You: “Can you pass me the salt?”
Them: “I can pass you the salt.
Don’t you mean ‘Will you pass me the salt?'”
You: (Sigh) “Okay, yes, will you pass me the salt?”
Them: “Don’t you mean ‘Will you please pass me the salt?'”
You: “Never mind.”
Okay, beside the fact that we can all agree that we HATE
having our grammar corrected by other people, there is
actually an important point in all of this.
It has to do with the difference between intention and
the manifestation of intention through action, also
known as change.
What Are You Saying?
Barring things like major depression and medical
illnesses that prevent individuals from being able to
follow through on their stated intentions, why is it
so hard for people to actually change what they say
they want to change? It’s all about the energy.
I hear from many people that they would like to
learn new coping skills, learn how to parent differently,
be a better partner, learn how to manage their
anger in a healthier way, eat more nutritiously.
Statements of desire are similar to potential energy
…energy that is just sitting there, waiting to be used.
It’s what you can do.
To actually make change occur and learn something
new, do something differently, you have to convert
potential energy into kinetic energy…energy that
a body has because it is in motion.
It’s what you will do.
It’s what you are doing.
The Rate of Conversion
Everyone converts potential energy to kinetic energy
at their own pace, when they are ready.
Prochaska’s Stages of Change Model suggests
there are 3 stages people go through before they
get to the action stage of change:
precontemplation (considering thinking about change),
contemplation (actively thinking about change),
preparation (planning change), and then finally
action!, followed by maintenance of change.
You can determine where you are in the process
of converting your potential energy to action.
When Seeing A Therapist Can Help
Therapy often helps individuals in the stages of
contemplation and preparation, action, and in
maintaining new change.
If you’re only in the precontemplation stage,
considering thinking about making a change
…save your money and wait until you’re ready to
make real change to schedule that appointment.
Knowing that you need to make a change and being
ready to do the work and take the risks necessary
to actually proceed are two different things.
You can change.
The question is, will you?
While you’re thinking about it…
can you pass me the salt?