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Decisional Balance

The craziest things can happen when you are trying to make positive changes in your life. A lot of time it seems to go that things get worse before they get better. I see it a lot in my practise, clients get clear on what they want, they set their plan, they are ready to rock and roll. Then suddenly the universe just throws them a curve ball.

It can be anything, conflict with loved ones, a major flare up of your health conditions, a complete drop in motivation and wanting to just crawl into a ball and hide. The common theme underlying in all the whirlwinds I see is a pattern of fear and people wanting to hold themselves back.

You may not even notice what you are doing, in fact, you almost will definitely not notice on a conscious level what you are doing. Subconsciously you are feeling unsettled, you are fearful of what these changes will bring and perhaps emotionally you are not completely ready to change. So, what happens? Your ego steps in and throws out anything it can to stop progress from being made.

This is when the real work comes in, this is when you must really address what is actually going on. What are the deep underlying fears of what could happen that you are telling yourself? Most of the time, humans are looking through the lens of things are wrong, and things are going to go wrong. We are living our present moments from a place of fearing we will repeat mistakes from the past. Essentially, you are predicting that your future is going to go poorly, and you are working life around avoiding that from happening.

This is not a great place to be in when you are trying to make changes. If you want to get a little clearer on what is going on inside of you and holding yourself back I would recommend something called a Decisional Balance. It is similar to a pros and cons list with a bit of a twist. Ask yourself these four questions in the following order.

1) What are the benefits of staying the same?

2) What are your concerns about staying the same?

3) What are your concerns about changing?

4) What are your reasons for wanting to change?

Reasons 2 and 4 are the most addressed when looking to make a change, these are what we generally focus on. However, 1 and 3 are particularly important to address and highly likely what is holding you back. It is great to be very honest and open with yourself when you do these sorts of exercises to be sure you are getting the deeper answers.

Finding clarity on what is going on in your inner world is the secret to making long-lasting behaviour change. What are you realising has been holding you back up until now?


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