In my early 20s, as I began my master’s degree in counseling psychology, I was interested in learning about the human mind in any way possible. To learn more about a current relationship with a man I was seeing at the time, I started seeing a therapist. One day, as I sat down, he asked me the following question; “How are you doing?”
Pretty benign, right?
Here was my reply. “I’m doing great, but I feel like sh*t!”
Several years, and several degrees later, I’ve realized the validity of that statement still stands. And I still use it with my clients. You can be doing very deep, very personal work, and still feel terrible. Changes don’t happen overnight. It takes a while for your mind and body to catch up with new ways of being in the world. You might feel anxious, restless, nauseous, fatigued, or just a little “off.”
So, if you feel bad, how do you know when your self-work is, well, working? You don’t. At least you won’t for some time. You have to TRUST. ”Trust what,” you say?
The process? Your coach? Your therapist?
THIS is where you get the real benefit from therapy and coaching. THIS is why therapy and coaching are so powerful. They don’t just work at one level; they work at multiple levels. Yes, you have to trust your therapist, or coach, and the process to a certain extent. However, the real work comes from trusting yourself.
Can you feel uncomfortable and still trust that you can take care of yourself? Can you trust in the knowledge that you will know when enough is enough? Can you trust yourself to know that perhaps it’s not working for you and, then can you trust yourself to stop the process?
All of these things promote a deeper understanding of who you are, and where your boundaries lie. Is feeling uncomfortable fun? Of course not. Is it sometimes necessary for self-growth? My answer is undeniably yes!