Tag Archives: fear

How to Cope When You (Really) Screw Up

Photo Credit – greg westfall on Flickr

I never saw her again.

And although I no longer remember her name, I’ve never forgotten her.

I’d only been in private practice for a little while, though I’d worked in mental health for a long time. Back then, I did a lot of counseling around trauma, abuse and domestic violence.

I already had a ton of experience; (I thought) I knew what I was doing.

One evening, at the end of a long day, I did an initial consult with a woman who’d finally gathered her nerve to seek help. She was living with severe domestic violence, married to a man who sounded like he could kill her one day if she didn’t get out.

I was immensely proud of her for having the courage to come in, and I understood her situation immediately. After hearing her story, I felt crystal clear on the level of danger she was in. I knew what she needed to do to get out.

So I laid it all out for her.

With the kind of excitement that comes with clarity, I explained how to put a safety plan in place, what to say to him (and what not to), how to handle her employer, how to seek legal help, how to move out, all of it.

She listened politely as I gave her every idea I could think of. Then she thanked me, and left. I felt great — I knew I could help her!

But she never came back.

To this day, I don’t know what happened. It may be that she found a way out, that she went to another counselor, that she was just fine. I certainly hope so.

But I think I made a mistake that night – and it was a big one.
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How A Mistake Led to My Best Year Ever

Remember that story about Peter walking on water?

As I remember it, the story goes something like this.

Peter was on a boat, bouncing along on the stormy, wind-tossed waves of a great big lake. The weather was rough, and he was spooked.

He sees his friend, Jesus, walking towards him on the water, and now he’s really spooked.

But Jesus calls out and tells him to quit worrying so much, to just step over the edge of the boat and come on over. On the water that is. As if it were nothing.

And he did.

Peter clambered right on over the edge of that boat and just started walking. I’ll don’t think he even took his life vest. :)

It’s fun to imagine what he must have thought…
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How to Tell When It’s Your Time to Grow

It may just be a growth spurt, you know.

Or the start of one.

Whatever this is that’s bugging you, this “thing” that just doesn’t feel right; it might just be that things are changing inside for you – in a good way.

It usually starts as an uncomfortable feeling, a sense that something is wrong, out of whack, not what it should be. Sometimes those feelings are a whisper, just below the surface. Sometimes they’re shouting in your face.

Either way, they get harder and harder to ignore when you are being challenged – more and more – to grow. Continue reading

One Magic Word That Will Change Your Life

magic-wordMy life turned upside down a few years ago. 

I found myself in the midst of an unexpected transition, an uncomfortable in-between time, when I knew what had been but had no idea what was to be.

Ever felt that way?

I’d just finished a term in public office where I poured everything I had into serving my community. I lived and breathed that work for four unbelievably intense years. And I loved it.

But when that ended, I was lost. It was as if I’d been pushing up a long, steep hill, eyes to the ground, carrying a weight that was worthy but so heavy… And suddenly the hill leveled out, the weight disappeared, and I looked up for the first time in days, not quite sure where I was.

I was disoriented, at loose ends, and had no idea what to do next.

And with a successful business, that I’d run for years, on life support, dying from neglect.

So I threw myself into rebuilding, and focused on doing what I knew how to do to breathe life back into it. I set up a super-simple business plan with a year’s worth of goals – then met them all within two months.

I was still restless.
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Why Your Beliefs Matter to Your Business

Roots - EbelienWhat does your business stand for?

In other words, what are your core principles, and how do you communicate them to your peeps?  

I know. It’s a weird question… but it’s one I want you to think about.

When you started your business, you weren’t thinking about beliefs. Most likely, you just wanted to get paid. Income was everything, and building up a steady stream of customers was paramount.

In fact, getting your business off the ground probably felt a bit random. Chaotic, even.

But over time, you will find that certain beliefs, principles or teachings become a theme for you.

You’ll find yourself saying the same thing to clients over and over. When you’re telling friends about what you do – and why you do it – you’ll return to a key story, phrase or belief that you hold dear.

In fact, when you speak from your heart about what you do, you’ll quickly come back to your core themes without hesitation.

Those beliefs should drive your message…

…because when you identify those themes, you can be more intentional about using them in your business.

In other words, what are the core principles on which your business is built? What are the core beliefs on which you stand as the owner and creator of this beautiful work?

Figuring this out will help you in two really important ways. Continue reading