Mel Schwartz, LCSW

Breakthrough or Breakdown?

Breakthrough or Breakdown?

With rare exceptions, we seem to struggle in our desire to breakthrough. Yet, exactly what are we trying to breakthrough? Typically, it’s about our desire to change or to become unstuck. The groove of old thinking, feeling and the rut of old behavior become deeply embedded. The older that we get the more anxious we may become that we won’t be able to break free from the entrenchment of the familiar zone.

Somewhere beyond the limitations of the familiar lies the new terrain that we imagine we’d like to experience. This desired place may be specific or general, but it holds the promise of something that we yearn for. This is the promised land of the breakthrough.

We may come to fear that the absence of change assures not only sameness and stagnation, but potentially worse. When we don’t assimilate opportunities for growth, we may indeed breakdown.  Resistance to change rigidifies our life experience and we lose our capacity for vitality. When we remain mired in the familiar zone we stagnate. This stagnation ultimately leads to our devolving or breaking down.

What I am proposing is that we ultimately have a choice: breakthrough and embrace our personal evolution or coast in the comfort zone and begin the withering that leads toward our breaking down. Breakdown doesn’t necessitate a psychological or emotional disaster or a profound dysfunction. It may be far more subtle but just as insidious. For the predictability of life without growth may precipitate a dulled if not depressing experience.

Humans thrive through the mechanism of resilience, as do our relationships. The word resilience should not suggest the ability to ward off mishaps and struggles, but to actually integrate them into our being. Challenges to our stability are opportunities in disguise. The crisis ordinarily presents an opportunity. Embracing uncertainty and discomfort may very well usher in the long awaited breakthrough. We need to thrive, not just survive.

More From Mel Schwartz

Podcast 093: Become the Author of Your Thoughts

Podcast 033: Bonus Episode – Eliminate Anxiety

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