What do you want?

A: ‘’What do I want?”

B: ‘’What do you mean, what sort of question is that? I want the best body ever, I want to be rich and feel free, I want to find my ideal partner and get a dream house. I want this to happen very soon!’’

A: ‘’Thanks for sharing your goals with me. Could you summarise what steps you are taking to achieve what you want?’’

B: ‘’Mmm, well at this present time I am planning for those things and I know full well I will achieve my goals one day’’

A: ‘’I heard you say that you want these amazing things to happen to you very soon.  Are you committed today to accomplish your mission?’’

B: ‘’Yes, I mean I need to feel ready for it first, I will soon start to take action, so I can succeed. I have some many other things to do every day, so I think this will take time to be honest’’

Believable scenario, right? It can happen to you and it can happen to me…

One way or another we are always preparing ourselves for what it is that we are striving for in life. Preparing is one thing but it does not mean we are moving anywhere. Over preparing can in itself, in the long run, turn into the ‘skill’ of procrastination and consequently negative mental states especially when we compare ourselves to others and what they have managed to achieve while we are still taking our time to think and rethink.

What does this mean for your mental health? Crisis. One of the reasons we sometimes fail to move forward in life is because we feel we do not have all the resources we need to make that important shift. What happens as a result of this is that we find ourselves in a struggle when it comes to stepping outside of our comfort zone. This becomes a self-imposed difficult situation. Hear me out here, the difficult situation is not that the goal is hard to achieve, but that you have placed yourself in the position of not being able to achieve it… Does that self-imposed difficult situation interfere with your motivation? Yes, it does. If we become aware that this is the pain that we are capable of inflicting on ourselves, we are also potentially able to take action and change it.

How?  You are questioning now. It is about convincing ourselves that we have confidence in the resources that we already have, and this will pave the way for us to feed the confidence that we need to find the resources that we lack. And yes, it is painful to make the shift. The pain comes from having to move from a situation we feel stuck in and the desired state.

To hit you with an analogy, it is similar when we don’t know how to dress in between seasons and sometimes we might feel we should have taken that jacket along or we feel that we’re wearing the wrong shoes. This makes us feel uncomfortable but once the weather is settled, we understand how to dress appropriately and we feel perfectly fine. The change of season forced us outside of the comfort zone and we felt uneasy.

Sometimes we are unprepared to tackle what a given situation is going to throw at us. This can happen despite our best effort to be ready for the moment. Let’s accept this as possible and not as something we should avoid. We are now talking about positive risk taking which iso9 necessary because we do not have all the answers. The issue it that sometimes we are good at taking the risk, but we don’t do much to prepare for where it is that we are moving to in life.

In order to change and get out of the comfort zone, we need to acknowledge the present state (i.e. where we are) and we need to have a clear vision of where we want to be. What resources do you already own today (present state) that will allow you to find a way to reach the resources that are still needed to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It is about doing what you can with what you have. Results will follow.

Another important consideration is that to experience real change in life we need to get rid of our present state. This is the principle of personal growth. We need to accept that life is matter of continuous change whether we like it or not. Like the weather, we become adjusted to the present season, it becomes harder to adapt to the incoming season.

The feeling of uneasiness that we experience when we are in transition is inevitable but one that is worthwhile. Once we are willing to invest our energies in the pain that change can bring, we are in control and we will use that pain in our favour. The pain is your tool, it is the means you will use to make a shift from where you believe you should be (for safety) to where you should really be, because you are already the desired outcome but your sight is blurred by the lack of confidence from feeling uncertain. Whether we will achieve a successful outcome or not will depend on how disposed you are to change in the season of transition.

Exercise: Make a list of things you can take responsibility for today and begin working on them right away to see how far you can go in terms of achieving your desired state. This first step will enable you to identify areas of your life that are not working well at present. Now for each of those identified areas, make a list of resources that you still need to bridge the gap.

You should have a clear vision now of where you are, what your current winning tools are and what you need to complete your journey towards success. Remember, pain is part of the process and you are always in control every step of the way. Pain is a tool and it is not there to control you at any stage.

Tony Boncordo

Published by Tony De Palmas-Stress Management

I am a mental health social worker and a stress management therapist by background. I have always been interested in how some people with a history of mental health problems succeed in life and overcome negative mental states without seeking professional help. I believe that this is achievable in some cases and it is about how our perceptions of reality shape the meaning we assign to events in life. To this effect, it is crucial to realize that unhealthy levels of stress are the result of how we approach life, and this can be changed by making different choices. My blog is about sharing knowledge on how to find healthy coping mechanisms for the stressors in one's own life. The focus is on how we can successfully overcome negative mental states by just making some modifications in how we approach life. If you would like to keep in touch please drop me a line on tonyboncordo@mentalhealthcoaching.org Sensitive Subject Area: The blog is written by an experienced and trained therapist, but it is not specifically designed to treat mental health problems and the aim is not to deliver therapy. It is best to check with your GP or therapist if you feel you need mental health support. Tony De Palmas

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