I’ve been noticing a theme this month with students, supervisees, friends, and family. I’m hearing more and more about how folks are experiencing imposter syndrome, not meeting others’ expectations, and a general sense of not doing, being, or giving enough. Whether it’s in the personal or professional arena, I’m hearing how we are all struggling to find our worth in the spaces we occupy.

It’s hardly surprising really. Particularly for those of us who work within the “helping professions”, our inclination is to meet the needs of others. Our desires to make a difference, to be of service, to find meaning and purpose, are partly what motivated many of us to do the work we do. Add a sprinkling of our need to be needed and it’s a recipe that leads to equating our sense of worth with what we can provide others. Often, it’s also a trauma response to our early experiences that gave us feelings of self-worth based on what we needed to do for others.

Of course, we are never enough!

We’ll never be enough in this equation because the world is burning and the “need” is endless. Which means that the demands on us can feel utterly overwhelming. Cue the vicious cycle of chasing self-worth through meeting needs. Even when we work as hard as we possibly can, we will fall short because the system that we live in is designed to create never ending shortages for those most in need. And if those are the vulnerable populations that we work with because we want to focus on social justice initiatives in an attempt to balance the scales, we have an even bigger hill to climb. We’re never going to fill those gaps and meet everyone’s needs.

I’ve been on that hamster wheel for years. Occasionally, I still get drawn back on it for a few laps until I remember that I have the choice to stop running. This doesn’t mean that I give up on doing what I love. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In those moments when I can slow down enough to notice that I’m back on that endless chase and can recognize that I don’t have to keep running, it gives me the freedom to create new solutions that align with my values. Instead of trying to meet others’ expectations, I can be clearer about what my priorities and limitations are, knowing full well that whatever I offer will never be perfect or meet everyone’s needs or expectations. The paradox is that by embracing the fact that I am never enough, I am shifting to an acknowledgment that my self-worth was never about doing, being, or giving enough for others. It was, and always will be, about living with integrity and in alignment with my values.

With that in mind, I am super excited to let you all know that we have some fabulous changes coming your way. With the success of our revamped curriculum and format for our EFL Foundation Certification, we have been working hard to translate some of those changes to our EFP Foundation Certification program. We are also in the process of revamping our website, our General Membership benefits, and our Graduate benefits. Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing some new policies and processes that will make learning with The HERD a more engaging and seamless experience. These changes have all been designed with one central focus: to provide more accessibility to all of our services so that we can continue to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything that we do. Because a sense of belonging is the heartbeat of The HERD. It’s what’s important to us and it’s what aligns with our values.

For our HERD Graduates, Students & General Members, this journey to alignment is what we’ll be focusing on at HERD CAMP this fall. We have limited spaces so sign up to reserve your spot now!


Executive Director