It was the last week of 2017 and I was feeling like I was due some form of internal change. Coaching sessions, mentoring and therapy were all on the cards – I was feeling the need for a face-to-face conversation. This wasn’t particularly unusual for me as I spent the previous four years ducking in and out of this, but my alignment was out for a much deeper reason this time around.
I was just about to go into my 30th year. For me, age has never really been an issue, and so it shouldn’t be! Life is about embracing whatever hits you; the good and the ‘so called’ bad. But back to the point, I wasn’t at the ‘new year, new me’ stage, ready to re-sign up for the gym to make up for all the Christmas dinners. Oh no, these were deep, deep layers and I was ready for the first stage.
The start of 2018 was a funny one surrounded by a dark cloud around my family business. We were going through big changes and I was preparing myself (we all were, in fact) for one very tough 2018, and I wasn’t wrong. One massive positive to going through this process, however, was having therapy pretty much every week. So, this is how it started: imagine sitting in front of someone about to explain a complex situation and all you can think about is catching all these floating bubbles right in front of you. It felt like the end of the Crystal Maze, where the contestants would try and catch the tokens by throwing themselves around, grasping as many as they could in a short space of time.
Vision, goals and true aims were there but I needed to start to tackle myself personally even more than ever as well as the environment around me. For some, this would have crushed them. Honestly, I say that as kind-heartedly as possible without judgement, but I embraced it by being honest and upfront from day one. Yes, it certainly took some weeks to get the ball rolling but once the ideas began to click then off we went. If someone looking into therapy were to ask me for some advice, I’d say “you need to be truthful in the conversation with yourself and good luck!” There isn’t a set a duration, but it will take ages. This is a form of ‘Psychodynamic Therapy’ which means you do most of the talking (literally) and it works around human behaviour, emotions and feelings which are fundamentally key for your progress. If you have started or have even thought about it then congrats! I promise it’s really hard to take on board at the beginning but, again, I’m not telling you ‘how’ to do anything or preaching in any way, I’m just speaking purely from experience, which is of course different for everyone. The one thing I would say is that therapy is so great for your own understanding of ‘yourself’ because, let’s face it, we can’t even try to figure it out on our own. Again, maybe we should be a little more honest and kind to ourselves. I’m going off-script here, but I’m feeling really inspired writing about this as I know the effects it can have on you. Those deeper layers, the conditioning you experience in childhood and its impacts which you carry would have had an effect on your childhood if not challenged in some way – no I’m not a professional but I am training in Psychology which is providing me with an insight into how it has affected me and the benefits from this are the important subject here, so don’t wave off the page yet.
Reactions I receive when discussing life in general, mainly when talking about Psychology and therapy:
“I can’t afford to do it” or “I don’t have the time to do it”.
Firstly, cut out the things in your life you don’t need in order to be able to afford it and secondly, stop watching so much TV or going to the footy every weekend! I know it sounds a bit judgemental but it’s the truth. Of course I appreciate there are some life issues which must take priority but for those without them, what’s your excuse now?
Still the above?
Okay, well, you surely can’t afford not to? (A quick response, maybe too reactive).
(Let’s go a little deeper) Okay so, let me expand on this a little (without sounding too generic).
What are your priorities? (Already, this question challenges their current priorities and whether they need rearranging). Perhaps making a daily/weekly/monthly planner would help? (This is a challenge in itself, especially if you’re not used to it but it highlights your habits, and how you’re going about your routine like a programmed robot. Yes, one could say that this is a one step forward two steps back attitude but I just see it as a way of keeping track of important tasks, such as eating well. It doesn’t have to be 100% all of the time but having that self-awareness is a good start before telling yourself you can’t afford it or don’t have enough time.
It’s an opportunity to sit down and talk and be thoroughly listened to, once a week. Think of the powerful conversations you could have! If you choose to, you can go, say very little and then think “Ah, this is not working” after week two which would be sign of you looking for a short-term result and wanting things to change quickly. Important things like this take time, so having a positive, patient attitude could perhaps help. But hey, who I am to say…
Being a keen learner and interested in personal development is an important part of being open about therapy as well as being fascinated by people. Learning about your triggers and values is a great starting point but must also look at every situation without judgement as you are beginning to understand yourself. That honesty and realness may not sit well with some but allowing yourself to learn this process is an important step towards knowing your true self. You can choose to work out yourself through your life experiences, influences and all the other wonderful things in life which have moulded you into who you are. I had some bad habits and conditioned myself to limiting my opportunities but then, the funny thing is, sometimes you realise that it’s not so cut and dry either.
Without sounding too cliché, it’s really about fundamentally understanding yourself, as otherwise you are being reactive like I was in answering the above question by jumping straight in while I should have been asking deeper questions. This is also where the conversation breaks down; when people get defensive of both other’s questions, responses and answers. It can become so complex that things can become misunderstood in its interpreted. Fascinating stuff – gets you really thinking, right?
It’s all personal and you need to do what works for YOU. It’s like all things in life. We strive for happiness and success, whether that’s within relationships, family or business, but when those two words come up, do you think along those lines or just money? The one thing I will say is it takes unbelievable courage to alter your way of thinking to see the bigger picture which works for you, but firstly having that understanding of yourself is something a long period of therapy helped me with. It’s hard to explain but when you really do start to understand yourself without any influence or by being told ‘what you should or shouldn’t be doing’, it surrounds you with what you have actually experienced and yes, being honest with yourself helps this process 100%. So, let’s carry on!
Lastly on this subject, conversations are key, so key. Remember to try not to be fearful; we all have this feeling from time to time. I am literally on the train from London to Birmingham and I can see, hear and feel emotions through people just through the process of arriving and sitting here on the train. Maybe it’s because I have an interest in Psychology and notice it more – who knows? But it is interesting stuff and makes you go deeper and question more about yourself in a such a positive way. Therapy, (seeing this blog is really supposed to be around this subject) has helped me, I can assure you of that. But, again, I guess I’ve allowed myself to choose how to approach it with a lot of time, patience, discovering things that don’t work and thing that do and so on.
This is something I will be continuing to talk about on a regular basis and I hope this has brought at least some value and started a thought process for you. There are endless possibilities when you create your own choices, no one else – just you.
P.S – the challenge is RIGHT NOW!
Something to let go of?
Think of your own context not someone else’s when it’s you involved to help yourself.
See you on the next one!
Thanks for joining in on the read, appreciate it :)