How To Know When It’s Time to Make a Change

How To Know When It’s Time to Make a Change

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As a mental health practitioner, I’ve seen the dangers of making grand statements or commitments to resolutions before their time. They feel empowering in the moment and can provide an injection of novelty into banter. However, it provides little more than a reminder of our limitations, if we aren’t sincerely prepared to translate our visions into action. How do you determine if today is truly the day? Check out my fail-safe approach here:

It may appear to be oversimplified but sometimes the answer is less complex than it seems. As a general rule, change is taxing. Our bodies kick into “fight or flight” mode. As a result, that “flight” can immobilize defenses if we don’t develop an internal dialogue rooted in rational thought and self motivation.

Consequently, if we are “feeling hesitant,” it indicates that our desire to escape from anxiety is the source of our restlessness. To combat this tendency, we must rally our internal troops to bring our aspirations to life. That said, if we are “feeling really hesitant,” this message serves as a bright, red, flashing light, indicating a necessary pause.

New to the practice of the “Intuitive Check In?” If so, this is your comprehensive tool in the quest to gauge your readiness. The Intuitive Check In revolves around the idea of limiting the distractions in your internal and external worlds, to develop an arena for introspection. We learn to access the gut feelings and determine where we land on the “push through or halt” spectrum. Give the five steps below a try:

1. Take a number of deep, measured, patient inhalations. Do so until you feel grounded.

2. As you think about the idea you’ve been interested in tackling, what feelings coming up for you?

3. Take a piece of paper and make two columns; write down one for facts and one for fears. Separate them out. (I.e. What is indisputably negative about what will occur if you take the next step versus what you fear might happen)

4. Do you feel primed (albeit not totally assured) to take the leap?

5. If so, build an internal conversation with yourself, which reminds you of the benefits of this new action in the long term. Be detailed, be encouraging and repeat often.

The astounding thing about this tool is that the “intuition” doesn’t betray. It is our constant companion, quietly directing to our desired destination. If you find that you are working the steps but still aren’t getting a definitive response, you likely ignored your instincts over the years, ultimately silencing the volume. Continue practicing. It will re-regulate and your answers will grow louder and be more easily revealed.

No matter what shift you are considering, you must truly feel your readiness if you are to realize your dreams. Provide the strongest opportunity right out of the gate by respecting your own unique time frame and paying attention to your instinctive voice. The transformation that’s patiently awaiting your arrival will show its gratitude time and time again!

Photo of Allison Cohen, M.A., MFTABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT is a licensed psychotherapist with over 12 years experience, empowering individuals and couples to achieve their best selves.  She is committed to offering real tools for real life.  Maintaining offices in Beverly Hills, CA and Tarzana, CA, Allison has appeared on the TODAY show, National Public Radio, On Point and has been quoted in several outlets including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, EHarmony, Glamour, IVillage, PBS, WebMD and more. Visit her web site at

You can also connect with Allison Cohen on Facebook and Twitter.

Woman running as a symbol of running towards change!



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