As I calculate my hours and notice I have less than 150 hours face to face hours left to accumulate as an LPC-Intern. I am excited, however I notice changes within myself as a clinician and a person. Noticing these changes has allowed me to realize a few things about change itself. Change requires work and an abundance of self-compassion! Change is not always dramatic. Sometimes the most impactful changes are subtle.
Letting go of things, ideologies, and perceptions that once served you takes a daily conscious effort to not do what you have been trained to do your entire life. Personally identifying behaviors YOU don’t necessarily find healthy, productive or desirable is a start. There is an emphasis on “you” because change for someone else can lead to resentment of that person or a complete lack of knowledge of self. Yes, others may reap the benefit of your change, (i.e improved partner, mother, father, friend relationships) but ultimately it’s for you! The work comes in making the effort to change and awareness. Compassion takes work as well. You have to be lenient with yourself. You’ve been beat up with enough criticism, you don’t have to beat yourself up with criticism too! Tell yourself, “It’s okay, I’m trying.” It takes more courage to try than it does to do nothing at all! After all, the behaviors took a lifetime to learn, unlearning them will more than likely not happen overnight! Enjoy the process and pay more attention to your success than your failures. Your success is what motivates you to keep going, it is a constant reminder that you are capable of change and achieving your goals. Focus on what you can learn from your mistake and not on the mistake. Mistakes are inevitable, and change requires work. Growth is uncomfortable and can be painful, but it is a necessary part of life. Once you stop growing you stop living. You’re a body that is able to walk and participate in life, but not completely be present. Meaning you are not able to experience emotions and feelings related to an event in life. It’s okay to be effected by life, which means you’re human, you’re growing and that you’re alive and present. Change is as constant in its evolution as time. We don’t have to acknowledge that time has gone by just as we don’t have to acknowledge change in order for it to happen. It just is; adjusting to change can be hard, but it is a vital part of life.