Difficult Situation Worksheet – Creating Change

Often when something in our life is troubling we immediately want it to change. Addicts are good at looking outside themselves for solutions. I mean that is what the substance or behavior is about, finding a solution to a problem, right? Looking outside our self to place the blame on a person or situation and trying to control the outcome in order to feel better isn’t always the answer.

Here is a series of questions that if answered honestly will allow you to look at a problem or situation from the viewpoint that you somehow have played a part in it. Is it possible that you allowed someone to continue to take advantage of you? That you continue to allow someone to cross boundaries and then become upset because they are doing this to you?

Or is it possible that you just want to control a situation or are unhappy and are reacting negatively. Whereas if you allow yourself to just let go everything could be okay. Is it possible to change the way you see a situation or reframe it so you actually see some good in the way things are?.

I am not suggesting that you accept someone’s abusive behavior or stay in an intolerable situation by pretending things are okay. Just be honest and see if a change really does need to be made or are you making a problem where there isn’t one because you don’t want to focus on yourself? Is the situation tolerable for the short term?

Use the following questions to explore the situation in more detail and think about the best course of action.


1. What is a difficult or troubling situation in your life?

2. How have you played a role in creating it or allowing it to happen?

3. What are you pretending not to know?

4. What else is going on here that you have not been willing to be aware of?

5. What is the upside or benefit for keeping it like it is?

6. Is there a downside or cost for not changing it?

7. Would it be possible to just accept the situation if nothing changes? Could you actually tolerate the outcome of nothing changing?

8. What have you decided will happen if this doesn’t change? On a scale of 1 – 10 how stressful is the idea of nothing changing?

9. What are the possible outcomes?

10. What do you have control over to change here?

11. Will this change expand your life?

12. What would you rather be experiencing?

13. What actions will you take and what requests will you make to get a better outcome?

14. If you choose to make a change, by when will you take that action?

15. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest probability),how committed are you to take action?

The Keys To Successful Change

If you take the time to really answer all these questions you will give yourself the opportunity to look at a situation from multiple sides. If you haven’t done anything to change it yet, are you really ready to now? What’s different this time?

Successful change takes courage, commitment, and honesty. Along with patience and a willingness to be open and flexible. The outcome may look a little different than expected, and that may be a good thing.

Peace and happiness on your recovery path!

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