Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part IV

brand-new massage therapist

Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part IV

There are many paths to developing inner leadership.

I shared with you the power of proper mindset. You can change your life by changing your thoughts.

This article invites you to explore the cost of fear and the gift of faith.

The Cost of Fear

Anyone who has a dream knows fear.

You entered massage school with a dream, a vision for yourself. You wanted to help people, to be of service.

Perhaps your desire is to live a life that is more fulfilling.

You want to make a difference in people’s lives. You may dream of being in business for yourself, to have more freedom or to increase your income.

Part of the requirement of making your dream come alive is to step beyond the borders of your fear.

I have found that any dream worth following produces anxiety and fear. The bigger the fear, the more exciting, and ultimately life empowering is one’s dream.

My Story

I entered massage school in 1991. I was young and quite insecure. I was filled with doubt and fear.

For seven years I was in and out of practicing massage therapy. Something inside kept tugging at me saying, don’t quit. The still, small voice within me would not leave me alone.

Finally, in 1997, I made a decision that left me zero options but to take action. I told myself it was now or never.

This decision was non-negotiable.

I gave myself only one option: go for it with all my heart.

I moved forward with fierce determination and trust in the still, small voice within. Twenty-one years later I feel deeply grateful for the freedom to live a life that is deeply satisfying, greatly fulfilling and difference making.

Coping with Fear

Fear is the hurdle that stops most of us from achieving our dreams.

Many of us feel the fear and say, “I’m not going one step further. Give me a guarantee of success and then I will move forward.”

Many of us choose to stay stuck or simply tread water.

We allow ourselves to get caught up in the current of fear.

We convince ourselves that what we have is not so bad and we talk ourselves out of our dreams.

Everything you want—all your deep desires—are located outside your comfort zone. Fear is often masked by behaviors we call normal.

Do you approach life with one foot on the break (fear) and one foot on the accelerator?

Do you feel pulled between the current of fear and the current of your dream?

With this combination you tend to neutralize any forward movement or simply swim in circles in your river of life.

If you want to move forward in your career and your life, you must first make a decision.

A decision puts energy in motion and begins to clear the way for movement.

Whether you are a recent graduate from massage school, a seasoned practitioner looking for change or somewhere in between, making a decision is the first magic step in creating the practice of your dreams.

Create a vision of what you desire and make a decision to move toward your vision. The in between space of graduation and moving forward in your new career can be the most fragile.

For many, it feels like a big leap.

This is a most important time to embrace your dream and go for it; small steps perhaps, but you must move forward.

How Do You Know?

How do you know you are headed in the right direction?

First you must listen to your intuition; that voice within that knows.

You must trust the continuous tugging of your heart and soul.

You may not know how you know, and sometimes you do not even know what you know.

Often you have no idea of how you are going to get there. All of this really doesn’t matter. What matters is making a decision.

I have found that when you take small steps toward your goal, doors often open.

Open doors are often a message that says, “You are headed in the right direction, you made a good decision.”

Sometimes, making a bold move is important.

Only then can you understand through experience that you are being supported by something bigger than yourself.

This will give you the confidence and trust that propels you forward, turning your wildest dreams into reality.

I invite my students to reflect often on the following: What brought you to massage school, what has kept you from quitting and what would you do if you knew you would not fail?

These are important questions to ask yourself.

The answer is often the fuel you may need to bring you closer to your dreams.

Two Main Ingredients

I believe hunger and faith are the opposing energies to fear.

Hunger can soften your fears and delete your doubt.

How bad do you want it?

Is living your dream, a non-negotiable in your life?

What are you willing to set aside, allowing you to move toward your dream?

Faith is your most valuable nonphysical possession.

It is the cornerstone to everything you will ever achieve both in your personal and professional life.

It is important to remember; fear and faith are both based upon what we cannot see with the naked eye.

When I really sat with this statement, I asked myself: If this is true which one am I going to follow, and what do I place my faith in?

Choosing faith over fear was my first step.

Gaining an understanding of faith was my second step.

I now understand and continue to practice the following invitation:

  1. Believe that whatever must happen for you to reach your goal, will happen in proper time.
  2. Believe in your magnificence

And now ask yourself the following questions:

  • List four successes that you are proud of achieving.
  • What inner qualities did you develop while in massage school?
  • In looking back, what were the key factors that helped you succeed while in school?

Move Beyond Your Fear

Fear can be useful as we journey toward our hearts desire.

Fear often reminds us we are moving out of our comfort zone and perhaps doing something you have never done before.

Fear visits us in each stepping stone on our path to becoming a practitioner and beyond.

Take a moment and reflect with me about the journey we all can relate to:

Deciding to attend massage school,

Moving through school and all the exams,


New learning,

Giving your first massage to an instructor,

Your first client in clinic,

Graduation day,

Finding a job, and the list goes on.

Allow yourself to see a common thread in all of your achievements:

You made a decision.

You found the courage within to continue moving forward, you were hungry for something, you moved through your fear and you did not give up.

So now continue with this common thread that lies within you.

You have already proven to yourself you have what it takes to continue on toward your dreams.

Understand this: Fear and growth go hand in hand. When you courageously face the thing you fear, you automatically experience the growth you have been seeking.

It is important to remember it is who you are becoming while you are moving toward your goal that is most important.

Ask yourself the following question: Who must I become to have what I desire in my life?

Read “Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part I.

Read “Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part II.

Read “Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part III.”

Editor’s note: Download your free copy of the New Practitioner eBook, The Blueprint for a Successful Massage Career.


Kathy Ginn, LMT, BCTMB, is the creator of Ethical Dimensions and Life Empowered Institute. She is a body-centered Hakomi practitioner, Proctor-Gallagher Thinking into Results consultant, teacher and mentor. She offers body-centered coaching and continuing education focusing on personal and professional development along with courses in Ethics as Right Use of Power. Her courses are offered through webinars and experiential classroom learning. Ginn is a regular contributor to MASSAGE Magazine, and her articles include “The Soil and the Seeds: Grow a Garden of Regular Clientele.”

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