Last week we worked on identifying who you are and what you want. Now comes the truly hard part. You start to actually lean into who you are, what you need, and be more of your true self on a daily basis.
While I think what Brene Brown has done for the general population is great, I think her impact on mental health professionals is much more powerful. Many of us went through training and had personal and professional experiences that were focused on easing into the background, becoming other focused, and discounting our own intuition and insights. The truth is, it is scary as hell to say what we really want as therapists..
Why Is Saying What We Want So Scary?
The truth is, there are a lot of burnt out, overwhelmed therapists out there. And, like it or not, burnt-out people aren't always their highest and best self and kind to their coworkers, colleagues, employees, and supervisees. Unfortunately, a lot of us have experienced a great deal of negativity or downright hostility and abuse when doing simple things like:
- Expressing preferences
- Attempting to set healthy boundaries
- Advocating for our clients
- Declining to do things against the code of ethics
- Declining to do things that were illegal
- Gently informing others of the risks of illegal practices
- Verbalizing real physical and emotional limitations
Somewhere along the way, scheduling 35-60 clients a week and requiring 30+ minutes of paperwork per client became acceptable within many organizations. Asking therapists to work within theoretical constructs that didn't mesh well with clients, or that plain were not working was normal. And threatening people's jobs if they commented on illegal or unethical behaviors became commonplace.
I have been working with therapists for a LONG time… and I hold so many alarming stories in my heart and my head that I will never have permission to share. Suffice it to say- many therapists have been abused within our own profession by colleagues and supervisors that should have been there to support them... I choose to believe these therapists were simply passing down a cycle of abuse that was taught to them and that comes out during times of extreme stress.
Many of the clients that Kelly and I work intensely with during our lifetime Business School Bootcamp for Therapists identify true and real trauma related to running their business. Trauma from colleagues that leads to symptoms of PTSD when they attempt to be themselves, express preferences, etc. within their work. They initially think it is just simple that they are lazy, or don't have the skill level- identifying the real experiences that put another layer of stress on making a deep change can actually be quite freeing.
Time to Be You
What is keeping you from being you? Do you believe it isn't possible? Or have others convinced you that what you want isn't ok, isn't good enough, or isn't possible? Comment below with what stops you from going after what you REALLY want and who you REALLY are.
Check out our Business School Bootcamp for Therapists if you want more support in building confidence in every area of your private practice.