From Breakdown to Breakthrough. Professional Counselors Deserve Healing Too!

As mental health providers, we are often shocked when life hits us hard. Somehow many have grown to think they’re immune to the challenges of life. When we do face them, we question our effectiveness with our clients. How could we possibly help someone else when we’re having a breakdown ourselves?

You can and you will. I’m sure you do it all the time with up to 20+ clients a week. Your clients don’t know the difference because it’s their therapy so they’re totally focused on themselves. Breakthroughs may be few and far in between but one thing’s for sure; If you don’t have good self-care, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually have a breakdown. Often times this manifests as a mental breakdown and sometimes our bodies start giving out too. That’s when the physical symptoms you’re complaining to your doctor about come into play. Has she been able to diagnose you yet? If your doctor is like mine during my burnout days, you’re probably being encouraged to take a look at whether or not your job is a good fit and then comes the suggestion you meet with…you guessed it, a therapist! lol

You may have walked away from that expensive appointment asking “Why is this happening to me?” or “I help so many people. Why do I deserve this?” We ask this question even though we know good darn and well that it was inevitable for it to happen to us. Our workload as therapists is often unsustainable. Breaks are few and far in between and self-care goes out the window when you can barely make it to the grocery store after your shift due to fatigue. Since you likely can’t do much about the “system” or anything to reduce your caseload, you have to think outside the box. This is where some good mindset work comes in.

With a growth mindset, one would answer it by saying “This is happening to me because there’s a lesson I need to learn. How can I grow and heal from this?” If you’re prone to more of a limited mindset, you might think “Whoa is me. It’s happening again. Such is my life!” This is where the comparison game starts to take over. Maybe you envy your coworker who’s up for a raise. She’s also the one that answers all the questions in those clinical meetings with textbook answers as if her brain stored all the information from the NCC exam. You can roll your eyes now…I won’t tell anyone! 🙂

Comparison steals joy…

It’s not that she’s any better than you, love. In fact, she too might be having multiple breakdowns a year. She’s just better at hiding it or maybe she’s doing the internal work and really doesn’t feel as burned out as you do. It’s not that you’re less deserving of healing. It’s likely that you’ve chosen to sit in that sunken place for so long that you’ve joined with it. Now you’re married with burnout and in your mind, there’s no option for a divorce. That’s when you challenge what your mind says about how stuck you are, examine it and discard all the ideas that don’t serve you. Then, you embrace the breakdown head on.

The positive side of breakdowns…

Here’s the thing about breakdowns. They often proceed something great. They’re a sign you’re alive and can still feel. Give yourself a pat on the back-you’re human! 

I get it-they’re inconvenient but here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t fret if you’re experiencing a breakdown over let’s say…thoughts about what to do with your career as a Professional Counselor

1. Breakdowns are an opportunity to learn. Out with the old and in with the new. Expect a rebirth when you’re done if you’re willing to do the internal work.

2. It’s a sign you’ve been suppressing something and it’s time to let it out. You’ve helped everyone else but yourself. When’s your turn? Here’s where you analyze all the things you’ve missed out on due to your symptoms. It’s worth it to press forward.

3. This is where major growth happens for many people because they’re to the breaking point and are no longer willing to live with all the pain. It’s time to heal and being ready is not a requirement. This is necessary for you to move forward.

Would you like help with the healing process? For many people, even acknowledging the positive side of a breakdown is too overwhelming because they don’t know where to start. That’s when you need someone to guide you through the process, point out the things you can’t see and hold you accountable for taking action on the things you want to change.

If that’s you, I invite you to book a complimentary Discovery Call so that we can discuss where you are currently and what you think is blocking you from getting to the next step. In the meantime, I encourage you to do some journaling about what life looks like if you don’t make a change. Sometimes that’s the push counselors need.

As always, I truly hope this blog post is helpful for you. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section and don’t forget to book your Discovery Call HERE.

Until next time,

Marquita

The Counselor’s Mindset Coach

Marquita Myrick helps passionate Professional Counselors heal from burnout, transform their mindset and deal with their money blocks in a safe space so they can pursue the life they deserve

Faith and discouragement…what you MUST know to push forward…

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

Now this is a topic many are afraid to Google. It has become a way of life for many as they deal with the trails of life and often become stuck in discouragement. One minute you’re feeling a little down and the next minute you’re complaining to everyone you know, cancel dinner with your friend and your voice is getting too loud when responding to the daily trials of parenthood. It’s important to ask “What are the causes of discouragement?” And if you’re a believer, “What is said about discouragement in the bible?”

You probably weren’t expecting this post to get biblical but here’s the truth…I’m a Christian. It’s the foundation of who I am as a woman, wife, mother, and all the many roles I play. So it will be interwoven in this blog as I merge all the parts of myself. No apologies. It’s important to note that my practice of counseling and coaching have always been guided by this identity however, it has never impeded my ability to help anyone who doesn’t share the same beliefs. 🙂

Now back to the topic at hand…

So where does discouragement even start? A basic definition is that it means to deprive of confidence, hope or spirit. It can begin when minor problems or pressures begin to affect your emotions. You might be more inclined to keep this to yourself at this stage but you’ll know it’s major when pressure mounts, your spirit is impacted and others begin to notice. Complain often? It’s understandable. You probably feel a need to vent and get confirmation you’re not losing your mind! Let’s take an example from the bible…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

In this passage, Joshua is called to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. We can imagine it being a great challenge to engage in battle, claim land from its’ current inhabitants AND provide spiritual leadership. This challenge, however, was one in which God knew to provide words of strength and peace. Words have power. This scripture alone has lifted my spirit during the darkest of times. Using a combination of scripture, self-motivation, mindset work, prayer and meditation, you too can release yourself from the grip of discouragement.

Try some of these the next time you feel discouraged…

1. Take your favorite Bible scripture, write it on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror or another place you visit often.

2. Take time to pray or meditate. It is said that prayer is when we speak to God and meditation is when we are silent and wait to hear what he has to say to us.

3. Engage in positive mindset practice. One way you can do this is by embracing challenges as opportunities. For example, if you’re discouraged about finances, what lesson are you learning about your spending, saving habits? What are you learning about planning for the future? Even further, if you’re not where you want to be financially, what lessons were you taught about money as a child? Challenge those as often as you can. It’s a gift that we get to set new rules and standards as adults.

4. Seek support from a trusted friend or professional. It’s okay to admit you’re in the sunken place…just don’t stay there long. Maybe you have a friend who’s been through the same thing or maybe you’re experiencing severe discouragement and it’s time to seek out the help of a professional. You know you best so trust in your ability to make a good decision here.

Today’s post is meant to give you hope. Be strong and courageous as you embrace the challenges of life. Remember that you can’t go around them, going through them IS your only option so take a look at how you embrace challenges and identify where positive change can be made. It is my hope that you finish this post with inspiration and if you want more weekly inspiration, sign up for emails from your favorite Mindset Coach HERE.

My best,

Marquita

The Counselor’s Mindset Coach

Can you see the finish line?


Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I was listening to this YouTube video from Jon Gordon yesterday and he was sharing the moment when most marathon runners give up. Apparently, mile 20/26. I was shocked because you’d think if they make it that far, there’s a “I can’t give up, I’ve come too far!” mentality. 

Jon went on to say that people don’t quit when they’re one mile from the finish line because they can see it. The power of vision is huge! This got me to thinking about things in the past I’ve given up on. Lately I’ve been embracing everything from swimming to standing within 5 feet of my friend’s snake tank—both things I wouldn’t have attempted four years ago. So what changed?

In short, I did an overhaul on my mindset. It was much needed despite everyone thinking Professional Counselors must be the most positive people on earth! Nobody’s perfect people. In doing that work, a focus on practicing visualization had to happen to strengthen vision and belief. Do you have a vision? If you do, you have the power to make something special happen in your life. You’ve probably heard this phrase.

“If you can see it, you can achieve it.” 

If you’ve found yourself in a place where dreaming has come to a screeching halt, know that there’s hope. Sometimes doing it for ourselves alone isn’t the thing that pushes us and in fact, it is the case for many that playing big to help others keeps them going. Try these simple steps if you need to get back in touch with your vision.

  1. Decide what it is you really want. No holding back here. Imagine the sky is the limit!
  2. Commit to showing up. Let’s get real…not much is achieved without taking some form of action.
  3. Be willing to receive help. Often times we get stuck and give up because of that “Do it yourself.” mentality. We aren’t on earth alone. There are people strategically placed in your life for a reason. Ask for help.
  4. Embrace the challenges that may come. They are there to make you stronger. Remember that one day your story could impact millions!
  5. Keep going until your vision/dream has manifested. This step is important. If you’ve ever read “Think & Grow Rich,” you’ll know why. 😉

That’s all for today friends. I truly hope this blog post has inspired you to either identify your dream or recommit to the one you already have. If you’re a Professional Counselor looking for support around mindset, healing from burnout and removing mental blocks, I’d love to have you join my Facebook group, Mindset Healing for Counselors. You can join HERE.

With much gratitude,

Marquita (The Counselor’s Mindset Coach)

I Quit!!

What happens when excitement trades places with career burnout.

Burnout, a term described as a special type of work-related stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, it involves a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. This is something I’ve experienced personally in the field as a Professional Counselor and have also witnessed my colleagues suffer from it as well. It’s tough going through it yourself and sometimes knowing your co-workers are also burned out is a relief–it validates you as not going crazy! It’s also a warning sign that something’s not right about the organization you’re working for. So what happens when that initial excitement for your career fades?

 You might can relate to the anxiety as you drive in to work or enter a meeting. Maybe you spend your lunch breaks crying in your car or dreading that drive to the next client’s home. It can get hard to hold your head up while eating dinner with your spouse when you’re fighting back tears. I get you…I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty!

So what can you do about it? “I quit!!” are the words that ran through my head often when I was in the field. Some days I meant it and other days it just felt good to let it out and feel like I had some sense of control. Ultimately, there are steps you can take to get a handle on burnout.

Steps to Burnout Freedom:

Step 1: Evaluate your options. Can you choose the type of clients you work with? Do you have flex time? Have you checked out other jobs you might be a good fit for? You don’t have to remain in a work situation that stresses you out to the max. We all have choices.

Step 2: Focus on healing. What would it look like for you to heal from burnout? Write it down. Visualize what the new you looks like. Does she take on less “extra” workload? Maybe she attends more professional development activities to get a break. Does the healed version of you actually take vacation instead of saying to herself “I can’t take off. My clients need me!”

Step 3: Seek support from a qualified professional. Now here’s where you can get creative. You’re a counselor so I imagine you already believe in the benefit of therapy. If you feel that would be the best option, find someone who’s a good fit. Some counselors have a hard time going to therapy because they don’t feel they have a mental illness. If that’s you, getting a coach to help you walk over the burnout bride to healing is also a great idea. (Shameless plug…I’m here for ya when you need me. 😉 You can always incorporate some healing strategies on your own as well. Exercise, better sleep hygiene, mindfulness and relaxing activities such as yoga or meditation can do wonders for you.

These steps aren’t meant to be overwhelming. It’s important that you realize how much control you have and increase your energy so you’re able to take an active role in your healing. If you want a safe place to vent and get support from other professionals who are also healing, visit my Facebook group “Mindset Healing for Counselors” at http://bit.ly/2GpI6mE . Until next time, love.

Marquita-The Counselor’s Mindset Coach

Conquering Fear With 3 Simple Mindset Steps

Have you ever woke up and decided you’re ready to overcome fear but took no action because you didn’t know where to start? If so, this blog post is for you.

Yesterday, I took my first adult swimming lesson. Now before you start to wonder why today’s topic is about swimming and not Mindset Coaching, hold your horses because I promise to tie all of this in. 🙂

Back to the story. As a child, I was fearful of water…deathly afraid to be exact. The thought that drowning was possible made the idea of even trying too much to face. So I barely passed the class with my sister and our supportive parents didn’t push because “If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to do it.” Looking back, I understand they were giving us autonomy. As an adult with kids, I now question how much I’ll push my kiddos when it really comes to facing fear…especially when those fears involve basic life lessons that one should know. Fast forward to being a mom in her mid-thirties (That’s all I’m willing to admit. lol) with 2 young children who love water, I had no choice but to enroll them and myself in lessons. You read into that correctly…my fear of drowning even extended to them.

So what fears are holding you back in adulthood? Which ones might you pass on to your kids if you don’t face them? Generational fear can be passed down and someone has to break the cycle. Will that be you? If I still have your attention, then I’d bet my money that it won’t. Here are 3 mindset steps to help you conquer fear.

  1. Explore your fear’s origin. Was it something that originated in your childhood? What message did you learn about fear of ____?
  2. Take action by visualizing yourself engaging in that fear. (i.e. If your fear is swimming, visualize yourself feeling comfortable in the water, floating and smiling as your kids watch you naturally engage in swim.)
  3. Utilize affirmations that help your sub-conscious mind embrace a new way of relating to your old fear. (i.e. “I enjoy learning to swim.” “I feel relaxed in the water.”)

If you practice those 3 steps consistently on repeat, you can embrace your fears in a way that’s comfortable and empowering. I’m living proof that it CAN be done! Also, if you have a fear of changing careers due to say fear of being judged by colleagues, fear that you won’t be successful, fear of learning something new, you can use these same steps to conquer that as well. Consistency is the key here.

If you enjoyed today’s post and would like to join a community of like-minded counselors who are all looking to heal their mindset wounds, consider joining my Facebook group “Mindset Healing for Counselors” HERE. See you on the inside!

Xoxo,

Marquita