As humans, we all go through different phases in our lives. Different things are needed at different times.
Just as our days contain periods of high activity, restorative sleep, and all the in-between, our personal growth across time is similar.
Sometimes, we need periods of rest and self-acceptance. Sometimes we have periods of high energy where we work toward big goals and accomplish great things.
Most people want to stay in the latter - in a place of constant growth and change. But it’s unhealthy and unhelpful to expect that of ourselves.
Times of rest serve us in their own ways as well, and also stockpile potential energy for when we hit our growing phase. However, I don’t want to frame rest as solely valuable for the sake of growth. There’s a growing trend that associates rest with productivity. It’s true, rest does fuel productivity, but too much focus on this aspect pulls us out of the present. Sometimes rest is perfect for its own merits. It honors what our body, emotions, and mind are telling us we need for the present. We can enjoy the rest in the present without having to justify it for the sake of future productivity.
I also encounter people who are in a phase of rest, but hate that that is where they are. They place lots of shame and self-judgment on themselves. The result? They’re not accomplishing what they want AND they’re not enjoying the rest of the present.
People often describe this place as being “stuck.” It can feel powerless because people are thinking one thing and doing the opposite. It can feel as if they have no choice.
Some of these individuals might benefit from asking themselves, “Am I actually ready for change? Do I need to honor and accept this period of rest?”
These questions put the individual back in the seat of power. If the answer is that they are not ready and they need to rest, they can then honor that choice. They can set a date to check back in with themselves, such as, “Ok, I will check back in with these questions in one week. Until then, I will let myself enjoy this period of downtime.”
If their answer is that they are ready for change, then they can ask themselves, “What support do I need to make this happen?” That could look like hiring a coach, seeking out a mentor, or going to therapy.
Most of my therapy clients sought me out for therapy when they realized they wanted to change and were ready, but they needed extra support figuring out how. These are the most exciting clients to work with, because their motivation combines with the strategies they learn in therapy. They usually experience change and growth rapidly, and are soon on their way to feeling better.
My hardest clients have been those who come to therapy, but aren’t actually ready to implement changes in their lives.
Instead of shaming them or ourselves when we are in this period, we can accept where we are at, and return for action when we are ready.
Thank you for reading. If you'd like support doing your period of change,
you can schedule a therapy consultation here.