There’s a certain comfort in staying with the familiar, no matter how unhappy we might be. We know how to navigate around familiar situations. Finding the courage to step into the unknown isn’t easy! We can find all kinds of reasons to stay with what is. It’s temporarily comforting to lean into our defense mechanisms of denial, justification, and rationalization. We can make it seem very reasonable to stay with an unhappy, or even toxic, relationship, a frustrating job, the wrong town, a limited education, and on and on.
But what if it gets to the point where all of our defense mechanisms and our healthy, short-term, self-soothing behaviors stop working? Then what do we do? If we want to eventually be happy, peaceful, excited, fulfilled, and any other positive adjective we can think of, we need to take that scary first step into the unknown.
When the negatives of staying put, outweigh the positives, it’s time for action! We need to face our fears, and move out from behind them. Then it’s time to gather our courage, connect with our support system, and build whatever foundation is needed to make moving forward feasible. Moving forward might look very different for each of us, but that’s fine. Some steps might be very small, and fairly uncomplicated. Some might be larger and take quite a bit of strategic planning. The important thing is that our moving forward looks meaningful to us. It has to signify change!
If you need any professional help in doing this, I’m here for you. Helping my clients become empowered is my very favorite thing to do as a therapist! I love seeing them follow their dreams, create brand new possibilities, and build wonderful, healthy relationships with themselves and with others.
Until next time,
*Photo Credit goes to Mary Lou Aukee for this beautiful fall image.