Ambivalence is good

Ambivalence = feeling two ways about something.

This is a feeling that everyone goes through when making a change in their life. For example, let’s chat about a very common source of ambivalence for nearly everyone: nutrition. Let’s say you want to stop or reduce how much you’re eating something you love, like ice-cream. The following sentence probably accurately reflects the way you feel about eating ice cream:

“I want to stop eating ice cream but at the same time I love eating it.”

Feeling ambivalence about something is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s an important part of process of making a change.  We all have conflicting feelings about a lot of different things. We all want to eat cupcakes and cookies everyday but we also want to feel, look, and perform well. Which one wins out is dependent on several conditions.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Are you ready?

Are you sick of the status quo, or are your old routines still working well for you?

Are you willing?

Are you willing to just flow with the process and seek help when needed; or are you resisting being told what to do?

Are you able?

What’s preventing you from changing right now — a tough work schedule, new parenthood, an unsupportive environment…?

Sometimes you’re missing one of the key elements of change.

 For example:

  • You might be ready and willing but you might not have time so you’re not able.
  • You might be willing and able, but not ready to make the necessary trade-off’s right now.
  • You might be ready and able, but you’re not willing to engage in a coaching process.

What to do

Review the questions above about whatever you’re feeling ambivalent about. It might be starting a new workout routine or making changes to your diet.

You must work through these questions before you’re ready to make a change, and feeling ambivalent is a normal part of the change process. So, don’t be so hard on yourself. Trust the process and keep asking questions.