We can be ambivalent about change sometimes. There isn’t always a win-win because when we change job, could there be issues around childcare or extra work pressure? When we lose weight we might worry about how to maintain it when we go out socially. When we stop smoking what are we going to do to calm our anxiety?
It can sometimes be a ‘on the one hand I want or need to……and on the other hand, I want or need to….’
Here’s a good way to settle this.
Step 1. Put out both your hands in front of you, palm up.
Step 2. Decide what you’d going to place in each hand, which side of the issue is where? To help you decide, say “On the one hand…’ and see which hand naturally comes out as you say it.
Step 3. So now you have the two sides of the issue, one in each hand. You are between the two aren’t you? You are moderating the discussion between the two thoughts. So ask each one in turn whether they are willing to discuss this issue. Are they willing to give something up in order to resolve the conflict?
Step 4. Speak to one of the hands and ask ‘what do you want’ then say what you want.
Step 5. Now ask for the positive intention. There is always a positive intention. There is always a benefit of some kind in taking a particular course of action.
Step 6. Do the same for the other hand.
Step 7. Back to the first hand and ask what would you like to ask for from the other hand? Could be permission or a skill, understanding, patience, time…
Step 8. Ask that hand would they be willing to give that?
Step 9. What does that hand want?
Step 10. This question is for you now. Looking and listening to the two parts (hands) can you find a way to resolve this conflict and bring your hands together into your own body and find the solution that works for both?
There are various ways to extend this exercise but for the purpose here of introducing you to it, this is probably enough. If you’d like to work through something in particular you may like to book a Skype consultation with me.
Many of you will have children or teenagers with issues around conflicting thoughts and ideas. They may express it like this ‘I want to do this but….’. You can either introduce them to this exercise or if they are quite young you can get them to sit a cuddly toy in one chair and another in the other chair and ask them to imagine what each would say. In the end they can resolve it as the third person, just as you did as yourself.