Ready For Something New? Try "Gut Checking" To Help Face Fears


Ready For Something New? Try "Gut Checking" To Help Face Fears
Change is hard. Learn how to ascertain your 'readiness' with the short, simple tool below.

As a psychotherapist, I've never been a fan of making New Year's resolutions. It's a popular tradition and provides great fodder for conversation, but often, it merely serves to set us up for disappointment if we haven’t achieved true readiness. But how do we know if that time has arrived? Take a look at my fool proof method below:

  •           IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT - DO IT

As silly and simplistic as it may seem, there is great thought and client-tested analysis behind the formula. Generally speaking, change is hard. It triggers significant levels of fear, anxiety over unanswered questions and can render us incapable of moving forward if we don't develop a healthy internal dialogue of self motivation. Therefore if we "don't want to do it," it tells us that our fears and desire to flee from struggle are at the root of our uneasiness. As a result, we must encourage ourselves to push through, in order to reach our goals. However, if we "really don't want to do it," it tells us that there is a strong reason to wait and that message must be heeded.

If you aren't familiar with the process of "Gut Checking," it will be a vital first step before you attempt the formula above. Gut Checking is about quieting the noise (both literally and metaphorically), to create a space for self reflection. Through this process, we can tap into our instincts and gauge where we fall on the "do it or don't" continuum. If you are new to the process try the following:

  1. Take one, a few or several deep, slow, intentional breaths until you feel centered.                                            
  2. Ask yourself how you feel about the issue you have been contemplating changing.                              
  3. Ask yourself if you feel ready to make a change.

The beauty of this process is that the "gut" or "instincts" never lie. We may not like what they have to say, but they are always there, gently guiding us towards our proper path. If you've tried the steps above and aren't truly getting your answer, you may have spent time over the years, ignoring your instincts and therefore the volume has been quieted. Keep practicing and over time, the volume will adjust and you will more easily glean your answer.

Whether you are contemplating a personal, spiritual or professional change, you must feel truly ready in order to bring your goals to fruition. Give yourself the best chance possible by making sure that you honor your personal time line and listen to your gut. That change that's waiting for you just over the horizon will thank you for it!

More personal development coach advice on YourTango:



Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT


Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT



Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MA, MFT
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Life Transitions
Other Articles/News by Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT:

Release Your Inner Nerd To Save Your Relationship


I have typically had a very love/hate relationship with math, but despite this fact, it truly has many uses. Did you know that understanding just one basic principle has the power to re-shape your entire relationship? I call it the "80/20 Rule." In a strong, healthy partnership, you typically get about 80 percent of your needs met, leaving 20 ... Read more

10 Keys to Deeper Communication with Your Mate


By now, we've all heard that communication is imperative to maintaining a healthy relationship. But what does communication really mean? It's much more than a mere exchange of words. When the years have taken their toll and physical and mental vitality have waned, words are the one enduring aspect of a relationship, because they never fade. While ... Read more

Say Yes to the Sex: How to Keep the Spark Alive


Every day, couples end up in my office, struggling with a myriad of issues. While no two partners or problems are exactly the same, one unifying factor remains…loss of spark.  After a thorough assessment of what’s lacking in the relationship, an intimacy disconnect is always at the core. It may start innocently enough.  Exhaustion, ... Read more

See More


Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.