There are many times that I think to myself, what am I doing? Who do I think I am? It isn’t a matter of who I am but what I am doing or why am I doing it. It leaves me feeling incapable and worthless. I doubt myself for what I have done and the choices I have made. Fast forward and I am in a rut eating chips on the couch binge watching tv. This isn’t me. This isn’t what I enjoy but I feel stuck and lost. I feel like I can’t do anything right, so why do anything at all.
This is usually when I tell myself, just do something. One thing. Anything. Just make a choice. So I go shower. I don’t feel great and I definitely don’t feel happy, but I did something. Now make another choice. So I eat toast. Nothing extravagant, I don’t have that much in me. Cooking can be hard. So instead I just do something. Eat something. Afterwards, ok next best decision for me. One at a time.
This gets me through the rut I was in but I am left with a lingering doubt in myself. Confidence is the ability to see oneself in a positive light and know you can handle whatever comes at you. It is a skill. Much like any other skill, it needs to be practiced. What would it be like for you to practice confidence? What would it look like? For me, it looks like holding my head high, taking up space and making a decision best for myself. It isn’t knowing that it will work out or that it is the right decision. it is knowing I have the resilience and ability to handle it.
At first it seems like I am faking it until I make it. But it is intentional work I put forward to ensure I am developing that skill. Sometimes I need to tweak how I use confidence or what it looks like but over time, it becomes more automatic and less intentional. Before you know it, you are confident instead of using confidence and that feeling. Wow. It is something else I tell you.
Let’s set up a strategy to build your confidence and get you out of the rut and into the wow!
Whenever I start something new, I am so excited. I want to rush head first into it and get everything done all at the same time. I know this strategy doesn’t work and isn’t effective but I do it anyway. Why is that?
Past behaviours and experiences are how we set our expectations based on learned pathways. It all starts with the biology of it all. Starting something new means I draw on my past experiences and what worked in the past. The reinforced pathway. I always start this way and the starting point is always the positive point. Therefore there is no reason to change it and I have this strong learned pathway to go head strong into it.
But, the next part, oh the next part. It is the one where I start to doubt myself. It might look like…What am I doing? Who thought this was a good idea? I thought I could do this? What was I thinking…. It stems from the ultimate feeling of not being good enough. And that feeling, it sucks. It doesn’t do me any good. I can see you shaking your head at home while you’re reading this. You know that feeling. Maybe it looks a lot like me.
What if I told you, we could change that. Would you believe me? What if we created a new pathway so that your go to wasn’t that up and down spike? It can be done. Now, it takes effort and strength and commitment. I’m not talking the whole climbing everest or running a marathon effort, but conscious and deliberate attempt to change. Sound doable?
If so, reach out to me to learn more. Got 15 minutes?
What is counselling? What does it look like? What is normal? What can I expect? I am unsure and it builds my anxiety to make the first step.
I get it. Being uncertain about basic aspects lead to a compounding stress level to even start. Now, let me caveat this that I speak about my own experience as a client and a clinician but not everyone is the same.
I offer a free consultation so we can meet and go through some quick details first. You can tell me a bit about you, I’ll tell you about me and my approach and we will go through some practical pieces. This gives me insight in answering, “Can I help this person the way they are needing me to right now?” I know a lot of things and continue to grow but I also know I have limits and sometimes I am not the best suited to a client. That is ok. But that doesn’t mean you are alone. I will help try and connect you with potential other clinicians who are suitable. It also gives you the opportunity to see if you feel comfortable with me before making that commitment for yourself.
So, to the original question: What is counseling? Well interesting enough counselling is not regulated and the title counsellor can be nearly anyone. The titles Psychotherapist, social worker, & psychologist are protected by our licensing bodies. For example I am a Registered Psychotherapist (short form RP) under College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). This means we have standardized education and experience as well as adherence to a set of laws and ethics to protect the public and to hold our license.
May approach is transparent. I have nothing to hide. We work together in an integrative approach to therapy and treatment. After all, you are the one doing the work, you should have a day in the approach as well.
Send me any questions you have and I will work at answering them one at a time!
Not ones tells you that life gets hard. The kind of hard that hits deep in your core. Like the how did I get here? One moment things are fine and the next it is a tornado.
If we think we are immune and can overextend ourselves, push off our needs or ignore the signs, we suffer. We fall. We face hard. And we have to do the work.
In my journey as a therapist and a person, I learned hard hits you when you least expect it. But it doesn’t last forever. I can do something about it. Bottom up behavioural approach works best even if we don’t believe it will work. Yes, I said we. Cause it happens to us too. We aren’t super humans or special in any way. We have the knowledge but we still have to do the work.
It worked. I felt better. I was gaining confidence. I dare even said I liked myself again. I knew I was worth it and I knew I was making a difference. I was happy.
Then it slapped me in the face. Rejection. Fear. Envy. Ahhh! So I spiraled. I did all the coping things I did before. I pushed myself away from everyone. I made myself small. I proved to myself everything I thought was wrong with me with evidence. Evidence my brain made up, but evidence nonetheless. It was only a day. But a day turned into days into a week into weeks.
I cancelled my appts. I was tired. I felt I needed to rest. I was overwhelmed. I needed time to myself. So I took it…..to the extreme. I took too much. I didn’t listen to myself once I had filled that bucket. So now it was stuck overflowing. Now I felt back to where I started.
What do I do now? That first step. You know the one you should do and know will be good for you deep down but you do everything to avoid it or try every option other than that. Yeah I did that. I tried everything except book an appt with my therapist. I was embarrassed. I regressed. I only wanted them to see me as successful.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. I tried something else then something else and something else until I was left so drained and alone. I made the call. Will email actually let’s be real here. I booked it. It was still two weeks out but it was booked. I did it. Yay me!
Oh crap but now I have to tell them. Now I have to be real and honest and face it. No, no, no, no, no. 😬. Insert panic here. How am I going to do that…. What am I going to say.
So it lit a fire under my butt. I started my mental health walks. Showering. Eating better. Sleeping less. Increasing water (decreasing coffee).
And guess what? I started feeling better. I was so focused (ok scared) of facing my therapist, I started doing what I needed to do all along. Doing right by me. Slowly and intentionally. Napping still included.
By the time I reached my appt. I was good again. Phew. I wasn’t a lump but a shining big rock. Look at me go!!
I used to always berate myself when I made a mistake. Often in my head but sometimes out loud. Like not in I am going to hurt myself way but in the acknowledging I suck way. Am I making sense? I found my go to strategy was to act first. Criticize myself before someone else gets a chance to. This way I am in control. I win!
But do I? Honestly? That means I am surrounded by criticism. All the things I do wrong. All the things I suck at. All the reasons why I am not special. Guess what though? I started to believe it. Slowly it chipped away my armor (self worth) until I was less able to cope with myself.
But ok. I got this. I can do this. I am in control! I can turn this around. So I use it to motivate me. I get goals, some I achieve! 🥳 and some I don’t 😭. But no matter how many accomplishments I made, the voice inside my head said it wasn’t good enough. Have you heard that voice before? “So what? Not big deal. Anyone can do that. Look at what you didn’t do.”
It felt like a losing battle. I was trying everything: affirmations, focusing on one thing, ignoring it, staying in bed all day, filling up my day completely, never being alone, … What was the answer. It felt bigger then my capabilities. Was I failing as a human?
So I did the one thing I was dreading, therapy. Why would a therapist need a therapist? So embarassing!🤨😨😱😞
Often times when we decide to finally make that step to reach out we are met with ongoing waitlist or waiting for a response back. We finally get the courage to make a step and we are momentum is stopped.
What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you can see someone right away and hear back same day? Is it possible?
My practice has immediate openings for consults and appointments. You can reach me and take next steps with no frustration or aggravation Just a plan of action to move forward. Sound to good to be true?
Email me to start: email@example.com
Trying to figure out what is the right or wrong? What is the next best decision? How do I know if I go left or right? Do I say something or do I not?
This type of uncertainty can plague a person into trying to figure out what is the best case scenario for them. It plants seeds of doubt and that means that we always question ourselves. So how do we build confidence with all this doubt or questions in our head?
We have to start by knowing ourselves. What do we believe in, what is important to ourselves, what do we expect from ourselves and so on. A lot of these questions are things that we think we know but in reality unless we take the time to reflect on them, we don’t have a clear understanding of it. This unclear understanding means it makes our mind foggy which then makes decisions and confidence unclear.
I’m not saying that once we spend time reflecting on ourselves everything will be crystal clear and easy. Let’s be fair, life is not easy. But if we know what is important to ourselves, we can guide ourselves toward that goal. The questions we are asked aren’t the concern. We find the answer by moving toward those things that are important to us. This is why we can ask everyone their opinions but unless they are related to our own, it doesn’t hold as much weight.
So let’s start knowing ourselves and asking ourselves some of the tough questions. This can mean you may need to take some time to figure it out and it may be easier for you. You can be on this journey alone or you can have someone walk along with you. Either way, enjoy the process and allow yourself to feel all the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with it.
I don’t get it. I don’t understand what’s happening to me. Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?
I can’t handle this. It’s too much. I’m not strong enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not good enough. I’m nothing. I’m empty.
I felt that one day. Sometimes multiple days. Sometimes in a row and sometimes completely out of the blue. And it kills me. It runs right through me. Now I was still able to get out of bed, go to work, pretend I was ok. But I was a mess. I was distracted. I was on edge. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I would get angry at the littlest things. I couldn’t stop myself from telling myself everything that was wrong, everything I was missing out on and everything which would be better without me.
But you what is true about it? Nothing! Our minds are not our friends and we treat our thoughts as if they’re facts. They aren’t. Their just thoughts. And having a thought doesn’t mean you are the thought. It’s just a thought. That’s it.
So what do you need to get to the other side of the situation I described above? Strategies. Learning new skills. That’s where I come in. Together we can learn effective strategies that work for you and in doing so create opportunities to move out of the hole. And the best part? You don’t have to do it alone. I’m with you every step of the way.
And don’t worry, eventually you won’t need me. You will be on the other side confident and able to tackle what life throws you. So why not start getting you to where you want to be.
Reach out for a free consult and we can discuss together!
Isn’t summer beautiful? Doesn’t it make you so positive and full of happiness. Some of that stems from being able to get outside and be comfortable (minus the humid weather). Enjoy youraelf whether that means bbq and a beer or relaxing on a beach.
For myself, our blended family just went camping for the first time. Let me tell you four kids and 3 tents and a dog makes for quite the adventure. So what do I remember? I remember being outside, working together, and doing a little bit of what everyone likes to do.
Does that mean we were happy all the time? Nope. I’m realistic. There were arguments, there were disagreements. There was being uncomfortable and cold. I mean the nights were cold. But I don’t dwell on the negative. I asserted myself where I felt was needed and let things go in others. I choose to remember the positives and work within what I chose. Now its in my control and I am much happier about it.
So how do I do it? If any of this resonates with you, reach out and lets have a chat. I had to learn and adapt and so can you. I can help you get to where you want to be.