By Daniel Jacob, MSW
Change… It sounds so simple, people use it often on a daily basis as a way to correct, improve outcomes, gain knowledge, etc. However, I believe the greatest reward associated with positive change, is the ability and capability to move forward. We are all capable of having positive change in our lives, but often we are not able in making it happen. Reflect on that statement for a moment. Having (personally and professionally ) had several opportunities to help others change ( for the better) I use this example in the most clear and straightforward manner that I can. If you are in a state where your path in life is just a series of roadblocks with no sight of an opening, you often feel stuck, hopeless and helpless. At this point you may not see change for the better as a way out because you are so frustrated, angry, tired, and all the other feelings associated with a life filled with roadblocks. Your too physically and mentally drained to even think about taking action, and often many convince themselves that it is easier to keep on suppressing.
This is where the work part comes into play. You yourself have the answers, you just can’t see them, and instead of moving towards a plan of positive change, you settle for being stuck. This makes sense as I have mentioned prior it is easier to settle for being stuck. It is hard, very hard to do the necessary work to get unstuck and move through and forward. So, when I say that we are all capable of change for the better we are. We are just not always able. This is the underlying message in it all. Capability vs Ability. If you just look at those two words and there meaning, you hopefully can see the solution to getting through those roadblocks. You can see that there is a way to change for the better. Furthermore, you have to really understand and remember that you must be patient with the process, you must! While changing for the better is the hardest work that you will ever face, it does not happen quickly and often in the time frame that most desire. This is why we often have setbacks because we become frustrated or nonbelievers to the process when we don’t see it happening as quick as we would like. Well, ask yourself what option is better? To have a life filled with negative outcomes and opportunities fueled by the actions and behavior that are creating such? Or have a life (still with challenges and roadblocks, life does not provide a challenge/stress free existence) filled with positive outcomes and opportunities influenced by your ability to trust the process, be patient with it, and implement the appropriate skills/tools needed in order to change for the better?
My hope is that this example can provide you with an understanding that life is a series of learning opportunities that allow YOU to determine the quality of your life. It is up to you and the choices you make that will move you forward, or keep you back. I hope these words can provide that opening so that you will be able to start the process of changing for the better, with the understanding that the person writing this is the same person who had to learn this lesson, and will continue to. Until we meet again may you be well to your day, and the day shall be well to you.
[This is a contribution by Daniel Jacob, Founder of Can You Hear Me? His latest project and a real opportunity to empower, support, and instruct helping professionals. Currently, he provides instruction and support as an External Field Instructor for MSW students in the distance learning program at the USC School of Social Work.] Can You Hear Me? Blog and Can You Hear Me? Website