Willingness is the key to so much in life. Pause and think about it. When was the last time you were willing to try a type of cuisine new to you? An unexplored genre of music or a historical novel? These actions require little effort compared to life’s more complex challenges. Yet even these small steps might just magnify your enjoyment of the small pleasures in life. When it comes to the more complex challenges in life, willingness can be much harder to grant. And yet these larger issues that are not being addressed can determine whether you deem your life successful or not. Facing serious issues such as poor boundaries, anxiety, depression, addiction, loss, and grief is not a decision to be made lightly. Counting the cost, before making the decision is wise. Commitment to the process includes effort, willingness to endure painful emotions and push through them, among other things. And yet the rewards outweigh the cost. Relief from heaviness; freedom with more light and life will be enjoyed.

What does unwillingness look like? Some individuals may be shy or even afraid. Their fear is often covert, unapparent to others, yet dominating their lives. It’s true that fear can control our lives, yet adults need to take responsibility for their lives. And at some point – hopefully, sooner rather than later – determine how to control the fear vs. the fear controlling them. Overt, observable unwillingness can be seen as resistance, antagonism, stubbornness, and even hostility. Professional assistance is often needed to overcome both covert and overt unwillingness.

How can unwillingness affect you?  Self-sabotage as a way of functioning is often the result of unwillingness. Refusing to face reality, and at the same time, beating your head against reality, unwillingness is a lose-lose proposition. Refusal to entertain or consider a change in your life shuts down healing, growth, and development. Therefore, your life is gridlocked, stagnant; you may even find yourself regressing to a lower point. This does not have to be! There is great hope! Invest in yourself with willingness and determination. You can do this!

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