Many people who have been involved in any type of personal growth or self development work and have subsequently sensed a real change in their inner world, will often forget the real difficulty and fear involved in doing any type of work that necessitates change.

People approaching self-development or self-help work will most likely do so because of some type of difficulty or major life trauma that has challenged them in a way that they find difficult to cope with. This will quite often initially lead to a sense of minor or major panic, hopefully followed by a realisation that actually there is a huge amount they can do to change their inner world and subsequently change their outer world.

This is perhaps one of the most significant and important realisations that someone could ever have. The fact that how people behave in their external world is effectively a manifestation of what is going on in their inner world. This is quite a difficult and often painful life lesson that people learn over a period of time in quite difficult circumstances.

One of the many reasons for this is that people realise that it is possible to change external circumstances in life, but have real difficulty believing or understanding that they can change their inner environment, for the better. Many people believe that this is the way I was born, this is the way I am and this is the way I will die. They believe that how they are is almost set in stone, and the idea of changing their attitudes or their outlook on life seems almost incomprehensible to them.

Another reason people are resistant or unlikely to change is that it often seems easier to try and change situations or other people that are out of your control, rather than trying to change your internal environment, which actually is within your control.
The way people can change that internal environment can take many forms, ranging from different types of therapy through to prayer and meditation, various types of 12-step programs, inner child work or any of the myriad of self-help programs that are available for people to practice.

The work of Carl Rogers is well known to anyone involved in the world of therapy or counselling. Perhaps his greatest contribution was his insight into the fact that it is the nature of the therapeutic relationship that creates a sense of safety that allows the person to heal whatever the blocks are that are preventing them from being the person they wish to be. It was this realisation that it is a sense of safety that allows a person to heal that is perhaps most important.

This is not to say that everyone needs to be in therapy in order to heal. It does mean that in order for someone to heal they need to have a sense of safety in their lives that will initiate and facilitate the change they desire.

How a person achieves this sense of safety can take many forms, being in therapy or counselling is one of them. For many people a sense of God and a sense of how they use prayer especially in an internal sense will be how they get there.

Many people focus on the mechanism of change as being especially important, when in fact it is the safety element that is the key ingredient. Creating an environment where someone feels safe enough to change is key.

The resistance to change will come either because a person does not feel safe enough to heal their inner child work, or simply because they do feel safe enough as they are not to have to try. This feeling of safety that they have may be an illusion, but if it is strong enough and deep enough, they will hang onto it rather than let go for something that they do not know and cannot trust.

For this reason trying to force change is always dangerous, except in extreme and dramatic situations. The willingness to change must come from within, and cannot be forced by other people.

Dramatic life situations may challenge people sufficiently for them to become aware of the need to change, and subsequently make people realise the enormous potential to heal their hurts and give themselves a sense of peace and unity

Author's Bio: 

Peter Main is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes extensively about all areas of self growth and self development. He has a particular focus on self help issues for people who are in recovery from or who have been affected by alcoholism and other addictions.Some people begin their journey of recovery and healing in a rehab, others in a twelve step fellowship such as Alcoholics Anonymous, others in a religious or spiritual setting. He has worked in this field for just under thirty years and has extensive experience in many areas of different therapeutic approaches, including counselling, inner child work,meditation, spirituality, adult children work etc