Wednesday, July 4, 2012

“I don’t know what I’m doing”

One of the greatest factors contributing to anxiety is a sense of overwhelm: “I don’t know what I’m doing” or “I’m not ready.” The key to alleviating this anxiety is to seek help.
As a psychotherapist, one of the first things we’re trained to assess for is how strong a support system a client has. Do you have people to help guide, support, and encourage you and hold the space for your growth and development?
When we enter into what Buddhism calls“The Beginner’s Mind,” we humble ourselves, let go of the need to be right, and give ourselves permission to not know everything. Ahhh! Sweet relief. To be a student. To sit at the feet of a guru. To not know.
The word “guru” translates to mean the “remover of darkness.” One who sheds light on a particular subject. One who lights the way and paves the path. One who illumines your True Self.
When we sit at the feet of a great teacher, one who has gone before, we are cradled in their expertise, experience and wisdom. Like a warm bath, we feel at ease.
Last week, I had the distinct pleasure and honor of assisting my mentor, supervisor, and colleague, Dr. Ron Alexander at his Esalen workshop. It’s been a long time since I sat in the role of student and apprentice in this formal way. I found such simple pleasure in assisting him, anticipating his needs and adding my own unique voice to the group discussion. I remembered that I don’t have to know everything. Inspiration and wisdom pours in when we are soft, receptive, humble and open.
This week, your challenge is to dissolve your need to know everything and seek out a mentor:
  1. Determine one area of your life that you need guidance and support. (career, parenting, finance, sex, weight loss)
  2. Identify 2-3 people whom you admire in this field. People who have completed the tasks at hand or who model exemplary behavior and satisfactory results in your chosen field. They don’t have to be doing exactly what you are seeking to do, but in the same general space. Think: who do you admire? Who seems to have succeeded in this realm? What qualities do you notice in them?
  3. Call them up, tweet, or Facebook them. Reach out and ask for help. Ask to have a quick 15 minute phone conversation or meet them in person, if at all possible. The more personal the connection, the better. Most likely, you’ll be surprised at their graciousness and generosity. Remember, it is an honor to help someone out and be considered a mentor.
  4. Ask what advice they have, what they wish they knew one, five, ten years ago. Ask what they consider the three most important things for you to focus on and implement now. Ask for specific resources (courses, teachers, books) that would be most helpful. Ask if you could come observe or assist them in their work, if appropriate.
Remember, we are all in this together. Building a strong teacher/mentor relationship is one of the best strategies to succeed and know that you are not alone.
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

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