In past blogs I wrote about being OK with asking for what you want and how the Universe will provide the how if you are clear in what you are asking for. This week I am going to focus on how to have clarity with yourself about what you want.
When I left agency work to go into private practice, I was really burnt out. Not burnt out on helping people, but on the bureaucracy of working in agencies. So I went into private practice with a clear vision of what I didn’t want. However, I had only a vague idea of what I wanted my private practice to be.
I was also experiencing a lot of fear—fear of not being to support my family, fear that I didn’t know how to be an entrepreneur, and a general fear of failure. Avoiding failure was a driving force in my life. I was a driven, type A, do a good job and follow the rules kinda girl. Beyond the ethical rules of my profession, there weren’t any rules for private practice.
In addition, I had never thought about how isolating private practice would feel for an extrovert like me. I was used to working as part of a team. Private practice felt very lonely for me. In addition to losing my work peers, to save money I was socializing less with my friends. I even gave up attending some fitness classes to cut back expenses. So my world became smaller and more solitary.
As I fumbled my way forward, I was frustrated and confused. I didn’t have clarity about what I wanted and needed from my practice (besides a living wage!). I started working part-time for a group practice to be able to interact with other people. I found a local association of therapists and started attending business groups and other peer events.
But fundamentally I was afraid of failing. I was so afraid of failing that I couldn’t even envision what I wanted my practice to look like. That fear led me to take a job at yet another agency as a supervisor. I felt like I had failed. Interestingly, this released me from my fear of failure. I had failed and yet the world didn’t end.
Once I felt financially secure again, I was able to focus on what I really wanted (besides a steady income). While I worked for the agency, I continued to build a part-time private practice, create a community of peers, and started to clearly envision what I wanted my full-time private practice to look like.
I had a vision of a collaborative of counselors who supported and helped one another: a group that believed in abundance versus competition. I wanted the autonomy of a private practice within a supportive group of like-minded peers. I had a vision of a full-time practice filled with clients who were a great match to my healing skill set. I even envisioned it being based in an old house.
Fast-forward a few years. . .
Today my full-time private practice is based within the Chrysalis Healing Collaborative. The CHC is a group of clinicians with separate private practices who support and work together in a spirit of cooperation. I have a full caseload of great clients. Oh, and we are even located in a comfortable, funky old house.
My fear of failure made it impossible for me to have a clear vision of what I truly wanted. Once I faced my fear, I was able to clearly envision what I wanted and start moving in the direction of my vision.
Don’t let fear keep you from having clarity with yourself about what you want.