What are you willing to take a risk on? Your job? Relationship? Parenting? For many just thinking about this question is a risk. Many live their lives so planned out that any deviation will throw their whole life into a tailspin. You would think that someone with this type of personality would not know how to function without a to-do list or a daily planner. Now do not get me wrong, I think these tools are very important and many of my clients would be standing out in the cold if I had not realized the importance of these things years ago.
The risk I am talking about is the risk of doing something in your life different from the way you have done it before. Many of us are so married to what we have always done that we are not willing to take the risk of trying something new, even if what we have always been doing is obviously not working. There is an old cliché that speaks volumes about this topic.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Just take a minute to think about that statement. How much truth is spoken there? How many times do we truly see this cliché played out in our life? We just keep treating the relationships and situations in our life the same way. Then we get together with our friends and complain about how things will never change.
So, are we insane?
Many times couples come into my office and truly don’t understand why their spouse does not get it. They make statements like, “I can’t believe she keeps doing that” or “he doesn’t care how I feel.” When I ask if they have told their spouse how they feel, the answer is usually, “He would never understand” or “she doesn’t want to hear it.” How do you know? If you don’t risk that conversation or change how you have done it in the past, how can you expect a different result? This communication block is the death blow to many relationships.
At least they come in to see me. One of the other issues people are not willing to risk is to seek counseling or other professional services. Even though their relationship is rocky and both parties have exhausted every tactic they know, they are still not willing to seek an outside opinion. “Mom and dad never had to go to a counselor and what if it gets out that we couldn’t handle it ourselves.” Many times they have preconceived notions about counseling. People do not understand what counseling really is and the ethics governing the therapeutic relationship. Counseling is a great way to get your thoughts and feelings straight along with someone who can share some tested interventions that have been proven to help in situations such as yours.
Counseling is also a biblical concept. God did not make us to solitary individuals. He wants us to pray and discuss with him, he has set up pastoral relationships for counseling, and calls us to seek wise counsel.