Creating a new path - that is the point of personal change, right? To create a path away from fear toward courage, away from sadness toward happiness, away from confusion toward clarity. Yes, well, kind of.

The task is less about demolishing one path to create another. You don't need to leave all the negative thoughts, emotional distress and bad habits behind in order to move forward. Let them come along for the ride until they dissolve or drop off of their own accord.

When we create new patterns of thought or behaviour in the brain, old pathways don't suddenly just disappear, but rather we add new ones into the mix. The more you engage the new, preferred pathway, the stronger it gets. The more you abandon the old pathway, the weaker it gets. Just like muscle memory for any sports people out there - when you create new movement patterns, the body doesn't just forget the old ones, but rather has access to a new, alternative movement pattern. The more you repeat the movement, the more the body remembers and encodes it.

Are you in the process of making changes in your life? Are there old patterns hanging around that you are looking to move on from? What if you let go of the pressure to get rid off those old patterns and instead invested in creating new patterns alongside them? New patterns, repeated often enough, will eventually become your new default.

Maybe you're not there yet. Maybe you can recognise that things need to change, but the idea of creating new pathways feel impossible or overwhelming. That's ok, sometimes that is just how it is. Consider building a foundation for change first. Some of the building blocks of this foundation include patience, persistence, support and self belief. These qualities as a stepping stone to change.

Ok, great, but how do I do that?

Things that promote patience, encourage persistence, offer support and ignite self belief:
- Therapy, undoubtedly, every time.
- Great relationships. Soul feeding, uplifting, unconditional relationships.
- Passionate endeavours. Once you find something (or a few things) that light up your life, and you make an active choice to devote your time and energy to them, developing these qualities is a natural flow on effect.

What else? I'm sure you have a whole bunch of positive factors that have allowed you to create the foundation for change. I am always on the look out for the things that lift people up out of hard times, so please feel free to hit me up at emily@fosteringhope.com.au and let me know what has created change in your life.

My question to you: How will you take these ideas and make them work for you and your life? What action will you take to make a difference to the life story you are creating for yourself? If you want to make a declaration about it, I'm all ears. Shoot me an email at emily@fosteringhope.com.au, let me know, and I'll check in with you in a bit to see how you're travelling.

There are a lot of big and exciting things that are in the works at Fostering Hope Psychology. New and innovative ways for you to take these ideas and really run with them, to go beyond just a faint curiosity about how to create change in your life and invite you along on a journey of committed action. So you not only ponder change, but create it. So stay tuned, and please, if there is anything in particular that you want to hear about, to learn about and to apply to your life, let me know!

Your fellow traveller on the path to change,
Emily.

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