How Small Changes Turn into Big Ones
Reading over Justin’s reflection from this month’s newsletter, I was struck by just how true some of what he shared is. We often don’t notice the little things that happen and wonder how we ended up in the situations we often find ourselves. That’s how I ended up with the title of this week’s reflection: How Small Changes Turn into Big Ones. If you’re like me, you likely read the newsletter and found yourself nodding at some of the points he made. How many times, after all, have you found that small changes are something you adapt to well, but then later realize it’s a bigger problem later? I found myself thinking of teacups. Make tea often enough and there begins to build up some tea stains on a cup. You don’t notice anything or think of it as an unremarkable stain, but if you find a completely unused cup in the back of the cupboard and compare the two, one looks extremely tarnished whilst the other is sparkling white.
The story of the two porcelain teacups is a great analogy for how stained our lives, our minds, our bodies, and our souls, can become. If you find yourself comparing teacups and realize yours is in need of a deep cleaning, you’re not alone. Almost daily, people all around us are coming to that realization. The news calls it the ‘Great Resignation’, but what it actually consists of is individuals recognizing their value and worth and choosing to set upon a different course. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you quit your job necessarily. What I am suggesting, however, is that you take stock of your life, and set yourself on a course for positive change.
How do I take stock?
There is no clear-cut science for how to do this, but there are always some good starting points. We always recommend starting with self-reflection. What decisions have you made recently that you normally wouldn’t have? Have you compromised your values or beliefs? Do you find yourself rationalizing decisions you’d otherwise feel comfortable with making? I don’t know about you, but often, when I’ve set about accomplishing a task and find myself off course, something nags at me about it. I find myself in discord with how I would normally act or think or feel.
That’s because we have a set of core values and beliefs, and when we act in discord with those values, we subconsciously struggle to accept what we’re doing. When we find ourselves in those uncomfortable situations, it’s usually a good time to take stock and ask ourselves how we can remove ourselves from them. Doing the right thing should feel right, after all.
Okay. I recognize I’m not on the path I want to be; now what?
If you find yourself realizing you’re off the path that you want to be on, you don’t have to make one massive course correction. Sailors don’t turn around the boat and go back to the path from where they departed. They make small corrections that over time bring them back so they can arrive at the destination upon which they set out. If small changes turned into a big problem, small changes can turn into a big win. The important thing is to recognise that change doesn’t happen overnight.
This is not to say that in all cases you should not ‘go big or go home’. Sometimes, that’s exactly what a situation calls for you to do. Sometimes, something so cataclysmic happens that it requires an equally important and significant change to our lives. Lately, there has been quite a bit of talk about decision points. The realization that a person is in need of therapy is one of those. It’s a moment where you realize: ‘I am not where I anticipated being; I need to make a change’. This should not discourage you, but rather, encourage you! If you’re at a place where you know you need to make a change, you are, in many ways, at the best possible place for change to happen because it means you’re more determined than ever to create a positive change in your life.
That’s where we come in. You might think of therapy as the baking soda and vinegar used to clean the teacup. You still have to scrub and put in some elbow-grease, but with the help of the detergent, the stains will come out a bit easier. Similarly, our dedicated team can help you figure out the changes you need to make so you can get on the right track. You can schedule a consultation to speak with our intake coordinator here. If you’re ready to make the change, we’re here to help you build a better tomorrow.