There are two schools of thought when it comes to Change: Love it or Loathe it. Change however, is inevitable. No matter what the change is, whether in your control or not, change will occur and we have to learn to deal with it. Most of the loathers of change have difficulty with it because of the fear of the unknown. Though if we plan and prepare for the potential outcomes of change, we can start to reduce the overwhelm and anxiety associated with it and as a result protect our mental health and learn to embrace change for all that it delivers. Of course change is not always nice, the passing of a loved one isn’t going to bring happy change feelings however, there is an element of planning that can be done in this instance also to help you continue living. My point here is that no matter the change, a little careful consideration can go a long way to helping you manage the change so that you can look after yourself in the process.Mindset is a key feature when I talk about change. If you say these kinds of phrases on a regular basis, you’re admitting defeat and training your mind to believe and accept those thoughts as facts. Over time, it will be harder and harder for you to break those thought patterns and your mental health will be affected which in turn will affect every facet of your life.“I hate change”
“I can’t do this because..”
“I will always be like this because…”
“No one understands…”
“But I have to, I should…”
“Life’s not easy…”
“I will never be able to/ will do…”
If you were having a session with me and you used any of those phrases, on the spot, I will mirror back your statements using the exact words you used but with a question mark at the end. This is not to be condescending, this is to show you an exact reflection of the words you’re using to describe something which more often than not, are over-exaggerated phrases of the truth. When we talk about self-criticism and ask ourselves, would I speak to a friend like this? We realise that we are being too harsh on ourselves. Phrases we use to describe situations or events in our lives are much the same, we often over-exaggerate (unconsciously most of the time) but when broken down, soon realise that we might have magnified something that probably didn’t need to be therefore by making statements that are closer to the truth will help us handle our lives better.
One of the best examples I can give of this, recently occurred with a client. The client was talking about a pattern of behaviour and said “all my life, I’ve had this.” I simply replied back, “all your life, you’ve had this?” I had to say it 3 times before he stopped and reflected on the statement he made. What he was referencing was something that only happened over a 5 year period. Years 0-25 were not affected by this statement therefore saying that it had been “all his life” was an inaccurate statement, not the truth and a skewed version of events that he was training his mind to believe was fact.
When you know something’s not quite right in your life or you keep repeating a pattern of behaviour but you seem to be getting the same result even though you desperately want a different one, I ask you to embrace change. Changing something will have a direct effect on the result you’re trying to achieve. Be brave, be prepared and understand that not all outcomes will be as bad as you might think – this is where a little prep beforehand helps reduce the perceived magnitude of an outcome and is a much healthier way of approaching life.
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