How can I compare your brain to building a house?
Bear with me while I explain...
Building a house starts with an idea.
Next come the plans and the prep work (approvals, researching builders/designs etc.).
Moving forward, the foundations need to be laid. In addition to the foundations, the plumbing needs to be placed. Then comes the framework, the roofing, the wiring, and then the actual material that the dwelling is to be made from (brick, stone, Hebel, gyprocking, etc.).
After the house has been constructed, you then add the "personal" touches - the cosmetics. You choose the fittings, fixtures, paint colours - these are the exciting bits! Finally, when it is all complete, you get to move in! You love your new home and you never want to leave!
Your friends come over and admire your choice in window treatments and colour selections. You are the envy of everyone! Life is great.
And it remains that way for a few years; however, you start to notice a few issues.
Your power points aren't working properly - each time you flick the switch, the appliance you have plugged in to them, misbehaves. You ignore it for a little while, until one day when you go to switch one of them on, there is a big spark from the outlet and then ALL your power is out. The power point triggered the safety switch to cut off your power!
Finally, you now concede that something is a bit dodgy, so you call an electrician. She turns up promptly as per your agreed time, and proceeds to look at the wiring in your house.
When she exits the roof space, she shakes her head and says, "Sorry, but this is not going to be a quick nor cheap fix; whoever did your wiring has done it all wrong and it is causing your circuitry to malfunction. You are going to need all new wiring."
Damn. You do as advised (reluctantly, because it costs a ton of money), and continue on with life.
Fast forward a few more years, and your little dwelling has become cramped due to the addition of a new family member (congratulations on the new arrival, btw).
The footprint of the house does not allow for you to extend outwards, so you consider building upward. A second storey will be the perfect solution to your lack of space.
You call the appropriate professional to assess your house, and the possibility of adding an additional storey, and he happily agrees to take a look at your home. After he has assesses the site, and has fully researched the construction of your home, he sadly reports that adding a second storey is not an option for your house; The foundations are not adequate to support the weight of further construction.
Your development and growth is not all that dissimilar to the analogy of building a house.
We are all given our foundations for life as children, via our caregivers. It is there, during our development and the laying of those foundations, where we were taught the processes and skills to navigate our way through life.
If these foundations are inadequate, how do we expect to be able to support our growth?
Alternatively, we may be working very hard at developing new constructs and growth, however, appear to be unable to move forward, or collapse under pressure. In this case, it is quite possible that we may be unaware that our foundations might not be up to par.
Our "wiring" is laid and connected from a young age by our "builders" - our caregivers and our families - in addition to environmental factors, such as social expectation, experiences, religion, culture, values etc. If that wiring wears out, becomes damaged, or was connected inappropriately in the beginning, it can lead to us "short circuiting".
This is not only detrimental to ourselves, it can also impact others; in real life, faulty wiring can cause a risk of electric shock (or fire) to all who are close by. The same is true for individuals with faulty wiring - it can cause them to react in hurtful ways towards others.
How to rebuild
When it comes to personal growth and development, it is imperative that we ensure the foundations are built to last, and are adequate to support the "load".
It is vital we ensure the wiring, and all other works, have been completed "to code".
A well-trained and experienced Coach will be able to assess your "Home" (the place you spend most of your time - your mind), and make sure that your foundations were laid with the appropriate reinforcements. If not, they are able to supply you with the tools that will enable you to "build upon the existing foundations", ensuring that they can support and facilitate psychological expansion.
They can check your "wiring" to confirm that it is in good working order, and update or rewire it if necessary.
Where the similarity of the metaphor ends
An exceptional coach will make sure that you understand every aspect of your mental abode, so that you can be sure that it is a nice place to live in. They will also teach you that construction and functionality are far more important than any "cosmetic" upgrades you will do.
And this is where houses are VERY different than personal growth; you may increase the perceived value of a house with cosmetic upgrades. However, after someone has bought your house and lived in it for a little while, it won't take them long to notice that the focus was on the "look" of the house, and not the construction; If the walls are caving in, no-one gives a shit about how nice the curtains are!
Kelly Brealey is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist and Mindset Coach. She helps women who have overcome trauma, adversity, or mental illness to be confident, happy, and successful. Not only does she possess the academic qualifications in her area of passion, Kelly has lived experience.