One of the comments I hear frequently from clients is, "Wow," "That's hard." This is their response once they begin to understand what therapy is going to entail in regards to facing painful and feared emotions. If you want to hire me as your therapist, you better come to work. We are not going to just have a conversation. Although my role is to be supportive and empathetic, I am also going to challenge you on your behalf.
Research shows the number one thing that predicts successful outcomes in therapy is the client facing things they have been avoiding. And the number one factor that predicts whether they will do that or not is the quality of the relationship they have with their therapist.
Importance of emotional support
I talk all the time about the importance and necessity of emotionally secure attachment. In regards to pursuing your purpose and dreams, emotional support is a must. There are many aspects of being a therapist I find rewarding and fulfilling. But probably none more so than helping others achieve their full potential.
I have numerous clients right now who are exhibiting the courage to reach for more in their lives. One in particular never had any encouragement or affirmation from important people in their lives. The lack of receiving this makes it extremely difficult to battle the fear and self-doubt that arises when attempting to attain your vision. Maybe, you can relate to this particular client.
Go beyond what is comfortable
I believe each of is equipped with certain types of intelligences and gifts. And within them is a calling or purpose for our lives. However, to achieve this ambition requires conquering fear. Furthermore, if what you are pursuing does not activate some level of fear, it is too small of a goal. Reaching your full potential is going to require you to stretch beyond what you believe you are presently capable of.
This is where the majority of people shrink back and retreat to what is known and comfortable. Conquering fear requires developing a level of support from others who will encourage and confront us when necessary. Don't just associate with people that offer encouragement but no challenge. You need individuals in your life who believe you are capable of more than you believe you are.
There is an ancient expression, "Iron sharpens Iron." Find those in your life who will inspire you to be more, because you are definitely capable of becoming more. Count the cost of playing it safe - a life that concludes with regret and despair at what could have been. Reflect on this when you are stuck in your current fear.
Identify a place to take action
No matter how powerless you may feel in your life today, there is always a place to take action from. You just need to scale it down or 'slice it thinner'. Keep looking until you identify where you can take action no matter how small.
When attempting to go to a higher level a false believe many have is it will require exponentially more effort than what they are putting in now. But it takes just as much work to run a company of two hundred thousand as one of twenty million. There are only so many hours in the day, and you have a limited amount of energy in your body. With that being said, why not take the bigger leap?
My final advice to you is this: develop relationships with those who will encourage, support, inspire, and challenge you; and identify the action steps you can take today. It is always there. I assure you. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Life is ultimately about who you become, not what you accomplish.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.