Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Change Process

What is this mysterious change process I talk so much about?

As I work with people and they start making connections many clients say, “This is great, now what do I do to change it?”  The answer is always the same; small risks in the present.   We can’t change our pasts, but we can heal from them “ Like what?” they ask.  Anything that is big enough to make you nervous, but not so big as to be catastrophic if you fail. 
For EXAMPLE, Sometimes it is as simple as saying “No” to a request.  The key is how it feels.

The first feeling is some kind of implosion (hurt), which is the opposite of explosion. That means you come down very hard on yourself, beating yourself up for being stupid or something.  Many of my clients are very good at that.  I bet you are too.  I have been.

The second is a very strong sense that something is wrong, or that you have done something wrong (guilt).  When I’m in this stage I keep looking at my appointment book because the sense is so strong, like I’ve missed an important appointment.  Just, something is wrong.

The third feeling is a very strong sense of impending doom;(fear) you just know something awful is about to happen.  This is the hardest one to manage because it is full of fear.  I remember being relieved when something went wrong, just to feel relief from that terror.

What these feelings are related to is the expectation of consequences.  If you could put a child’s words to a narrative it would be along the lines of, “Oops. Uhoh, and now I’m really gonna get it.” As an adult the expected consequences don’t happen anymore, then the feelings will gradually dissipate, but not before those three feelings of hurt, guilt and fear are felt through.

It really was that serious for you as a youngster, which brings me to why that is true.  Why do some things we try to change come with ease and others are so difficult.  Like the same battles we have had for ten years with our spouse, or how difficult it is to kick any addiction.  The sticking points are about decisions we made as young children to survive in the family we were born into.

Stay tuned for the next post about how those old decisions continue to rule our lives

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