Over the past three blog posts we have explored the concept of change, the stages of change, and the fear that often prevents change from happening. This week we are exploring how to assess whether or not our change journey is something we should pursue alone or whether we could benefit from a helping hand. It may feel like going it alone will be the most discreet and easiest way to approach the change. The desire to change independently might come from not wanting others to know if we fail, not wanting others to know that we currently partake in a negative behaviour, or from the satisfaction of knowing that your success is entirely self-earned. These thoughts are not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes the desire to go it alone prevents us from receiving the assistance and support that will allow change to be successfully implemented and maintained.
Assessing a plan of action and whether you need support is best done by asking yourself if you understand the barriers in place and have an actionable plan to move forward. Are you equipped with the resources needed to take each step in making the change? Would you benefit from having the emotional support and encouragement of a trusted friend or family member? Would you like a friend to help you stay accountable and check in with you daily or weekly about your progress?
Determine what resources you have available around you to support change. It might be friends, family or your romantic partner, but it may also be a professional. This could include booking an appointment with a personal trainer, dietician, or even a therapist to help you tackle some of those barriers that can emerge on your change journey. Alternatively, there may be groups in your community or even online that you could join. Being part of a group that is moving towards a similar pursuit can help us feel empowered and focussed on our goal. This could involve a running group to help you with your fitness goal, a substance abuse support group to help you with your sobriety, or joining a baseball team to help with your goal of being more social. The simple act of telling others that we are committed to change can encourage us to take our goal seriously, even if it is out of pressure to not disappoint others.
Essentially, you need to ask yourself if starting the action stage of this goal feels overwhelming alone and whether accessing supports might help.
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Image: It's about time to help others... by Leticia Bertin. See side panel for further copyright information.
Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.
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