Here it comes…A Better Version of MePosted January 21st, 2010 by V
People can change. Change is often a slow and painful process, but in the end, it is possible. Not long ago, I heard a simple fact about the nature of people that strongly resonates for me. That fact was basically the principle of cognitive dissonance or “People are unhappy if the ideal version of themselves or their value system doesn’t match up with who they perceive they are or their actions.” This principle is essentially what motivated me to apply for the Power Up Challenge. Over the summer, I wrote down my ideal, perfect self. I titled it, “If I were the person I wanted to be I would…”: This list included my attitude, employment, nutrition habits, travel aspirations, volunteer work, and what my ideal body would look like. I realized that I may not ever achieve all of these ideals, that is why they are ideals and not realities. I also realized though, I wasn’t even trying to actively live most of that list. My ideal self and my ideal value system did not come close to being reflected in my enacted self and my enacted value system. In intending to become a counselor, I am challenged to ethically ask people to make radical changes in their lives. I can not do that while I remain unwilling to do it myself.
Now, working toward making some of those changes, the closer I get to seeing my ideal self reflected, the happier I am. I feel proud of myself and I’m in a better mood, and I’m not quite as cynical. Even though I haven’t seen many tangible changes from the work I’m doing yet, I’m trying, and for now that has to be enough.