Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Never Too Late: A new career at 40

Last year, with my 40th birthday approaching, I found myself feeling a bit lost.

After almost a decade of motherhood, I felt as though I'd forgotten who I was outside of my Mum identity. For a while I felt as though nothing excited me, as though I didn't really have any direction anymore...my focus was always on my kids and what their futures might look like, but when it came to imagining my own future - I drew a blank.

Feeling that milestone birthday looming in front of me, I did some soul searching...trying to figure out what was missing, what exactly it was that I was craving. I spent some time focusing on what brought me the most joy in life...and eventually I came to realise that although my current work was financially rewarding, it wasn't fulfilling me on an emotional or spiritual level. 

I wanted to do something that would enable me to help and support other people, to be of use and assistance to others. 

Having been in therapy for several years now on and off, I knew that this was something I felt drawn to. I credit my therapists over the years with helping me to completely turn my life around - healing my relationship with my body, improving my self esteem, repairing the emotional toll that trauma had taken on me and enabling me to overcome some of my deepest fears and anxieties.

My life is so very different now to what it was when I first started therapy, and I wanted to give something back...to help other people to heal and improve their own lives in the way that therapy had enabled me to.

So I decided that now was the perfect time to re-qualify. Better late than never, right?!

I questioned whether it was something I could really do - my income is vital to our family so I couldn't afford to let my work hours drop, I'd be juggling home education and running my business with the added pressure of gaining a qualification - I wasn't entirely sure I was up the challenge, but I knew if I didn't go for it now then I probably never would.

So, after a 20 year break from formal education, I returned to the classroom with the goal of qualifying as a clinical hypnotherapist.

I can't even begin to explain how strange it felt to be returning to study after so many years away - spending my evenings doing revision, and worrying about essays and exams for the first time since my teenaged years. 

But I loved the chance to do something for myself - to expand my mind and my knowledge, to challenge myself and push myself far out of my comfort zone.

My course was held at weekends, and that chance to spend time among other grown-ups working toward a shared goal was such a wonderful experience - I met some incredible people, and together we worked our way through the course.

I kept it all largely to myself, mentioning it only to family and close friends - if I'm honest, I think part of the reason for keeping it quiet was a fear of failure. If I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, then I wouldn't need to admit to failing. But I didn't fail, after all.

Last week I got the news that I'd passed my exams. I'm now working as a fully qualified hypnotherapist in South Devon.

This is the first of a few qualifications I plan to achieve over the next 5 years or so, my long term plan is to combine hypnotherapy and counselling to offer a varied approach to mental health management. 

Having suffered with anxiety, OCD and PTSD for most of my life - I understand how difficult these things can be to live with. I hope to use my qualification to work with clients in order to assist and support them in overcoming phobias and limiting beliefs, increasing their self-confidence and specialising in using inner-child work and body image exercises to empower women in particular to feel confident and happy in their own skin.

As a working class woman who personally struggled to afford private therapy for many years, I'm also passionate about volunteering my services to charities and offering reduced cost services to clients as I have a strong belief that mental health support should not be something limited only to those who can afford it. 

Hypnotherapy helped me to overcome my intense fear of flying, so I've experienced its power first-hand and - having worked with case-study clients during my course - I know how deep this work can go, and how much it can heal the wounds of our pasts using age regression therapy, which is one of the most powerful therapeutic tools I've ever witnessed.  Hypnosis can also be used to change negative behavioural patterns and habits, but it's the healing work that really interests me. 

 I'll talk more about hypnotherapy and its many uses in a future post, but for now I'm taking a moment to just be thankful for the opportunity to take this step forward in my life -and to encourage anyone else out there with a dream they've yet to aim for, to know that it's never too late. You deserve to dedicate some of your time and energy to your own future, too.

I'll be sharing some news and updates about ways I'll be using my hypnotherapy going forwards, but for now if you'd like...you can take a look at my hypnotherapy website HERE.

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