It's Time to Make Some Changes
Nobody should walk out at the end of a long day and wonder, "Did it even matter? Did I make a difference?"
And yet, far too many pet professionals feel that way every day.
I know what it feels like to wake up and wonder, "What if I call in sick? Would they even notice? Perhaps they'd finally appreciate all that I do. Then again, probably not."
Or think, "There was a time I bounced out of bed so excited to go to work. Will I ever feel that way again?"
Or question, "Am I the parent my kids need and deserve? Do I show my friends and family how important they are to me, or are they paying the price for my career choice? Often it feels like I take better care of the animals at work than I do my own dog."
You should be able to make a difference without burning yourself out.
When you're operating under chronic stress, the effects spill over into other parts of your life and can feel overwhelming.
To protect yourself from feeling too much, you wind up a little more numbed than you want.
In fact, some days the good stuff doesn't even register because you're buried under a caseload that never ends. No matter how much you do, there’s always another animal in need.
That can really leave you with a lack of joy in your life. And no energy. None.
You wind up feeling stuck, sad, and lonely.
You never want to let anyone down, but you wonder how much longer you can keep stuffing your feelings down and pretending everything is fine.
It's become a catch-22 because you're talented at your job and really care about doing good work, which leaves you feeling guilty and not good enough.
And on top of all of that, there’s the fear of being ripped apart in a nasty review on social media. All your years of education and helping animals seem to disappear in a cloud of toxic smoke when an angry client sits behind their keyboard. You’re left feeling so frustrated and like there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
It doesn't have to be this way.
What if you knew you were enough?
It took me a while to learn that lesson.
II was a dog trainer for 28 years. Sometimes I loved it. Other times I felt like I was dragging myself through the day.
I loved working with the dogs, but often found the emotional burden too heavy. I helped clients manage their sadness, fears, anxieties, expectations, and grief. When I left, they felt better, but I carried the weight of those feelings home with me.
I thought I needed to be tougher. I criticized myself for “caring too much.” (Sometimes other people criticized me for that too.)
I felt like a wimp. My home life was good. I had people who cared about me. I was doing work I cared about. It felt self-indulgent to admit I was struggling.
Then a tennis ball-sized nasal tumor popped up on my husband’s MRI. It was a rare cancer that required brain surgery. That changed everything.
I no longer had the ability to just stuff my feelings down (usually with the aid of a Snickers bar) and keep going. For a year, my primary focus was on helping Jack recover and making sure our three sons were okay. When he got a clean bill of health, Jack dove back into work with enthusiasm. And I could barely get off the couch. I couldn’t summon any enthusiasm to dive back in.
So I did what a lot of us do: I showed up in zombie mode. I went through the motions. I did the things I was expected to do.
But I didn’t do them with the same level of passion and commitment that my clients deserved. I wasn’t serving my clients, my colleagues, or myself at a level that I could be proud of. I needed to feel like myself again.
And so I cross trained in positive psychology, resilience, and coaching and created a program that focuses on compassion, action, and growth.
I wanted to make a difference and not see people struggle like I did. You've seen it too: an incredible number of pet professionals feel stuck. Life is too short to be exhausted and unappreciated.
UNLEASHED Resilience Coaching
There are lots of science-based methods that can help you ease your mind, relax your body, and enjoy your life. Coaching can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Coaching all about taking action, starting with baby steps and working up to life-changing decisions.
And every bit of it is based on you: your goals, your real life commitments, and your incredible strengths.
My job is to help you with clarity, accountability, and implementation. Take charge of your life again!
Here's how the coaching program works:
Note: Coaching is not therapy and does not substitute for therapy, if needed, and does not prevent, cure, or treat any mental disorder or medical disease.
Once you decide to get started, I'll send you four things:
- A coaching agreement that spells out what to expect during our time together.
- An invoice for the program.
- A link you can use to schedule your coaching sessions. I encourage you to schedule them all right away so that you can plan around them. (And, yes, there’s a way to reschedule if something comes up and you need to make an adjustment.)
- Some introductory questions designed to get you thinking about your life and goals.
When it's time for our session, we'll dive in!
But first, schedule your complementary call! Let's talk about you and your goals and explore whether coaching feels like it will be a good fit for you.
Don't waste today hoping tomorrow will be better.
Here's a list of some questions and concerns other clients have had. If you have others, let me know. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
I don't really understand what coaching is.
Coaching is about taking action. It’s the fastest way to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Through confidential conversations, we’ll explore what you want and what’s getting in your way. At the end of each session, you’ll choose specific action steps that will help you move forward. (Just to be clear: Coaching is not therapy and does not substitute for therapy, if needed, and does not prevent, cure, or treat any mental disorder or medical disease. Many people who see therapists also work with coaches. With its forward focus, coaching can be a great tool to use in conjunction with therapy.)
I should be able to figure this out on my own.
“You can’t see the label when you’re stuck inside the jar.” When you are too close to a situation, it’s difficult to see it clearly. My job is to ask questions that give you a different perspective and encourage you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and actions so that you can make intentional choices, rather than just spend your life reacting to situations as they crop up. Even coaches have coaches! You'll be amazed at how you find answers inside of you to problems that have been bothering you for a long time.
I'm worried about the cost.
I get it. Of course, you need to carefully consider your options before making any decision. I do the same.
One-on-one coaching is an investment in your future. It will have ripple effects into every area of your life. You are worthy of a better life.
You ought to be able to be yourself in every area of your life, secure in the knowledge that you are enough, you are valued, and you are not alone.
Consider this continuing education for what they didn’t teach you in school. By taking care of yourself you'll be setting a great example for your coworkers, family, and friends.
I'm worried it won't work.
It makes sense to worry about this. You’ve tried other strategies before, but nothing seemed to work. The problem is most programs are a generic series of steps that don’t fit every situation. They provide band-aid solutions to deeper issues.
Coaching is personal. Everything we do will be tailored to your reality, your needs, and your goals. In addition, the strategies and tools I’ll share with you are all backed by scientific research that demonstrates their effectiveness.
I don't feel safe sharing my thoughts with you.
This is important. Coaching only works if you feel safe to show up as yourself. Our conversations are confidential. You can share as much or as little as you choose.
If you don’t think we’d be a good fit, I encourage you to check the International Coaches Federation website to find a trained coach.
I don't have time for phone calls. I’m running around doing all-the-things! How will I find time for these calls too?
I offer a variety of times from early morning through late evening, so you can find something that will fit your schedule. Also, you can book all of your calls in advance, so that you can plan around them. And, as you begin to make changes, your schedule will gain a bit more breathing room too.
It feels self-indulgent to spend time talking about myself.
Here’s the deal. You can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself.
If you take care of yourself well, you’ll have energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and generosity to share with others.
If you do a poor job of taking care of yourself, you’ll feel exhausted, irritable, and often resentful as you slog through your workday. Which person would you rather have show up for your friends, family, coworkers, and clients?
Other people have big problems. My life is “fine,” so I should just be happy with it as it is.
Pain is pain. We don’t need to have contests or measuring sticks. There’s no benefit in continuing to struggle just because others have it worse. In fact, the more you take care of yourself, the better able you’ll be to help others who are in need.
I’m afraid to open that can of worms. Once I start talking, I’m afraid of what I’ll uncover.
This is a common concern. And, you know what? It’s rarely a problem. In coaching calls, people often share their worries and fears and discover that talking about them actually makes them easier to handle, not harder. It eases the pressure valve.
Brene Brown is a huge advocate of finding a safe person with whom you can share tough topics. If you’ll let me, I’d love to be that resource for you.