You have realized something isn’t working out in your love life. Maybe you even recently thought about how your own behavior might be contributing to your problems. But now what?
Now comes one of the most difficult steps of all – deciding to make a real change.
Whether you’re looking for the love of your life or just want to be treated better by men, it’s critical to think about whether you’re ready for change. In our series on the process of change, we talk about the 5 stages of change that you can use to better your love life. Today we will discuss Step 3, the determination stage, when you make the conscious decision to change something in your life and begin to prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
Determination – Why Does It Matter?
What does determination look like? After thinking about your situation from a few perspectives, weighing all the pros and cons of changing your behavior, and finally coming to a decision to make a change in your life, determination is what will keep you going on your path towards a happier and healthier love life. It is a commitment to take action to bring about changes in your life.
If you’re still ambivalent about whether you want change, it may be inhibiting your progress towards a better love life. Even though we tend to think others need to do all the changing, it’s important to remember that you only have the power to change yourself. You’re much more likely to succeed with making a change in your life if you’re committed to the process of change. In fact, change won’t happen without determination.
Because when the first speed bump in the process of change comes along, it can be easy to think, “This is too hard. I can’t do it.” and give up. When you’ve made a promise to yourself that you are going to see it through, it’s much harder to live with yourself if you give up. It forces you to keep going, despite any challenges you are facing. It reminds you that it will get easier and that there is a very good reason for your struggle.
Facing Your Fears: How to Commit to Change
In this stage, you might still have some concerns and mixed feelings about making changes in your life, but your ambivalence is no longer standing in your way. You begin to commit to the idea of change and even feel determination to reach your new goals. How can you get to this point?
In my work as a psychiatrist, I’ve learned that many people who want change can actually be quite afraid of it at the same time. It may seem hard to believe that you might want something and yet be afraid to get it, but feelings are complicated. In fact, fear of something new is a very common situation. After all, maybe you want a relationship, but you’re scared of getting hurt. Or someone else in your life will be threatened if you had a new man in your life. It often helps to become more aware that you are scared of change. Spend some time considering whether there is something scaring you. Would someone be unhappy with you if you did change? How do you feel about it?
When you become more aware the fears that are getting in your way, you can start to ask yourself what is really so frightening about getting what you want. Becoming conscious of obstacles to your goals will make it easier for you to become ready and committed to change. You can start to move away from whatever fears are holding you back from the love life you want.
Preparing Yourself for the Next Step
Once you are determined to change, it is essential to have a roadmap for success. Attempting to just jump in, without a plan, often leads to frustration and burn-out before your goals are met. This stage also involves realistic preparation for taking action. You can try to imagine how difficult the process may be and how you can respond to various situations.
Are you interested in a step-by-step guide to walk you through your journey of change in this new year? Sign up for my soon-to-be released short course: How to Become Your Own Brand of Sexy in 5 Simple Steps to get the help you need. Over the coming two weeks, we’ll walk you through the rest of the stages of change, so that you can visualize where you can be in 2018 no matter what barriers you face.