Stepping Out on a Limb

Jeremy Sharp, PhDtaking risks Leave a Comment

Welcome to Talk Therapy – a psychologist’s take on anything and everything. I’m hoping that the blog will serve as a place to voice thoughts and feelings related to therapy, growth, and real life events. Much of it will be “uncut” – coming straight from my mind to the keyboard. Some may be more structured or organized…but all of it will be genuine.

I almost just put up a standard “Under Construction” page until I got something “real” to write about. Then I started to listen to my thoughts and noticed that there’s plenty going on already! This project has been brewing for quite a while – ample time for expectations & hopes to develop. Some are helpful, some not so helpful. Right now I’m mostly aware of the pressure that I’ve put on myself to construct not only a readable blog, but also hopefully the most entertaining and brilliant blog in the field :) Not thirty minutes into the process, I’m already anticipating the reactions of unseen readers and asking myself a thousand questions. Will people read it? Will they like it? If not, what happens then? What if I say the wrong thing? And so on.

This process is familiar. I talk with my clients a lot about perfectionistic thoughts, inner critical voices, etc. Whatever you want to call them, these unhelpful expectations can put serious blinders on our brains, giving us tunnel vision for nothing but negative stuff. The trick is to pull off those blinders and be open to the full range of possibilities rather than just the negative ones. I had to bend my brain around to listen to the other stuff – the stuff that motivated me to start this in the first place. The idea that it’s okay to take a risk and try something new…to explore my creative side…to be excited by my work and share that somehow.

While I was co-leading a mindfulness-based stress reduction group at the University of Texas at Austin, one of my co-facilitators called this process “looking at the world through clear-colored glasses.” Rather than looking at things through rose-colored (overly positive) or gray-colored (overly negative) glasses, it’s being open to the full range of possibilities. Of not dwelling in the extremes that can easily lead to depression or anxiety. Of being okay with the idea that my blogging experience, like most experiences in life, will almost certainly bring feelings along the whole positive-negative continuum.

We’ll see where this goes – right now I’m aware of feeling excited to get started. I’ll be working to update the blog regularly over the next few weeks so that the content will grow. In the meantime, feel free to read the About section and check out a couple of links. Hope you come back soon!


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