A model for change that I find helpful
(Or how to stop beating yourself up during the change process)
Often in therapy we realise we have been doing things that don’t support us anymore and we want to make changes. Once the old behaviour has come into our awareness in this way, we are usually keen to start doing things differently. Naturally we want the change to be instant but usually it takes a while to break the old habits and embed the new ones.
But I have failed!
It’s not uncommon for us to be disappointed if we catch ourselves repeating the old behaviours and occasionally we fall into self criticism or even despair. This model shows us that rather than beating ourselves up we should be patting ourselves on the back.
The gift of hindsight
In order to spot ourselves repeating an old behaviour we must have hindsight. Hindsight is a good thing. It’s proof that we have changed our level of awareness and we are on the journey of change. The previous version of ourselves almost certainly would not have even noticed the unwanted behaviour.
More progress on the journey of change
We may go through midsight on our journey of change. This is noticing the behaviour while we are doing it. Eventually we get to foresight. This is noticing the behaviour before we start and allowing us to do something different.
Now we have made the change. But remember, hindsight and midsight are reasons to celebrate progress, not opportunities to beat ourselves up.