Keep the Faith and Taking the Risk

I haven’t posted anything on my blog in 2018. It has been a hectic past six months. I am going to catch you up to speed on things that have been going on this year.

The past six months I have been learning life lessons about removing fear and stepping out in faith. For years I was hiding behind applying for things or engaging in specific opportunities because I did not have my Ph.D.

A couple of years ago I applied to be on an editorial staff for a journal. The response I received was you have an impressive educational background, fantastic experience and would be perfect on the team, but you do not have your Ph.D.  I would like for to you to reapply once you obtain your Ph.D. and I’m confident we will have a spot for you.

After that experience, I was hesitant to apply or seek out certain things. When someone asked me to apply for something my response would be: I need to get this or that off my plate before pursuing other things.

In reality, I was scared to venture outside my comfort zone on a lot of things. There were so many roadblocks to getting here on my journey.  Having setbacks, failures, and receiving a few “NO’s”, I realized the meaning of “not my timing, but God’s timing is always perfect”.

I admit I love working with my veterans, service members, and families as a therapist, but my job had become my comfort zone. I could do it in my sleep because I’ve mastered it over the years. I was afraid I wasn’t ready. I allowed rejection, the fear of the unknown, and other people’s opinions of my destiny to paralyze me.

I heard things like, “why you want to open an agency in Louisiana?” “You won’t be able to juggle everything from Maryland.” etc.

After celebrating passing my oral defense, being cleared to graduate, partying with my support system all weekend, and attending commencement exercises, I attended my friend’s Dana vision board party. While I was at the party, I had time to sit down and focus on my vision for my career, personal life, and love life.

One day while at work I was sitting at my desk. I received an email from my boss to write a summary for an article. At that moment I said it’s time for me to dust this CV off and start applying for jobs because I’m tired of helping others find their spotlight.

It was my time for me to become uncomfortable with the familiar and stop dimming my light so others can be great and step out in faith. I’m am so thankful I decided to face my fears, and my mom told me to read (John 14:26) where God gives you the vision, he will also give you the provision.

I’m not someone who is at church every time the door opens, but I would say that I am a spiritual person. The scripture spoke to me in so many ways that whatever I was lacking God will provide.

After applying for several federal jobs and interviewing for two of them, I was selected for both. This week I will be declining one with the DC National Guard, and I have accepted a position as the Annapolis Vet Center Director. I applied for a few adjunct teaching jobs online because that was my motivation for obtaining my Ph.D. I would like to teach while continuing to work full-time.

I have a strong desire and passion for teaching, but I’m not ready to walk away from an almost 10-year career with the federal government. I had two great interviews and was selected to teach at Walden University and UMUC.

Two of my biggest fears were presenting on specific topics and submitting one of my manuscripts for publishing before receiving my Ph.D. One day I received a text from my cousin Annie announcing she had released a children’s book. I was extremely happy for her success and purchased two copies.

While reading her book, I was so impressed with the plot and the quality of the book. I decided to ask for the publishing company’s information. She shared the info for her contact.

I decided to submit my manuscript for publishing. My script was accepted, and I’m currently working on illustrations for my book. The first of my Dr. Doobie Children’s Book Series is to be released this Fall or early Spring 2019. I am excited to share my first book with the world.

I believe in working silently and systematically towards my personal and career goals, but I think that sharing your testimony has the potential to bless someone else and it demonstrates growth and progress in your life.  

In 2017, I decided to open a mental health office in West Monroe. I was running into some issues, and I was contemplating about closing the doors for various reasons. I discussed things with Mike and my friend/mentor/business partner, Yolanda. After having those conversations and praying about the situation, I was able to refocus on making this a success. I have put together an impressive team of 7, and we are continuing to grow.

Therapist Corner:
It is essential to face your fears and share your gift with the world. Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be, or doing what you want to do, on your journey. You have to be willing to have a vision and have the foresight that leads you to an incredible end.

It’s yours already, all you have to do is claim it.

Your journey will have several risks along the way. Risk is the possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger. Or it can be defined as the failure of your expectations.

Free yourself of any limits or doubts. You can’t be afraid to take that jump or move. The fear of security holds us back from our full potential. Taking risk allows you to free yourself from being comfortable.

One thing we are guaranteed to lose is time. Lose the negativity and habits that are limiting you. Keep the faith and take the risk. Take the time to open doors to your possibilities.  

I can’t tell you how many trips, family gatherings, and parties I’ve missed in the past 17 years. If you want to be successful, you have to dedicate every part of your mind, body, and heart to your goals. You have to show up and be the hardest worker in the room. You must be willing to miss out on short-term pleasures for long-term goals.

It is incredible how your vision of your future will align with God’s plan for your life. So stop wishing you had things earlier. What God has for you is for you! When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live this beautiful word called LIFE.

As I reflect on what a fantastic year 2018 has been thus far I think I’ve done so much I thought I couldn’t do in 6 months, but more importantly, I am in good health, I have a roof over my head, success, love all over me, and I am living my best life.

I’ve cherished the simple things, and priceless moments. I presented my first workshop on LGBTQ clinical strategies in Louisiana and my colleagues received it well.

I had been planning and preparing for Mike’s birthday party for several months, and all of my close friends traveled to DC to help and make sure it was a success. He was able to enjoy his close family and friends while celebrating his 40th with plenty of pictures and memories.

I was able to attend Catholic University’s Social Work Commencement Exercises as Dr. G. I also had the opportunity to witness two of my favorites students reach the finish line and obtain their MSW and welcome them into the field.

Being able to spend time with my family over the past six months has been amazing. I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and spend time with my Great Aunt Ruby. I witnessed my nephew graduate from high school as Salutatorian and prepare for college in the fall.

These are just some of the great examples of what 2018 has brought so far. So I’m excited to see what the remaining of 2018 has to offer.

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