Change is constant. We are always in a change cycle. Change can also be scary and uncertain. Most people begin therapy to find relief for some presenting problem or concern. Truthfully, most people don’t want to change. They want to stop suffering. I have found that it is okay to seek relief and that suffering is the precursor for change. Suffering is absolutely necessary. The old saying, “pain is necessary but misery is optional”, is true.
So how do you gauge motivation for change? First a problem needs to be targeted. Want to quit smoking? Quit drinking compulsively? Want to exercise more and eat healthier? Want to read more and watch tv less? Want to limit time on technology and social media? Ambiguous targets often will not lead to change. The target must be clear, concise and concrete. Ambiguity leads to self-sabotage and unfilled outcomes. How many times do we want to make changes but aren’t clear on what that looks like? Denial and self-delusion are two common ways people sabotage themselves. Accountability is key!
I like to use scales to make it easy and measurable to see where people are at. I like to access Confidence for change, Importance of change, and Commitment for change.
For example, think about something you want to change (it can be anything):
On a scale from 1-10 how Confident are you to make the change?
On a scale from 1-10 how Important is the change?
On a scale from 1-10 how Committed are you to make the change?
This is a simple way to access where you are with change. It’s expected that confidence can be low in the beginning stages of change and that’s okay. It’s actually semi-delusional to be highly or overly confident in the beginning. This can lead to relapse or diving back into the old way of thinking, behaving and feeling. Importance of change is critical. If it’s not important then you can expect a lot more suffering! Commitment is another positive predicting factor for change. Commitment can moderate and while couple with moderate to high importance, can lead to some of the greatest outcomes for change and it compensates for lower confidence. The confidence to change will increase over time as small victories are achieved. Again, low commitment can lead to complacency and procrastination which leads to sabotage.
Our therapist are trained in supporting, assisting, and facilitating change. We will meet you where you’re at and help you create goals to get the results you want and deserve!