How to Remain Motivated During your Road to Licensure

I am officially a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) ya’ll!!! I am so excited to write this post and share this news with you all, as it was one of my biggest goal accomplishments near the end of 2019. Being licensed opens doors and will allow me to accomplish goals with Always Live Lovely that I have been dreaming of. Deciding to walk in my calling to become a therapist has not been easy, at all, but it has been worth it. Due to my experience, I wanted to write a post that would reach those of you who may also be on a road to licensure, a degree, or even gaining the skills you need that will equip you to walk in your calling. 

There were times in my journey where I felt great joy, inspiration, purpose, passion, strength, and overall victory. I also experienced moments where I cried, sacrificed, wanted to quit, experienced confusion, resentment, was disrespected by bosses/colleagues, felt under-valued, anger, and overall tired. During those times I leaned on my support system, my strength, and often referenced the song by Mary May called “Can’t Give up Now”; which helped get me through. During those times there were usually 2 thoughts that would always come to mind that helped me remain motivated during my road to licensure

Becoming a mental health therapist was not something I dreamed of when I was a little girl (I actually was training to be an entertainer), it was something I was called to do. My road to licensure took a total of 10 years, a whole decade. If that is not dedication, I don’t know what is! I reflect upon my first experience taking a psychology course my senior year of high school and having to drop the course (for the first time ever) because, I was failing. Just so you have a little more insight into the kind of student I was, I had always been a straight A/ Honor Roll student, so failing a class was a “no go” for me. Nevertheless, I persisted to attend undergrad, where I switched majors from Psychology to Human Development because, I didn’t want to be a science major. I graduated in 4 years with honors and attended graduate school where I graduated in 3 years with a cumulative 4.0 GPA (talk about a testimony in itself since my first psych class senior year). Throughout the journey my overall goal remained the same. 

Grad school was hard, but things became more difficult once I graduated. Not having a roadmap crippled me with fear and experiencing multiple setbacks during my internships began to suck my motivation away. Since I was a trainee, I dealt with something or someone trying to dim my light, but no matter what I persisted. The day then arrived where I submitted my hours, just to wait an extended amount of time, which was totally different than my plans. I was approved, struggled to study, and went to sit for my exam. My personal life had been very stressful for me the few months before my exam and I literally had no choice but to lean on God to get me through. I knew if I failed it would break me, it would be my last straw. The day of my exam, all that could go wrong with the systems did, I had anxiety, but when I received the letter that I passed, I felt victory and wept. I survived the process of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and it was all because, I remembered my why and knew I was deserving

Now I know you are wondering, “Where are all the juicy details about what was so hard for you?”. The reason I am choosing to not go too in-depth of my personal life is because, I don’t want the time you are taking out to read this post to be about me or you comparing your journey to mines. My hope is for you to get a glimpse into my journey, that it inspires you to reflect on your own journey, and become motivated. Anytime someone speaks with me about feeling they want to give up, I don’t tell them “well let me tell you what I been through”, instead I share with them these 2 tips. I always suggest:

  1. Remember your why!
  2. Acknowledge that you deserve this victory!

Remembering your why will always re-ignited the fire in you that you need to persevere. Usually it was one incident, one book, one talk, one person, one experience that caused you to think that this might be the route to go. Over time you may have received reminders or compliments from others that suggested this was for you. Guess what?! That’s because, it si for you and even if you were to find out it is not, I bet you it will eventually lead you where you are supposed to go. 

Let’s do an exercise! 

I suggest you take a moment right now and identify one reason that fills your soul, not 

out of obligation, that you chose to pursue your particular goal. 

Give yourself a moment to just be. 

Notice the sensation you feel associated with that memory. 

Breathe. Inhale through your nose, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale through your mouth.

Use that to fuel your fire! 

Acknowledging that you deserve this victory needs no explanation. It is simple, you are trying, you are working hard, you are figure things out, so “why not you?”. Before today ends do yourself a favor and just like I did above, reflect on your journey thus far. Identify where your testimony lives. Identify your ups and your downs. Read it whenever you need a reminder. Make a promise to yourself that you will persevere because, YOU DO DESERVE THIS!

A picture of me at my bowling celebration for passing my exam and becoming licensed this past November 2019!

Always Live Lovely,

                          Chetina 

Helpful Resources:

Need tips on how to accomplish your goals this year…read this blog post here.

Starting a new job this year…read this blog post here.

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety… read this blog post here.

Do you experience suicidal thoughts…read this blog post here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : January 18, 2020

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

How to Actually Accomplish your New Year Goals

The New Year is coming and I am sure most of you are excited about the reflection and goal setting that you are currently partaking in. You are probably thinking about the boss moves you are going to make, getting that body right, breaking generational curses, and much more. When we set new goals we feel on top of the world and ready to do anything! Our motivation is on 100 and we say “this is my year”. Let me tell you now though, this post is not for the one that knows they are going to be “all the way up” all year. This post is for someone who sets goals and doesn’t quite finish them. For the person who starts out strong then looks around and wonders where December came from. The one who is trying to become a whole new person and sets 10 plus goals. To the one that gets overwhelmed, overthinks, or anxious about their own goals…THIS ONE IS FOR YOU!

            If you are anything like me, making new goals fills your spirit up with sunshine and possibility; on the flip side there is so much possibility you end up with a page full of goals. A new decade is coming up and through my journey of reflection I realized the last thing I want to do at the end of it, is look back and feel like I am exactly where I was in certain areas years ago. As I began to look at my system of how I choose my goals, I realized there is nothing wrong with desiring growth; but as with everything it is “not what you do, but how you do it”. 

            Society teaches us that we have to rush, set deadlines, compare ourselves, or we will get left behind. I am here to tell you the lie detector determined “THAT WAS A LIE”! The only person you need to compare yourself to is the you of yesterday. Contrary to popular belief, surprise surprise, you will feel less anxious not living on a timeline.  So here are a few tips on how to make your goals more manageable so that you accomplish more.

  • Chunk them down into categories:

Pick categories that are important to you to focus on this year. One approach may be mind, body, soul and another may be family, career, and finances. Mix and match how you so please.

  • Choose 1 to 3 major goals per category:

As previously stated, we sometimes get carried away because we want to be the best we can be. Know that is okay to take it one step at a time. By doing this you are likely to accomplish more, rather than making a million changes at one. Choose 1 to 3 main goals per category and try working towards 1 in each category before moving to the next. If you have more than 3 categories I would suggest picking 1 main goal per category. You can always add another when you are done with that one.

  • Utilize vision boards: 

You have to see it to believe it right?! Vision boards come in handy to help you see your goals and serve as a reminder of what your life will look like or consist of. Put it in a space where you can look at it daily. 

  • Write it down and Speak it daily:

There is power in the tongue, do you hear me?! You have the ability to speak abundance, growth, and positivity over your life. Write it down and make it plain. Take the extra step to speak the change, business, money, love, etc. you seek in your life. There will come a time when you feel discouraged, but have faith, and keep using your power to speak against those thoughts. 

  • Give yourself grace:

Rome wasn’t buit in a day. Time is not guaranteed, but I am sure you would rather complete one goal, than have 5 unfinished ones because you got overwhelmed. Work at each goal until you feel it is concrete or you are satisfied before moving to the other one. If it takes longer to accomplish a goal than expected that is okay. Most times we are our own worst critics. Life is not a sprint, but a marathon. Don’t tire yourself out by utilizing all of your energy in the first quarter. Pace yourself and you will get there. 

My biggest hope for you is that at the end of your life, not just the end of the New Year, you can look back and feel that you were the person you were meant to be. That you are proud of yourself and that you accomplished what you set out to do. There is no need to rush through your goals or hit them all in one round. Life is all about growing and learning, therefore you will always find a way to create a new goal. As long as you are making progress each day that is what truly matters.

Always Live Lovely,

                         Chetina 

Helpful Resources:

Starting a new job this year…read this blog post here.

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety read this blog post here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : December 28, 2019

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

Event Announcement: I will be speaking at CoCo Coalition’s Black and Healthy Conference on September 22, 2018

I am so excited to announce that I will be speaking at my very first conference as a mental health panelist in the Bay Area September 22, 2018!!!

I truly enjoy being able to connect with my community and help provide the space for individuals to thrive and elevate to live a lovely life.

The Black and Healthy Conference: Nurture the Black Woman is a six hour, 9am-3:30pm, event focused on nurturing the mental, holistic, and reproductive health of Black women. The event will consist of meditation, brunch, workshops, panels, networking, and more. I will be speaking on the “Dismantling Stigmas Around Mental Health” panel. It is important to have safe spaces, where we can all come together, connect, and heal.

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CoCo Coalition is a Black owned non-profit organization based in Oakland, California that focuses on creating a variety of opportunities for Black girls and women to grow, thrive, and shine.  Check out their website here.

Purchase your ticket today by clicking on the link below:

https://www.cococoalition.org/2018-conference

Use the discount code: cocopanel for 20% your purchase.

You can also read my full bio on their website. Check it out!

I can’t wait to see you there!

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Always Live Lovely,

                                    Chetina

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and registered associate professional clinical counselor, the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .