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  • Writer's pictureGavin Conochie

''Yes, but how do I do that?''

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

One question that comes up a lot in therapy is the “How do I...?” question: “How do I get to a place where I’m happier?” “How do I stop feeling this way?” “How do I stop procrastinating?” “How do I stop sabotaging my relationships?”

It’s very natural question to ask, and one that’s easy to get drawn into trying to answer. To a certain extent, it’s a valid question, too. But something I notice is that people are rarely satisfied with any answer for very long. Whether it’s me who suggests a possible answer, or the person arrives at it for themselves, they keep coming back to the question again, hoping for a different answer, one that feels more satisfying: “Yes, but how do I...?”

What this back and forth easily misses is the energy that runs underneath the question: the belief that I am going to resolve my core issues in life through efforting, through striving to get somewhere better, rather than recognising that the efforting itself may be part of the problem, driven as it is by the belief that who I am, what I am, or where I am isn’t good enough and if I could just find a way fix it then I would feel ok.

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