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Back to School Check-In: Are These What Growing Pains Feel Like?

by Kimberly on September 21, 2011 · 3 comments

I think I’m going through professional growing pains. Is there such a thing? As I write this, I’m feeling inadequate, under-prepared, and as if I don’t know nearly enough…or at least nearly as much as I should.

On a conscious level, I realize that this is a very good place to be. My hope is that this means I’m on the verge of a breakthrough of sorts in terms of my professional and/or personal growth. You know how you go through these growth spurts only to grow and grow and grow…then plateau for awhile until your next growth spurt happens? I can’t help but wonder, given how I’m been feeling this week, if I am on the verge of…I don’t know, something great?

I think the biggest reason I’m feeling this way at this time is because I am back at school. Don’t get me wrong! I am in the right place at the right time doing the right things with the right people. I’m thrilled and honored that I get to experience this journey.

But I am back in a position of being evaluated on a regular basis by people smarter, more educated, and more experienced than me. It’s a vulnerable position and I’m surprised, having been through over 15 years of school myself, of how jarring it feels is after being on my own professionally for only 6 years.

I can’t help but wonder, though, if this is a part of professional growth that we don’t experience often enough. Some people I know seek it out by participating in peer supervision groups or by paying for clinical supervision sessions. Others have it built into the organization of their job (e.g. an annual job review). And a small few, like myself, do it by going back to school.

What I’m talking about is different than feeling supported by a community. That I have in leaps and bounds! What I am talking about it putting yourself in situations where you are tested, evaluated, and judged. Not in a negative way, but in a way that challenges you and gives you the opportunity to grow.

But maybe I am missing something? Are those programs out there? The closest I can think of are continuing education-types of courses, especially those that include an evaluation-type of component. Yet I’m not sure the ones I have experienced provide the type of opportunity I’m talking about–the opportunity for amazing growth.

So this week it seems I’m starting to feel some growing pains. Which begs the question:

How do you create your growing pains opportunites?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Roia September 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Kimberly, I think it rocks that you’re in school again! I love school, and if I had the money/time for a PhD right now, I would do it in a heartbeat. I think, aside from (as you mentioned) paying for clinical supervision (and being a clinical supervisor), my clients challenge me every day to grow and learn and be better at what I’m doing. And one of the things I really like about being a supervisor is that now my supervisees invite me to think, not just as a music therapist but as a teacher of sorts. Another thing I do is go to conferences that are for professionals outside of the music therapy field. It helps me see what I could be learning and also what I already know. Lots of luck in school-land!
Roia´s last blog post ..What do I (think I) know?

Kimberly September 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Roia! I think you have so many great tips and insights to share and I agree with everything you wrote 🙂 ~Kimberly

Meredith August 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the future. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!
Meredith´s last blog post ..How Under Armour Became A HouseHold Name

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