Existential Psychology

Change Is An Active Attitude

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Most people who are struggling in their lives believe that if they could just think and feel differently everything would get better. They’re waiting for a fundamental shift, a personality overhaul, a sudden flash of inspiration.

They’re going to keep on waiting. Why? Because their underlying attitude is passive not active. They want this change to happen to them, to occur from the outside in when really it’s got to occur from the inside out. And positive change doesn’t happen all at once, it’s a process. During this process the person doing the changing is the central actor, the main participant, not an audience member.

That passive attitude is ingrained into most of us though, and really it’s indicative of a psychology that hasn’t matured into adulthood yet. Children have the luxury of being passive recipients. Whether at home or at school it’s parents and teachers who carry the burden of responsibility for skill and knowledge, who seek to instill this skill and knowledge in their pupils. The pupils only need to open themselves up to it.

But an adult psychology stops relying on passive introjection to learn and grow, trading it for active participation. People who are struggling in their lives first have to come to terms with the fact that they’re fully responsible for their situations. They may have gotten to this point due to circumstances partially or totally outside of their control but what is fully within their control is how they decide to respond. They can decide it’s fully up to them to improve their lives and then get down to work rather than waiting for a lightning bolt that’s never going to come.