I often preach that an important facet of self-care is goal setting and the follow through. We usually know what we need to do to take care of ourselves. However, we can be unsure of how to execute our plan, feel like it’s too much effort, or struggle to find the motivation.
With that being said, my ultimate career goal has always been to open up my own counseling private practice that focuses on all aspects of well-being. After holding onto this dream for the last fifteen years, it felt like it was time. I had more than enough experience and knowledge about counseling. There was still a lot of risk though. I would be the big cheese, the big kahuna, the boss. There would be no supervisors or owners to take the brunt of responsibility and shield me from mistakes. Unchartered territory sat on the horizon in that I am a counselor by trade and not a businessman. I also needed the necessary funding to get it all in place.
To say the least, I was reluctant. Whether or not she likes it, I still credit my amazing girlfriend for being the catalyst behind my private practice. After several conversations about how unhappy I was with my position, she pushed me to start piecing together my dream. Honestly, sometimes we just need to hear it from others.
For that story, see my post back from February: https://caringcounselor.blog/2023/02/10/youre-doing-it/
Going back to November 2022, the roller coaster began. I dug my heels in and started the research process. I asked around about electronic health records, leasing opportunities, finances, and government regulations. Some of it I had some semblance of what I was doing. Most of it I barely ever looked into.
This is where I relied heavily on another one of my self-care philosophies- be honest with yourself and know your own limitations. I was not going to jump blindly into opening up a practice. I wanted to understand how each facet operates and keep my fine-tuned, well-oiled machine going full speed ahead. I was not afraid to reach out to my friends, colleagues, and family for help. If I knew someone who specialized in an area I struggled, I asked them questions. I will be forever grateful for those who helped me out over the course of the last six months (You know who you are if you’re reading this.).
I had my doubts and bouts of panic all throughout the process. Thankfully, I didn’t hit too many speed bumps, but I had people I could rely on to give me a much needed pep talk. I set a soft deadline of mid-May to be out of my job and opening up my doors. Before I knew it, I was not only set up, but I did so nearly two months ahead of time.
I could not have done it without the right mentality either. I knew what I was getting myself into and was well aware that it was not an easy process. It was going to be a lot of work, and ultimately it was. I was hungry though. I had a four-course meal in front of me and prepared myself to eat it up. I grabbed my fork and knife and never went back. I kept going until the plate was clean.
I did it. I am here. I am sitting in my office typing away. I made it. I followed through on a vision and implemented several key self-care principles that got me to where I needed to be. It shows how essential it is to have those in place even when life feels “normal.” That way when shit hits the fan and your stress levels are through the roof, it feels like second nature.
Time to keep on doing it.
-The Caring Counselor