Forever and ever I’ve wanted to be an author. And forever and ever I thought that was impossible. See, I’ve got this eye thing from childhood seizures (long story, I’m fine now) that makes it really hard for my eyes to see typos (I also CANNOT find Waldo, but that’s a story for another day). And to me, that felt like an insurmountable problem!
It’s not like people didn’t like my writing… they would read my blogs, and told me they enjoyed my emails… but I assumed they liked it because I have a quirky sense of humor, not because it was GOOD or anything like that.
Or at least that’s what I told myself because:
If you’re a therapist, there’s a good chance you are. I mean, studying psychology, counseling, and therapy basically requires an obsession with all the messy internal stuff. Who finds all of that fascinating? We introverts do!
So when it’s time for us to grow our practice, we are often uncomfortable with the social aspects: networking, creating partnerships, running events and speaking can feel downright daunting.
In fact, these things may feel like they goes against your very nature. And who wants to do that? No one… unless they can be done authentically, in a way that feels aligned with your values and infused with integrity. And, as a fellow introvert I’m here to tell you: when you find the right partners, the community you create is the golden ticket to the growth you’re looking for.
So, how can we create a powerful, fun-loving network that will turbocharge our growth?
Do you struggle to market your therapy and coaching services? You’re not alone. The truth is, the better you are at therapy and coaching, the worse you probably are at selling your services. It all comes down to “the curse of understanding,” which basically means that the expert (who has the deepest, most nuanced understanding of how to solve the problem) is cursed by her knowledge when she tries to sell her services.
Why? I’ve got a story for you …
You know how it goes- you’ve procrastinated as long as you possibly can and now, at 7pm, you sit down to finally write the blog, prepare the report, or outline the paper that has been hanging over your head all day. As you sit down to write you feel panicked and exhausted; your self-control is out the window.
Not the best recipe for success!
This used to happen to me all the time. In graduate school, I would often write papers that important people would read and judge me upon. Those people decided on what opportunities came my way and my future job prospects would hinge on their good word. So those papers mattered a lot.
Despite that pressure (or, perhaps, because of it) I’d spend all day avoiding it before forcing myself to sit down and do the work. I’d trick myself to get started (I’ll just write an outline!) and then before I knew it I would be working away with no resistance…but not for long. I’m a morning person and at around 9pm my brain begins to shut down completely. Since I began at 7, I’d be too tired to go on after only a couple of hours of work.
There are a lot of haters on the internet when it comes to New Year Resolutions. I, on the other hand, am on the record declaring my love for the timeless tradition of the New Year Resolution, and urging you to ignore the cynics.
The statistics about “only 8% of resolutions coming true” encompass EVERYONE. But don’t forget, there are those who never meant their resolutions- they just wanted to have something to say when asked. Obviously, these people will NOT keep their resolutions. Then there are those who make miracle wishes that they have no faith in, and that’s obviously not going to work.
Is there something that you want to do for yourself… but no matter how good your intentions, you just don’t do it? You aren’t alone.
I met Andrea back in 2014 (3 years ago, almost exactly) at a conference for transfer school educators in New York City that takes place every June. I complimented on the cover photo on her phone, an adorable picture of her then-three-year-old daughter at Easter. The photo captured the little girl’s intense delight with the stuffed bunny in her basket, and it was just the right mixture of adorable and silly.
Those of us in the helping professions (therapy, coaching, education, nursing, social work, etc) are really, really good at taking care of others…. and really, really bad at taking care of ourselves. We give everything we have to our clients and if we aren’t careful, we can end up wrung out and miserable.
This has to stop. And the first step is the hardest.
For three years I worked with hundreds of educators to create classrooms where students are better able to persist when their school work gets hard. As the standards are raised more students are struggling and many of our students are shutting down in response. We worked to shift mindsets so that students would believe that they could overcome these challenges, and would be willing to keep going when things got hard.
As is true with all work done in schools, some educators took it on, grappled with it, made shifts to their day-to-day life and had transformative effects. I’ve heard stories of students who had never worked independently before suddenly asking questions, finishing their work and doing revisions! Those stories are amazing and they make the work worth doing… but let’s not forget that there are also schools where nothing really changes. Though the schools have new data, classroom cultures aren’t shifting and students aren’t transforming. Why?
You know the old saying about how something can be “a blessing and a curse?” Well, I believe that this is always true. I often remind myself:
As an example, I am an introvert. Score! I have a rich inner life, I don’t need gadgets to keep me entertained, I don’t get hurt when people ignore me (because I don’t notice), and I’ve saved hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on social outings. Blessing.