Guest post by Hope Eden

Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”

Anne Wilson Schaef

Guest post by Hope Eden “Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” Anne Wilson Schaef

It was happening.

My worst nightmare.

I could feel my practice beginning to spin out of control.

Looking back, I now realize that, somehow, I had defaulted to the belief that — in order to be authentic — I needed to “do it all.

On my own.

Just like I had always done.

Coming from that place, my strategy for authenticity was to build a mental health private practice, from start to finish, by myself, as a wholly autonomous “solo practitioner.” Admittedly, this was an unspoken and unconscious strategy — predicated on a longstanding, perfectionistic, do-it-all-myself mindset… which the sharp realities of a thriving practice had not yet punctured.

My perception was that I had arrived and was ready to work, much like a school-aged child arrives to school, pencil in hand.

In reality, my thinking was cluttered.  I was hoarding responsibilities as if they would add to my credibility… to my identity… even to my worth.

What ended up happening what that instead of manifesting my intended systems and routines, I had stockpiled an arsenal of self-limiting responsibilities and unfinished tasks, which without question, I believed only I could execute successfully.

I had also become stuck in a cycle of thinking “I’ll get to that (and then it will be okay).”

Don’t get me wrong.  “Circling Back Around” (what I call CBA) can be a very useful tactic when mindfully enacted. But, in our line of work, with so much freaking input— and so many variables — -it’s challenging to build the CBA’s into the system.

Instead, all I created was hope…

… hope that I would “catch up.”

… hope that I would never fall behind again.

… and, hope that my bandwidth would somehow match the demands that my practice would inevitably place on me as a business owner.

The reality was starkly different.

While I thought I had planted a seedling of healthy optimism, in actuality I ended up with a garden overrun with weeds in the form of unfinished tasks, burgeoning to-do lists, and missed deadlines.

This cost me energy, emotional well-being, self-care and time with family and friends.

Once I realized this, I made a different choice.

I intentionally chose to move away from my longstanding perfectionistic tendencies – again, expectations that only I could fulfill.

I empowered myself by getting help.

It wasn’t easy.

And, it was worth it.

Because when I started delegating some of these tasks, I also started experiencing relief.

I also started experiencing the freedom to focus on what I do best, and what brings me the most meaning and purpose:  being an effective helping professional; a present mother, partner and friend; and a thriving self.

This was not an instantaneous solution.  Rather, I am discovering that the empowerment that comes from delegating unfolds through a journey that consists of many baby steps.

One of those baby steps involved hiring a professional organizer to help one of my children with her room. The work expanded to include organizing my pantry, then my home office. This happened as the unfolding of my realization expanded and I began to see “getting help” as a form of “ease” being my teacher.

When I walk into my pantry – which is my organized domestic command-central — or into my home office – which is my professional command-central — I am not thinking about incompetence or inability. I am not thinking “ I have failed” just because I hadn’t organized these spaces myself.

Instead, I am thinking about how wonderful it is to be in an environment in which I am can function… where I can breathe… where I can look around and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Where I am able to experience function and routine.

The Organized Therapist is rooted in the realization that other mental health professionals may be experiencing a misleading sense of optimism about their ability to “do it all.”

Just as I used to experience.

I invite you to join me in this quest.

I invite you to empower your present self, and to support the creation of your future self.

I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to free yourself from the burdensome notion that you must personally and individually execute all aspects of your practice in order to achieve success.

In this way… I invite you to focus on your greatest gifts, where you can have the greatest impact, while immersing yourself in the joy-filled experience of building a thriving and impactful private practice.

the organized therapist 2                the organized therapist 1

 

The Organized Therapist is rooted in the realization that other mental health professionals may be experiencing a misleading sense of optimism about their ability to “do it all.”

Just as I used to experience.

I invite you to join me in this quest.

I invite you to empower your present self, and to support the creation of your future self.

I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to free yourself from the burdensome notion that you must personally and individually execute all aspects of your practice in order to achieve success.

In this way… I invite you to focus on your greatest gifts, where you can have the greatest impact, while immersing yourself in the joy-filled experience of building a thriving and impactful private practice.

About Hope Eden

Hope Eden, LCSW, of The Organized Therapist, has a busy private practice in Asheville, NC.  Licensed for 16+ years, her experience includes being a shelter director, adult outpatient services supervisor, school-based counselor and outpatient service provider, both in agencies and in a group practice setting. She can be found on Facebook  as host for the following groups: The Organized Therapist, the Documentation Support Group for Mental Health Professionals and the Training Resource Group for Mental Health Professionals.

 

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