When trying to make an important change your life, it is important to keep a realistic mindset. This is even more true when you are working on changing something that has been present in your life for a long period of time.

Change does not happen overnight.

It Takes Work

Change takes work. One of the first things that I speak about with my new clients at the very first session is that simply showing up to your appointments is not going to yield significant change in your life.

Therapy requires effort and hard work; likewise, change requires effort and hard work. Even though some people may read this and be put off by the idea of having to work hard to make changes, if something is important enough that you want to change it, the amount of effort and work that you put into making that change will be nothing in comparison to the amount of satisfaction and fulfillment the change will bring into your life.

If something has impacted your life enough, and particularly if this has happened for a long period of time, it is not surprising that it is going to take work in order to change it. The process of changing your thinking, your emotions, and your behaviors can certainly be challenging but it can be some of the most worthwhile change you make in your life.

Change is not a completely linear process. Even when you put in significant effort to make things different, it is not possible for something that has been occurring for a long time to radically disappear so quickly. With that in mind, it is important to be as realistic as possible.

Be Realistic

On the road to change, it is normal and expected for there to be times where old thoughts, emotions, or behaviors re-surface. What’s important during these times is to not allow these instances to feel like setbacks. What’s even more important is not to label these instances as “setbacks.” Rather, they are merely bumps in the road and natural hiccups that are going to occur in the process of change.

When you can look at these instances as just that, they don’t hold as much power. This means you can free yourself from their occurrence, and you can continue to grow and change without allowing these moments and instances to hold you back.

I decided to write about this topic because when working with my clients and in the midst of their process of change, I often find myself having this conversation. More specifically, many people will report that even though they had a good week (meaning, they have noticed and experienced continued growth in their area of change) and didn’t engage in the particular mindset or behavior they are working to modify, they had some thoughts about it, or almost gave into the thoughts (and engaged in the behavior), and this felt like a setback.

My response is consistently: “It’s not a setback. It’s normal, and expected. Work with it, move through it, and continue to move forward toward your goal.”

When you approach growth and change with realistic expectations, the path is much smoother, productive, and the outcomes are much greater.

We Can Help

If you are looking to make important changes in your life, we would love to help. We can provide the tools and strategies needed for making the change you are looking for, as well as the continued support and realistic framework to keep you motivated and progressing. Whatever the reason, give us a call.  Remember, there are many reasons why people seek therapy. Professional mental health assistance can greatly benefit you in many ways, including making important changes in your life.

We are committed to providing therapy and counseling services in a comfortable, relaxing, encouraging, and non-judgmental environment to yield the most realistic and best outcomes.  Give us a call or email us today to schedule an appointment.

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