A few of my clients have been struggling with Ambivalence. And, for good reason, as this is a normal and necessary part of the change process. Life change isn't something that happens quickly or easily for most of us. It often requires small steps to discern what we really want and whether we are ready to choose it.
The second stage in the continuum of change is Ambivalence. If you have acknowledged that a particular behavior is problematic for you, wish you could change it, but feel uncertain about how to do it, you are in Ambivalence. As you move away from denial toward new awareness, you may linger for a time in Ambivalence as a place to rest before taking action. You are no longer content with the status quo, but are still unsure about what to do next. Congratulations! This is great news, because you are moving forward. It may not feel like it, but awareness brings you closer and allows you time to get ready to be successful.
In Ambivalence, you are being pulled in two opposite directions - your desire to change and your fear of changing. Fear of change is a common experience and may show up in different ways: fear of something unknown can cause insecurity but also excitement; fear of failure can cause lack of confidence but also motivate you to succeed; and, some people fear their choice will not be accepted by their friends or family.
Is is important to not rush, but also to watch out for inertia. As you consider your Ambivalence, try asking yourself these questions:
What would your life be like if you changed?
What are the advantages of the change? Disadvantages of the change?
What strengths do you have that will help you to change?
How important is this change to you?
What would happen if you gave it a trial run?
Having a sounding board, someone to bounce your thoughts and ideas off of, can be very useful. While a friend or family member could fit the bill, you may find that the objectivity and professional experience of a Life Coach provides a broader lens through which to evaluate the decision.
So, don't worry if you're feeling ambivalent about what to do next. You are likely exactly where you should be in the process of your life! Breathe, relax and open yourself to the possibilities that lie before you. You are growing and life is fun!
Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, Sheryl Melanson, partners with people to transform limiting habits into mindful choices that express their values, create action plans and recalibrate their lifestyle to optimal well-being.