Take a risk. Try something new. Go for it! We hear these messages throughout our life from people we care about, but no one really mentions how scary and vulnerable it can feel to try something new. So, full disclosure, this is me taking a risk and putting myself out there. My very first blog post. When I was first setting up my website I removed the option for the blog because I was scared. As many experience when first approaching a new venture, skill, or challenge, I was plagued with automatic negative thoughts. What if people hate my posts? What if I am not a good writer? If people think I am a bad writer, will they think I am a bad therapist too? What if the topics I come up with are only interesting to me? What if people click off my post after 2.5 seconds or whatever Google’s formula is for a successful hit on the web? And the biggest question, what if all of these automatic negative thoughts are true, what does that say about me as a person, as a therapist, as a wife, as a mother? If we are inside our head too much, it can feel overwhelming and immobilizing. The blog never would be written and I could be missing out on an opportunity to learn, grow, and change.
Then I thought about it some more. Here I am, developing a website to provide information about me and my private therapy practice. Beginning therapy is probably up there with one of the biggest risks someone can take. It can be totally scary to share your story with a stranger, even though they are a professional trained to provide support. Just because OB-GYNs do pap smears all day does not make it any more enjoyable as the patient. Therapy can be a vulnerable place. People have shared what makes attending therapy so difficult. For some it is uncomfortable to feel raw and exposed and not know what might come up for them, what they might learn about themselves, and whether or not this is truly going to be a place without judgment. The other piece is it takes time to build trust to share the heavier stuff and sometimes people feel worse before getting to where they want to be. People who have come in and stuck with therapy really do benefit. Clients have shared they are able to understand reasons for their behaviors, learn to be present with strong emotions, even the ones that do not feel so good. My clients learn to set healthier boundaries with others they care about, as well as themselves. Many clients have become empowered to make positive changes in their lives, whether that be a new job, new relationship, or start doing things to address their needs and wants. People learn to live healthier lives and have more confidence. Clients have also learned how to make meaning out of death, losses, trauma, and the really difficult things in life. I would not have witnessed these transformations with all of my clients if they had not taken the initial risk to come in to therapy. So, I am putting myself out there along with my current and future clients and taking a risk. Small goals are the most attainable and give me a sense of accomplishment, therefore, I am going to commit to blog at least monthly for now. I may try post articles I find that are interesting and relative to the work I am doing with clients. Or, some posts may be on topics that come up about therapy like grief, relationships, trauma, or communication. Either way, it is true. After taking the risk it feels good and I am empowered to explore this new art of blogging. Just no judging. Remember, it is the first one.