Change can be hard and scary — even when it’s a change you choose or a change that leads to something positive.
You might want something different in your life — to step more fully into your identity, to have a better handle on your mental health, or to show up differently in your relationships — but how do you know that you’re actually ready to do the work to make those things happen?
Here are some common signs that hint you might be finally ready to make a change.
1. You’re tired of doing the same thing again and again and getting the same results
You love seeing your best friend when he comes to town, but you dread how he inevitably talks you into going to that same shady watering hole, having a bunch of drinks, and before you know it, the night has spun out of control. The next thing you know, you’re both waking up on the floor of your apartment with hangovers from hell.
You’ve tried suggesting only going for one drink and then spending time together having a night in, and he always plays along at first, but you realize you can’t take this cycle any more. That recognition that your actions aren’t working despite their repetition is powerful — it can help you to change your tactics and tell your friend you’re happy to see him when he visits, but since you want to cut down on binge drinking, he’s going to have to stay somewhere else.
2. You don’t relate to the person you were a year ago
You used to hate school projects which involved drawing your family tree because it was so painful to think about the difficult things your family went through to come to the United States and the horrors that plagued the home that they left behind.
Growing up, you tried everything you could to mask your heritage, leaning strongly into American culture and making up excuses to your friends about why they couldn’t come over.
Reading a memoir written by a daughter of immigrants from a similar culture turned everything upside down for you. Suddenly you realized you’re not the only one experiencing this inherited loss, identity confusion, sadness, and anger. You don’t see your lived experience that same way anymore.
The dissonance you feel between your current mindset and former mindset shows you are ready to explore relating to your heritage and family history in a different way. You have to change the old lens because it no longer fits.
3. You’re surviving, but not thriving
Since you were diagnosed with migraines, you’ve known the drill — every few days, the splitting pain comes on, you swallow your meds, and resign yourself to laying in the dark for the rest of the day. You don’t have much of a social life anymore, and your dream of traveling to Korea to meet your mom’s relatives is seeming less and less likely to happen. But something inside you tells you that you’re not ready to come to the conclusion that this is how you have to live.
Understanding that your goal is to thrive, not just survive, shows that you’re ready to change your course of action. That motivation can help you pursue those lifestyle changes that can decrease the frequency of your migraine attacks and to learn more about what pain management strategies can give you the best results.
What should I do next?
Sometimes it can be frustrating when you have a desire to change but can’t get past the things that are holding you back from being ready. Or if you are ready to change, you might still feel stuck because you don’t know how to take the first step.
The support of therapy can make a world of difference in helping you to understand where you are now and think through how to get to where you want to go. Click the button below and schedule a free phone consultation — I’d be happy to chat more with you about how my therapy practice can help you along your journey.