Bad Thought: I shouldn’t be struggling so much to change myself.
One of the great pleasures of being a therapist is seeing people change their lives for the better. When a client learns to speak up for herself, loses 25 pounds, or remains calm while speaking publicly, I inwardly cheer, knowing how great an achievement it is to break through a previous limitation. That said, I often find myself having to reassure clients that seeming “setbacks” in self-development are normal and even beneficial.
Making personal change rarely happens in a straight line. We become determined to improve in some area of life, have powerful insights in therapy, begin practicing being different, and all is well until--bam! --we’re right back to our old habits. At this point, we believe we’ve failed or that the therapy has, and we settle into the notion that there must be no hope. Nothing could be further from the truth: I myself experienced breakthrough anxiety at times while I was working on overcoming this problem. But each time I felt the symptoms, I learned something new about how to adjust my response to particular triggering situations, and each time I used self-hypnosis, I got better and better at maintaining a peaceful inner state no matter what was going on in the world around me.
In other words, change requires practice and new messaging sets in only with the repetition of new messaging. So, each "setback" provides feedback that informs finer and finer adjustments and is an opportunity to evolve toward mastery over the original problem. If you're experiencing some push back from your old habits of mind and behavior while aiming to make personal change, take heart and tell yourself, Gradual progress is perfect progress.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis audio program and the All Day Hypnosis audio courses, available at https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/digital-audio-programs
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