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 Remain Balanced (when starting a new job)

Starting a new job can be exciting, a new beginning, represent possibilities, and increase your money bag. It can also cause anxiety, bring insecurities to the surface, increase stress, and be challenging. One thing that we often struggle with when adding something new to our schedule is finding balance. You may not be great at organizing your time daily or maybe you are an expert, either way everyone can benefit from a few extra tips. Here’s a few ways that I have been able to successfully maintain balance in my life while starting a new job.

First and foremost, I am super organized. I enjoy making list, having multiple planners, vision boards, you name it! Nevertheless, let me be honest and confess that even the most organized person can have difficulties juggling all of the demands of life. When starting something new we often want everything to run smoothly and can have trouble with accepting that it may take a moment to find our new groove. Your new job may be similar to work you have done before or consist of new task you haven’t embarked on yet. One thing I have learned for sure is that as long as you work towards keeping things balanced in your life…things will continue to level out.

While things are leveling out…level up by using these tips daily.

  • Get organized

Getting into the habit of creating a to do list when you first arrive at work can help keep you on task. Try to only put on there what is most important and then you can make a section for what to do if you have extra time. This will help with not over doing it, to where you have too many task. The goal is to feel balanced, not overwhelmed. Keeping a clean work space can help you to feel less scatter brained. You can see where everything is that you need to get things done. I have also found having a planner dedicated to work has been extremely helpful. You can keep track of important appointments, meetings, hours, and even put your to do list in there.

  • Mindfulness

This tip has been a life saver! If you tend to get overwhelmed by thinking about the busy week you have ahead of yourself, you will find yourself drained before you even started. Try this: when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, pause, and bring your attention back into the here and now. Acknowledged what is important that needs to be done and then bring your focus to the task at hand. Remind yourself that you will have time to focus on the next task after you finish the current one. Give yourself permission to do the best you can and know if you don’t finish your whole list, there is always tomorrow. Bringing your attention to the present moment not only decreases stress, but increase your productivity and enjoyment.

  • Spirituality

Having a relationship with a higher being (mine being GOD) can bring you inner peace. When you know that you don’t have to carry everything alone and you have someone that has your best interest at heart, it makes the journey more bearable. You begin to practice serenity, figuring out what you can and cannot control, as well as areas where you can make a difference. Having a relationship with God that consists of constant communication has added to my daily strength, increased my faith, and provided fulfillment in walking in my purpose. Spirituality can also consist of the journey of self; another way that I find balance within my spirit is through yoga and meditation (more to come in a future post). The point here is to find what works for you.

  • Accept help where needed

Allow others to help you. Give yourself a break. Trust that others can get the job done just as well as you can. Sometimes this can be hard because, we may have only depended on ourselves to get task done the correct way. Allow someone to have your back. This is especially helpful when you are learning a new job and may not know all the twists and turns yet. Give yourself some compassion and ask for help. It is okay. A lot of times teamwork makes the dream work.

  • Work hard to play harder

So you work a full-time job and of course that equates to needing rest. It can also equate to deserving time to have fun and spend time with people you love. Aim to give your all during the days that you work, so that you can fully enjoy your off days. The last thing you want is for work task to roll over to time that is designated to the turn up. You feel me?! Be mindful of how much you can handle, but do your best. It always feels great to reap the fruit of your labor.

I hope you find these tips to be helpful. If you are starting a new job congratulations! If have already been at your job, but want to decrease your stress and find more balance give these a try. Being a young adult comes with a lot of new beginnings, as you are just getting your life started. Find your groove and roll with it!

Always Live Lovely,

                                          Chetina

Written: September 2, 2018

Helpful Resources:

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

If you are looking for resources to support your mental health click here.

***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/ .