Become more self aware (conscious) and move out of autopilot.
One of the many benefits of counselling is that it can help people to raise levels of self awareness. Through the discovery and exploration of patterns of behaviour that might be working against us, we can raise our level of consciousness; we can work out why we do, what we do! A positive counselling relationship should offer a safe space for exploration of the self. We can discover how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the world at large. With increased consciousness, we can begin to journey out of the mode of autopilot and begin to consider making new and informed choices and decisions relating to how we would like to ‘show up’ in the world, unconstrained by the faulty narratives that have up to now, served to keep us limited or trapped.
We might think about what we unconsciously do on a day to day basis to keep ourselves ‘safe’. There are many examples of safety seeking behaviours, which in the field of psychology are often referred to as defence mechanisms. Defence mechanisms are useful in that they exist in order to avoid us becoming overwhelmed by anxiety; however with overuse they can severely hold us back. One defence mechanism commonly over employed by individuals is that of avoidance. In an unconscious attempt to bypass uncomfortable anxiety responses, usually rooted in limited past experiences, we unwittingly avoid challenging situations and experiences that might actually serve to enrich our lives.
With increased consciousness brings the opportunity to grow.
Next time you notice yourself automatically thinking or saying self-limiting statements starting with ‘I don’t” or ‘I can’t”, challenge yourself to question this internalised self-narrative. It will likely feel uncomfortable because these self-narratives become entrenched, often over a life-time! A counsellor can help you to face and move through the discomfort in a safe and confidential space; they will be at your side as you take the necessary steps towards change. As we often discover through the process of counselling, the very thing that you are continually avoiding could be the very thing that serves to bring you joy!
If you’d like to understand how unconscious processes and faulty internal narratives serve to restrict and hold you back in life, contact me to discuss how I can help.