When I first meet people who come to me for support addressing their anger issues, it is essential we discuss that change ultimately must occur for them to accomplish their goals.
Clients must be open to a shift in paradigm where not only behaviour change is expected but associated thoughts responding to potential triggers too must be altered. At stake is their way of life and in some cases tradition. The mere thought of having to go about change can be mind boggling and intimidating. The fear of the unknown and what will replace what they’ve become accustomed too is real.
Before we get to the actual steps of making change, it’s essential we address what takes place prior to action being taken. When we don’t recognize the need for change this stage is called ‘Pre-Contemplation’.
The majority of society has unknowingly been in the pre-contemplation stage at sometime. This is a place where despite our harsh realities and our deficits, we’ve become complacent and often don’t realize or think we need to change. For example we might have normalized negative behaviours and inadequacies. We use statements like ‘It is what it is’, leave it alone, somethings will never change etc.
However even though our reluctance to change can be very real and in some cases comforting, our gut instinct manages to keep us in check. Have you ever found yourself saying things like; ‘Hmm maybe I should start doing something different’ or ‘I really need to stop’; ‘Maybe I should get help with my temper, judging from my high blood pressure’; Is Mom right that I fly off the handle when someone questions my judgement?. This revelation in actuality is the first step towards change it is ‘CONTEMPLATION’.
This is the phase where we weigh the pros and cons and sometimes have an internal tug of war. ‘I’ve been doing this this way for all my life, but is it really getting me the results I really want?’ ‘Maybe I should try something different’. This is contemplation. When we’ve come to a place where we can’t hide from our truths and realize we can’t continue to pretend our issues don’t exist we’ve entered the first step of change.
Do you have an anger issue that needs support? Have you thought about changing it? Over the course of the next week identify what you have contemplated.