Most of us to some degree fear change. We love our comfort zone, we find safety in the familiar. And yet we also tend to inherently know when change is necessary in order to move forward, to challenge ourselves, to live to our highest potential. This week we will focus on the tools of change in a five part series; exploring what needs to be in place in order for personal growth to be optimized. The first tool of change to be explored is actualization.
In order for us to change something, we must first acknowledge it. Denial and avoidance can be very strong – despite advice or concerns from others about something we are engaging in or ignoring, we will blindly defend our choices and behaviours until we are ready to face what is not working for us any longer.
Self-actualization begins with a desire to be open to the possibility of going beneath the surface; of pushing past the desire to avoid. It is why people come to therapy. Actualization is found in the ‘aha’ moments, it is found in our ability to be vulnerable, it is inherently felt. It can often be accompanied by tears as grief is part of the process. Leaving our comfort zone is difficult and we will most likely feel as though we are losing something along the way.
Once actualization has occurred, there really is no going back. We can remain in limbo for awhile, contemplating the opposing forces of courage and fear, but our recognition of the issue is now a felt sense and our inner desire to challenge, to grow and to accomplish will keep reminding us that the only people we can truly change is ourselves. It comes with the realization that we can be brave – stepping forward towards a new way of being. A new way of knowing 🙂