I just talked to a therapist who does wonderful work with her clients, and she’s got a lot of impressive training and experience. She’s been putting herself out there more recently, increasing her visibility and investing more in her business.
She’s was motivated, steadily increasing her marketing, and then suddenly, CRASH, she says, “I don’t feel like a very good therapist. ”
We could have seen this coming. Your inner critic is likely to show up when and where you’re doing something brave or new.
When you first started out as a therapist, your inner critic was probably around a lot in the therapy room. I know mine was. Part of me was in the room with my client, and another part was thinking, “My supervisor would know what to say right now. That wasn’t a good intervention. I’m never sharing this part of my tape.” (This was back when we used tape recorders).
After being a therapist for a while, that inner critic quieted down in the therapy room. You started to feel more confident about your clinical skills a lot of the time. Thank god for that.
If you’re doing something new, like marketing in a new way, making yourself more visible, or claiming your expert status, your inner critic starts talking more loudly again. As my business coach often says “your ego has a new chew toy.” That voice may just be there to protect you. your inner critic is trying to protect you from disappointment. If you don't put herself out there, you can’t possibly get rejected. It might be there because it is an echo of what a parent used to say. Whatever it's purpose or reason for being, it doesn't help you in your business.
Acknowledge that inner critic and don't take it's message too seriously. It isn’t very smart. When we respond to that inner critic and say: “yes, I was expecting you,” it has less power. You can’t necessarily root out the inner critic, but don’t let it make any business decisions. When your inner critic acts up, make a note of it. Write down what it has to say. If you get this stuff on paper, you will begin to notice how little new information it holds. Your inner critic is saying the same thing as it always does. It's probably saying the same things most people's inner critics say.
“Someone else could do this better.”
“People will think you’re stupid (or cheesy or boring or…)”
“You're a fraud”
“That was a dumb thing you said.”
“You’re a failure”
Therapists tend to be really good at prioritizing personal growth and not great at prioritizing self-promotion or business building. I am taking a stand for you bringing those two things together. Use your process of growing your practice to be a vehicle for personal growth.
Is it time to build your practice to the next level? Apply for a free consultation now to talk about how I can help.