Why do I need to “fix” myself to have Personal Growth?
Since before you were born, you have been subjected to influences which caused you to form beliefs, ways of seeing the world, ways of interacting with other people and ways you see yourself. These include the events of your life, what happened to you and around you while you were in the womb, the people that surrounded you as you grew up, etc.
Some philosophies say you chose these influences for this lifetime before you entered it. Well, if that is true, you can now decide what you want to do about these influences. You can decide to “fix” whatever got out of whack, “fix” what no longer suits you or serves you, “fix” what you choose to “fix”, and “fix” what feels right to “fix”.
If you think that you did not choose those influences, then you can still decide to fix whatever you want. It is your life.
Doesn’t “Fixing” imply that I’m broken?
Well, yes, it does. And no, it doesn’t.
It all depends on what approach you want to take. If you break a fingernail accidentally or because you got mad and slammed your fist into the wall, it remains broken until you fix it. You can decide how much importance you place on the reasons why you need to do some fixing. You can decide to feel like a victim of circumstances, if you want. You can also decide to just accept that these things happened and that you are now going to move forward, fixing what got broken and enhancing what needs enhanced.
If at any time while reading this text you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or in disagreement, then it is possible that at some time long ago you made a decision or formed a belief about the concepts presented here. If you find it hard to look at the ideas presented here from another angle, then you might want to fix whatever is blocking you from being able to do that. Or not. It is your life.
However, until you clear away any charges, it will be hard to advance with this work. Accepting your humanness and working with it is not about feeling that you are defective or wrong or solely responsible or anything else like that. Remember, your responsibility is to
- accept that you are human
- accept that “stuff” happened to you and around you in the past and you were influenced by it to some degree
- accept that you can do something about some things
- decide if you want to learn more about how to have a better life
decide if you want to act upon this knowledge.
You may find that you have an aversion to accepting this responsibility. Here’s an article on resisting change.
If you really dislike the term “fix”, then try some other term, like “letting go”, “releasing”, “correcting”, “adjusting”, “tuning”, etc. In the end, it all amounts to the same act – you take something about yourself as it is right now that is not optimum for you, and you do something about it, so as to obtain a new situation or reality for yourself.
Approaches to “fixing”
Throughout the ages, a number of approaches have been developed to aid people in fixing what is wrong. Each of these approaches has a primary orientation:
- Feeling-Based, in which the feelings are used as the starting point. A few examples of these would be Primal Therapy, Focusing, AER. In this approach, an unwanted feeling (sadness, anger, pain) is used as the starting point for fixing, and once that feeling is gone, the fix is generally considered complete. One places one’s attention on the unwanted feeling and using the technique, allows it to dissolve away.
- Thought-Based, in which the thoughts are used as the lever to effect change. Traditional psychology is the best known of these, along with NLP and hypnotherapy. In this approach, problems are “resolved” by engaging in repeated thoughts about them or applying mind-altering techniques to effect a change in perception (re-framing) or a disassociation from the problem. These approaches consider the mind to be the key to solving problems and often they strive to arrive at a cognition (understanding) of why the problem arose. An essay concerning the focus on cognition is here.
- Body-Based, in which body sensations are used as the starting point.
A recent development has been the appearance of hybrid systems which integrate several approaches into a more complex whole.