“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” ~ Judy Blume

I intended to start blogging several years ago, but procrastinated, reframing the delay as “pondering” or “carefully planning.”   When I got honest, I recognized that really, I was just scared.

For me, working as a therapist is also about developing my own self while I walk with clients in the often messy and also beautiful path of being human.

Being human meant I was scared. And working on my self meant I had to face and move into and through those fears.

So when I decided that a website overhaul and blogging could be integrated into a step by step process that I was going to complete, I had to take practical steps to calm anxiety about being so visible in the world.

I also needed to recognize that I often speak to myself in old, ingrained, and unproductive ways that feed fear: ”No one is going to read this. You are going to be too vulnerable. You don’t know that much to be writing a professional blog.”  I had to face some fears about “sticking your neck out.”

I learned to work hard at telling myself that redesigning my website, becoming more clear about how I work, and blogging might be powerful, challenging and fun.  It might actually work out!

I had to learn how to start a blog, how to tag and optimize the likelihood of being read and a whole bunch of other technical details that can easily scramble my brain (still learning!). There’ve been glitches and times I’ve doubted the whole process.   And it’s also been an invigorating path I’ll be on for a while.

Those steps, coupled with vision, intention, and support from family (especially my spouse for the graphic design, and son for the artwork), friends, and an online business community, (huge thanks to Heart of Business!) sustained the work that brought me here to these words.

That’s similar to the process of therapy – it can be hard to face fear and contact a therapist; parts of society and perhaps our families will undervalue or stigmatize the act of seeking help, conveying the message that to call a therapist shows weakness, is futile or god forbid, might lead to someone else knowing our secrets, fears and worries.

If the thought of working with a therapist is new to you, research and learn about it. Ask potential therapists or friends who have gone to therapy what the process is like.  Ask yourself if this is a step worth taking.

You may already know what you need to work on and for therapy to be helpful, you must be willing to take responsibility for your life.  You will need to face your fears, and you can do that at your own pace and with your own style.

Good therapy provides a safe space, not from someone who’s got it all together and has risen above life’s challenges, tragedies, and concerns, but from another human being who has worked on their own stuff enough to be able to bring an open mind, accepting spirit and a deep belief in each person’s goodness, resiliency and potential.

I hope you’ll find something in these posts that provokes, inspires or encourages. If not, that’s okay too. This blog is as much for me as it is for you, helping me get clear about how I work, what I believe, face fear and step back into writing.

Brenda Hartman-Souder, April 2018