Live :: Optimistically :: Through :: Universal :: Struggles
As I sit and write my very first blog, I am feeling inspired, nervous and excited all at once. Will people want to read what I say? As thoughts are flowing in my head, I make the decision to follow through and start a new leg of this journey. This journey started three years ago, when I opened my private practice. It started off as one day a week and continued to grow to meet the needs of my growing clientele. I have worked hard towards my ultimate goal of becoming my own boss, making my own hours and working with the clients that I love.
For the past 7 years, I have been in my comfort zone. I am a successful psychologist at a rural community mental health center. I have a steady panel of clients and great relationships with other psychologists and health care professionals. I am comfortable and safe. But I am a gypsy at heart. Travel and change are not new to me, I typically revel in it. Yet, this challenge of starting this blog intimidates me. As my mind starts racing and nervousness overpowers the inspiration, I remind myself that as intimidating as this new venture can be, this is not a solo journey. It is a journey with you, and that excites me! I am always up for a challenge. I pride myself in doing my best to set a good example for my clients. What better time is there to set an example than now?
Is it normal to feel inspired, nervous and excited? Is it okay to feel more then one emotion? The answer is yes, there are no right and wrong emotions. We are allowed to have more then one feeling. We must remind ourselves that it is okay to sit and acknowledge any and all of our current emotions. It is okay to just be. When we allow ourselves to just be, we allow ourselves to feel and know. I, too, must remind myself to just sit, feel and reflect, to understand why I feel this way, where are my thoughts coming from.
I come from a Cognitive Behavioral Framework where I innately believe there is a chain-link of responses to a situation. Sometimes the situation is something that we do not have any control over (like if it rains), other times we have a little more influence on the situation (choosing to become my own boss). Every situation is followed by a thought. The thought can be either negatively or positively charged. Depending on how the thought is charged, it creates a chain reaction of behavior – negative thought, negative feeling, negative behavior OR positive thought, positive feeling, positive behavior. The choice is yours. Negative thoughts often come more easily and it takes about 3-5 positive thoughts to return back to our baseline. In my sessions, I often use worksheets or charts to help better explain the concepts we are working on. The chart below, demonstrates how a situation elicits a thought, which is connected to an emotion, which leads to our behavior.
We sometimes feel that we have no control over the situation. In reality, sometimes we don’t. We can not control whether it rains or pours. What we do have control over is how we react to the situation, we can choose to mope around and wish for change or we can be the catalyst of change and change our reaction of the situation. Having the power to control our thoughts, which lead to how we feel and what we do keeps us in control. It makes us powerful! We don’t have to fear change, we can be the change.
I accept the challenge to be on this journey of change with you. Cheers to change, facing our fears and choosing to be in control of how we think, feel and do! Together we can be the change in the world! I am ready are you?