So we are wrapping up the end of the first month of 2021, which means we’re gearing up for February, which is Black History Month. And a lot of organizations have been reaching out to interview me about what it’s been like to be a black professional in this field. And obstacles I overcame to accomplish certain things like writing books and becoming board members of certain organizations and things like that.
And it just got me to thinking about my journey, getting to where I am right now. And it’s got me thinking about like, dreaming about your future in a positive way. Now we’re going to be super duper honest with you. Like I’m not, I’m not Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, or, you know, I’m not, you know, the owner of Facebook or anything like that, but I do live a life that is so far beyond where I ever thought I would be.
Like, my life is way beyond what I was capable of dreaming when I was young. Like I come from a very meager beginning. I come from, I didn’t start off with much, if anything at all. I had a really difficult, some really difficult experiences in my childhood.
And now I look around and I can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe this is the job I get to do. I can’t believe the people that I get to do this job with. Like, it’s really, really quite remarkable. It’s got me thinking when your clients come into your office, now we often talk about asking about their desired outcome.
But I think what I want you guys to understand is we’re really asking about the dreams they want to accomplish, which makes us curators of our clients dreams. And I think if we think about it in that context, that we better understand what, we’re better able to understand what we’re doing when we are focusing on the outcome in the client’s life.
And we also are better able to understand what it means when we say believe in your client’s and their ability to accomplish their dreams. Like, if you would have met me when I was 19 years old, you wouldn’t have thought this is a guy who is going to go on to write books and make a significant contribution in the field of psychotherapy and really change things on the racial profile in that field.
Like, you wouldn’t have known that, but that’s actually what happened. So it’s your job to believe the person you’re talking to is capable of making their wildest dreams come true and even beyond. The simple truth is, like most of us don’t believe in our dreams because we believe the negative messages that people have fed into us and trust me when I tell you,
when I told people I was going to open a private practice, they told me you’re not going to be successful in the area where you are opening a private practice. And when I told people, I’d write a book, they say, you’re, they, they told me that you’re not successful enough to write a book. And you’ve been only been in this field for such and such a time, but I did open a successful private practice. And I did publish books.
In fact, I’m currently working on my fifth. So like people, we struggle to believe in our dreams, not because we don’t believe in ourselves, but because the messages that people have input in our heads, we buy them. I want you guys to look at problems as Optus obstacles and look at your clients as obstacle overcomers,
because that’s true. All of us have been overcoming obstacles, our whole lives. So I don’t want you to be afraid of problems, and I don’t want you to be afraid of problems in your clients lives. I just want you to recognize they’re simply obstacles that your client has to overcome. And the good news is your client has a habit of overcoming obstacles. If they didn’t have that habit that wouldn’t be in front of you now.
You know, as we go into Black History Month, I think about all of the leaders in the Black community that sacrifice so much to allow me to be in this position today. I think about Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Kamala Harris currently. And I just think like, these people overcame so much for us to be able to do what we do now.
And I think that, like, we recognize that because of the gravity of what they accomplish, but we also need to recognize that everybody you see is an overcomer. Everybody that you’ve see in your office has a habit of overcoming things. And when we treat them that way, then we, we truly get to embody the essence of Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
And that’s the message I have for you today. So as we roll into a new month, I want to say, I want to be the first to say, Happy Black History Month. And I want you to truly recognize that problems are nothing more than obstacles and your clients are obstacle overcomers, and let’s treat them that way. And then they will be able to make their wildest dreams come true.
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