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If I had to pick one mission that I have for my professional life, it is to change the stigma of counseling/coaching/personal development. (Even coming up with a name for the profession is challenging because there are so many stigmas attached to the psychology world.)
Let’s be honest. Life is hard. We were raised by imperfect people to be imperfect people. We are in a society that encourages us to go, go, go and rank our worth not by what we give to the world but by the size of our bank accounts. We spend more time on our electronic devices than with our fellow human beings. We deal with our anxiety and fear by over spending, over eating and over drinking. We are a society yearning for connection, real conversation, and quality interactions.
When I tell people what I do for a living the conversation usually goes like this:
Them: “So what do you do for a living ?”
Me: “I own a place called the Live Happier Loft, and I coach people on practical ways to reduce anxiety and live happier.” (ok so it usually doesn’t come out that smoothly–but you get the idea)
Them: “Oh, I TOTALLY need that, I definitely want to live happier…and I have a lot of anxiety”
Me: “Well, you aren’t the only one, you should check it out…here’s a card and you could email me or sign up for one of our workshops.”
Them: “OK, maybe I will, except my life isn’t that bad and I don’t want anyone to think I am not happy already or that I I need help being happy.” (or some version of…I might not be happy but I can’t get help”
Me: “I get it, but we all need help from time to time in being happy… the loft is comfortable and approachable and you should check it out.” (Admittedly in this version I am being overly-polite)
What I really want to say is…
“Give me a break…happiness is a life long process. People aren’t afraid to admit they need help cutting their hair, repairing their car or fixing a broken tooth. So why are people afraid they to admit they need help in figuring out how to live happier?”
My clients are intelligent, funny, people who realize they don’t have all the answers. They need a partner in crime in figuring out how they can have less anxiety and more joy in their lives. They are looking for empathy and compassion but most of all they are looking for strategies on how to make positive lasting changes in their lives.
Even, I who teach on the subject and have devoted my life to living happier. I regularly see a therapist, attend personal development workshops, have mentors and guides and a team of friends and family who I can call and chat and easily admit my joys and struggles with living happier.
We can’t do it alone. Asking for help is not admitting weakness. Asking for help is the first step in taking back control of your life.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have the one-size fits all step by step guide. But I have been learning, teaching, counseling and mentoring enough to know that I can help. I can provide empathy, compassion, and insight that will help you Live Happier. I can give you personalized strategies that will reduce anxiety and change lives.
I created the Live Happier Loft to create a safe, vibrant, space where we can have real conversations about topics that help us live happier. I created a space where compassion, empathy and quality interactions are like breathing. Where you can come in feeling stressed and unsure and grab a cup of coffee, sit down and relax and walk out feeling energized, excited and empowered.
The stigma in asking for help in understanding the maze of life is unnecessary and unhelpful. It is keeping us stuck. It is keeping us trapped in a cycle of disappointment, insecurity, and mediocrity.