I see it often enough: a client comes in wanting help with certain issues. They’re unhappy and suffering emotionally and in some cases desperate for help. However, the most important pre-requisite for change is asking ourselves whether we’re really ready. Are we ready to explore the depths of our behaviour, and are we ready to be really honest with ourselves?
Most people think that they are ready, willing and committed to changing, but are they really? Being ready, willing and committed means that you will have to put in constant work, as real change takes dedication and patience. It means that we have to be aware of our thoughts and actions on a frequent basis; it also means that we have to be willing to go deep and question the validity of our strongest beliefs.
Deep change requires that we observe, question, strip away our masks and look at ourselves for who we really are. This is a process that requires us to be ok with vulnerability as it may be the first time that we are really exploring our innermost thoughts, feelings, actions and fears. Quite simply, it may be the first time that we are getting to know ourselves – and it may be uncomfortable in parts.
It is also worth remembering that the journey of deeper healing will most likely be a life-long occurrence. I tell my clients that their journey does not stop with the end of therapy, but rather continues as they begin to experience life through a renewed perception. I tell them that they will still face challenging situations, thoughts and feelings, but their task is to continually remember who they really are. I ask them to remember what they need to do in order to take care of themselves physically and emotionally; and most important of all, I ask them to continue exploring and engaging in activities that will continue to propel them forward.
But it all starts with you. How willing are you really to look at yourself? If you find that you have faced continual challenges and if you feel as if you’re always stuck, then perhaps it is time to ask you yourself whether you are your greatest obstacle…