Education Article:Finding The Courage To Change
How do we find the courage to change? For most of us, it starts with a thought or perhaps an event occurs that we handle with the same old problem solving approach that we have been using for years that always leads to disappointment, reduced self esteem and self worth, uncertainty, negative self talk, self loathing and damages our relationship with ourselves. Why do some people have the courage to face their fears and their problems head on and they resolve them without apparent difficulty or negativity. We have learned so many things in the past and using our past coping mechanisms often leads to the same old past solutions that we have used year after year without success or fulfillment. Choosing the path of positive personal change means that you are making a commitment to yourself and to improving your life and the outcomes that you are going to be receiving. And yet, it seems easier to stay in the same old habit patterns and to reject our own efforts or those of others that might bring us to new problem solving strategies and solutions that previously did not exist for us. Do we choose to remain in the past or do we choose to renew ourselves and to find new solutions and opportunities that did not exist prior to our choosing the path of courage and change.
I recently watched Oprah and Tony Robbins and I saw Oprah and 4,000 other people complete a fire walk to help themselves find new courage and conviction to make other needed changes in your life. So, I decided to complete a fire walk to see what the true nature of that experience and to renew my courage and conviction about living and about life. I did the fire walk twice on 5-19-12 with 100 other people. I was there in the moment and realized that this opportunity was a metaphor that represented all the situations in my life that I needed the courage to confront and positively change. I found that my leap of faith provided me with new hope, new courage and a renewed sense of purpose in all areas of my life. Change can occur in the blink of an eye or it can occur over many years, months, days, hours or minutes. One never knows what the time table of change will prove to be. So, do we wait until we are forced to change by outside forces or circumstances or do we become active change agents and become proactive and manage our change ourselves. Each of our life circumstances varies. For some, a limiting relationship may appear to be our primary problem and seem to cause us the most fear, anxiety and uncertainty, For some, a job situation may appear to be our primary problem and seem to cause us the most anger, resentment, sadness, helplessness and worry. It is important to remember that worry is a form of prayer and that it will provide us with the negative outcome that we are dreading and thinking about all the time.
You do not have to participate in a fire walk to change your life. You do have to identify what needs changing in your life and then develop a plan leading to the meaningful changes that you know that you need to make. You must remember that we cannot make anyone else change or act differently. We only have control of ourselves and not of anyone else. If you do not have control of yourself, it is important to decide whether or not you are going to be in control of yourself and your destiny. You have the right to have your own thoughts and feelings and actions. You do not have to apologize for being who you are and for wanting to live your own life. Self empowerment is an important ingredient in making personal change become a reality for you. So often, we live for others and not for ourselves. At the end of your days, you do not want to say, "coulda, woulda or shoulda" about your life. In addition, living a life of regret breeds self contempt, anger and self resentment that no drink, drug or substance can fix for us.
You can begin or continue your change journey by participating in 12 step groups, church or spiritual groups and programs and by joining with other like minded people who share your same values and beliefs. We are never to old to learn and grow!
John Garlock, Ph.D.
John Garlock, Ph.D.