Have you ever felt like a bit of a fraud? That somehow, you managed to fake your way into being a counsellor and that soon you'll be found out?
It's ok, don't worry, we ALL feel like that sometimes. I know I do and it can be crippling and stop me in my tracks.
But here's something that's both simple and fun that will help crush Imposter Syndrome. Enjoy!
It's been an intense time. You’ve had years of training, essay writing and journaling. You’ve never read so many books, and your personal growth and self-awareness is off the chart. Which is great, of course, but can also be pretty intense and unsettling.
You’ve had a placement or worked on a voluntary basis to learn how to put those theories and skills into practice and you’ve experienced personal therapy, which again is great but expensive, time-consuming and can be unsettling.
Let’s not forget supervision! Yet another thing to eat into your time, energy and bank balance.
It's been a busy few years and you've achieved a lot but now you're qualified. Not only that you have decided to see clients privately so you have a room, insurance and have dipped your toe into the world of marketing.
Are you fully aware how far you have come? It's worth reflecting on...
Now, it's happened! Someone has contacted you and made an appointment.
You have your first-ever paying client. Oh wow!
So you panic - OMG can I really do this?
And you feel excited - yay it's finally happening!
This is a really significant moment which I think it should be celebrated like the important milestone it is.
Being a counsellor is hard work and we work with very serious issues, so this will bring a little balance. This is fun to do and the more fun we can get in our lives the better.
Celebrating your successes helps to recognise your achievements and boost your confidence. The more you do this, the more confident you will feel which has a knock on effect in how you feel, which impacts everything do and will definitely make attracting clients easier.
But probably the most important reason to do this is it helps to crush Imposter Syndrome. You can learn more about how Imposter Syndrome affects counsellors and how to beat it here 'How to beat imposter syndrome: a guide for therapists'.
It's going to be hard for your inner critic to bully you when you have documentary evidence that you are successful.
Here are a few suggestions for how to commemorate getting your first-ever fee-paying client.
Write down the date and use it for your social media in the future. Celebrate your anniversary and talk about what you've learnt since then. You can see what I mean in '12 things I've learned in 12 years as a counsellor' (okay, I skipped the last few years! ).
I believe celebrating your achievements, no matter how small - in fact, especially the small ones - has a very beneficial effect. So much so that in the Grow Your Private Practice Club, all members have access to their own online Growth Journal.
And in the FREE Facebook group, every Friday members get to share their wins in a dedicated thread.
Here are some more things to celebrate.
Don't let your successes go by unnoticed. Bask in the glory of all your successes, no matter how small. Be proud of your achievements, celebrate them and it will crush your Imposter Syndrome and silence your inner critic!
Share them in the Facebook group, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your supervisor and write about it in your journal.
Would you like more champagne (or other treat) more often? Then come and join the Grow Your Private Practice Club, where members attract more clients and get more wins!
Jane lives in beautiful Lincoln with her 2 boys and rescue dog. When she's not talking about herself in the third person, she's usually found with her feet up and eating Maltesers. Sometimes she even shares them with friends.