top of page
  • Writer's pictureForum Mehta

Conflict with oneself

Main aisa kyun hoon

Main aisa kyun hoon

Main jaisa hoon main waisa kyun hoon

As I heard this song I found myself thinking it depicts how there are so many areas in our life that create this conflict where we think about why we are the way we are. There can be several reasons why we experience these conflicts and they manifest in different ways. Emotionally you might feel overwhelmed when you can’t decide what to do, you could be flooded with anger, irritation, confusion, and even anxiety. Physically this can manifest in getting headaches, stomach pain, exhaustion, and inability to concentrate on your work. Mentally being in a conflict can be overthinking, engaging in catastrophizing where one is thinking of all the negative possibilities, etc.

Photo by Monstera

Image description: A girl is standing with her head hung low. She looks dejected. She is wearing wireless earphones. There are four hands pointing at her, two on each side. One hand is pointing at her and the other three are open palms conveying anger or accusing the person of something.

Conflicts can arise due to the following reasons:

Shoulds and oughts : Sometimes we have our own set of values, beliefs, and thinking which are set in these shoulds and oughts. For eg. “Everyone should respect me”, or “People around me must believe in the same things as I do”. Sometimes having these shoulds and oughts helps in protecting ourselves in certain situations and we can maintain our boundaries, while other times these can be detrimental as they can make us rigid or cause us great distress. For eg, you might want to rest and recover but you also feel like you want to progress ahead in your career and you push yourself to your limit and feel this conflictual battle in your mind as you think ‘ I should work hard’.

Main jaisa hoon main waisa kyun hoon

Karna hai kya mujhko ye maine kab hai jaana

Lagta hai gaaunga zindagi bhar bas ye gaana

Hoga jaane mera ab kya

Societal pressure vs passion: Conflicts can also occur when you want to pursue something but it is not something that is considered fit by society. There is a conflict within oneself where one should follow a safe, secure path where there is some amount of guarantee like a 9-5 job, or follow your own passion of being an entrepreneur. The conflict will also occur because of other things like what is of priority to you at that present moment. You would like to follow your passion but what if there are other things that don’t align with your priority like having financial freedom? It doesn’t have to be related to just a career, it could be with various other things like spending your money, choosing a life partner, or having a certain lifestyle. It is important to understand that all of your actions will have consequences. So it would be important to the consequences of our actions into account before taking any decision. We might not be able to predict unforeseen circumstances but it is important to understand that your actions will dictate certain outcomes. Hence having the questions of what if’s and thinking about the best option can be confusing and draining as there might be no guarantee.

Hoga jaane mera ab kya

Koyi toh bataaye mujhe

Gadbad hai ye sab kya

Koyi samjhaaye mujhe

Ideal self v/s real self: We often face conflict within ourselves as well. There is an ideal self that we have in our mind about who we want to be, and what traits, qualities, and abilities we want to possess. This is one part of ourselves that always likes to follow rules and live according to society. On the other hand, there is this real self that consists of who we actually are, what abilities we have, and how we behave. This is another part of ourselves that wants to behave the way it wants as its main purpose is to fulfill its desires and wishes. A lot of times there is a state of push and pull within us where we want to act and be like our ideal self, eg. wanting to be organized and utilizing our time v/s having a fear of failure and procrastinating on one’s work. This push and pull creates a conflict within us and it is challenging to try to find a balance between the two.

Ab mujhko ye hai karna, ab mujhe woh karna hai

Aakhir kyun main na jaanoon, kya hai ke jo karna hai

Lagta hai ab jo seedha, kal mujhe lagega ulta

Dekho na main hoon jaise, bilkul ulta phulta

Parental beliefs vs one’s own beliefs: In a collectivistic culture like ours, very often there are conflicts that occur when your primary caregivers or people around you have strong beliefs about your life and how you should live it. Here you would be conflicted in leading your path and following your heart’s desire v/s pleasing somebody else. It is important to understand to take into account what you feel is right and whether or not it is something that you find beneficial. If you haven’t been given the autonomy to choose it is normal to feel conflicted and scared to take a decision. We can resolve this conflict with ourselves by noticing our frustrations. Over here we can identify what is making us feel stuck by engaging in reflective journaling like ‘What is a choice that you can make based on your needs or wishes?’ Seeking help by going to therapy can also be helpful, as in that safe space you can explore what you truly want, understand why are you feeling so conflicted and process your emotions instead of suppressing or being overwhelmed by them.

Bad loonga main abhi kya

Maanoon toh kya maaanon main

Sudhroonga main kabhi kya

Ye bhi toh na jaanoon main

It is important to reflect on the reason for our conflict as it can help us work on it. Very often we may find ourselves just realizing us not doing things that we claim we want to do. This can ease us into taking action. Sometimes when we are in a conflicted mindset, the other areas of our lives are impacted like concentration, attention span, and ability to tolerate distress. When dealing with distress we have our own ways of coping with our emotions like overeating, smoking, drinking, avoiding tasks, etc. Engaging in such behaviours can also lead to feelings of shame and guilt. So building awareness of what are we feeling or why are we engaging in such behaviours can also help make the conflict tolerable. As this awareness helps us understand our copings and whether are they being healthy or unhealthy. Our awareness will also help us understand why we are not able to be decisive. At such times showing self-compassion to ourselves can be helpful. It can hold space for the should’s and ought’s that run through our minds. Being kind to ourselves helps to hold on to the feeling of being confused and stuck, it can help us take a pause so that we can make a decision using our wise minds.

Jaane ab mera, hona kya hai

Lagta hai tumko kya

Jaane ab mera, hona kya hai

Kya main hoon jaisa bas waisa rahoonga

Sometimes we also get stuck in conflict because there is a disagreement between what our logical mind is saying and what our emotional mind is telling us. Our logical mind relies on rules and facts, it makes decisions based on what seems practical and rational. Whereas our emotional mind takes decisions based on our emotions, moods, and feelings, it does not rely on facts or reason. Our wise mind comprises our emotional mind and logical mind, it makes decisions based on facts, and logic but at the same time, it is also sensitive to our moods and our feelings. In situations where we feel conflicted, it is important to access our wise minds. This way we will ensure we are taking our decision holistically by considering our wishes and wants and also assessing what is truly possible.


Rabstejnek, Carl. (2015). FEAR OF SUCCESS: A Phenomenon with Assorted Explanations (Including Psychoanalytic, Feminist, and Other Theories). 10.13140/RG.2.1.1349.9047.

48 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Sex and its Interconnectedness

The activity of sex means different things for different people. In our culture, we have opened up the discussion around sex which leads to it being a topic of taboo to a rapid liberalization. A lot o


bottom of page