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Well, that's because it is.

Do you want change to happen, but maybe, at the same time, you don't want anything to change? Maybe change seems daunting or scary. Perhaps you feel ambivalent about change?

Change is not that simple, as I'm sure you already know. Here's a little exercise to get you started

As many of you will know, change can be frightening, daunting and something we might want and not want at the same time.

This is natural and understandable; after all, you the problem or concern you are struggling with (e.g. eating disorder, anxiety, worry, stress, low mood, etc.) has 'helped' you in some way, albeit in an unhealthy and unhelpful way. It's probably become your safety net, safe haven, comfort blanket; so to change can be anxiety-provoking and scary.

Change is necessary though, in small steps, at YOUR pace (not someone else's) and with small changes that are challenging but not so challenging they provoke extreme anxiety - a small amount of anxiety is fine, even helpful to some extent, and you will cope with that feeling of anxiety.

It's important to prepare for change though first before actually initiating change. Here's a little exercise I use with people I work with in support groups, in one-to-one psychotherapy/CBT/counselling, with supervisees, in training/workshops, through my online mentoring and also in some of the face-to-face coaching I do. It's a first step towards preparing for change: preparation is important for lasting results and change.

EXERCISE: Here's the little exercise (I sometimes modify it, add bits, take bits away depending on the person, context etc, but here is the standard version):

Change Process Balance Sheet

Take a moment to think about the things you want to change…

1. List the negative consequences of experiencing your current problem. Think about the difficulties that you are currently experiencing because of the thing you are struggling with.

2. List the positive aspects of experiencing your current problem. There are positives and negatives about almost every situation. ) In other words, what are the advantages of your problem/the thing you are struggling with.

3. List the personal benefits that you expect if you change yourself. Think about a general goal and how you will have to change in order to achieve it.

4. List the personal costs that you expect if you change yourself. What do you think you’ll need to give up in order to change? There are costs and benefits to almost all types of change. (For example, perhaps you’ll be expected to do things differently and get out of your comfort zone.)

What did you learn from doing this exercise? How ready for change do you think you are? Take a few moments to jot down your thoughts.

You can do this exercise alone, in a group or with someone you trust. It can also be used for various problems and concerns including low mood, eating disorders, relationships, worry, unhealthy habits, stress, phobias, anxiety, depression, stress, addictions and lots more.

Good luck and hope you find the exercise helpful! If you need some extra support, please feel free to get in touch to access support, therapy, counselling and CBT:

Best wishes,



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