When does a problem become a problem?
Mostly when we notice it!
OK so we may have some inkling its an issue from feedback, or because it breaks a societal expectation, perhaps gaining some awareness of an issue from the opinions of others.
So often our desire to change it and take action rarely occurs until the problem gets into our view point, stops us doing something we aspire to achieve or gets in the way of leading a happy or healthy life.
I often hear phrases like " I am at the end of my tether" " This can't go on" or "if only i didn't have ...."
I like these sort of statements as they come with them an awareness that change is somewhat on the horizon.. a preparation for the willingness to explore the possibility to make things different... Curiosity....
There is a model by Prochaska and Diclemente called The Cycle of Change, I explore this with people in the conflict resolution workshops I deliver. This model ( see below) proposes a cycle in which we function to create change when a problem occurs...The initial phases are behaviours we will see in ourselves when we consider identifying and resolving a problem (Such as addiction, or anger or a career choice for example)
As an Aside:
I have to admit I am less keen on aspects of the model in terms of its depiction of "relapse" as an inevitable part of the cycle. Many changes (to problem behaviours/thoughts/beliefs) can be put in action and sustained with one easy cycle. An expectation of relapse or reverting to old habits is less helpful for us to consider when encouraging our mind to invest in a long term option of change, and endorse the possibility that a problem can be changed simply with new resources.
The cycle does not have to be a repetitive one and tapping into the right stuff for you, will make lasting change.
Recognising a problem, planning, taking action and maintaining the change..... this is a powerful and enlightening transformation!
After all a problem is not a problem.... until we call it one.
So when you know something is bothering or limiting, why is it that you just don't go ahead and change it?
Sometimes this is possible, people make simple changes to significant issues on a daily basis.....
Some problems have greater impact, because the resources, awareness or perspective to figure out the thing that needs to change isn't quite within vision at that point. .... that's where asking for help, helps.
What stops us making change happen?
It's common that you may be experiencing one of the following:
Helplessness - Feeling no solution can ever fit your problem, that there isn't anything out there to make things different or not knowing what ways something could help.
Hopelessness - Believing that change cannot be possible, particularly where you have attempted to change this before or reach and goal and feel you have failed.
Worthlessness - believing that you don't deserve the the change, that people like you don't get the outcome you want.
These may be interwoven, a seemingly complex system of belief's, values, skills, situations and the perception you have about your place within the problem, that you now know you face.
Awareness is powerful, it invites the possibility for change, the rest can be explored and resolved with time.
Let this be your week to take action, start small and believe big. Ask for help, take a punt on hope and find your worth in it all.
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Cycle of Change diagram sourced from http://socialworktech.com/2012/01/09/stages-of-change-prochaska-diclemente/