Don’t be like me.
It took me 2 years, $22,000, and 700 hours of unpaid internship hours to complete a graduate program in Mental Health counseling only to realize – “Oh, just kidding. I actually don’t want to pursue this path.”
I knew within the first few months into the program that I didn’t do enough research and signed up for a program that didn’t quite resonate with me. Yet despite this realization I convinced myself that I should just stick with it anyway, because having a Master’s is better than not.
And sure, my rationale made sense – any more pretty stripes you have on your belt only make you a more appealing candidate to employers — assuming you can even secure employment, that is. This meme couldn’t be more real right now:
The path to becoming a Mental Health Counselor is pretty long and actually pretty painful if you’re not 100% sure this is exactly what you want to do. Finishing school is not enough. There are several and I mean SEVERAL hoops you have to jump through, and it’s a never ending process because Psychology is a living and constantly developing field.
Not to mention the fact that after graduating some employers want to pay you crumbs for your service. I’ve had employers offer me $12.00 an hour for counseling services. $12.00!!!! It’s insanity.
My current issue with this path is that it totally stifles my spirit. The clinical path has a tremendous bureaucratic system that involves so much control over how therapists should operate and how counseling should be done, and it literally suffocates me. When I look at the paperwork and the demands that are being put on me to perform under particular standards as well as regulations, along with the types of populations that clinical counselors generally deal with, I clearly see big RED LIGHTS and SIRENS that tell me to look the other way and RUN!
And I get it – this system is indeed helpful and is supported by years of research and studies that I respect and believe has its use and purpose. However, it’s just not for me.
And why am I whining and complaining about it to you?
Well, my friend, it’s because I wish I would have stepped on the breaks 2 years ago when I realized this wasn’t my actual calling and invested my time, energy, efforts and CASH on what I TRULY, TRULY want.
I’ve wasted so much time trying to prove to myself that I’m disciplined enough to complete higher education and formal training only to come out of it feeling like I am 2 years behind on my actual goals.
I’ve been playing it safe,
I’ve been trying to do what everyone else is doing.
I’ve been ignoring my intuition and pushing myself to do what I thought I needed to do rather than what I truly wanted to do.
DON’T BE LIKE ME.
Get LASER clear on your vision and act in alignment to that TRUE vision.
What do you REALLY WANT.
Not what your parents want. Not what society wants. Not what you think you need to do because you have to prove something to yourself or the world.
Don’t waste time trying to prove yourself to anybody.
Don’t waste time trying to please family, friends, society, facebook.
Really and truly ask yourself:
WHAT DO I KNOW IN MY HEART I REALLY WANT?
And then move in that direction.