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Getting Started (With Anything)

So here begins the start of a website. I probably spent longer than I should have over each and every word I typed, not only trying to make sure it reflected who I am, but also making sure it shows what I can provide for you as a client. I imagine, if you're reading this, that you've spent equally long looking for the right counsellor for you; someone who can relate to what you're feeling, or at least empathise with you. It's very scary taking the first steps, even when it's something we KNOW we want! This can appear in lots of different ways, like if we:

  • Keep behaviours and habits we know aren't healthy for us (whether it's a relationship to people, food, exercise, or anything else)

  • Procrastinate on a school or university assignment, or applying to jobs

  • Sit doing nothing or watching tv, guilty because we're not doing something we feel we should be

I know there have been times I've felt like stomping my foot in frustration at myself for not doing things or changing things when I know I should! If you're looking at this post, you're probably in a better position than most - you've already started.


The A to Z of doing something


When we think of doing something (even something that might be simple, like washing the dishes), we see it as a single step: we wash the dishes, and they're done. This creates a huge divide between doing the dishes (completing the step), and not doing them (not completing the step). And let's face it, some days I just don't want to wash the dishes. Maybe I've used all my energy on something that hasn't returned it, leaving me feeling burnt out (another topic for another blog post). And sometimes, not doing something we think we should leaves us with guilt, anxiety, and a feeling of failure.


An hourglass next to a wooden background. The hourglass is turned over making the sand fall through
Sometimes we can feel like we're wasting time that we think we should use for something else

But..


There are so many more steps than just A to Z! For washing the dishes, we have to get up, go to the kitchen, pick up a plate, clean the plate, dry it and put it away, and pick up another dish, until it's all done. While it feels like one task, there are several more steps that take up our time and our energy. It probably doesn't feel good even thinking about all the things you need to do to complete whatever task you're putting off. It might even feel impossible! When combined with perfectionism (which I'll talk about in a future post), we can be paralysed by the fear of not doing enough, or the fear of getting things wrong.


There is a bright side to this, however. If there are multiple steps, then there's small ways you can start a task. For example, if washing all the dishes feels too overwhelming, we can just wash one dish. Or put them on the drying rack to put away tomorrow. Or leave them in hot water to steep so that they're easier to clean later. Breaking down the task into smaller steps means that each time we take one of these steps, we're closer to the end goal. This can not only make it easier to start, but also relieves some of the guilt and failure we might feel. No matter how far along we get, we're further than when we started.





Therapy works the same - even when we'd like to feel better, more confident, or more sure of who we are right away, we need the small steps of weekly exploration to get us there. Having a counselling session gives you a space with no extra responsibilities or expectations except to be there, and relieves some of the burden of the hard work of growth by sharing this with your counsellor. Often, when a client and I are reflecting on their therapy journey, they can't quite believe how different things are. When we see how we want things to be, but not how to get there, it becomes that much harder to start. Having a place to bring things, organise thoughts, or explore challenges that get forgotten in everyday life, means you're already on your way.


If you often feel overwhelmed, low, or struggle to get motivated and don't know where this came from or how to overcome it, please get in touch on the contact page.


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