As I walked into the arena to do my very first consulting session I was flooded with emotions and thoughts. I couldn’t understand why my brain was moving at 100mph, and as much as I tried to remind myself that this was just another day with the team, I couldn’t calm myself down. Quickly I thought back to what I had heard my professors say time and time again, “you are only nervous because you care about the client and you want them to do well.” As I recited that in my head, I did feel relief and conducted a session in which I thought went really well. Following the session, I thought back to the phrase I recited in my head, and that is when I started to critically think about what that meant. Does my nervousness really explain my care for my clients? When I was no longer nervous does that mean I don’t care? Do I always have to be nervous in order to explain to myself that I care about my client? These questions bombarded me just as fast, if not faster than my original nervousness, and it was time to take a deep breath… BREATHE
I stopped and thought back to the questions, when I am no longer nervous does that mean I no longer care? No, no way, that’s not possible. I stopped being nervous the minute I walked into the arena but I obviously still cared about my clients. Therefore while I appreciate what the professors said (and yes it did help me initially) personally, I feel as if my nervousness allowed me to see that I was ready. While everyone experiences nerves differently, I always experienced nerves in all aspects of my life as a prepared feeling: before games, before heats, before tests, and now before consulting. My nervousness was a milestone, a marker in my life that let me know, “you can do this, you are ready for it.” While I told myself the reason for my nerves was because I care, the real reason was to inform me of my preparation. My nerves will come and go, but my caring for my clients will always remain. I don’t need nerves to inform me that I care- I know myself, once I stop caring, I will know I am in the wrong profession.