Today I was reflecting on what lessons I have learned thus far as a counselor with other colleagues and as we complied the list, a thought occurred, these are not just reflections for counselors, but also general life lessons for all. So I thought I would share.

1. Find a balance (Make sure your whole day is not solely about care giving-read a book, call a friend, spend time with your spouse. Whatever it is the makes you feel whole as a person).

2. Trust that you are the expert of yourself ( Trust your instincts. After all they have gotten

3 Trust the journey. (you might not know where something is going to lead you and what the point of something is, but trust that it will all come together for you.

4. Learn from others (Believe it or not you are not the first person to have gone through X, Seek out resources, support from others. Discover new things. Play. Let someone teach you. )

5. Appreciate varying perspectives. (Sometimes hearing another person’s view will either confirm or challenge our beliefs. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows us to form them and become more self-aware.)

6. Metaphors are useful in life. (Whether we quote a movie line: “ You’re killing me, Smalls.” or use it to describe a life lesson “Life is like a box of chocolates….”. Metaphors are ways of describing our world and we can get a lot of inspiration from them.)

7. Find something outside of work to do each day. (In other words, find your bliss, your passion. Do you like to draw? Are you an athlete? Is reading your thing? Whatever it is, we all need to have joy in our lives.)

8. Take time to work on you. (Personal process is important. Take time to figure out what is working or not and think of ways to adjust. We all deserve to be happy, right?)

9. Don’t take responsibility for other people’s stuff. (Eleanor Roosevelt said,” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” In other words, people can’t control you unless you let them. Worry about you and how you are treating others, the rest will fall in place.

10. Model behavior for others. (Another way of saying this is “treat others as you would like to be treated.” Show others what it means to be healthy, happy, and a good human being. Model the behavior that you would like reflect back to you.)

11. Realize your limits. (We all have our breaking points. Be aware of what they are and take strides not to reach them. Ask for help. Take breaks, etc.)


Eileen Henry is the Graduate Counseling Intern with in the Stepping Stones program at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.