I remember when I first knew I wanted to re-train as a psychotherapist. Up to then, I’d spent a while feeling directionless and unfulfilled. I was attending evening classes in Art & Design at my local college, I felt disappointed with my life and I was enjoying the course less and less each week. One evening, I decided I’d had enough of the course and would not be returning. As I was leaving after that last class, I saw a simple flyer on the college noticeboard advertising a 6-week introduction course in counselling. I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do: I wanted to be a psychotherapist. I didn’t know what it would take to achieve it, or how long; I just knew I wanted to do it. I enrolled that evening, started the class the following week and 6 years of study later, I was collecting my BA in Humanistic Counselling at my University’s degree award ceremony. I found myself set on a path of life-long learning, growing and changing.
That word, change, is important because it’s a double-edged sword. It offers all sorts of possibilities, good and bad. Had I paused to think about my career choice, had I stopped to pick the bones out of it, analyse it, think of all the possibilities, then I may not even have started in the first place. Why? Because I would have got scared of change. It’s natural. Most people don’t like change, often we’re afraid of it. Why? Because it involves letting go of the known and embracing the unknown. It involves getting past the limitations that you create for yourself inside your own mind. How do I do that? First, realise that you create some of your own limitations. I say some, because obviously not everyone can be an astronaut or an Olympic swimmer (just a couple of extreme examples), but for the most part, your mindset is probably your biggest limitation. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot.
Just ask yourself the following questions: First, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and then, “How would I cope with it?” Most people can actually cope with much more than they think they can, it’s just fear of the unknown that makes them believe they can’t cope.
So if most of your fears are illusions, what is stopping you from achieving what you want in life? If that questions seems too much to answer, then remember you can reach out for help – seeking help is not weak, it’s strong.
15th August 2015