This year has been a strange one for me. It was my 5th year of being self employed where my business has just gone from strength to strength but it was the first year that I haven’t actually written very much. (The (majority) of posts that have been posted up on this page have been from previous articles of years gone by.)
Why? Because this year I have struggled with my identity as a therapist and coach more than ever before.
You see, ever since I can remember I have written. I have kept journals and blogs. I have used pen and paper, notebooks, and more recently, iPad and apps. But you will not find much evidence of any them.
The reason is that I found that when I looked back on the previous days, weeks or months I would feel shame. I felt ashamed of the lack of consistency. The thoughts that had come out of my mind felt alien to the newer version of myself. The beliefs I once had no longer felt true to me and I hated the inconsistency. I was afraid that should anyone find them, read them, then they would believe I was a fraud, that the lack of consistency would highlight that I had no fucking clue what I was talking about.
And so I would destroy any trace of evidence of my ‘immature’ beliefs end inconsistent views before anyone could find out just how much of a fraud I was.
This year I felt like a teenager again as I looked back at my blog on my website, where many thoughts and reflections from my previous year’s work lie dormant. Shame. Fear. Vulnerable.
The ideas I once had, fought strongly against each new perspective that came into view. The more I learned this year the more I realised just how naive I was to believe some of the concepts that I did before.
This year my self concept has been questioning my past work over and over again. That lack of consistency highlighting again that I know nothing, that again, I am a fraud.
The voice inside my head “Look at all these things you said before. How can anyone possibly believe a word you say when you change your views like you do”
It was exhausting. Emotionally.
Physically I felt sick.
And I struggled to write.
I wanted to remove the old posts. Start again. Just like I would in my old journals. Rip out the pages and start again. No one would ever know how immature I once was. But something stopped me.
This last week, as I looked back at old posts, I had an epiphany.
I have no obligation to be consistent.
If the ideas that develop happen to contradict those in the past, then readers can watch my knowledge and experience grow. I can witness my own development. My evolution.
How is that something to be ashamed of?
And so as I sit here right now I want to be transparent.
I don’t have all the answers. I have what I know right now. And right now that is enough. My view may be different to what I have had in the past and that’s ok. When you read my posts, do so in knowing that they were written at a time when I believed what was written. But that my views and opinions may actually be different today.
I wish I realised this years ago. These changes in perspective, these new opinions and thoughts are amazing. They are nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. They do not mean I am a fraud. They mean that I am growing as a therapist and coach. That I am continuing to question myself all the time. To never settle. To remain curious within this world.
All of this is trial and error. All of it. And just as you think you have something figured out, curiosity gets the better of you and you question everything you have ever believed. And that is ok. That is more than ok. That is freaking awesome.
You have no obligation to be consistent. What is important is that you continue to evolve, to grow. It doesn’t mean the old ways were wrong, it’s just that the new views suit your perspective right at this moment in time.
That is, until the next thought pops into your head asking “yes, but what if...?”