Recently I took the initiative to book my first therapy appointment. After years of feeling anxious and watching my body, as well as my mind, be affected negatively by stress I knew it was time to make a change, even if only a small one. I've been thinking a lot about the notion of change when it comes to feeling stagnant or stuck in you life path; how do you make a change that actually moves you in a positive direction?
I've always been someone who worries a lot about consequences whenever I decide to do something new - the consequence of my actions and the reaction of others to my decisions. It's east to confidently snap your fingers and say you shouldn't care what others think, but completely different when trying to implement that into the way you approach life. In my head I am extremely confident and unafraid, but when it comes to actually taking a step towards the direction of what I've been thinking about for years I freeze up in fear. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there whose life is dictated by fear, so I thought it would be helpful to both myself and others if I discussed what I've done or what I'm planning to do to change this mindset.
My first step was to be willing to get some help. I've always loved to journal and found that it gave me a lot of clarity when it came to any issues I was having, but that can only work so well without the input of someone trained and familiar with your emotional habits. Not only did going to therapy give me clarity in our weekly conversations, but it also showed me that if I really want to achieve something, I can and will go out and get it. It took me a few years of wanting to go to therapy before I actually took the steps to get there. That's an important thing to recognize, especially if you're like me and really have an issue with change.
My second step is to set up distractions for myself in otherwise very habitual days. I tend to get very focused on things - any thing can make me tune out the rest of the world - and that tends to put me in certain ritualistic behaviour. Whenever I divert from this behaviour it tends to make me feel very lost and nervous. So, my solution is to not let myself fall in too deep with whatever I am focused on. Don't be me wrong, focus is great and it's helped me achieve many things, but I tend to take it too far sometimes that if I do one single thing different in the mornings before I start focusing then it tends to completely throw me off. Now that the days are getting warmer, I want to push myself to change up the way my day looks and prove to myself that I can still be as productive and efficient in different circumstances. That could be writing from my back yard some days or going to different coffee shops around the city. Or even just taking the time to talk to a friend on the phone for a bit of a social break.
My third step is to try and be a bit more self-assured. I tend to hold myself back from doing things that I want because of the fear of failure or repercussions. Instead of accepting that, I want reallocate that aforementioned focus from habitual behaviour and place it onto my attempts for success. Success looks different to everyone; for me it means taking the initiative and actually getting something that I want rather than avoiding the emotional struggles that come along with change. Without change you cease to grow and I do not want to be a juvenile mind trapped in an aging body.
How do you make changes when you're feeling stuck?