Before beginning, it is imperative to mention that my idea of change is anything that has the potential to become different or presses an individual outside of their comfort zone by any means. In counseling, we like to inform clients that sometimes during sessions things may get better before they get worse due to the possible changes experienced forcing them out of their comfort zones, which also requires vulnerability. However, the real overarching question is: why do individuals change? Unfortunately, I do not have an straightforward answer on the reasoning behind that question, in all honesty. It is unequivocally a mystery, and a process that is so multidimensional and complex that it defies the laws of understanding. However, I will try to make sense of it throughout this reflection paper based on my prior knowledge. Change, in my personal opinion, is inevitable.
Despite it being an overarching mystery, there are a few reasons that come to mind when I think of reasons one may change. The first one is: intentionality/choice. Some individuals make a firm decision to change. They choose to lose weight, to get married, to stop smoking, etc. All of the changes they make are intentional. Antithetically, in some cases, changes happen naturally over time.
Generally, life will happen and over time individuals will experiences changes with their bodies, appearances, relationships, jobs, etc. No one individual will appear to be the same as they were 10 to 15 years from now. Whether it is positive or negative, a change will occur. Another reason that immediately came to my mind when I thought of change is: life changing events. Whether that event, once again, is positive or negative. It may induce a series of changes within a person that may not have taken place before the event occured.
An example of this specific reasoning could be childhood trauma. Individuals may experience childhood trauma have a strong possibility in experiencing changes, especially in their relationships with other individuals as it relates to the trauma that they have previously experienced.In many situations where change occurred in the lives of individuals, especially those that persisted over time, it is imperative to note that the commonality between all of them involved rather high levels of emotional arousal. In retrospect, that seems to be the ingredient for change. Individuals (including myself) often times felt degrees of fear, happiness, disparity, apprehension, which was occasionally accompanied by feelings of unrelenting anxiety.
Understandably, it is these emotions that work to act as a catalyst to increase commitment and motivation for change (that happens intentionally).