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The Therapeutic Value of Taking Action

Talking Therapies

Many modern therapies now focus on helping people do things differently in their lives, rather than just talking things over. Talking can make you feel better, but it is action that leads to change. In fact, we all know this, but we struggle to put it into practice. There is a gap between what we know and what we do. 

But how do we make things happen? Firstly, we need to cultivate new habits and plan to take some very small steps that will take us in the right direction. For example, if we want to be as healthy and fit as we can be, we might say, “Each morning I will take two minutes brisk walking”. This might sound a ridiculously miniscule step to take, but the main thing is to make a start. Anything that gets us moving is worth it. 

Secondly, we shouldn’t wait to feel motivated. We should take action irrespective of how we feel; whether we feel tired, apathetic or anxious. It’s best to just take these feelings along with us and do what needs to be done. Motivation often catches up with us once we start taking action. 

Thirdly, big changes often come about when we do something consistently over time. Change in our lives rarely happens quickly. Slow and steady is the key. Tiny steps are easy to do, but they are easy not to do. Successful people recognise that consistently carrying out these daily disciplined actions over time will bring rewards. Furthermore, our actions send ripples out into the world and new things start to happen. As the 18th century writer Goethe said, “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”

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