I have been working as a clinical psychologist at Prosper Health Collective for a month now and I have this recurring thought that I’m going to get into trouble, that I’m going to make a mistake and that I’m not going to be as good as they think I am. Fundamentally it’s my own not good enough story and it’s anxiety provoking!
What do I do when this story comes up? Firstly I ask myself how this thought could be helping me. The thought could be helping me reflect on my performance. I think back to my work with my clients and my interactions with my colleagues, and they seem to be going well. So the not good enough story isn’t helping me in this instance.
That’s when I then try to remember that it’s a thought; nothing more, nothing less. There is a difference between having a thought and buying into a thought. I reflect on my history and I know where the not good enough story comes from.
It helps to put the not good enough story into context. I do this by connecting with my values; what’s behind me working as a clinical psychologist in private practice in the first place. For me, some of my values include helping people, connecting with people, and the variety that private practice offers. Am I willing to have the not good enough story show up if it means taking a step towards these values. Yes, I am.
How do I develop this stance of being able to notice a thought and not necessarily get caught up in it? For me, activities that develop the skill of mindfulness help. High intensity workouts mean I have to focus on the task at hand and are in themselves representations of willingness: am I willing to feel pain, hot and bothered if it means a step towards the value of health? Yes, I am too.
I write about my not good enough story to normalise the not good enough story that many of us have. What our minds tell us is not necessarily representative of our abilities or our confidence. They need not boss us around.
Maybe you’re feeling bossed around by your not good enough story. Or thoughts that you’re not good enough are stopping you from applying for that job you want. Or you’re caught up with your not good enough story and find it difficult to just notice it. We can help you flourish and thrive.
- My mind says I’m not a good enough clinical psychologist! - July 22, 2020