Dear Wednesday Night Tribe

That’s me! I just need to take a minute to say how much I adore my Wednesday nights now. I run a self-care webinar on Wednesdays and it has turned out to be one of the coolest things I have ever done. When the last thing I say to people is “OMG don’t forget to watch The Real Housewives ASMR on Youtube,” my therapy dream feels complete.

I have always felt inclined to be myself as a therapist. I’m a huge proponent of intentional self-disclosure and I just think its important to be completely real. Personally, I think that’s the only way that I can be a decent therapist. That all made a lot of sense in the utopic world of grad school. And it still makes sense now.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t second guessed myself, or tried to be “more professional”, “more grown up,” “more serious,” or “less ditzy”. Believe me, I’ve been there done that. As a matter of fact, I think I tried to hide in the land of adolescent therapy forever because it was so comfortable for me. I could be so silly (and so real) with my teens and they totally loved it. They loved it, I loved it, it was amazing. I still truly believe that adolescent counseling is probably one of my top callings (and a really skilled and important job). But if I’m being completely honest, it was also bit safe zone for me because working with adults used to freak me the eff out.

I thought it would mean that I would have to have my shit together. I thought it would mean that I have to always have a clean house, could never get divorced, and could never have another hangover. I just knew had to drop the silly facade and grow the eff up. I got real comfortable with hideously plain pictures of myself that say, “Look at me, I may be boring but at least I’m not crazy.” I certainly couldn’t be crazy. I had to be perfect.

Wait, hold up. I spend my life’s work on helping people heal from and get past feelings of having to be perfect. I do this because I have personally had to muddle through that stuff myself. Why would I let myself do that again? Perfection is the root of all anxiety. Trying to be perfect in the name of being a therapist who tells other people not to try so hard to be perfect? What kind of whack BS is that? My Wednesday night tribe has really helped me to come to this realization.

I’ve given my fair share of corporate presentations and trainings. I know how to read a script and I know how to teach people to read that same script. Step by Step by Step. But I had never in my life done a live webinar, nor did I ever really expect to. I tried to sell makeup one time (okay more like 5 times) because I really like makeup but I couldn’t do it because I could not fathom the idea of going live on Facebook putting on lipstick while trying to say “Hey” to Sarah and Susan all at the same time. It just wasn’t my thing. Video cameras freak me out. Entertaining people freaks me out.

Once I started feeling my way through the webinars I thought that I had to be like 25% Facebook live lady and 75% psych prof. While thats actually a pretty ironic and humorous description of what I’ve become, I’ve come to realize that there’s no real formula. A formula for how to not perfect is just a really effed up perfection workaround. What I really need to be is my Authentic Self.

And if my authentic self always forgets to turn the mic on and wants to spend an irresponsible amount of time talking about water bottles, 90’s kids shows, and being an adamant running hater, more power to her. Because the heart of the therapy is not in perfection. It is a journey of authenticity. It’s a journey of learning to be okay with who you are because that’s the only person that you will ever be. Warts, silliness, immaturity, and all. That’s a pretty tall order for me to ask of others, especially if I’m not living out what I teach.

So thank you, my beloved target water bottle tribe, for being so supportive and reminding me that its okay to not be perfect. Also, there are probably typos in this post and I honestly love it. Sorry not sorry.

Seriously, though. Go watch the video.

Love, Amanda

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