The “When I” trap

A Facebook friend proudly posted an image of her daughter’s first work placement badge that said “provisional psychologist”.

“It’s a big achievement” I commented and I meant it.

It isn’t easy to get in to a Masters training program, the course work is heavy and placements are both exciting and daunting.

I reflected later how therapists rarely take a moment to enjoy where they are and often believe they need the next step in their career or development to feel proud of themselves.

When I have my endorsement I will feel confident

When I have a permanent job I can relax a bit

When I am in private practice I will see myself as successful

When I have my own practice…

When I’m recognised as expert….

When I finish accreditation….

When I have so many referrals a week….

When I lose my self doubt….

The list goes on.

Unrelenting standards makes it hard to say I am proud of where I am. I am helping people as a therapist. I am doing a good job.

There is always a when I….

So wherever you are in your career in this moment, take a breath and instead of noticing where you want to be, instead notice where you are right now and all the effort you put into getting there.

Just as you are.

For more posts like these see my website nadenevanderlinden.com.

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