‘To change your situation, you need to change yourself’

This is a really scary concept and something that was said in some of my recent training.

Change can be the most terrifying thing. Sometimes it feels like it is a case of ‘better the devil you know’. Sometimes, staying as we are can feel safer.

However, when people come to therapy, it is often because they want things to change in their life or within themselves. That change, however, can be a terrifying concept- a feeling you might be familiar with. Sometimes change means that we also lose something, a way of being, a network, care, security or something entirely different.

This is ok. It’s ok to be scared of change. It’s ok to be worried about losing things when you change. Your mind has created your strategy of being and living as a way to survive in whatever it is that you’ve been through and whatever experiences you have had. At the time, those feelings and emotions were relevant, but now, it’s not helpful or working for you (if it was, then you probably wouldn’t be looking at my website). Changing away from a strategy that was key to you is a massive change, but also a change that will pay off in time.

So think now… how do you want it to be?

What do you want that you don’t currently have?

What do you currently have that you don’t want?

What needs to happen for you to get what you want?

What keeps you where you are? Is it fear of change or something else?

What are you scared if happening, if you do change?

Maybe you answered those questions easily… or maybe you still don’t know… but talking it through can help.  If you relate to fear of change, for anything at all, then please do know, you’re not alone. As therapists, we see this so very regularly as it is a natural way of the psyche trying to protect itself. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t change, it maybe just means that the fear of change is a something for you to be exploring amongst the rest of whatever it is that brings you to therapy.

What it is also important to remember is that I (any therapist or any other human being) can’t make you change, that can only come from you. That means change can only happen when you are ready for it. That can make it feel safer; knowing that you are in control and no one can force you to change.