By in Other Therapies

How To Move Forward

Let’s take a moment to remember that two years ago we experienced our first lockdown and since then pandemic life has become everyday life. When I think back to April 2020 I feel that I have changed quite a bit and my life has changed too since then. 

It feels long ago. So much has changed in these two years for me personally and for the world and each one of you too, I assume. And yet people keep talking about “going back”. It, of course, makes sense in context and it is nice to be returning to something you used to love. But on the whole, don’t we want to move forward? -take all the things we love and make life better than it was?

I feel so strongly that I do not want to “go back”. I want to move forward. Of course it is not always easy to move forward with optimism. A lot of horrible stuff has happened and there are difficulties we may not have had before, or maybe they are the same old difficulties that always prevented us from moving forward and time has just made us more cynical about it. So it makes sense that we sometimes wish we could just go back to how it was. 

But moving forward doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have things back that we miss. It doesn’t mean everything has to be new and different. It may just mean that we are looking for a bit of improvement or something new and shiny in some aspect of our life.  

So if you feel like moving forward with your life and you feel stuck, or for some reason unable to, here are a few points that may help you.

  1. Take stock and accept where you are at right now.
    Part of effective goal setting is to really face the facts of the current moment. Because there is something between the past and the future that is very important – the present. Wherever you came from to arrive here in this moment, and no matter where you want to get to in the future, take a good long moment to notice where you are at right now in regards to the change you are seeking. Whatever you want to move forward with, where are you with that right now? And the more important question: can you accept that this is the reality right now?
    This is an important question because often we know what we had that we lost and we know what we want in future, but we are not so good at seeing our current problems in a pragmatic way. We tend to either experience the issue we have 100 times magnified, or we try to just brush it off as nothing really. Neither help us with moving forward.
    So can you look at whatever is holding you back, as well as what is good in your life now, based on the facts, and accept that this is your starting point. You don’t have to like your problem or the present. You do not have to accept it as part of your life. You just need to face it and accept that that is the situation now. 
  1. What do you really want?
    What do you actually want to achieve when you move forward? What is your goal? And can you state your goal in a positive way. It is easy for us to identify that we want to not have that problem. But we need to be clear on what we want instead, because otherwise we have no idea what life would really look like when we solve our problem, hence we can not move towards it. So if your goal is to be less heavy, or less stressed, or less busy or in less pain, what do you want more of?  And what are you going to do with it? What is that for? If you want to be healthier or more confident, what are these qualities for and how will they impact your life? Maybe by being healthier you believe that you will have more energy and feel better in yourself, which may make you feel more social and enjoy activities with friends more? 
  1. What do you gain from NOT getting it?
    This, I kid you not, is perhaps the most important question to find an honest answer to. If you have struggled for a while to move forward with something, there seems to be a good reason why. I promise you “I am just lazy” or “It’s too hard” are not actually true reasons for why you might fail with moving forward. A part of you is sabotaging your moving forward, or holding on to something you are trying to give up, because it believes this is necessary for your survival, safety and wellbeing. It may be wrong, but this part of you believes otherwise. The only thing you can do to engage this part of you into a constructive conversation is by paying attention to it and listening to it when it tells you what it believes you are getting out of staying stuck. 
  1. What do you need to get it?
    Once you have found out what that part of you believes you are gaining from the status quo, consider how you might be able to have this when you move forward.
    Only when that part of you is satisfied that it will still have what it currently is getting from staying stuck will it allow you to move forward. Beyond that you may need some other things too to help you move forward. Do you need support from family or some kind of professional? Do you need more rest or a different job? What will it realistically take to move forward?
  1. What would life be like if you had it?
    It is time to dream big and to soak in your positive outlook into what life could be like. If you are able to move forward in the way you want, what would your life be like? How would you look and feel? What will you be doing and how will others see you? Feel this in your body!
  1. What will life be like if you don’t get it?
    Ok so this will be less fun, but repeat the above point 5 again with imagining how life will be if you do not achieve your goal. Sometimes it is important to really get a sense of what is at stake and why you are seeking change. 
  1. What can you do today to start moving forward?
    Luckily that was just a dream. Come back to the present, where there is an issue you want to solve or a change you want to make in order to improve your life. When are you going to start making the first real step forward?  Today? Next week? Maybe you have already done it? Be clear on what that first step is and make it something that you can do soon with the resources you have now. 

My final words for today about moving forward are, there will be ups and there will be downs. It’s okay, that is normal. Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach to resolving trauma. 

If you want help with moving forward simply contact Kristin at The Body Matters on 01702 714968.

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