How To Deal With Change You Don’t Want: The Truth Will Set You Free

Published on April 28, 2012 by

How do you deal with something in your life you don't want? What really works when it comes to changing your life? Do you need to focus on the positive and pretend you aren't upset? In my last post, I dealt with how to deal with change you don't want, and the next four blog posts will continue that conversation.

I have some friends who are going through some tough things, some really tough things. One is being treated for cancer. Another is losing their house and another one has a daughter who is a drug addict. At one time, everything in their life was fine and then everything changed.

Most people aren't dealing with things on that level. but, whatever your situation in life, I know things aren't "perfect." If you are in a situation you don't want, how do you deal with it and come out the better for it?

There are some who would say to never think about the "negative." They would tell you to just stay focused on the "positive." Recently I was watching an interview with the Dalai Lama and the interviewer asked him "Do you ever get angry?" The Dalai Lama laughed and said "Of course, I'm human."

Some "prosperity" teachers actually say we should never speak or entertain thoughts of that which we don't want or we will attract the same into our life. I think that's a gross oversimplification and a standard nobody can live up to. Sometimes we just need to get things off our chest.

There's a big difference between facing and feeling what you are really thinking and feeling in the moment about a situation in your life and dwelling on "negatives" and letting them hold you hostage. As a former psychotherapist, I have helped clients deal with some of the worst things you can imagine. Even now as a coach, I help people deal with and transcend some things that cripple many people.

Here is my advice to you: If you are in a situation that has been overwhelming and you wished you didn't have to deal with; be honest about what you think and how you feel about it. The truth will set you free.

Lying to yourself and saying "All is well" when it isn't only creates an internal conflict. You will be doing a mental, emotional and spiritual tug-of-war" and it will wear you out over time. So, be honest with yourself.

Do some people get stuck at this point? Do they get stuck in the "This is horrible and there's nothing I can do to change it?" Of course, but you know that already.

The problem isn't that they are being honest about how they feel and what they think; the problem is they fail to find a way to make a shift to a higher level of consciousness, a higher level of thinking and feeling. The "problem" isn't in their being honest about how they feel in any given moment; the "problem" is they haven't yet found a way to transcend where they have been in their "problem."

But what about "The truth will set you free"? How does being honest about how you feel about a situation square with transcending that situation?

Well, there are two kinds of truth when it comes to what we are talking about. There's the truth about what you might be feeling about something in your life right now. Then there is another kind of truth that will set you free. It is the truth of a different and more empowering perspective about your situation. The kind of mental shift that shifts everything; including how you feel.

That's why it's been said that "When you change your thinking, you will change your life." Or to put it another way, "As within, so without."

So what should you do? Be honest about how you feel right now or shift your perspective? My professional experience tells me we don't have to choose between the two. In fact, being honest about how you really feel right now can prepare you for the shift you want.

The bottom line? If you think your situation sucks, then say so. Feel it. Express it.

Then, when the time is right, shift your thinking and get a different perspective; a perspective that will open up doors to solutions and the kind of action that will create a different reality to you.

In my private practice as a psychotherapist for fifteen years, I worked with a lot of clients who had been sexually abused as a child or raped as an adult. I wasn't about to tell them to just get over it and focus on the positive.

On the other hand, I didn't tell them that it was therapeutic to stay in the pain and get have their life stolen from them either. Life is about balance. Balancing what is true for me in this moment ("I hate my life") with what can be true for me in the next "moment" of my life.

So, you don't have to choose between being honest with yourself in the moment with getting to a more powerful and liberating place in your thinking and emotions. You can have both.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you, just leave a comment below.


  1. Tres Rose

    Dear Allen,
    I recently was in a situation with my fiance where it was agreed upon to go to dinner with her boss and boyfriend. We had a long drive home ahead of us and it was getting late. Everybody had a wonderful time at dinner but then my girlfriends controlling boss decided for everyone that we were going across the street to a bar. My girlfriend put up no resistance because she has a bit of a drinking problem in social situations. I was the driver and don't like drinking environments due to anxiety it gives me from my fathers alcoholism as a child. I was not happy about this internaly and my transparency shows this. My girlfriend told me I was embarrassing her with my anxiety. We sat at the bar and I had water and was quiet, feeling angry/awkward. Her controlling boss (female) then said she wanted to go to another club and that was when I said maybe next time because we had a long drive ahead of us and stuff to do the next day. Her boss then replied " Oh C'Mon, we are going because I never get to go out because of my newborn baby and busy hectic life". My fiance did not have my back and got sucked into her wishes. Might I add that the bosses boyfriend was also drinking water and told me that he did not want to go onto the next bar as well but wouldnt say anything to his girlfriend. I found this out while the women were outside smoking. We never ended up going to that 3rd place because I can only guess that my girlfriend complained how much of a square/party pooper she thinks I am. We fought the whole way home. Am I right to feel resentment towards my girlfriend and her boss. Who was in the right in this situation. How can you recommend getting out of a situation like this in the future. I don't like being controlled into doing things I'm uncomfortable with. But was I being controlling when I wanted to leave? I only agreed to dinner and I was the one driving. Maybe you could also help me reenact how this situation could have better played out. How can I communicate what my mind is going through. Also Im not sure if this is an issue but I am 40 years old and she is 28. Thank you for taking the time to help me.

    Tres Rose

    • Alan Allard


      It seems that you and your girlfriend had a clash of expectations and objectives. Your girlfriend seemed to want to please her boss over you in that situation. If so, this is a self-esteem and self-worth issue and you have a choice to make. Can you support your girlfriend in instances where she is feeling it is to risky to assert herself?

      I suggest the two of you talk about situations where she feels she needs to go along with someone to please them because she feels the risk of setting boundaries is too high. Come to agreement on different scenarios and how the two of you can compromise, depending upon how important the outcomes are to each of you.

      The situation with the boss isn't about you. It's about your girlfriend's sense of confidence and her ability to assert herself. Think ahead, and together, plan how you will handle future situations.

  2. Tres Rose

    Thank you Allen for your time and evaluatioin of my scenario. Me and my girlfriend need to communicate better on the expectations we have of one another. No need to reply back as I am so greatful that you took the time to listen to me. Keep posting your amazing articles!
    Tres Rose

    • Alan Allard

      Tres, I didn't see your first post and questions until today, so thanks for your patience in getting a reply. My best to you and your girlfriend.

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