It's also a significant feature of the work that it's your behaviour that is the focus of change, not you. The process is around you becoming a version of you that is one who behaves in a way you prefer - a fine distinction, but one that I don't underestimate.
"Who are you?"
This question leaves many clients struggling to find an answer, as the knowledge of who you are isn't something that's often thought about. There's often a general sense that you're unhappy, or want to be "better," but the place to start that process really is in the exploration of who you actually are, now, today. It's actually a very difficult question but needs answering so the process of change can start.
"Who do you want to be?"
Another question that many people struggle to answer. I often hear answers that are very general, such as "I want to be a better partner/father/person/colleague," or "I want to be more successful."
Alternately, this is often answered in the negative, describing what you DON'T want to be: "I don't want to be angry."" I don't want to lose control."" I don't want to drink."" I don't want to hurt my family any more."
Removing the generalities and the socially constructed ideals of what being a "good" or "successful" person looks like and really getting into knowing who you want to be - not anyone else, but what you yourself choose, is the focus at this stage.
What prevents you from being that person?
As well as being confused about who we are and what we want, our behaviour can often work against us, endlessly causing our behaviour to repeat the same mistakes, creating the same regrets, and bringing us lower each time.
It's what happens when we live by habit, only knowing the one reaction, the one way to live. No matter how much you think about something, when the situation comes up, you do exactly the same thing you always do. It's frustrating and shaming, and serves only to prove to you again and again that "Yep, I'm not good enough." You feel powerless, defeated.
The work here is to learn how to stop yourself in those moments of decision, just before action, just before your habit kicks in. Stop your old self in his tracks. Assess him. Know him. And take your power back from him.
Each of us have certain things we value in ourselves and in others. These values can guide our whole lives once they are known and acknowledged. The question of who you are is answered in two ways - how you leaned to behave/be in the world as a child and young person, and what things are important to you - your values.
The question of who you want to be is a bit easier at that point, as it's likely you want to be a person who lives according to their values. The greatest unhappiness is living a life that doesn't gel with what we believe in and value. The antidote, therefore, is to begin constructing a life that matches your values. You'll then find you're on the way to being who you want to be, as living in congruence with your values is a highway to happiness.
As for your habits? As you explore who you are and who you want to be, you'll become more aware of the times you are being influenced, either internally or externally, to act in a way that doesn't reflect your values. It's incredible how transformative that moment is, as you get to take back your power and make a decision to be who you want to be - and exponentially the updated version of you, the more "you" version of you, emerges: The you of honesty, of joy, of confidence and pride. It's worth the effort!