Episode 74: Impact of Compassion Fatigue on Mental Health Entrepreneurs [featuring Sharise Nance]
As a mental health worker, you are often placed on the frontline of experiencing and supporting people through their trauma, suffering, and pain. It's no surprise that that can easily lead to a feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion known as compassion fatigue. It can almost be said that it sort of comes with the job.
So, if you are experiencing these symptoms and starting to wonder how you can protect yourself while still helping others, then this episode is for you.
In this episode, I talk with Sharise Nance, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Trauma Specialist, Serial Award Winning Entrepreneur, Author, Facilitator, and founder of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC, and Vitamin C Healing, LLC.
Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:
- Understand what compassion fatigue is and how to identify it within yourself.
- Learn how to navigate and build an immunity to compassion fatigue (since you can't completely prevent it in this line of work).
- Identify ways to shift the energy around how you help people and use other entrepreneurial outlets to support mental health while protecting yourself.
Compassion fatigue can be a challenging thing to address and can hit hard, so understanding how to be flexible and pivot your thinking, actions, and maybe even career to support your needs and wellness, will ultimately help you be charged and ready to take care of yourself and others as well as find the work-life balance that every entrepreneur needs to live a fulfilling life.
More about Sharise:
Sharise Nance is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Trauma Specialist, Workshop Facilitator, Global Speaker, Serial Author, and Entrepreneur. She is the co-owner and founder of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC and has over 20 years of experience assisting individuals, couples, and families see beyond energy depletion, hopelessness, panic, guilt, and feeling overwhelmed and assists them in making a shift to a place of peace, joy, clarity, and satisfaction. Sharise also dedicates her efforts to running Vitamin C Healing, LLC an organization that helps companies prevent Leadership Burnout and Compassion Fatigue using a trauma-sensitive and systems approach to create a supportive work culture that prioritizes work-life balance and integration.
With considerable experience speaking at keynotes, workshops, and seminars for helping professionals, mental health leaders, and entrepreneurs across the globe, she strives to equip individuals with the tools to tolerate the high demands of work and life, imposter syndrome, as well as manage and prevent compassion fatigue and burnout in order to live happy, fulfilled lives and careers. With her depth of experience of working with a diverse population of people from all walks of life, Sharise is eager to share all that she’s learned.
Most recently, Sharise created the S.W.A.G. Awards: Social Worker Appreciation of Greatness Awards, to honor the “heart work” of local social workers in the Greater Pittsburgh area who often go unappreciated and unrecognized.
She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband William Nance.
More information on Sharise can be found by visiting www.sharisenance.com.
Sharise's Email: [email protected]
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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 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 iPadless check-in option.
Every everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host Patrick Casale, joined today by Sharise Nance. She is a LCSW in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, serial entrepreneur, author, trainer, coach, group practice owner, wearing all the hats.
And ironically enough, we are going to talk about burnout and compassion fatigue today. So, I think it's a really good topic. Sharise, I know this is kind of your area of expertise, and just introduce yourself and let's talk a little bit about your passion areas.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, so thank you for that introduction, making me sound good. I am a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I also run a private counseling practice in the Greater Pittsburgh region with my partner and good friend Tess Kenny. The practice is called HandinHand Counseling Services. We've been around… we're going into 10 years. So, 2013 we opened our doors. We had a very small office space that Tess and I were sharing. We were still working at our full-time jobs and doing a private practice on a very, very part-time basis. And then, we grew into another office and we decided that we wanted to expand into a group practice.
So, we employ about, I think, seven clinicians and we have an administrative assistant, as well. So, it's just been quite the ride. I call it like a roller coaster, just observing and experiencing the growth of us and of the practice. And during that time, I created my brand Vitamin C Healing. I'm not selling vitamins. My husband came up with that name last year, you know, my vision, but it's metaphoric for healing of the whole person, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, keeping in mind those helping professionals who struggle with compassion fatigue and burnout.
And I was passionate about that, because I've experienced compassion fatigue several times throughout my career. I didn't know that that's what I was experiencing, because this wasn't something that was talked about when I was in undergraduate or graduate school.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And for the audience who's listening who doesn't know what compassion fatigue is, can you talk a little bit about what that looks like? How that's experienced? The symptoms in general.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, so compassion fatigue is the physical and emotional exhaustion that frontline workers or people with experience who are helping other people experiencing trauma, suffering, and pain, it's really the natural consequence of doing this type of work. We're talking about your social workers, your mental health therapists, your case managers, nurses, doctors, anyone who is experiencing the trauma of other people.
I often use the metaphor, the common cold of the helping profession, because if you are doing this work you're probably going to catch it. When I hear people say like, "Oh, you know, I'm preventing compassion fatigue." And even when I first started talking about it, I'm like, the more I learn about it, I'm not sure if it's something that you can prevent, but it's something that we can learn to navigate and build an immunity to, so that we're able to, if we choose to, and I'm sure we'll talk about that later, continue to do the work that we love. We are prone to it, as helpers, as healers, as empaths, because we care and we love the work that we do, and a lot of times we can find ourselves empathizing mindlessly and just getting lost in the stories of the people that we're helping.
And we do need to, you know, be very central initially when we're helping people but some of us get stuck there and that's where the fatigue and the exhaustion happens. And this is something that can happen various times throughout the day, throughout the week. It's not like, "Oh, I, you know, had compassion fatigue last year, so I caught that, so I'm like immune to it, I'm never, you know, going to get it again." It's about, you know, creating this, like, metaphor toolbox, so that you can recognize those subtle signs that we often ignore. And, you know, we're taught to just push through it, "Oh, it's not a big deal."
And those subtle signs manifest in so many different ways, physically, emotionally, behaviorally. So, when I think about physical symptoms, you know, that headache that you just can't get rid of at the end of each day after, you know, you've met with a lot of clients. Or maybe that cold that you can't fight offshore, we know we're all going to the doctor and make sure that everything is okay physically or physiologically. And even if there is something physical going on, that doesn't mean that this isn't like the onset of you feeling exhausted from the work that you do.
So, when you are experiencing those signs, we want to, you know, take some time, we want to build up that awareness so that we can know, okay, this is what I need mentally, this is what I need emotionally, this is what I need physically, and emotionally. When we find ourselves just becoming very irritated, I know for me, I'm a very patient person, I can slow things down. But when I find myself pressing and getting into that taskmaster role, and I'm very irritable, I know that's a sign that something is going on for me.
So, irritability, impatience, withdrawing, if you're someone who is typically like a high performer, high productivity in a workplace that's starting to suffer these are some signs that we want to look out for, having those emotional outbursts, sure, we know we don't want to hold emotions in. But this is, you know, just not having control of emotions.
I remember when I worked for an organization and it got to a point where I was expected to see 50 clients, carry a caseload of 50 clients in the role of a social worker in a community. But these were clients that had a lot going on. And 50 was like my breaking point. And I remember every morning I would wake up, like, with panic attacks, I was crying in a car. And I thought that was just a norm, that is not normal, that is not healthy, because it was just so random. So, you want to really look out for those signs that something more serious may be going on.
PATRICK CASALE: I appreciate that overview for everyone. And I like your comparison to like a cold, because you're right, I was going to make a really sarcastic comment before you said that of like, is there a way to go through a career in the helping profession without encountering or experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout?
And I don't think the answer is yes. I know that some employers may tell you the opposite or they tell you like, "Practice self-care, and take bubble baths after work, and like put your feet up on the beach and you'll be okay." And it's like, you're on the frontlines experiencing other people's trauma. Vicarious trauma is real. You know, when you're either a medical or mental health professional, you are experiencing what's in the room, you're absorbing that energy, you're holding that space, you're hearing things that a lot of people are never going to hear. And then you're going home and you cannot talk about it to your partner or your friends because you're protecting client information.
And I know for me, that when I'm experiencing symptoms like that, my wife knows this now, but like if she comes home, and I'm like, on the couch watching Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit movies, she's like, "I'm not talking to Patrick, because he's clearly done for the day, and he has no capacity." But it's almost escapism for me where I'm like, I have to get away from what I've just experienced. And like this is the only way for me to dissociate in this regard.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, that's good. I know in our household, my husband at the end of each day he lights incense to try and create like this aura. And it's helpful. And I know for me, at the end of each day, no matter what's going on, if I'm doing work from home or coming from the office, or even if I facilitate a workshop, I take a shower, because that helps me disconnect. Like, I'm literally washing the day off and now I'm becoming Sharise the person, I'm not Sharise the entrepreneureur, Sharise the business owner, Sharise the therapist, Sharise the facilitator, I'm just Sharise who enjoys, you know, binge-watching Abbott elementary, and you know, debating about The Distillers and all the changes they're making. I can truly like be myself, and enhance, and I don't have to be so serious, and I don't have to be on.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I'm definitely a fan of team shower and wash the day away. And that has always been helpful for me. And, you know, a lot of our listeners are not only mental health professionals, but entrepreneurs, and we can talk all day about mental health burnout. I mean, it's just part of the profession. And after the last couple of years, it seems it's intensified times a million.
But entrepreneur journeys come with burnout and compassion fatigue as well. And we were just talking about wearing all the hats, doing all the things. The creative bursts of energy that come with being a successful entrepreneur often have another side to them, which a lot of people don't like to talk about, which is a burnout slash/overwork exhaustion, I can't be creative, I'm stuck, I don't think I'm enjoying this anymore. Can you talk a little bit about that in regards to like, you mentioned, you wear all the hats, so I'm just curious about how that impacts you?
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, and something that I've learned is, I know, personally, I have to be very mindful just about my life and my lifestyle in general, because it's a cycle, they're all connected. It's hard to just like, okay, well, I'm just going to turn that off and just get back into being an entrepreneur, you know? If I sat myself, you know, engaging in these, like, really heated, like, controversial topics, that takes away from my creative capacity. And if it's taking away from my creative capacity, then it impacts how I show people, and then it's going to impact income, you know, because being a full-time entrepreneur is much different than when I did this part-time and I still had the security of my full-time job. So, it's a lot, because it just feels like you have to be intentional about every second of your day.
Time's what really matters, you know, the quality of time, the quantity of time, you know, wearing all of these hats, and something that I found helpful with an executive coach that I was talking to more recently, you know, everybody has these like to-do list. And for me, sometimes they're helpful and sometimes they feel overwhelming. But something else she said that really resonated with me was like, you know, can you write down a couple of things that you're just not going to do for the next four weeks?
And just her saying that I haven't done it yet, but I've been thinking about it, just her saying that felt so freeing, because there are a lot of things that feel absolutely have to get done. But you know, the brain doesn't work that way. Like, it's just impossible to get everything done. So, if I can break it up into these chunks, it's almost like, you know, what we talk about in EMDR practicing, we use that metaphor, you know, putting things in a container and putting them away, like you're not sweeping it under the carpet, you're just putting it away until it's useful.
Well, these are the things that are just not useful right now. So, when she said that, that was really freeing for me, and just understanding that with having two businesses, the private practice, we're running that business, and I'm functioning more as a co-owner and that business needs me to recruit, and to interview staff, and to make sure things are flowing in a healthy way.
And then, I have Vitamin C Healing where I'm a workshop facilitator and I'm a consultant. So, it's a different type of energy, because now I have to be intentional about almost dividing energy between the two. So, okay, I'm going to designate these days to the things I need to do for HandinHand, and these days, or for, you know, workshops and consultants, but I can have some flexibility too, as I need to.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's really well said. And I think so often we overlook the fact that energy and time are probably the most important resources that we have. A lot of people are focusing on the financial piece. But in reality, if you don't have the energy, if you don't have the time or capacity, all of these things start to fall apart and crumble before you.
And when you're a business owner, we were talking about this before we started recording, it's you, right? Like, your energy impacts the business, it impacts the brand, it impacts new contracts coming in, it impacts new projects going out. I mean, if you don't have that capacity, if it's diminished, because you're not taking care of yourself, because you've gotten to that point of burnout, whether it is in a therapy practice, a coaching and consulting role, a speaking role, it doesn't matter. None of those things are going to be done well if you just do not have the ability to recharge, and replenish, and take care of yourself.
SHARISE NANCE: Yes, one of my favorite, I don't know where I saw this quote, if I read it in a book, or if I heard it on a podcast, or a YouTube video, but it really resonates with me, it's very simple, you can't be a top performer if you don't feel well. And that's just the reality of it.
And we talk about feeling well when you're [INDISCERNIBLE 00:15:30] self-care is like a big buzzword now. When I'm thinking about self-care and building that, it's about building a foundation, because when we have a foundation, like, if you're building a house or anything that you're building, you need to clear space and build a foundation. When we have a foundation, no matter what's going on, we can always go back to that foundation. It's like an anchor.
And when I think about self-care, I think about building a foundation of self-awareness and self-compassion, because if we don't have those, you know, all the bubble baths and massages, and don't get me wrong, I love those, but we have to have this foundation for being aware of what's happening within us and what's happening around us. And then, how are we going to learn to be a little more kinder and gentler in forgiving of ourselves for not, you know, hitting that productivity mark that we had for the week, or the month, or a quarter? So, just building that foundation of self-awareness and self-compassion.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's good advice. And I like that kind of simplicity of it, because I think people want tangible action steps in terms of like, how can I preserve and extend a career that isn't really, like, designed to be a career path that has longevity in it. And, if you're a helper, I've always thought of it as, like, working yourself out of a job from day one, but in reality, you know, people are struggling, probably, in this day and age more so than we've seen in a long time. And it just has this ripple effect where like, it wears you down, and it wears you down, and it wears you down. And if you're not able to, like you said, have that foundation, that's why we see so many mental health professionals leaving the field as well, because it's just too much to handle at this point in time if you're not able to take care of yourself.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah. And as you were talking, I was thinking about how there's a trajectory with compassion fatigue that I talk about in my workshops, and this trajectory can happen in a course of a day, in a course of an hour. And we can go from being, like super excited about just being on this new job, being in this profession, taking on new challenges, and opportunities, and we just overexert ourselves. Sometimes we have poor boundaries. And that puts us on a trajectory if we don't have those boundaries, where we find ourselves feeling irritated, starting to withdraw. And then we get to that place where we're just like in zombie mode, where we're in autopilot, where we just have lost all meaning for the work that we do.
And when people get to those withdrawal, or those like zombie phases, a few things happen. Usually, if people are in tuned and honest with themselves, they may decide that I need to take some leave, I need to take some time to really disconnect to see if this is the work that I still want to do, if this is a job that I still want to do. And some people are able to do that and decide that they love to work, and maybe they get their second win, and they come back, and they're able to just I, guess, reorganize and reprioritize but some people leave and neither, you know, answer or direction is wrong, that's why we have to have that awareness and our self-compassion.
But then we have people who just continue to push through it. They just continue to push through it and it just gets bad. And then that's when it turns into burnout. You know, so compassion fatigue and burnout, I think they're like probably first cousins. But they're different, because burnout is not… compassion fatigue is very episodic. It can happen like that. We meet with a client, we're not in the moment, we're empathizing mindlessly, and we just get exhausted, and we feel those symptoms.
Burnout is more of a prolonged response, is prolonged exposure from just pushing through and it's more systemic, and anyone can experience burnout, it's not just you know, helping professionals, healthcare professionals, educators. Burnout is the entrepreneur, the executive director, the administrative assistant, a person who has just, like, just overworked, and is exhausted, and is just kind of going through the motions, and then, those physiological symptoms begin to manifest. The thing about burnout is it can take years for a person to recover from burnout. And it can take years for an organization to recover from its employees being burned out.
PATRICK CASALE: That's really a lot to take in, and very powerful to think about it that way. And I love all your usage of metaphor and imagery, you can tell you're a therapist. But I'm thinking about a couple of things like burnout, to me, also seems like, you take that vacation, right? Because you're like, "I need a break." But then, because you're so burnt out, when you come back to the workplace you're already thinking about the next vacation, and the next time you can get away, and then next time you can get away. So, you can't really ever fully be present anymore, because you always need something to help you get through the day. And hell, that's when we started talking about like the high prevalence of substance use in the field and just unhealthy coping skills.
But then I'm also thinking about like, borrowing time and energy from the next day, how often we push ourselves past our limits and our jobs, so we take 120% today, and tomorrow we're starting with 80% off the bat. And then, all of a sudden, like, by the end of the week, you have absolutely nothing left and you're operating from a very low percentage. And it becomes cyclical. And then, it's like, how do I get out of this cycle and how do I get into a situation where like, I feel rooted and grounded in my foundation again. And I think that's when you start chasing other opportunities and other job opportunities, and potentially, considering leaving the field.
SHARISE NANCE: You take on so many great points. As you were talking, I was thinking about, also, when we talk about self-care, it's also about building a life that you don't feel the need to consistently escape from or need a vacation from. So, sometimes I used to find myself so burnt out that I had a hard time enjoy the vacation, because I'm like, "Oh my gosh, it's only three days and then I'm going to have to be back." I had a hard time getting grounded and just being in the moment. And then I had to sit with myself and process, "Okay, so what's going on in your life where you can't even enjoy being on vacation? Like, that's not good, that's not healthy. There's something that's leading to this."
And it was the work that I was doing for an organization, it wasn't this work, it was the vehicle that I was using to do the work that I love, and that had to change. And it's okay if it changes a lot, because we are constantly changing. Like, none of this is fixed, you know? As you talked about, you know, the evolution of it. And I think that we've been conditioned for so long to, I guess, if we're constantly, like, changing jobs or changing careers, that we're not stable, you know, we can't be trusted, when, you know, it's 2023, that couldn't be further from the truth. If I see that I'm curious about it, because maybe that means that the person has a true understanding of who they are, you know, that they're able to connect with their values, and it's important for them to make sure that their values are connected to the mission of the company that they're working for or the work that they're doing.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's really well said, and long gone are the days of people staying in a place of employment for 40-plus years, you know, and we don't have assurances or protections, and securities that a lot of people had a couple of decades ago. So, you're going to see people bounce more from job to job and interest to interest, and that's okay. And I used to be a hiring manager at a community mental health agency in town. And if someone came in with a resume where they worked at five different community mental health centers, and two years in town, I didn't really dock them for that, because I knew systemically the problem is not the work or the individual, it's the system. And these systems are not meant to be sustainable. So, I was never going to look at someone negatively or unfavorably if I saw like, oh, you worked here, here, and here in two years. Like, yeah, the system suck. Like it's kind of against you anyway, so…
And I think you're right. Like, it's absolutely okay to evolve in these career paths. And the recognition of like, there's a lot of shame in evolution, and identity exploration, and existential questioning when you're thinking like, you and I were talking about leaving the therapy profession or no longer really acting as a full-time therapist in either of our roles, I mean, more because our careers have evolved elsewhere. There's a lot of identity crisis, and existential questioning, and shame, and guilt that comes with leaving something behind. And sometimes leaving something behind is absolutely what you need.
And it is more than okay to know that this journey as an entrepreneur, and even a mental health professional, there's a lot of exits off the highway. And like, there's a lot of times where you're going to pivot, change course, turn around, question everything that you're doing. But I think it's important to always kind of act on connection to your values and your why. Your why is really important in a lot of this too.
SHARISE NANCE: I like that metaphor, there's a lot of exits off the highway. I think that was a great way to describe this journey. And I know a lot of my colleagues and even my family members have asked like, "What are you going to do now?" When I left my job to do this full-time, nobody questioned that, because it was clear, "Oh, she's a therapist, she's going to see clients in her practice. You know, she'll do this, possibly Monday through Friday or a few days, like, it's very clear, and it makes sense what she's going to do." But when I took that, I guess you could say that next leap, because it was time. And I said, "You know, I'm going to decrease the amount of clients that I'm seeing. I still want to practice, but I just cannot do it at the capacity that I've done it for all of these years, because I'm being called to a different direction. I need to focus on running this practice, and supporting therapists and making sure that we get the therapists in here that support our mission, that it's a good fit. And that requires time and energy, it's not something that we can rush through."
And then, you know, I have the workshops and you know, the speaking engagements. And it's not as, I guess, you could say traditional, is what people are used to. So, people were constantly asking me like, "Well, what do you do every day?" And I'm like, "Well, I still run a business, it's just that my schedule isn't Monday through Friday, eight to four or nine to five. It's very organic, it still requires my time and energy, because now I'm using more of my creativity versus you know, being more in the mode of traditional work." If that makes sense.
And I saw something, you know, not to go down that hole, I guess, capitalist road, but I think it kind of fits where, more so now, we're being paid to think, you know, versus being paid for what we do with our hands, if that makes sense.
PATRICK CASALE: That makes perfect sense. And I love that reference because whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a capitalist society, in this country, right? And as mental health professionals in private practice, regardless of your values, you're in a capitalist system where you are taking fee for service. And if service doesn't happen, you don't get paid. And you can't pay the bills with goodwill, or good faith, or good intentions as much. As you want to, it can't happen. So, it really starts to create this, like, polarizing paradox in terms of values of like, I want to help, I want to do all these things, I also need to fucking pay my student loan debt. Like, there's all this [INDISCERNIBLE 28:47] I can navigate.
But I like that you said that. And we are starting to see, like, being paid to think, and create, and do different things, and be more unconventional. I love that, because that's how my brain operates. My brain cannot operate in like this confinement of this box of like, this is what you do and this is what you do every day, and you don't stray from this, and this is the only way it works. And then, my head would explode because that's just not something I can get behind.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, and I think I was fighting that about myself for so many years, until, I think, I started to really gravitate toward it and embrace it, maybe about a little over 10 years ago at my first stint with like, I guess you could say entrepreneurialism, if that's even a word, was network marketing, multilevel marketing, which you know, a lot of people think is a pyramid scheme. But what I took in, I mean, I'm not going to comment on that, because I have some great friends doing that that are actually doing really well, and they're great people, and they mean well. But I took away some really important just nuggets and values from doing that. I really got into like, personal development and developing my mind, and reading books that are aligned with what I want to do. And it just truly helped me to learn to be okay with taking a risk.
And this was like probably back in 2000, that is when I got in got into this. So, even though that didn't work out, I was able to take away from like, okay, I know I have what it takes to take a risk, and to be okay with loss, because if you're not okay with, you know, loss, and risk, and failure, and uncertainty, then entrepreneurship and running a business is not for you. Like, take that off the table, like, because it's going to happen. So, you're going to experience that loss, that risk, that uncertainty. And on the other side of that, you're going to experience great triumphs, great success, you know, and you're going to overcome some obstacles, you're going to do things that you never imagined that you can do. So, there's both parts of that, and you have to be willing to embrace both of them. That's like the roller coaster of entrepreneurship.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I couldn't say that better myself. I think that if you are risk averse, then being an entrepreneur isn't a good fit and that's okay.
SHARISE NANCE: It's not. Absolutely.
PATRICK CASALE: You know, there are absolutely wonderful group practices out there. I like to think we both run two of those. They are great places to work. But if you are willing to take the risk and know that there is going to be loss, there's going to be self-doubt, there's going to be major imposter syndrome for [CROSSTALK 00:31:44] level of success, because like, you know, we were just talking about that as well.
But I think the flip side is the most liberating, freeing, beautiful thing, and that you can't even put it into words sometimes. Like, I imagine and I certainly do not want to put words in your mouth. But I imagine 2023, you know, Sharise compared to 2009 has different opinions about like, what you're capable of.
SHARISE NANCE: Oh, yes.
PATRICK CASALE: And you may be thinking, like, "I don't think I ever foresaw this for myself." I don't think, for me, I ever thought more than I would just get my master's and be a therapist. That was it, that was the endpoint. And now I'm like, oh, I'm getting ready to host my retreat in Ireland for entrepreneurs, and then Spain, and Portugal. And I've got some cool stuff for 2024 that I can't talk about yet. And like, the sky can be the limit when you can start to get into that flow state and start to recognize the skills that you bring to the table and how to apply them. But until that point, it feels really murky. It feels like you're kind of looking out into the fog.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, I'm big on like words and mantras. That's kind of how my mind works, because it helps me to stay grounded. Because you know, having that creative man, you can just be all over the place. A phrase that I wake up to every day is wake up to a process. When I wake up, and I'm just like winging it, and I'm all over the place, I know it's going to be one of those days where, you know, I'm easily triggered, I'm kind of walking on eggshells. So, I'm like, okay, just wake up to your process, you know what your process is, you know, I pretty much do the same thing in the mornings and that helps set me up for the day, no matter what comes at me.
And also, I see everybody talking about their words for the year, for 2023, and then I took some time to really think about this. And for me, it's just freedom. It's important for me to have that freedom to just be, to stretch, and just accepting that like, I cannot be tethered to a desk, I need to constantly feel that thrill, and that excitement, that uncertainty. Sometimes it gets me going, because I know that there is better to come and I think that's how I've evolved as an entrepreneur, but before it used to make me very anxious. Like, I needed to know exactly what was coming, how much money is coming in, but because I've been doing this for quite some time now, I'm learning to trust myself to know that better is coming.
But there are still some days where that imposter syndrome creeps in, like, "Why would they want to pay me this amount of money to facilitate workshop? Like, are they sure? Are they going to like take it back? Are they doing their research on me?" Like, that still comes up, because there are some days where I have to pinch myself to believe that it's real.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, yeah, that's well said. I mean that fraudulence comes up. But that is also a good humility check in a lot of ways too. And in my opinion, I like a little bit of imposter syndrome. I don't like the debilitating paralyzing imposter syndrome. But I agree like that pinch-yourself moment, is this real? But I also love that you're saying that you are more confident in knowing that you are going to figure it out and that you are going to create something even in those stages, those seasons of being an entrepreneur where it may feel more murky, or less clear, or less certain.
And I've had those lately, with throat surgery, thinking like, "Oh, my God, my energy is low, I'm depressed, I can barely speak at times, am I ever going to create another thing?" And I have to really get grounded in my, you know, self and just do the work that I know I need to do to know that it's going to come. And sometimes you just can't force it and you can't foresee it. But I know, you know, good things are also on the horizon based on history, knowing that I typically am going to figure it out.
So, for those of you listening, self-doubt is normal, imposter syndrome is normal, questioning a lot of your decision's totally part of the process. However, lots of strategies in order to support you through those times, the roller coaster, like Sharise said, like, that's going to happen. The roller coaster exists, sometimes there's going to be highs, sometimes there's going to be lows. I always think though the highs are significantly more important and more fulfilling than the lows. They don't last as long. I will always say that my worst day as an entrepreneur is a million times better than my best day at the agency jobs that I worked at. And I would not trade it for the world.
SHARISE NANCE: I love that, I love that. Yes, I agree.
PATRICK CASALE: Yep. And for those of you listening, I promise you that's the case. And it's a wonderful, wonderful ride. And I hope this has been helpful for all of you.
Sharise, if you want to just tell the audience where they can find more of what you have to offer, how to, you know, find your information, please feel privileged.
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, so Sharise Nance across all social media platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, sharisenance.com is my general website. If you subscribe to the website, you will get a complimentary e-book, Combating the Common Cold of Helping Professionals, we were just talking about the common cold. And the course, The Fullest Well: From Fatigue to Fulfillment online course is of course about combating compassion fatigue, is a self-paced three-hour comprehensive course. Right now, we're working to extend this, but right now social workers, and therapists, and counselors in the states of Pennsylvania and New York will get three continuing education credits for the online course and that's at thefullestwell.com
PATRICK CASALE: What about if someone wanted to book you to speak or consult?
SHARISE NANCE: I like how you think. If someone wants to book me to speak, they can also go to sharisenance.com and fill out a contact, yeah, or they can email us [email protected]
PATRICK CASALE: Love it. And I appreciate all the knowledge that you dropped today, really important topic that we don't talk about enough, and all of that information, Sharise' information will be in the show notes too if you want to have easy access to that. And Sharise thank you so much for making the time and coming on. I've really enjoyed getting to know you over social media and it's just good to be [INDISCERNIBLE 00:38:42].
SHARISE NANCE: Yeah, I enjoyed this too. Thanks for having me.
PATRICK CASALE: You're very welcome. To everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, there are new episodes out every Sunday morning on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. See you next week.
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