When people come for counselling or therapy, they will naturally want different things. But always at the heart of it is the desire for some kind of change.
It may be a desire to change aspects of their life. It may be a desire to change aspects of themselves.
So they want the therapy to be some kind of “Change Machine.”
I sometimes wonder what it would be like if there really was a Change Machine. Some big metal contraption that we could step into, knowing that we would emerge changed.
Without giving the machine some guidance, that would be pretty scary when I think about it.
To give free reign to a Change Machine could give us horrible results.
Maybe I’d step in as me and come out with the legs of a lizard. Well, I’d have changed.
But I didn’t want that change. I much prefer my human legs!
Near the start of therapy, I’m curious about what you don’t want to change. What is it about you that is just fine how it is?
Hey “Change Machine”, this is off-limits. I like these parts of me. These are the things I want to keep hold of. These are the aspects of me that I like about who I am.
I’m curious about what your closest allies don’t want you to change too.
In the desire to change, we sometimes focus only on the things that aren’t going right for us, or the aspects of ourselves that keep tripping us up.
We can miss that other story of ourselves. The things that we value. The things that we like. The strengths that we have. The things that our allies value about us too.
The Change Machine works better when you know what you want to keep.
Not only does it stop you leaving with lizard legs. It makes the Change Machine more powerful too.
By checking in with what is already right with you, you connect to your many qualities. Once connected, you can use them to help make change happen faster than it otherwise would.
So here’s an exercise for you to try.
- List 10 things about you that you don’t want to change.
- Then list 10 extra things that your closest allies don’t want you to change.
Don’t stop the exercise if you run out of things. Put it aside and come back to it later if you need to.
Once you’re done, read it back. Let me know what difference that makes in itself.