Did you know that throughout your life you are likely to spend more time at work than with your own family and friends? And, actually, to your unconscious mind your workplace is your family! That's right, it makes absolutely no distinction between your nuclear family and your "work family".
So, the conflicts that appear at work are often a projection of what is going on in your own family and vice versa. Work conflicts like all conflicts, especially if they repeat themselves time and again, are growth opportunities in disguise.
Whaaaat??? Do you mean that annoying work colleague and my "awful" boss could actually be the answers I am looking for?
Yes, absolutely! It really boils down to how you choose to look at things. You can either decide to be a victim of your circumstances and blame others for your predicament, or choose to see the story you are projecting on your outer world through different lenses. The first option leaves you defenceless, the second one empowers you to evolve and grow. Which one do you prefer?
Spoiler alert: I am not about to discuss the first option! If you are curious about the second, please read on. You will find out why your work environment is so closely related to your family environment, how you can spot those repetitive conflicts, and start handling them differently.
FAMILY AND THE WORKPLACE
You might still be thinking: wait how can my "work family" and nuclear family be the same? So, let me put this simply.
In this world nothing is a coincidence, it's all just information and resonance.
Your belief system, which you largely adopted at an early age and even inherited, shapes the way you see the world and how you interact with others. All day long you are broadcasting/projecting those beliefs (information) into the world. And, you resonate with people and situations that match those beliefs (either in a similar way, or as polar opposites).
Your original family (mother, father etc.) provided the "seed environment" in which most of those beliefs were planted, and every person you meet from there on, resonates with that environment, at some level. Your relationships, including those you develop at work, are an expression of your own internal beliefs.
By extension, conflicts are just the expression of unconscious beliefs that need to be brought to light, so you can understand them, transform them and choose to act differently. Your conflicts are rooting for your evolution! I know this may seem hard to grasp at first, but it really is THE ONLY WAY THROUGH.
There is a reason you unconsciously chose that work environment, so pay close attention!
SPOTTING NEGATIVE PATTERNS AT WORK
Work is not just a physical place, it is also a mental space, where self-awareness helps us thrive. And, understanding the link between personal space and workspace is an added bonus for anyone who wants to lead an empowered life.
Since you probably spend more time in your work environment than with your family, it makes sense that any unresolved conflict that comes up in one "family" would show up in the "other". This happens through the exact same projection mechanisms as the ones I have been exploring throughout my blogs.
Negative beliefs invariably lead to excessive reactions. You might find yourself in a work relationship with someone whose actions and presence make your blood boil, repeatedly irritates you, or sends you in despair, for example. Pay close attention to those clues as it is a sure sign that the person or situation is triggering some valuable information in you.
Start to notice the way you react and the judgments you make about that person or situation. Pay attention to how it feels in your body and just take note.
You might then start thinking of other similar conflicts and situations you have had in the past with different people at work. The people and workplace might change, but the conflict remains the same. That's how you get to spot a pattern.
Possible examples of patterns may be:
Obviously these are just examples. Anything that triggers you and shows up time and again is a clue that there is a negative belief running the show. It is, therefore, a source of potential growth for you.
TIPS FOR HANDLING CONFLICT DIFFERENTLY
Truthfully, it is not really what the other person might be doing or not doing that is triggering you, but the story you have created around that and what it means for you. That story stems from your beliefs.
It doesn't imply that others are necessarily in the right or that their behaviour is justified. This is not about being right or wrong. It's about understanding what a particular situation is showing up for, why you are resonating with it and how you can handle it differently, so you can move on.
Here are a few golden rules you can apply to start seeing things clearly for yourself:
1. NEVER SPEAK ABOUT OTHERS, BUT ABOUT YOURSELF IN RELATION TO OTHERS.
For example, you might be in a conflict with your coworker and you make the following judgment: "This person doesn't listen to me and doesn't take me into account ever."
When you focus your attention on the other person, you are focusing your attention away from the solution. So learn to reframe things in the following way:
"How am I not listening to myself and not taking myself into account through that person?"
See the difference? Now the solution is in your hands. Is that person perhaps a valuable mirror, teaching you to listen to yourself and take your own needs into account?
2. THE PROBLEM ISN´T EXTERNAL TO YOU, NEITHER IS THE SOLUTION.
You cannot change others. It is neither your job, nor your place. You can, however, change yourself and choose to solve your conflict differently, by acting rather than reacting.
Sometimes, it might be about setting boundaries and walking away, but always with the understanding that you had something to learn and that everybody played a perfect role in that situation. When you truly get that, you realise that there isn't anybody to blame and there isn't even anyone to forgive.
3. START BECOMING THE OBSERVER OF YOUR OWN REALITY
We largely live our lives interpreting the world through our own set of lenses and playing out "the story in our head".
Stepping out of that story is learning to move away from interpretation into description. The end goal is to dissociate our story from what actually happened. As a BNE practitioner it is my job to accompany people through that process. However, you can learn to apply this in your daily life as well, by striving to be very descriptive of the situation at hand (no qualifiers, interpretations etc. just pure descriptive facts: what happened?).
Here is an example:
Interpretation/story: My boss looked really angry and I know he is disappointed with me.
What happened: My boss walked in the room, sighed, stared at me, spoke to my coworker and walked out.
When you look into your own conflicts try to be very descriptive as well. it might help you understand things further.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO WORK CONFLICTS AND THINK ABOUT HOW THE SAME INFORMATION MIGHT ALSO BE SHOWING UP IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE.
Let's use the first example of a person realising that they are not listening to themselves and their needs, through their co-worker. That information is most likely to show up in some area of their personal life as well (parents, relationship, children etc.). The solution lies in acting differently based on that newfound awareness.
Here is a series of helpful questions to get you thinking:
1. Pick a work conflict.
2. Is it an isolated conflict, or is it something that has been repeating itself?
3. Does it involve a man, or a woman? A superior, or an equal?
4. Describe what happened.
5. Now look into the story: What triggers/bothers you about that person/situation? (What is your perception/judgement?)
6. Look at that judgment, reverse that mirror and bring it back to you (How am I/am I not doing (X) through that person?
7. Think about other areas of your life where this might be showing up.
8. Ask yourself, how can I see this differently? And, act accordingly.
Learning to handle conflict in a responsible and mature way is essential to our wellbeing and health. That means always focusing on our side of the coin and understanding that the situation is not there to curse us, but to evolve us.
Nothing is ever a coincidence and you are in the right place, at the right moment. If you are experiencing a work conflict, it is an opportunity for you to see things differently and to nail some of those negative beliefs (whether they be learned or inherited), so you can move forward with your life. Putting all the blame on external circumstances, not only robs you of your power, but condemns you to repeat the same situation over and over until you actually get it!
For as Carl Jung said so beautifully: "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."
So, are you willing to welcome in that conflict, and start to self enquire?
If you feel stuck and need an extra hand to unravel the beliefs behind your conflicts, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one online session here.
Biocentrism by Dr. Robert Lanza
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
Power vs Force by Dr. David R. Hawkins
Hi, I´m Dannie
A fellow soul seeker, blogger & certified BioNeuroEmotion® (BNE) practitioner who is passionate about growing, self actualising & learning in order to lead a more coherent/conscious life and help others do the same.