Episode 73: Life Doesn't Reset at Midnight [featuring Cindi Miller]
The time between holidays and the end of the year can sometimes feel unsettling and anxiety-inducing. It's when we are both told to rest and, at the same time, to start planning our fresh start and big goals for the new year.
During this time, it's not uncommon for entrepreneurs to feel a sense of anxiety as they try to live up to the idea that they've worked hard all year and now should reward themselves with rest while at the same time feeling guilt over not using their time to create.
If you feel like this time period that society has set aside for rest, reward, and planning doesn't feel quite right, then this episode is for you.
In this episode, I talk with Cindi Miller, licensed counselor, coach, and copywriter for therapists, about navigating this time of year.
Top 3 reasons to listen to this episode:
- Learn how to manage and respect your time so that you can feel confident and comfortable with how you use it.
- Understand how to stop living with the idea that there is a magic reset moment where your progress, goals, and self-care end and begin.
- Identify healthy ways to define your success, break the molds of societal and capitalistic expectations, and protect yourself from burnout.
There is a lot of noise around how to treat the new year with resolutions that create these artificial deadlines that can leave you feeling depleted and defeated if not met or maintained. It's important to learn how to approach goals and accomplishments in a steady and fluid way that also resists the comparison trap.
Cindi's Instagram: @sportsfoodandmentalhealth
Cindi's Therapist Page: resilientmindcounseling.com/cindi-miller-ms-lcmhc
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A Thanks to Our Sponsor!
I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode.
As you prepare for the new year as a private practice owner, one area of your business where you might be able to level up your client experience is from the moment that they enter your office and check in with you. For many private practices, the client check-in process can be a bit awkward and confusing.
Clients often enter into an empty waiting room. And chances are you're wrapping up a session with someone else, so there's no way of knowing when they arrive. With a visitor management system like The Receptionist for iPad, you can provide clients with a discreet and secure way to check in for their appointment while instantly being notified of their arrival.
What's more, The Receptionist offers an iPad list check-in option where clients can scan a QR code to check in, which negates the need for you to buy an iPad and stand. Go to thereceptionist.com/privatepractice and sign up for a free 14-day trial. When you do, you'll get your first month free. And don't forget to ask about our iPad list check-in option.
PATRICK CASALE: As you prepare for the new year as a private practice owner, one area of your business where you might be able to level up your client experience is from the moment that they enter your office and check in with you. For many private practices, the client check-in process can be a bit awkward and confusing. Clients often enter into an empty waiting room. And chances are you're wrapping up a session with someone else, so there's no way of knowing when they arrive.
With a visitor management system like The Receptionist for iPad, you can provide clients with a discreet and secure way to check in for their appointment while instantly being notified of their arrival. What's more, The Receptionist offers an iPadless check-in option where clients can scan a QR code to check it, which negates the need for you to buy an iPad and stand.
Go to thereceptionist.com/privatepractice and sign up for a free 14-day trial. When you do you'll get your first month free and don't forget to ask about our iPadless check-in option.
Hey, everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale. I'm joined today by a good friend of mine and colleague, Cindi Miller, out of Indiana. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a coach as well.
And we are going to talk about this really weird time right now in between holidays of Christmas and New Year's Day and all the new year's resolutions that are about to be unleashed by business owners and people in general, and just how unsettling this experience has been. And I know we're both kind of feeling that today as you're sick and I'm tired. And we were both going to cancel this podcast.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, yeah. And then I thought, you know, what better time to talk about this when we're both feeling sick and tired through this week. So, here we are.
PATRICK CASALE: It's an unsettling week. I'm not religious. I don't celebrate a lot of holidays in general. So, the holiday season's always hard, anyway. But I've always felt this intense feeling of unease during the week in between, like Christmas Day and New Year's Day where it feels like a barren wasteland, I almost was thinking of like, feels like Mad Max ask. I don't know what day it is. I don't remember what time it is most of the time. I'm in this limbo of, I'm exhausted from the entire year. And then, I'm also having this intensified anxiety process of, "You're not doing enough. You have all this free time, you could be creating, you could be manifesting, you could be stomping into 2023 with all these brand-new fucking ideas." And instead, I just lay in bed, and then, I DM you or other friends and talk about stuff.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, I think it's kind of wild of what you talked about of like, feeling like you need to rest from the entire year. And I think that just speaks to capitalism and the societal pressures of like, you can only rest when you've earned it. Like, it kind of felt that, like, once it's finished. But that's kind of what we're talking about of January 1st, what does that even mean? Like, why is that a reset?
So, it does. It feels just like, should I be resting? Should I be grinding? Should I be like, like you said, manifesting? And I have found, I think it was Monday, I've got this laundry list, I've had this long ass list that I've been making. I looked back at my planner, I'm still a written planner person. So, I'm like looking back and I had started to make notes. Okay, I'm going to put this off to the last week of the year, I'm going to put this off to the last week of the year. Like, things that when I'm free, I took the week off.
And Monday at like, 12:30 I had this like, sense of total guilt that I hadn't started my week off, my free week. Like, I could have got so much shit done in the first part of the week, and then like I would have rest time at the end of the week. Again, as if there's arbitrary, like, these rules that I'm supposed to follow. And all I had done was lay on my couch.
And it was like, close to two or three o'clock, and my sister was staying with me and I said, "I can't decide what I want to do with the rest of my day." And she was like, "Now? Like, now you're deciding what you're going to do with the rest of your day." And I was like, "Yeah, like, I don't know if I want to be productive or if I just want to, like, cancel this day." It was very all-or-nothing. I'm like, "Do I want to just call this a wasted day and chill?"
And she laughed at me. And I was like, "Well, in hindsight, I don't start working on Mondays till like two or three, most of the time anyway." So, it kind of fit. But at the same time, I was like pissed that I was already to Tuesday. Like, basically. At three o'clock on Monday I was pissed I was already at Tuesday. I'm like, "That's not how this works". So, it does feel like, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: I relate so much to that. Like, I was talking with a friend about this. And I don't know if this is more of like, I'm trying to think of how to frame this. I don't know if it this is more of a neurodivergent process. But I think there's time counting and like this sadness about time wasting sometimes and it's not even from productivity standpoint, but the hyper realization and fixation of, I am aware of how much time I have in each day. And it just gets very complex.
And I was thinking about this the other day, but, you know, a waste day, is funny to hear you say that, because I know you're always, you know, talking about on your Instagram channels about like, resting and rest being productive, and not having to be productive. And it's so fucking hard when you're someone who needs movement, and you need to be doing or feel like you need to be doing and struggle with stillness.
And I struggle with stillness. I mean, coming out of a two-month recovery from throat surgery, and I'm still like, not happy that I'm not where I'm at, where I want to be at, because I haven't recovered quickly enough to be able to do the things that I want to do. And sitting in my fucking house for two months of like, "Okay, what did you do with that two months? You wasted it?" And in reality, it was like, "No, you were healing from like, major throat surgery. And that was what your job was."
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, yeah. I think I call myself a recovering perfectionist a lot of the time. And it is funny, because I kind of felt like, practice what you preach or, you know, walk the walk. And I think that the more I talk about it the more I can resonate with it. But it is like an inner conflict all of the time. Like, if I choose to have a rest day, I am all in. Like, that feels so good.
Like, Saturday, I am going to stay in bed until noon and do nothing, then I can do it. But if I have plans, like, that's what kind of like rocked the past couple of days with being sick. I had very specific plans that I wanted to do, and when I wanted to do them, and then I felt like shit. So, I was like, "Well, that sucks." And then, I'm laying on the couch, like, "Okay, could I be doing this? Or could I be doing that? What could I knock off." And I went through… one of the things on my list was to go through some clothes, I have some friends who are like, "Hey, I want some of your clothes." I'm like, "Cool."
So, I took pictures. And literally, like, pulled them out of a hamper, put them on my bed, and took a picture. And I got through maybe half, so probably like 30 pictures. And I was like sweating and needed to lay down. Like, I was exhausted. I'm like, "Well, okay, we're getting halfway done then." Like, that's that. So, I came back down, laid on the couch, which I keep talking about this couch, because I just bought a huge S sectional and it's fucking amazing. So, I am utilizing that space very well.
But like, those are things… so I think that you're right on like, the time blocking to like, or, like I feel very confused in this time, specifically, when I don't have a regimented schedule of like how much things are going to take, like how much time? If I think I need an hour to do this thing, it might take 15 minutes, or it might take three hours. And I just feel like I don't have a concept of how long things are going to take or my expected, like, rest, or like nap times, like maybe I'll be sleeping for three hours instead of 30 minutes like I usually do. So, it just feels very, like you used the word unsettling, and that feels accurate.
PATRICK CASALE: It feels eerie. It's like I don't know. I don't know who's working, who's not, I don't know which businesses are open, like, if I want to go get coffee. And I think throws off your predictability. And for us like, you and I know each other, consistency, predictability, like that stuff, is important for me. And to not have that is really challenging. And I think for a lot of neurotypical folks, having January 1 as a reset or like a concrete date of this is when the new thing starts is really important. And for neurodivergent folks, that does not work, because I'm like, I cannot say on this day, at this time, all of a sudden my goals, my aspirations, my ideas all start over or like I'm now new year, new me. Like, that's not how my brain works.
So, being in this limbo state of what's expected societally and what I'm actually experiencing is very challenging. And I also think that there's all this pressure that people put on themselves to say, like, "I've got to reflect on the year." Which I do think reflection is really important and pretty crucial. I've got to talk about my successes openly to manifest more of them and to own them, and be proud of them. And now, what word or what action, like we were just talking about, do I want to step into the next year with? That puts so much unnecessary pressure, like you and I were just joking about, when does this happen? Does it happen at the stroke of 12:01? Is that when all this starts to unfold? Is it the next day, because you're maybe hungovered that day? Like, when are you supposed to step into and move into this new mindset that you've created for yourself for the new year?
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, and it's funny, because like capitalism, and diet culture, and all that will say, Monday, Monday morning, 6 am. Like, I know personally that the YMCA is going to be jam-packed on Monday morning, right? At 6 am this is the thing, this is the way diet culture's like, you're going to start and then you're going to fizzle out like most people fizzle, because we all have like, there's this push for weight loss or body composition change, or buy new things, or this is when you, you know, start your new habits, or whatever it may be, grocery stores. Like you're going to spend a shit ton of money on groceries, because you're going to buy whole foods and all this organic shit, and then you're going to realize that your grocery bill's three times as much. And in two months, you're going to be like, "Fuck that. Like, I would rather…"
PATRICK CASALE: [CROSSTALK 00:10:44:] and it just gets thrown out.
CINDI MILLER: Or you just throw it away, then you're extra pissed, which is what I do with fresh vegetables so I don't eat fresh vegetables, like hardly ever, because I just throw them away. And like, when does it start? Like, and when you said something about success and like reflecting on success, it was interesting, because when you, I think you might have posted it on the Facebook of like, what we're like reflecting on some successes of 2022. And I couldn't think of like one that stood out to me. And I was like, that might be a success for me, in and of itself, that like I wasn't fixated on achieving, like, one thing in particular. Like, life was just pretty fucking good this year. Like, overall, like, my contentment was there. Like, I just kind of felt like I coasted through life, which feels really good when you're someone who like stresses on achievement and like that sort of thing.
Like, so my reflection of what is success, it's like not having, like, these tangible success stories almost. So, that was interesting too, to think about, of what am I, and I've said this since I turned, I guess, it like it was 2020 pandemic shitty cul de sac. It's mind-boggling to me that I have been in Indiana for almost four years. Like, when we talk about like time being a social construct. Like, I will literally say something, like, someone asked me, "Like, does Asheville get a lot of snow?" And I was like, "Yeah, a couple of years ago they got like a foot when I was there." I'm like, "Fuck, no, that was four and a half years ago that that happened." Like, it just seems that, like, the timepiece is all arbitrary. Like, when you have to accomplish things, like, you know, all of that.
PATRICK CASALE: And also like, with time being an arbitrary thing how do you even start to define successes if, you know, it's just on to the next thing over and over and over again? And you know, that's something I talk about a lot is, I oftentimes don't feel the successes that I've had, in terms of what you would look at in terms of professional success. I'm just like, "Oh, yeah, I did it, okay. I'm just doing the next thing now." And you know, I'll be anxious about it until it happens. And then, again, did it, move on to the next.
But I like measuring success much more in a personal and introspective kind of way of saying like, in personal development sense. Like, how has success kind of looked for you? And for me, it was really about trying to be much more intentional about what I say yes and no to. And I used to just be like, 'Yeah, I'll do it. I'll fit that in. Yeah, I'll do six podcasts a day. Yeah, I'll like throw in a coaching session." And now I'm like, I don't think I want to fucking do any of that. And just to even be okay with the notion of like, yeah, you can turn coaching clients away, and like, no longer do one-on-one coaching, because it's not lighting you up anymore. You don't have to record podcasts every single day. Like, all of the permissions to just be like, just be a human. And it's really hard as someone who really struggles to just sit still, because I'm always thinking, like, I'm uncomfortable, I need to change how I feel.
And that was definitely really apparent during acute phases of surgery recovery of like, you can't do anything. You have to accept and embrace this is what it is. And that has really been helpful in a lot of ways too, to just be like, yeah, I think, like you used the word coasting. I kind of like that. It's like, yeah, okay, I'm just going to coast through the next couple of months and let my body do its thing and that's going to be my goal for the next couple of months.
CINDI MILLER: There's this something that comes up in clients, and coaching clients, and people I talk to all the time of like, the word contentment feels like complacency, like that feels synonymous to so many people, and that you're not, like, growing, and you're not developing. And I'm like, "Contentment is being okay with where you are." Like at some point, like, do I want, for example, a different house? Yeah, I want a different house. Am I content with where I am right now? Absolutely. Like, there's like certain things that I think contentment coasting like.
And one thing when you talked about like saying no, I think that money is a really big push for saying yes to everything, right? It's a very big indicator of success for a lot of people. And I think that for me, like, yeah, I could, you know, struggle week-to-week because I'm seeing 80 clients a week or something, I won't give my actual number, because some people might think that's a lot. That's not a lot. But like, I could do that and make a shit ton of money, but I'm going to be fucking miserable. And then I'm not going to go anywhere, do anything, or have the energy to spend that money except late-night online shopping, like spurts, or dopamine hit, and shit. Like, [INDISCERNIBLE 00:15:46] to come.
But I think money, like, finding contentment and coasting in, like, income is also a really, really big piece of enough, like, that capitalism at the end of the year, like setting salary goals or like expectations in like the entrepreneur world. Like, people that work 13 to 15 hours a day, and like pride themselves of like, the grind, and they work all the time. Like, that sounds fucking terrible. Like, I don't want a life like that. Like, I don't care how much money you make. That doesn't sound fun to me at all.
PATRICK CASALE: I agree 100%. And, you know, as someone that can look at 2022 and say, I made more money in 2022 than I ever have, that's not what the driving force is for me, though, because that doesn't create contentment. I think it's quantifiable, which is why it's so often used as a marker of success, right? It's like, you can look at how much money you made and say, "I made X amount." But what did you have to do to get X amount? Like, how much of yourself did you have to give away and give up? Because it's so easy to get lost in productivity, and the next thing, and the achievement, and the next amount of money to be made. it's really empowering, and this is a very privileged thing to say, to start turning away business. It's very empowering.
Like, for me to turn away coaching clients is something I never thought I would do two years ago, starting this business, but it felt really liberating to say, "I don't have the capacity, nor do I have the desire or the energy to do this anymore." And I think there's grief in that, too, in terms of like, saying no to things that you used to enjoy doing. But I think it also is a good marker of change, and growth, and evolution as a human to just say, this season and this chapter is kind of closing. And that allows you to kind of be more open to whatever comes next without having to define it.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, there was a time, I think, it's, probably, like two years into doing therapy that I was like, "This is not for me. I just went back to grad school, felt like, "This is not it." And recently, like, I've had a lot of people ask me, like, how's business? You know, and the worst thing to say is like, the world sucks, so my business is booming. It's kind of like the shitty thing about therapy. Like, my, you know… and I think that why it feels so good now is because I can discern and I an choose who to work with. And it feels really good to be able to spend my energy how I want to, and not feel that sense of like urgency, or I can't think of a different word for it, maybe you'll be able to, but like, I have to say yes to anybody that like comes through my email, or my phone, or whatever, because I don't want to, you know?
And so, I think that too, with like a lot of people, like, they don't have the privilege to do that. Like, I know, like salary jobs, and community mental health, and different types of jobs, I mean, outside of mental health, you get what you get. And I couldn't do that. I know I couldn't do that, because my energy is depleted with things that are like, hell, yeah. Like, I know that, for sure know, because I've been able to practice it, and like feel, like, the like energy shift.
PATRICK CASALE: It's interesting that you say that, because I've done a couple of recordings this week. And there's a theme going on in all these interviews of like, hell, yeah has to be there. Like, I have to be excited to pursue this and a lot of people saying like, "I'm no longer going to do this because I feel pressure to say yes and I'm going to focus much more on the no than the yes."
And really going back to your why, and your values, and what feels really inspiring, what lights you up, because you mentioned energy, and energy and time are the two resources that I think are the most precious to me. And also, the ones that we are not going to get back.
And my energy is really limited for a lot of different reasons and if I spend it somewhere that I'm not passionate, or I don't feel fulfillment, or I don't feel enjoyment, I have to work a thousand times as hard to then provide enough energy to get through the next thing. And then, you get into that place where it's like, it's the end of the year and all I can do is crash, because that's what you're supposed to do is like, give yourself a break for these six days in between two major holidays. And that's just simply not enough.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, yeah. And I think there's even… and I posted about this earlier, about this idea of, even if you are back to working, like, you're really not there. Like, it's almost like the whole country shuts down. Like, you might go but there's all the memes, all of the like, there's the 2023 [INDISCERNIBLE 00:20:51] like, as though something's going to change on Monday, the 2nd, right? Like, when you go back to work, like now you're going to have the motivation, now you're going to have the energy. Like, probably not. If it wasn't something that filled you out a week ago or felt compelling enough to do a week ago, probably not going to, it's just going to be like this conditioning that like, oh, it's a new year, so I'll respond to that email then.
And this expectation that, again, this week, so I took it off. This is the first time I've taken this week off, ever, ever.
PATRICK CASALE: [INDISCERNIBLE 00:21:22].
CINDI MILLER: Thank you. Thank you. And it's funny, because a lot of my clients said the same thing. So, I'm like, "Oh, shit, did I know that I like work all the time?" Maybe, I don't know. And I think, there's a piece that feels like I should keep routine, because that feels good to me, which sucks, right? Like, I should keep routine, and then because there is a part of me that's like, damn, there's part of me that likes not having routine and not. And will on Monday, when I start seeing clients, I'm I going to be like, "Here we go again."
PATRICK CASALE: What? And we're only one day in.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: [CROSSTALK 00:22:01] doing for the people who are working right now, and like, dreading it, or trudging through it, or feeling like they had to. And I'm specifically talking to those of you who make your own choices and whether or not you're working right now, not those of you who just have to show up, because otherwise, you're going to get fired. But to those of you who are like, "I'm going to see clients because like, I feel like I'm supposed to, or like they're going to need me, or like, I just can't take the week off, that's too lazy of me, or like, I could do better things with my time."
You're borrowing energy from 2023 in 2022, you're already going into that new year that you're excited about depleted. And then where do you make up for it? And that's when we start reaching for things, right? It's like the online shopping, eating 27 Reese's eggs out of your fridge in one sitting, whatever the case may be, booking the next trip. You know, it's just we're constantly searching for that thing that's going to give us the energy back. But then we're constantly in this grind mode all the time of, I'm being lazy, I'm not being productive, I'm not achieving enough, I'm measuring my successes against 100 other people who are putting their stuff out on social media." 99% of the time, it's a façade, anyway. And then all of a sudden, it's like, here we are in the new year and I'm already exhausted.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: Where do you go from there?
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, and I think something that we talked about with like the new year, new me kind of feeling of this week being like a chapter closing, and then, so, if you're working up until the last, like, even if you think of any books, like, chapters, either, like intrigue you to read the next chapter or close, right? So, you want to find out what's next or, like it starts to wind down. And I think that either way you look at it there's a culmination of some sort of like energy. So, whether you're depleted or you're starting that rejuvenation process earlier, I think it's up to you.
And like you talked about, like the decision to take time off or not, because they need me, or like, that was my line, my clients need me through the holidays. And I was like, "I'm not doing them a service by allowing them to need me or to be available to them when I need time off."
And you know, it's a joke in the therapy spaces, that like everybody cancels anyway, right? Because they've got travel stuff, they've got holiday stuff. So, are there some emergency stuff that might come up? Sure, absolutely. But for the most part, taking the break is really… because that was one of the things that I have not even started doing. I was like, I want to, like, close my books for the year, like, you know, bookkeeping, because I didn't I can do it all year. Like, that's the things that are valid that I could wait until April 15. "Oh, I'm going to do this, like, the last week of the year, close that all up, and so, I'm not like worrying about that into 2023, things that actually have a start and finish. Those are the things that I tried. And that was what I did this morning when I was feeling like shit. I went through and I was like, "What needs to get done this week? Like, what are things?" And I started to like, delete things from my notes of not now, not now, I can do this next week, I can do this in two weeks, there is no timeline for this thing, I just wanted to do it.
And so, I think a lot of this pressure to start over kind of feels opposite of what we teach our clients and what we talk about doing of like, working from where you're at, you know, like building up, and then, the new year, like you go back to, like, ground zero, and then, start 2023, and then you like, drop back and then like, no, you want to build on it. And so, why is there this drastic shift? It just felt kind of like a waste of energy, or like energy and time, like thinking about all these magical things that are going to happen in 2023. You can manifest the shit all you want, but if you don't have the energy to put forth, what it takes to get the thing like they aren't just going to fall in your lap, these opportunities you can manifest and, you know, vibrate your way to… you have to do the things. Like, you have to know the people, you have to put the action, and like there isn't some sense of just, like, this new year is going to fall upon, like, money, or success, or whatever it is.
PATRICK CASALE: And you have to have the capacity to do the thing. And if you don't have the capacity, no matter how much manifestation you do, it doesn't fucking matter, because you're going to find yourself burnt out, and sick, and just tired all the time. And then, you're going to feel really depressed. And none of this stuff is going to be exciting, even if it is exciting today.
And it's kind of just one of those things that like, you may be setting yourself up for failure by manifesting all these great grand ideas that may never come to fruition. And I'm not trying to be cynical. But it really is important to think about, like, why do I need this next deadline to say, this is when this is going to happen? And this is completely off-topic, but this is why I fucking hate Valentine's Day. I've said it my entire life as someone who used to work in lots of restaurants during St. Valentine's Day, but also like, why not just treat the person you're dating well all the time and show them that you care about them? Why does that have to be like, on this day we're going eat cold steaks, and spend too much money, and like, I'm going to buy flowers. Like, it doesn't have to be that way. And it's just like consumer culture, again, just saying, this is how you are supposed to operate, this is how you are supposed to…
And I struggle with anytime that someone, or society, or culture says, "This is what you're supposed to do. This is how you're supposed to fit into this mold." Because I don't really find myself fitting into many molds in a neurotypical society, anyway. So, it's really challenging to just say like, why don't I feel a certain way about this upcoming new year? When in reality, it's just not set up for success. It's not set up for us to go into it thriving. We're really set up to go into it, like, exhausted, and just recovering, and trying to rejuvenate.
And I feel for everyone that's listening that doesn't have the luxury to just say, "I don't really want to work on Monday." Or, "I'm going to take that week off." Because I know how hard it is to even get through the day where you don't want to have to do something, but you absolutely have to, because that feels torturous.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, right I think that, like, the big push in 2022 is this like phrase of quiet quitting and that would be my advice to people who are listening that don't have the choice to stay at a fucking bare minimum and be content with it, because at the end of the day, like, you know that you have to protect yourself. Like, it's all of the clichés, going to fill your own cup, like, put your mask on for like all of those things come into play at this end of the year like rush to change who you are. Maybe you're chasing deadlines for quarter four, is it quarter-four? Is that even on the year? I don't even know.
But like, I think, that there is this, like, external pressure and you're like probably like neurotypical like all these like you're supposed to be. I'm just like straight-up rebellious to everything that anybody tells me I'm supposed to be so like, I'll show you I don't have to do. I'm just like, rebellious is probably the best word to fit there. But it does feel very much like external pressure.
And burnout can happen with things that you're really fucking passionate about. Like, a lot of people don't realize that like, you got to let this go, but I love that. But that's the thing that you might be able to let go of in 2023.
As you were kind of talking about that transition of the new year, what came to mind is also that we're like, coming out of a pandemic, and I don't know how to define it at this point, because we know COVID's still real, we know all this stuff is still dangerous, and happening, impacting people. But I feel like we're like coming out of a bomb shelter, like into 2023. Like, what will this year bring? Because every year, I think, what's that? There was a movie that Brendan Fraser was in and that they literally like stayed underground for 40 years or some shit? I don't know. I don't remember what it was. Did you ever watch it?
PATRICK CASALE: Are you talking about, no, I was thinking Encino Man, but I don't think that's right. I don't know. I don't know a lot of Brendan Fraser movies other than The Mummy.
CINDI MILLER: It also had, Christopher Walker was the dad. But yeah, I think they like go underground and live their life and he comes up and it's like a whole different world, because there either was, but I don't remember. But that's what I think of like, we're coming into 2023, like, almost hesitant of what is this year going to bring. And that's I think another thing. Like, nothing is going to change from 11:59 on Saturday night to 12:01 am on Sunday morning, nothing about your life is going to drastically change. There's not this like button that happens from whoever your God is that says 2023 Cindi is now ready like for… and my-
PATRICK CASALE: I wish there was. You know, I really wish we all got that reset button. But we don't. And I think it's so much more important now to just try hard to be content and just check in with yourself and do that introspection and just acknowledge that you can absolutely have goals, and neither of us are saying that you shouldn't. But it doesn't have to be so pressure-filled and it doesn't have to be the impetus of like, how to move forward, because those goals are going to shift throughout the year anyway. Something you were really excited about today, in two weeks, you may not give a shit about anymore. And something you that's not even on your mind or your radar may come to you because of a relationship you develop, or a connection you make, or some special interests that peaks up. This is a fluid process. And it's not binary. And we don't really have to create all of these pressurized situations for ourselves because of certain dates and deadlines, and just allowing ourselves to try really hard to acknowledge the fact that life is pretty fucking hard. If you're in this line of work, it's really fucking hard. These last couple of years have been really challenging for society. But as mental health professionals, we've beared the brunt of a lot of that, too. So, it's just important to give yourself permission to just try really hard to acknowledge that you don't have to set these goals for yourself because there's a new year coming or a new date that's coming up.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, I've been really nerding out on my human design, I've probably told you about it, I don't know. But I'm a projector. And I just came across like a post on Instagram or meditation that I was listening to. And it, specifically, said like, "You don't do well with deadlines." And I reflected on that big time that like, I like giving people deadlines. Like, so if I have something that I'm doing, like, for you, for me to say, I will have that to you by Friday is really fucking hard, because then that like puts this extra pressure on me.
And so instead, okay, I'll get that done as soon as I can, feels a lot less pressure-filled. And I thought that that could really like expand to a lot of people who have that, like, perfectionist mindset or people-pleasing mindset of like, you don't have to. There are some things, right? There are certain things that like, you have a deadline for, but most things, like, I will get it to you when I can, I think that's in the corporate world right now, like a big push for saying like, you know, I'll give it to you when I can, I'll respond to you on Monday, like and not feeling that pressure to immediately respond, is starting to take hold a little bit, because it's not healthy. It's not healthy to put these, like, arbitrary rules on how you best function.
And you've talked a lot about like neurodivergent try to fit into a neurotypical world, like, following these rules, these archaic rules, you know, nine to five job, like all of the things, I'm feeling very, I don't know what the word is, like, what's the points of it all? Let's burn it all down like [CROSSTALK 00:34:45].
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, there's a lot of apathy, you know, of like, there can be a lot of apathy with that. And I like that reframe of like, just letting people know I'll get to that when I can do it. There has to be a hard and fast deadline, okay. But more likely than not, there probably doesn't have to be.
And, again, just trying really hard to give yourself some space, some permission to just be a bit confused right now, to feel a bit lost, to really not have to know what comes next. And I know I'm a planner, I'm someone who likes to have like, these visions and these ideas, but for a while, I just felt none of it. And I just had to really kind of sit with how sucky things have felt for so long in terms of preparation for surgery, and anxiety, and trauma, and all that stuff. And just like, yeah, there aren't going to be any grand ideas right now. And that's okay. But it's just really allowing yourself to be content with where you're at. And just not having to force things upon yourself or force expectations upon yourself, either.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, right, you talked about goals earlier, and like setting all these things, and all these ideas. And this year, like, if we look, reflect on, again, successes, and such was me taking a backseat to all of the things that I want to do, because there's 8000. I have started a Google doc of just anytime I have an idea to drop it in there. And for the longest time, I called it my idea graveyard, because nothing ever really came to fruition. But that's because I was trying to put my hand into every single one of them, and I couldn't. I didn't have the energy. And so, really starting to focus in and hone in on one thing at a time feels really hard for me, but I know it's what's best for my energy and the way that I work and function.
PATRICK CASALE: I used to do that with a lot of my coaching clients, you know, creating these idea docs, and especially, for those of you who are like, "I have this idea, this idea, this idea. I should be doing this, this, and this." Because it's really a great way to reassess and reevaluate what feels energizing and important to you so that you can go through that on a weekly or monthly basis, and add to it, delete things, you know, remove the things that no longer fill you up or like, yeah, and also, it's a great way to kind of say like, "Okay, what feels like, it needs to take priority for me right now. And what can take a backseat?" So that it doesn't feel like there's a million things that you have to do every single day or every single week to kind of create or to embark upon that journey.
And it's been really helpful, I do that as well, because I need to get them out of my head, or they take up way too much space and too much energy. But then I go back to them. And I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, I don't really want to do this anymore. What was I even thinking in that moment?" And if I had acted upon it immediately, because I felt like I had to who knows how much energy that would have cost me?
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, I know that I have a little bit of like, what we've named is like a savior complex. Like, when I'm like, "This is a need, it needs filled, I'm going to do it." This is honestly why I'm a therapist right now, that's what happened was, "This is a need, I need to fill it, I'm going to quit my job and go back to school." Took the GRE the next Monday. It was some learning, you know, that worked out. And that was really stressful. But this idea that like not every problem can or will be solved by one coaching program, or by one webinar, or by like, you know, these things that I'm like this needs to get out there. And so, letting go of some of that, like, control that I think I have in the world as a whole, yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: And for those of you listening, I hope that this has been helpful. And we could talk all day about this stuff, and give more examples, and solutions, and tips for you to try to enact but really just, hopefully, that you're able to take a step back and do some reflection, figure out what lights you up and why. And try to figure out how to put things in alignment going forward, because that's the only way any of this stuff is going to feel good. As if it feels like you're saying yes, because you want to, that you're passionate about the things that you're pursuing, not that you have to do them. I don't think that feels good for anybody.
Cindi, I want to just thank you again for coming on for a second time, and sharing your wisdom, and being sick, and being here anyway. And just tell everyone where they can find more of what you're offering, because I know you've got a couple of different things going on right now.
CINDI MILLER: Yeah, so I also want to add just to the people who are listening, give yourself a fucking break. Like, you know, that's just at the end of the day, give yourself a break as I come on here sick but this is something that lights me up, so you know?
So, you can find me on Instagram at Sports, Food, and Mental Health. Right now that is where my focus is lasering in on, so if you are listening and you know of an athlete who's struggling with perfectionism, people pleasing, stress, anxiety around their sport, not around their sport, there's a whole different level of that competition personality that comes with high-level athletics. And so, Sports, Food and Mental Health is where you can find a lot of my information.
If you're seeking therapy, I'm working with Patrick's group practice, Resilient Mind Counseling, and so you can find me there. And then as time moves forward, there's going to be a little bit more of separation between Sports, Food, and Mental Health where you'll be able to find some stuff on boundary setting, and reducing like, the people pleasing and stuff on that page, too, so…
PATRICK CASALE: Really good resources. And we'll have all of that in the show notes for anyone who needs them or who's interested. Cindi has a lot of great Instagram chats, and conversations, and lives, and videos about tips around perfectionism, and people-pleasing, and boundary setting. And it sounds like a lot of us need that support more than ever. So, thanks again for being on here and hope you feel better soon.
For those of you listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, new episodes out every single Sunday on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. See you next week. Thanks, Cindi.
CINDI MILLER: Thank you.
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