It’s the first day of 2022 and I find myself writing my first ever blog post.
Starting a blog was not a New Year resolution of mine, but in reflecting on 2021 an important topic came to mind that I thought worthy of sharing.
The COVID pandemic has seen the rise of the webinar. In many ways this has been a great opportunity for people, both as a way to supplement income, and as a learning opportunity. There’s no doubt the online learning movement has made it easier to access information and professionals from all around the world. It is now easier than ever to meet CPD (continuing professional development) targets, even if you live rurally.
So what’s the problem?
The sheer abundance of online learning material available, means that consumption of material is limited by time and financial costs. It is simply impossible to consume all the available material. For myself, already a part-time university student, this led to serious feelings of what I call ‘webinar FOMO’ – fear of missing out.
And I know I am not alone in this. Many other therapists (or professionals in general) struggle with perfectionism and imposter syndrome. These two qualities can be both a blessing and a curse, a driving-force for continued learning but the catch is that you never actually reach a point where you feel knowledgeable or good enough. I felt that if I missed a popular webinar I’d be missing out on an essential opportunity, vital information that I needed to be on par with other professionals. This, of course, led to feelings of stress and anxiety.
It was actually a conversation with another professional that made me realise I may not be alone in this struggle – that many others may be paying for webinars they never watch, or flooded with feelings of guilt and anxiety at missed opportunities. A career in equine bodywork can already be demanding on our emotional and mental health so the added stress of webinar FOMO is important to address.
How do we deal with it?
I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, or have all my ‘stuff’ together, but I think it’s important to realise that with so many webinars available, it is likely that for every missed opportunity there is probably another one just around the corner. To be honest, some of the webinars I have watched contained a lot of information I already knew, and if I had missed it, I would have survived. So, I have comprised a list of tips to help me through 2022, and I hope they will help you too.
- Know your limitations. Set a time/financial budget for online learning and stick to it.
- Practice saying ‘no’. This is about learning to put yourself first and realising that your path to being a good therapist lies in looking after your mental health.
- Prioritise the webinars you think you’ll benefit from most. Quality, not quantity.
- Remember that if you miss an opportunity you will survive, it’s very likely another opportunity will present itself soon when you may be in a better position to accept it.
- You are not alone. I’d bet a lot of therapists have the same struggles but because we often work alone, we don’t get to talk about these struggles. Make sure you have friends and colleagues you can confide in.
It’s quite possible this may be my one and only blog post, only time will tell! Let me know if you found it useful.
Happy New Year,