Individual Counseling

Stop Worrying About Where You Should Be And Start Appreciating Where You Are

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What we see time and time again with people in the process of making important life changes is increasing negative self-talk despite real progress. This is the paradox, that negativity sets in precisely as real movement is occurring. Because any movement forward will involve the confrontation with various internal and external obstacles, obstacles that weren’t in clear relief when the life attitude was more complacent than it is now.

This negative self-talk is highly demeaning and usually chock full of taken for granted shoulds. “I should be further along, things shouldn’t be this hard, etc.” It’s important to consciously challenge these thoughts by remembering that growth and self-actualization are hard, increasing insight is hard, making changes to entrenched patterns of behavior is hard. And becoming aware of various obstacles is a proof of movement, not its negation.

Beginners in any discipline aren’t really aware of the obstacles, aren’t aware of any boundaries yet. This isn’t because they’re amazing at what they’re doing of course but rather because there’s no way for them to know what they don’t know. It’s that intermediate stage, where skills start to increase, that suddenly they’re forced to come to grips with how far away they are from true expertise. They start to experience their limitations not just their potential. But again the point to drive home here is that reaching the intermediate stage and becoming aware of the push back is a clear indicator of movement forward although it can subjectively feel like regression.

If you’re in the process of making important life changes don’t fall into the trap of negative self-talk or of thinking you’re moving in the wrong direction. Stop worrying about where you should be and start appreciating where you are. You can replace that negative self-talk with gratitude and feel more motivated to keep going by remembering that you’re on the path and the obstacles you’ve started to notice are proof of that. Where is it written that making important life changes is supposed to be easy? Complacency is easy, doing nothing is easy, sticking to the same old entrenched behavioral patterns is easy. Having the courage to look inwards, to question everything, to step outside of the familiar, to try on different ways of being? Not so easy.