METERAny of us endures an existence of pain and suffering. Well, at least there is one advantage: the notion of change often knocks at the door. But letting him in isn’t easy, so let’s get to work and see what we can do about it…
Have we established a life purpose? Yes, what is the meaning of our existence? There are no blank spaces in this case.
Change is very easy when it comes to socks. But what we address does not come out of a drawer.
I can remember times, personally and as a counselor, when the call for change was loud and booming. However, for reasons of self-protection, compromised vision, convenience, and more, it was ignored.
We cannot allow that to happen.
What are the stages of change?
We need to set the table a little before we get into our “ten things.” Let’s start with the stages of change and move on to ambivalence.
About 45 years ago, psychologists James O. Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente began working on their transtheoretical model (TTM) of behavior change. They are often called “stages of change.”
- Precontemplation: No action is anticipated in the foreseeable future. In fact, there may be no awareness of a problem.
- Contemplation: You recognize the problem and begin to think about solving it.
- Preparation: Plan the action and make final adjustments. Ambivalence remains a problem, so convincing may be required.
- Action: It is on. A modification of behavior and environment is taking place. It is this stage that requires the greatest commitment of time and energy.
- Maintenance: Without a strong commitment to change and reinforcement, relapse is inevitable, typically to precontemplation or contemplation.
- Relapse: Self-explanatory. It specifically applies to those who have managed to stop behaviors, such as substance abuse/pornography, gambling, etc.
Now, it is important to understand that the most successful “changers” may go through the stages three or four times before achieving success.
What is ambivalence?
Ambivalence can be a decisive factor throughout the change process.
What is it? Simply, simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings towards, in this case, an action. For more information, we can consult Chipur’s article The mire of ambivalence: escaping with motivational interviewing or working online.
10 things to think about when change knocks at the door
Well, now that we have the table set, let’s eat: 10 things to think about when change knocks on the door…
- What exactly is the issue that suggests the change? We cannot consider the notion of change if we do not know why it came to the door.
- Where are we in the stages of change? Do we even know what they are? How can we contemplate our next moves and what to expect if we don’t know our position in the progression?
- Evaluate the ambivalence factor. If it is high, why the contradiction? We need to figure it out and make the indicated adjustments.
- Have we established a life purpose? Yes, what is the meaning of our existence? There are no blank spaces in this case. Check out Chipur’s article Finding a little meaning in life goes a long way.
- Contact a qualified and trusted second (or third party) for consultation, follow-up, encouragement and support. Spouse, companion, friend, counselor, clergyman?
- Write a document with the problem suggesting changes at the top and start listing changes that could solve it, even if they don’t make sense or we have no idea about the implementation.
- Let the document sit overnight and then add or delete it as needed. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, I recommend choosing no more than three for the final decision.
- Think about the options and visualize them in action. How do they look? How do they fit? How will they be implemented? Will they solve the problem? Can they be maintained? Make the final decision and set an action date.
- The action date has arrived and we are leaving. It was our choice, so there are no excuses.
- Establish maintenance strategies and techniques and start using them immediately.
Once again, it is not easy; However, do we really want to rid ourselves of our existence of pain and suffering, for ourselves and those around us?
By the way, what stage did we just review?
Don’t fear the wolf
Pain and suffering, precursors of change… and relief. Kind of a hopeful outlook, don’t you think? But yeah, it’s not easy. Even when we know it is desperately needed, it can be a scary proposition.
Is change knocking at your door? Keeping our “10 Things” close, go ahead and answer it.
Don’t fear the wolf.
If you’re considering a change, you’ll probably need information and inspiration. Read Chipur’s titles carefully.