As we’re discussing how to find a supervisor and all the things you need to know to find the best person and situation for you, I want to pause and talk about mindset. Our mindset is the key to nearly everything.
Have you ever noticed that everything starts with how you think or feel about a certain thing? If I think I can’t do this task of getting into private practice while pre-licensed, then I’ll find information to confirm that. If I think I’m too shy to approach people to network with and don’t really want to work on that aspect of myself, then I’ll find ways to confirm that. However, imagine we flip the script and you’re now whisked into a space where you can envision that getting into private practice while you’re pre-licensed is possible and doable? Imagine you can become less shy and more confident by finding a good therapist to work on yourself.
What we’re talking about here is your mindset. There are both conscious and sub-conscious processes occurring within us since many aspects of who we are lie just beneath consciousness, but guide our behavior nonetheless.
Over time through all kinds of experiences and scenarios–especially in early childhood–we’re shaped and molded into who we are and how we operate in the world. There are reasons we do what we do and feel what we feel. (and these traits and perspectives can shift over time due to our brain’s ability to re-wire, called neuroplastity.)
For the purpose of this article, I want to give you some mindset tips that can apply to wherever you’re at in your journey. Whether you’re seeking out a supervisor in private practice, doing the marketing and advertising you need to do, or just about anything else, these tips can help.
The way I’ve been able to stay on course and stay pretty strong is to master an increasing awareness of my own issues and tendencies. Granted, I haven’t arrived in this area, but I maintain committed to learning about myself and others.
These guiding principles can help clear your mind when the stress kicks in. These can also help you stay nimble and create an adjusted course of action.
Let’s face it, our mindset is the key to resilience. And, resilience, or the ability to be nimble, is what we’re after since it’s empowers us to navigate difficulties without a lot of breakdown. To bounce back and keep going. To not feel taken down. Now, I’m not pretending to be 100% confident or perfectly resilient myself but I have found some things that help a lot.
- When things don’t seem possible. I remember, “More is possible than you can think, ask or imagine.” Our finite minds cannot always predict how problems will resolve or pathways will clear for us. What may seem impossible or daunting is more doable than you believe. I say this because I’m living in that. Things I thought I may never accomplish I’ve done. I’ve learned that I never know who’ll come into my life, or what opportunities can be created by recognizing that “much more is possible than I can see right now.” That, coupled with the faith that your efforts will pay off in some fashion, can take you far. There are a lot of intangibles in life. And you can get the resources and guidance you need for just about anything these days.
- When things turn upside down and aren’t turning out well. I remember, “All things are redeemable.” It’s a way to take a meta perspective of the situation, that all things in reality are working together for good. The reality is when we set out to do something, problems and obstacles will inevitably arise. Whether those obstacles are external or within us, being alive means we’ll encounter some level of resistance. When I accept that, then I become curious about the problem and figure out what I need to learn. If I learn a lesson from each problem I face, then it’s all worth it or redeemable. We begin to see that any big project or undertaking is a growth and learning process. We can lean into that and roll with the punches so to say!
- When I am disappointed by situations or others, I recall that “All I have control over is myself and most people are doing the best they can with where they’re at in life.” Knowing my own humanity and areas I still need to grow in makes it easier to accept others for who they are. And I can draw appropriate boundaries if needed while remaining forgiving. Rather than judge someone negatively I can seek to understand them or a situation so I don’t allow any ill feelings to fester. If we feel wronged or misunderstood, that can be triggering and lead to worse actions. So, learning how to let go and forgive is a practice that’ll benefit you for years to come. Remembering we are all the same in our humanity brings humility and grace.
- When efforts don’t seem to be paying off and the going gets tough. “With the right action at the right time in the right context, I’ll eventually see progress.” Getting the right guidance and support you need to accomplish a project or task can make the difference between giving up and keeping going. When mishaps or challenges occur, I say “This too shall pass.” Garnering support has made a big impact and helps me continually navigate and make course corrections where needed.
My last but not least mindset tip: Committing to having a growth mindset allows you to embrace learning curves and challenges. Ever since I got into this field, I’ve been all about my personal growth and helping others improve their lives. It’s a parallel process: As I help myself work on my issues I’m better equipped to help others. And because life is a dichotomy of opportunity and obstacles, accepting this reality helps me see I have choices. With each choice, there’s a risk. So, I try to find the balance between a risk worth taking and a safe bet. Then, I gather what I need to make a good decision and take what seems to be the right action to keep going! It all comes back to what goes on in our minds.
Tyra Butler is a licensed psychotherapist and she delivers her exclusive content via her email list, including blogs, motivational and inspirational pieces, free advice and other valuable resources. Sign up for her list here. She works with pre-, provisionally-licensed and early career therapists to help them find paid work, start and grow their practices and make important decisions and career moves. She offers coaching and consultation, and as a professional writer provides copywriting coaching to create web site and marketing content. She also teaches on entrepreneurship and and helps formulates innovative ideas to create additional income. She’s also the founder of the Facebook group Early Career Clinician Community where she gives some of her best tips and inspiration to succeed on the road to licensure. Tyra has been in private practice for 10 years, with 15 years in mental health, business and professional copywriting. Learn more about her services and blog here. Contact her here.