You Can…..If You Think You Can!

You Can…..If You Think You Can!

The world is full of naysayers, even your family and your closest friends can be naysayers. It all becomes a little overwhelming at times, you become overwhelmed. Many times people are stuck in bad habits. They accept those habits and say, this is me, I just do this, I accept me, can you? The answer is no! You have a choice. You can choose to change bad or counter-productive behaviors. You have a choice and others have a choice as well. Stop requiring people to meet you at your level when you know yourself you need to raise the bar. Change is good. Change is healthy. Change is necessary for growth. Do not allow yourself to become imprisoned in bad habits, be willing to change! A favorite professor of mine once said” People hate to change, they only change when they have to”. We are all creatures of habit, we like what we are familiar with and even if we don’t, the familiar seems more comfortable than something new. However, growth requires change…so, we must do it if indeed we want to grow.

How does growth play into this picture? Doing the same things and getting less than favorable results is in fact a lack of growth. You may perceive that you’ve done this before and somehow things will be different, yet you apply the same skills you used before and VOILA….same results. Willingness to grow and change means being open and willing to learning something that will indeed help you apply new tools, new skills to sometimes even an old problem.

Many people say after attending treatment, within short periods of time they end up right back in the same behaviors. They feel discouraged, disappointed with themselves and worse for the wear. Going to treatment is only the first step in changing behavior. Most treatment programs last 28 days, although there are a few that continue over longer periods of time. Have you ever heard the expression, quick change isn’t always lasting change? Drying out from a substance abuse or alcohol problem in a rehab facility is the quick change part, and for many it is the first and necessary step to achieving sobriety. There is more however required to maintain that sobriety, for stopping usage is not sobriety, in fact in the addiction world it is considered “dry” which means you have not had the substance in your body but still carry with you all the components physically, psychologically and genetically which compelled that behavior in the first place.

The change only starts here, it is here that the willingness to change is accompanied with the desire to return to the familiar no matter how destructive that may be. It is here that reminding yourself You Can…If you Think you can becomes a necessary part of your daily mantra. When you believe you can change, you empower yourself to seek the tools to help you change. You reach out for support, you attend groups, you find a coach, you avoid relationships that put you in harm’s way, you discontinue risky behaviors and you learn to differentiate between high risk and low risk choices. Unfortunately, we were not born with that chip in our circuit board that stops us from operating when we face high risk situations, they are no flashing signs and failure to operate mechanism which disable us. We have to learn.

So what can we do……

  1. Believe change is possible if we want it enough
  2. Layout a few things you want to change
  3. Come up with a plan to work on changing those things a little at a time, if necessary work with a coach or counselor to plan ways to not only instigate that change but monitor if that method is effective
  4. Get started….. realize that change isn’t easy, it’s a progress thing. Do not give up at the first mistake, press through, resolve to keep trying. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try new methods to accomplish your goal
  5. Celebrate even the smallest victories…pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug, most of all love on yourself, you are trying and…..You Can….If You Think You Can!! It’s a win-win situation!

Featured image is by Scott Propp

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