Making changes in life is not easy. These changes can range from wanting to be happier, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, adjusting your diet or improving your relationships. The first step in any change is becoming aware of problems associated with the status quo. For example, what is the cost if I don’t start eating healthier? How will I be in a few years’ time if this relationship doesn’t improve? Or do I want to continue feeling this way indefinitely?
Often, we grapple with the costs and benefits of change for some time before making a decision to take action. At Headway, we’ve heard numerous stories about clients that have pondered whether or not to make changes for many months and some even years. One of our recent clients was in a dysfunctional relationship for 5 years before deciding to make a change for the better. It took her years before she was finally ready to take action.
What is interesting is that many people can make changes on their own. It could be as simple as making up your mind that you’ve had enough of the way things are and deciding to commit to change. Many people are successful with this. For others however making changes is difficult; it requires effort and attention; it requires looking inwards; it means adjusting the way things are done and it also can mean that in some way life will be different in the future.
One of the most effective ways to consider whether you’re ready for change is to speak to an independent person such as a general practitioner or psychologist about the issue you’re faced with. It is important to explore the origins of the problem at hand; to identify what is maintaining the issue and at what stage you are at regarding the process of change.
At Headway, we assist many clients who are in the midst of deciding whether to commit to making changes. Sometimes people are just not ready, others are ambivalent, and some are even worried about their life being different if they were to embark on a journey of change. This is all normal.
The process of articulating a problem to an independent person, having the information organised in a way and presented back to you can be extremely therapeutic and can help you to navigate this often complex and difficult process.