changes, as you grow as a person, your life purpose changes. So you need to constantly be checking in and course correcting. That’s why doing a process like this right now, at a time in history when the world is changing dramatically, can be very useful.
It can literally save you from years of false starts and procrastination. It also creates a sense of alignment, both inside and out that is such a relief. One of my clients who was teaching at the college, had written several books, and was starting out on the speaking circuit had this to say – I was so inspired after I did this Harmonization process. A few years ago I got clear on a new vision but then the doubts crept in. This powerful form of inner dialogue could not have come at a better time!! I got clear on what I had to take care of before I could fully move in the right direction. As soon I did, the procrastination stopped, the opportunities flowed in, and I had far more inner harmony.
Another of my clients who had a job, but was building a business on the side as a coach. She had this to say… Wow, what a powerful exercise! I’ve done some “inner critic” work in the past but not at the level of sophistication that this entails. I was caught off guard by the level of emotion it released which created breakthrough. I was literally able to sleep at night again, and I could make a clear decision to leave my job without any regrets.
So, let’s look at some examples of common inner committee members. There’s often the visionary, security, quality control, public relations, the auditor and then YOU or what I also call, the end user. Each of these voices has a positive role to play in your life but if left unchecked, or out of balance, or over or under developed, can block your success and happiness.
Let’s look at the first one, the visionary. The visionary ensures you move forward with your life purpose. It’s like the founder of the organization or the CEO. It already knows what you are here to do and who you are here to serve. In some traditions this might be called your soul, your soul’s destiny. If overdeveloped this voice can lead you to give up all other aspects of life in favor of just serving your purpose. For example, neglecting your family, neglecting your health, living in poverty, just to focus on your life purpose. On the other hand, if this voice is under-developed, you can end up leading a life of quiet desperation, where you know there is more to life, you have a purpose that’s buried deep inside somewhere and you are ignoring it. You maybe are living a safe, unchallenged life but deep inside is a huge feeling of emptiness or lack of fulfillment.
Often people can’t become clear on their true life purpose because the other voices drown the visionary out. Let’s meet some of those now. Security. Now, security in a company ensures everything stays safe. There are security cameras, firewalls, locking systems, bouncers. This is the part of you that ensures you stay protected. It’s the part of you that’s cautious and plans things carefully. The problem is, often your life purpose is going to take you away from a safe and predictable future, so it becomes very active when you’re starting to go in a new direction, or you’re wanting to infuse your present direction with more purpose. When over-developed this voice can stop you from stepping forward on your life path or from being spontaneous and having great adventures. Yet if under-developed you can end up taking foolish risks like quitting your day job without any other means of support.
Let’s now look at quality control. This part ensures your offerings to the world have high standards. Most companies have people like this. They don’t let any product go out the door without inspection. They are constantly monitoring performance of employees to ensure they representing the company in the right way. It’s the part of you that is motivated to achieve goals and do them well, to bring your best skills forward, to learn what you need to learn to be your best, to get the help you need, the detail oriented part of you that double and triple checks your work. If overdeveloped this voice can be a harsh critic towards yourself and others. You can stay stuck for years feeling like nothing is perfect enough, you’re not good enough, not experienced enough. On the other hand, if underdeveloped you can be apathetic and not really care. For example, throwing together a proposal at the last minute without much fore thought, full of typos, not really serving the purpose it’s meant for.
What about public relations? It’s the part of you that make sure you say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time so that you look good to others, so that you build rapport and connect with important people. Any good PR company wants to make sure that you have a strong, clear brand, that you don’t deviate from that brand, that you maintain a good reputation. Because a loss of reputation, means a huge loss in revenue, and that can be hard to recoup. They’re all about image, colors, communication, responding to customer service in a way that keeps people happy. Responding to bad news in the media. Now, if overdeveloped, this voice can cause you to worry too much about other people’s approval. It can stop you from moving forward on your path because of what your family, your peers or society in general will think. Yet, if underdeveloped you might act inappropriately or make a bad impression. For example, not understanding the culture of your listeners during a presentation and saying something that offends them.
Let’s look at the auditor. The auditor ensures you’re not cutting corners, acting in high integrity, being considerate of the rules of the game, and of all others involved in a project. If over developed this can become massive cynicism about new possibilities, not wanting to deviate at all from the rules to the point of staying stuck. If under developed you can break too many rules and have it all backfire on you. For example, an entrepreneur doing the books, and skimming money away from a partner.
Now let’s look at YOU, or The End User. This is the part of you that is getting served by all these voices. In an organization or company this might be called the customer, the end user. This is the raw persona that is here to learn life’s lessons and the other voices are allies on her journey there. As I’ve said, sometimes those allies over function or under function.
In addition to these six voices it serves to bring forth the voice of the Mediator. This is a wise part of you that can do all the great things a professional mediator can do. They can validate each perspective, reframe a complaint into an ideal outcome. They can help committee members see past mistaken assumptions. They can create a collaborative agreement. In fact, the mediator should be the one who makes a final decision, especially if there is a standstill. The buck stops with the mediator. Now, the difference between the Mediator and Visionary is….the visionary is like the CEO. They need all the board members because otherwise they could become an autocracy. Any government, group, company or organization shouldn’t ever be run just by one person, because that increases the likelihood of corruption. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It’s just the nature of things. Even a solo entrepreneur should have a business coach, a mentor, a mastermind group, a support group of people that they can run decisions by. Otherwise, they tend to make more mistakes. So in the case of your inner board members, your inner stakeholders, that visionary needs to be tempered by the other voices.
On the other hand, the mediator is outside of the realm of the organization. They are like an objective, third-party, outside consultant whose job is to remain as objective as possible, to see the big picture, to make sure everybody’s needs are taken care of. Their job is to help create an agreement that is acceptable to all inner voices where possible. It will include important conditions under which YOU, the End User will move forward in this new direction. In other words, the mediator’s job is to fulfill your purpose while also ensuring your journey is safe, high integrity, meets with the necessary approval of those you need support from, and offers good value to the world and all those good and important things. The inner Mediator needs to be a highly evolved part of you or even a universal source of benevolence. Some people might call this part their higher power or higher self, universal intelligence, Life with a capital L, the great creator or even God. Use whatever understanding has the most potency for you and customize this whole process to your beliefs and your way of working with yourself. In general it’s like a trusted advisor that can tap into the deepest needs of all parts of you that are here to serve you and your higher destiny.
In order to come up with this sustainable agreement, you will need to open up a discussion between them all. I highly suggest using Voice dialogue work which is a form of active imagination. This is a process originally designed by Dr. Carl Jung and was used for dialoguing between the conscious and the unconscious. It was further refined into voice dialogue work by Hal and Sidra Stone.
You can use a journal or a notepad or word processor or a worksheet which I will show you how to get at the end of this podcast. You’ll be writing out the voice speaking and then what they say in response. It’s like writing a play with the character name and their dialogue. You will essentially be role playing each of the voices and allowing their archetypal energy to form the words on the page.
You can try to do this in your head rather than on paper, but it’s much harder. The ego is programmed to distract you from doing this kind of upgrade work; like a built in self preservation system or booby trap. Don’t fight with the distraction, just gently bring your attention back to the process as many times as is necessary. That’s why doing it on paper using a process like this that’s best tried and tested many times over is much easier. You’re going from Part 1, 2, 3, to Part 4 or completion. The brain is a goal achieving machine and will override the distraction program if you give it a goal. Also putting it on paper more easily activates this neutral, compassionate, wise Mediator much more easily.
Part one is writing out your life purpose, or in some cases maybe it’s a new career direction or a more specific offer to the world, if you’re an entrepreneur. In other words, taking what you already offer but defining it more specifically for certain market in a certain way.. You’re going to start by talking to the visionary. Remember that’s the part that knows your life purpose and will go for it no matter what. No editing, just let this part speak. If something is unclear, just keep asking questions.
You’ll know you are talking to the real visionary part of your psyche if you have a strong positive physical or emotional reaction or deep sense of satisfaction when reading it back to yourself. Allow the answers to even surprise you. If you feel indifferent to what it says, it might be incorrect. Here’s an example.
YOU: Visionary, how would you best describe my life purpose at this time?
VISIONARY: You are here to serve people who are about to retire, helping them find a meaningful direction for this next phase of life, helping them learn from mistakes and let go of regrets.
YOU: Can you give me more specifics in terms of What, Where, When, Who and How to take the next best step?
WHAT – helping people moving into retirement having a more meaningful life path
WHERE – online through coaching, speaking, writing
WHEN – now, drop all other activities and focus here
WHO – people with similar values, experiences and background to you
HOW – start by outlining a an intro 6-session coaching program
Just go back and forth until you feel like you’ve got the kind of clarity that you want.
Part 2 is you want to hear all the concerns. This is important, because what people normally do is they have an inspirational moment about what they want they want to do with their life, or attend a workshop, or work with a coach do some journaling and come up with this great vision for their life. But then invariably all the doubts, all the reasons to not go foward, all the obstacles, and then they shelve the vision for another time. The get all excited and then they feel dampened by these inner voices. These inner voices are not your enemy, there just there to make sure it’s grounded, it’s going to work, it’s well thought through, and its high-quality. That’s why you have to do a step like this, to find out what’s going to get in your way. That said, sometimes an inner committee member, an inner stakeholder might just completely support the vision. But, if they’re doing their jobs they’ll want to play devil’s advocate, and show you another side of the situation, but again only to make sure it’s not some kind of airy fairy idea with no roots in reality.
So you might hear supportive statements or concerns, just like at a committee meeting when you want to have your whole board discuss a big change in the company. The important thing is no editing. Allow any member of your inner committee to share their perspective. This is for your eyes only.
So allow all possible concerns regarding your vision, mission, life purpose that your visionary stated. It will actually feel like a relief to get these all out on paper, so they are swimming around in your head, in a background subconscious loop making you feel sad, tired or full of inner conflict. You are listening to these voices, and they appreciate that.
Some concerns may seem illogical or silly or downright paranoid, write them down anyway. For example, you might say, what concerns do any committee members have about moving forward in this direction? Then whoever wants to come forward can come forward. Say security says, you’ll end up broke and burned out trying to do a business like that. Anyone else? So, public relations says, It’s not very glamorous working with retired people. Maybe quality control says, you don’t have enough money to do this. Auditor says, you don’t have a proper education for this, you need a degree in career counseling and you need to be registered. Maybe public relations again says, you’ll end up having to deal with a lot of rejection to get started. Auditor says, you’ll get corrupted by your success. Then maybe you’ll hear this other voice that says, this seems off purpose, I thought my purpose would have something to do with music. Now, maybe you don’t know who said it so just write down the name of this voice as, committee member. It doesn’t actually matter what name gets applied to it, it’s more what the concern is. Get as many down as you can. Again, make sure you get down strange things, silly things, paranoid, neurotic, unlikely, reasonable, illogical, logical, supportive, whatever. Just get it all down — no editing.
Part 3 is bring in the mediator. These concerns can now act as signposts to help you move forward in a sustainable way. The mediator, as I mentioned, is here to do a number of things that are going to help find agreement. For simplicity’s sake, invite the mediator to just talk to YOU, the End User, rather than to all the voices. You become the voice of all the concerns in response to what that mediator asks, for example for clarification, or to help that voice look at other perspectives. Guidelines for being a good mediator are to stay curious. The mediator asks open questions versus having a defensive discussion with that part that’s making a concern. For example, security often has concerns about money. So maybe you hear that voice talk about fear of going bankrupt. You might be tempted to fight with that voice and prove why that’s just paranoid. Instead, you want to ask more open questions such as, what leads you to believe you might go bankrupt? And then the voice of security needs to logically think through where that comment came from and might discover that it doesn’t make much sense. Of course, bankruptcy could happen to anyone, but thinking it through in detail could quell that fear, or lower it at least.
Now, you ever hear a committee member say something like, that idea will never work, you tried it before and failed. Again, the Visionary part might want to argue with these inner voices at times by saying, I just need to get out there and try it again. You don’t want to do that. The mediator doesn’t do that. The mediator asks questions and gets each voice to think through their concern with wise discernment. So the mediator would validate the perspective – Okay, you say that idea will never work, what would you propose instead? What would work? That forces that inner voice to move from a negative, naysaying, critical perspective to positive perspective or outcome. The naysaying voice might then say, I can see acting as a consultant who does career counseling for larger organization working, rather than going it on your own completely.
Another committee member might say, you don’t have enough credentials to do that and the Visionary might want to respond defensively with, well I have life experience I don’t need a degree. Instead, the mediator would ask an open question like, okay not enough credentials. What makes you say that? Well, I’ve been researching others who do what I want to do, and they all seem to have a degree in career counseling. Mediator might say, are there some who don’t have a degree in career counseling? Well, yes. So it’s not an absolute necessity. I guess not. See what I mean?
Another committee member might say, it’s not very glamorous working with retired people. The Visionary might be thinking, well being glamorous isn’t important to me, but it is important to one of your committee members. Your Inner Mediators needs to ask a deeper question. What concerns you most about this career being unglamorous? Then you’ll see where it goes from there. You want to empathize and validate. If you have the attitude that they all actually want to help you lead a successful life, but sometimes you need to get under the concern, find out what the deeper concern is, re-educate those perspectives, do some research, just like you would need to do if, say, you brought your new business idea to your spouse, parents or others who have a stake in the decisions you make in your life.
Here’s another example of validating and reframing as the mediator. So, talking to Security, the Mediator might say – its important to be able to pay the bills. It sounds like you need reassurances on that. How much do you need to bring in to feel okay? First year, second year, third year? Get specific with these voices. What do they need to feel okay?
If you feel relieved, reassured and more congruent after doing this exercise then it’s a good sign. If you still feel concerned, not aligned, uncomfortable, then go back through parts two and three again until you get there.
Part 4 is creating a collaborative agreement. In order to do this, you have to understand the deeper needs behind all the concerns, and reframe them in terms of conditions. Here’s an agreement example. I agree to move forward in this new business direction if I can attract 50K in year one, 100K in year two and 150K by year three. That would be in response to securities concern about going broke. And I hire helpers for computer work and a personal assistant to help with the detail work. That might be in response to not wanting to feel burned out by going in this direction. Other conditions might be…I stay on track with my purpose, even if I get very successful. I do it with integrity. I say that last part, because after 15 years of coaching people, one of the number one reasons people don’t move forward with their life purpose is they harbor this secret fear that if they become successful they will become corrupt. They will act in low integrity ways, they will spend their money on stupid things, they will lose friends, people will judge them for being successful, others will try to steal their money from them, competitors will try to bring them down. Those fears actually often outweigh the fears of not having enough money. The fears of having more money than they have now can actually be more debilitating. That’s why if you create an agreement with yourself ahead of time, your whole committee will feel more safe and more supportive about moving forward. I hope that makes sense.
Another popular condition is, I can stay centered and trusting even when there’s pressures and deadlines. Many people don’t want to build business or take on more responsibility in their role because they are afraid that their stressed-out way of being will just get amplified with more success. Again, I’ve seen this fear stop countless great, visionary projects being manifested in the world. It might mean you have to change your way of being. If you get stressed out by small deadlines now, how are you going to be when there’s a lot of people counting on you to come through. So you have to make a deal with yourself that you will learn how to stay calm, centered and clear in the face of intense pressure. That might mean committing to a regular practice of journaling, meditating, exercise or whatever you need to stay centered.
Just make a big long list of conditions and make sure it’s as specific and doable sounding as possible. Add them all to your agreement. And sign and date it. Then put it somewhere that you can see it regularly. Review it from time to time. Now, will you be able to fulfill on all these conditions right away, maybe not. But the intention is huge, and acts like a magnet for bringing those goals into reality. Without the intention, your inner committee members will likely block the Visionary part of you completely. If they see there’s a willingness, and you ask for their help to stay on task, on purpose, with the right intention, they are happy to help. But again, you have to ask.
Once you’ve done that it’s going to make a huge difference to them being on board with your vision. Most people don’t know how to discover the underlying needs of their inner committee and so just loop in self sabotage for years to come. So, give this a try.
In the shownotes you’ll also see a link so that you can download a fill in the blanks handout, along with a video tutorial called, the Harmonization Process. Or, you can just do it on your own in a journal, but some people find all the examples written out like that to be very useful, and the video tutorial a good reference.
That’s it for today, I hope it was useful. Do hit subscribe if you want to hear about other episodes coming up, which you can do on our website MindStoryAcademy.com\podcast. and you’ll see all the ways to subscribe or, if you’re listening on YouTube, just subscribe to our channel. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger. Thank you for listening.