For the past several months I have been wanting to get back into writing again. However, as you can see, I haven’t been able to follow through with this desire. Recently a reader commented on my blog asking if I had stopped writing. That was a great prompt for me to see this morning to get me going, so thank you. And a great focus for today! Readiness for action. There are several components to taking action and desire alone does not quite cut it.
I actually had that conversation this week with a client after telling them it would be our final session until they were more fully engaged in treatment. Their response was “But I want to get help”. My response, wanting alone does not necessarily mean readiness for change. The lack of commitment was evident due to not attending, or being late for sessions, and not putting into action skills covered in session. The same was true for myself because I was not writing. The commitment to take action was not there. The door is always open to that person; remaining in therapy at this point is actually counter-therapeutic and when they are ready for change then true therapy can begin.
Lack of commitment does not necessarily mean lack of interest. Competing priorities is a common downfall, making it difficult to stay focused on or put your desire into action. These competing priorities can be positive or negative. For example, housecleaning on the weekend doesn’t always get done the way I would like it to because I want to explore and take in the beauty of our amazing province. On the other hand, heavy demands of life can inhibit taking action; such as, job loss, relationship breakdown, financial strain, and sometimes all of those things at once.
I actually have started several pieces for writing over the past six months only to discard them. They either didn’t feel right, or good enough to post. Yes, perhaps a bit of perfectionism sneaks in. I was able to get the outline of what I wanted to say, but the creative flare was not there. It seemed flat. So, I walked away, and “gave up” and went on to do something else.
Fear is something that prevents us from change. We stay in our comfort zone out of fear of the unknown. Hence the saying; “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”. Paradoxically, when we let go and step out of the comfort zone, the dark clouds that have been hovering over us part and the sun begins to shine. Staying in the comfort zone out of fear prevents us from vitality and living life to the fullest!
My recommendation is to really examine what the barriers are for you. There are many more beyond what I have covered. Maybe the thing that you have been beating yourself up about is not a priority anymore and you can let it go. Take it off your “to do” list and feel the weight lift off your shoulders. Or you may identify that your desired goal is really is something you want so you need to clear away some of the barriers. If you don’t have insight into what is going on then you cannot make the necessary changes. Whatever it is, you need to pause and take stock of your situation for the best course of action.