Throughout our childhood, during our education including graduate school, and into our professional lives, there have been a myriad of rules in which we have followed in order to 'fit in' or to be successful.
I wrote out many of the rules that are present in our professional lives and planned to share it here to demonstrate the extent in which they show up in our day to day. Let's just say the list would have bored you with the length, so I excluded the list for everyone's benefit!
That said, I recognized that every item on the list somehow limited clients being served at the highest level. Now of course, I have to make sure any bias was eliminated because it would be quite easy to simply say these rules made my job harder as a therapist. But notice the subtle difference.... the focus of the original statement is client-centric and external to myself. Whereas the bias statement was about me, and my job being made harder.
So where am I going with all of this? Simple, the recognition that RULES were what I needed to leave behind in order to help my clients.
The above quote from Seth Godin is genius. And for me, it was above leaving rules behind to move forward.
Sure, rules create order, protect and many times have immense value. Yet here I am clearly identifying how the entire concept of rules has done harm to those that I have committed to helping find health and well being. That long list of rules I outlined... every rule benefited something or someone other than the client.
The key.... rules define who has control. It's within each of us to decide who we give control to. I'm sure you can see that in many aspects of a 3rd party reimbursement system of healthcare.
A few arenas where rules can be controlling you, or impacting your choices and decisions...
For some it may be scary to let go of rules that have defined your way of thinking, influenced behaviors, or the manner in which you act or even live your life. For others, you might see it as impossible. If you take a close look at those rules, you will see that their strength was serving you in the past, or serving someone else. Neither of which are about creating the life of fulfillment for you.
For those of you who are into personality assessments and score high in any arena such as compliance or structure, this conversation may sound maddening! Full transparency, I actually score relatively high in the world of structure. I learn and assimilate in a systematic manner, which allows me to build in my mind something that makes sense for me. BUT, I very much operate externally with flexibility and autonomy.
Here's what I encourage each of you.... THINK DIFFERENTLY!
I always heard that I was a bit of a 'devil's advocate' in the sense the status quo really never set well with me. At times I struggled with a sense of not belonging and found myself creating roles for myself outside the typical career ladder that supported both my superpower and the needs of the organization I worked for.
One of those roles included creating a professional development program including a tiered system in which therapists would grow within our company, you know, Level 1, Level 2.... I can promise you that every effort went into that critical project to embrace all aspects of what makes a therapist successful as well as a valued person. But yet we still found that our amazing tool was basically defining who fit in, and who didn't. It created a lens in which to see our therapists. But it also limited the opportunity of therapists to find their own self and personal meaning. It surely didn't celebrate uniqueness.
The magic of my current professional and personal life and my 'moving forward' came from finally having the courage to break the rules because I trusted my intentions were pure. I had gone through the rigors of self reflection and such knew my position was more than emotional response and just breaking the rules or doing things my way.
I had a deep belief in myself, like no other time in my life.
With that belief I have prospered in so many aspects of my life and continue to enjoy creativity, margin, re-defining my focus whenever I want, adventure and fulfillment.
My role as clinician, mentor and coach is to guide others to that belief and to fully see their unique gift and contributions to others.
Think differently....your future depends on it.