This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.
“If I could wave a magic wand and gambling was no longer a problem for you, how would your life be different?”
This might seem like a strange question, considering there is no such thing as a magic wand and gambling is a very serious issue.
Counsellors ask this type of question because focusing on possibilities, rather than problems, can help you immensely with motivation.
Take a moment to imagine if your gambling problem disappeared overnight:
- How would your life be different?
- What sort of things might be possible?
Here are some quotes from clients who have been asked that question:
‘I would finally be able to focus on my kids and parenting, instead of always feeling guilty and ashamed about what I’m doing’.
‘I would feel less depressed and would be able to hold my head high again’
‘I could buy my own house and feel safe and comfortable in retirement’
‘My relationship would be much better as there would be no trust issues.’
Some really amazing and thought provoking answers wouldn’t you agree?
The reason we ask this type of question is because it is good to have something to aim for. Imagining how we can change our gambling behaviour means that we are imagining a different future – where a lot of the problems that are dragging us down are gone. This vision of a more positive future can help keep us motivated when times are tough.
The hard work begins
Asking you these questions isn’t quite the end of it, now comes the hard work – remembering the negative impacts of gambling and actually making changes. This could include going to see a gambling help counsellor who can help you put in place some strategies to work towards meeting your goals.
Whatever goal you are trying to achieve, having something to aim for is a key part of the process. You might be aiming for a better relationship, spending more time with your grandchildren, a new car or better health, just pick something that is important to you. Thinking about the possibilities and keeping focused on our goals can keep us on track when things get tough.
Now, take a moment to think for yourself:
What would be possible for you if gambling was no longer a problem?
You might just find that you have been missing out on something positive, because your gambling has been taking up all your attention.
To talk to someone about these possibilities call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858. Alternatively, you can go to the Gambling Help NSW website to read what other people have experienced in their journey to recovery.