What to change and what to keep

No one can tell you what to change and what to keep.  They may suggest things you need to change based upon what their needs are, but, those are their needs.  Not yours.  Changing old behavior requires an accounting of what you like about yourself, what is working and not harming others, and what is not or no longer is working.  If you are just starting this adventure, you may find it difficult to find anything worth keeping.  You will need to get yourself out of that negative space before going any further (another blog).  All of us have the potential for good and bad.  Most of us do not set out to harm other people.  Some do.  Most of us have made stupid mistakes that have hurt ourselves and others.  If you have learned from these mistakes, you will not make them again.  You will see it coming and stop it before it happens.

A suggestion for starting this process is to make a list of everything you have ever heard about yourself.  Good and bad.  You may want to ask the people who love you to help you with the list.  Then sit in a quiet place and divide the list into positive characteristics and negative characteristics.  The positive characteristics you will probable want to keep.  The negative ones will have to be looked at carefully.  If they are harming yourself or others they should be let go.  If they are characteristics that can be a positive and a negative you may want to decide how you will use that characteristic for good.  An example would be if you are a take charge kind of person.  That is a positive characteristic unless you are dealing with a person who does need or want you to take charge.  Then, in that persons mind, you are a busy body.  You will need to learn  when to step in and when to allow others to handle their own stuff.  Not doing so, whether you feel you could do it better or not, is disrespecting that person and their ability to handle their own lives.  You will have to let go of the need to control everything and everybody.   Most of us have all we can do just to control ourselves.  Focusing on doing just that and getting ourselves straight will keep most of us busy for a long time.  Changing old habits takes 3 weeks or 21 days of constantly not doing whatever it is you are trying to change and replacing it with a new behavior.  It will take another 3 weeks or 21 days to make that new behavior a habit, something that you do automatically without thinking.  Letting go of tried and true behavior is not easy, it has worked for a long time right?  Right!  Well, it is not anymore or you wouldn’t want to change it.  Letting go with the help of guided imagery will help to make you conscious  of those thing you want to change on a daily basis.  This guided imagery video will help.   Click here for the video.    Enjoy!

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dtoomey2015

I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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