And Now I Know…
I’ve been making mistakes recently. Silly mistakes, frustrating mistakes, mistakes I wouldn’t usually make.
Driving last week, I was thinking about the workshop I was giving on Saturday, Starting a Therapy Practice, and the challenges that starting a therapy practice presents. I was thinking about how there are really two closely interlinked sides to the process, the internal one and the external one. I’ve written about these before; about how we need to move between the internal reflective, thoughtful and feeling place, and the practical, action-oriented external one, in order to make our vision a reality.
I was in a part of town I don’t know very well. It was raining and overcast, and I lost my bearings. I found myself driving down a one way street the wrong way. However, a host of other drivers soon put me right, beeping, waving, flashing their lights, gesticulating and pointing at the signs. Their reaction was such that you would think I had committed murder rather than making a simple mistake. Thankfully, I was driving very slowly, no one was harmed, and while the other drivers may have been cursing at me, it really was no big deal.
Continuing on my way, this time in the right direction, I reflected that those other drivers showed me clearly the reason why it is so difficult at times to take a risk, to change our circumstances, to do something like setting up a practice. We take an action, we venture into new territory (in this case a street I was not familiar with) and we get it wrong. And then, those around us signal their disapproval, or we give ourselves hell for it, or maybe both.
And next time we start to fantasise about something we’d like to do, all those negative voices, the chorus of disapproval, our own and others, remind us loudly and clearly why it’s not safe for us to step outside of the box. So instead, we take the safe path, we stay on the street we know and we don’t take a risk.
It is by dreaming about something new that we start to create it. We try it out in our minds, we start to make pictures of how we’d like it to be and we allow the green shoots of desire to stick their heads above the ground. Then we start to bring that dream to reality by talking about it with those who will support us. Then we take action. It is by doing something different, by experimenting, that we test out the parameters of what’s possible.
Getting things wrong and making mistakes, these are an integral part of the learning and growing process. But if we experience a verbal bashing from ourselves and those around us when we get it wrong, we will retreat back into the safety of what we know, and those green shoots of desire are trampled before they have grown beyond their early promise. We have no control over how others will receive our attempts to do something different, or how they will react if we mess up. But we do have control over how we treat ourselves. We can bash ourselves with “I should have known better.” Or we can shrug and say, “It was only a mistake, no big deal. And now I know…”
What risk could you take this week in your practice, to get it off the ground, or move it to the next phase? And how could you support yourself in that risk taking?
If I can support you in taking a step forward with your practice, I’d be glad to help. Contact me here for an appointment to avail of your free 20 minute consultation.