In Part 1 of this two part article, we will look at the concept of ambivalence as it relates to making changes in our lives. Often making a change in life begins with a simple decision to make a change. However, many times making the decision about whether to change or not is more like a battle between two parts of yourself: one part wants to make a change and another part that fears change or is very comfortable staying the same. When attempting to make a change that seems unclear or possibly risky, one may feel confused or even overwhelmed. Determining whether to make a change involves a process of reviewing pros and cons related to making that change. At times determining if you are ready to make a change is actually part of the process. Other times, even after you have made the decision to change, determining your readiness to change is the next step you must address in order to change.
Sorting out ambivalence
Deciding to make change or not often feels as though part of you wants to make the change and part of you does not want to change. You may feel stuck between wanting to change and staying on your current course of action. You can even feel paralyzed and unable to move forward when facing your dilemma and the pressure to change something in your life. There are frequently benefits of both changing and maintaining your status quo. There can also be fears associated with moving beyond your comfort zone and what you know. Considering the positives and negatives of making the change can help you decide what you think is best or necessary for maintaining your mental and emotional health. Evaluating how much and why you want the change along with possible reasons you are hesitant to change can be helpful in deciding whether or not to proceed with making a change in your life. Another part of the process to alleviate ambivalence related to deciding about making a change in your life is counting the cost of not making a change. However it is accomplished, moving through your ambivalence to make a decision to change is the first step in making a change.
If you are struggling with ambivalence related to change in your life, our caring and compassionate therapists at VCC are here to help you move through that ambivalence to a place of healthy change.