Your mindset and attitude play a large part in your professional success as a massage therapist. Positioning yourself in the marketplace and staying relevant to potential employers involves more than simply developing career-specific skills and writing a great resume. In fact, there are three specific mental-programming techniques that can make a difference in whether you fulfill your career aspirations or not.
1. Abundant thinking
You can approach your massage career, job search or anything in life from one of two viewpoints: scarcity or abundance. With scarcity thinking, the belief sounds something like this: "There are a limited number of jobs, and there are many more people who are qualified for any particular job. Therefore, I have to make sure I'm number one. Too bad there's really no unique way for me to stand out." Scarcity thinking tends to fuel competitiveness, aggressiveness and even helplessness. After all, why bother trying if you tell yourself you don't have a chance of succeeding anyway?
The flip side of scarcity thinking is abundant thinking. With abundant thinking, the inner dialogue sounds something like this: "There are plenty of opportunities available; it's just a matter of finding the one that works best with my unique skill set and experience. With a little patience and time, I'll be able to find the right career move for me." Abundant thinking tends to promote tenacity, persistence and realism. It enables you to reflect on your gifts and talents in a more holistic fashion, rather than a narrow fashion.
When you keep your focus on abundance rather than scarcity, you are better able to recognize the opportunities available to you.
A positive effect of abundant thinking is it fosters creativity, which is also important when seeking a new position or enhancing your professional life. For example, suppose you're contemplating a career change. When many people start envisioning a new future for themselves, they immediately believe there is only one path to get there (scarcity thinking). However, there's something called the law of equifinality, which means there are multiple paths to the same destination (abundant thinking). In essence, when you're creative, your goal might be fixed but you recognize there are multiple ways to achieve that goal.
Of course, for some people, knowing they have numerous paths to reach their goal of becoming a successful massage therapist or bodyworker can be cognitively overwhelming, because human memory limits are, on average, seven bits of information. In other words, it's difficult for many people to keep all those variables in their head. The good news is you don't have to keep all the options in your head. You can use a spreadsheet to track the information or jot it in a notebook. The key is to allow yourself to creatively think about your future in massage and bodywork, so you can expand your possibilities.
3. Emotional nonattachment
To decide which path to take, you can't be emotionally attached to one certain way. If you have scarcity thinking, you have one destination and one path, so you are naturally emotionally attached. If it works out to your advantage, you're exhilarated; but if it doesn't work, you're devastated. And if you're uncertain as to how it will work out for a long period of time, you're chronically anxious.
Being emotionally nonattached does not mean you should be apathetic or lethargic. Emotional nonattachment means having an underlying recognition that all things in life are temporary. Of course, this doesn't mean you don't want to commit yourself or that you don't want to fully enjoy and be in the experience. But it is the recognition that everything eventually goes away.
Here's how emotional nonattachment can work for you in a job search.
Let's say you go into an interview and tell yourself you have to have this job. You have to come out on top. You have to make sure they're impressed with you. You have to make sure they extend a job offer. Clearly, you are emotionally attached. This may appear as you being overenthusiastic, a little bit too pushy or overly aggressive during the meeting. But if you're emotionally nonattached, you can be engaged in the conversation of the interview without being attached to what the outcome is. As a result, you come across as natural, relaxed, conversational and sincere.
Being emotionally nonattached takes the pressure off of you, which naturally makes you look better. If you don't get the job, you will still experience disappointment, but to a lesser degree. So it's not about ignoring the emotion-by all means, feel the emotion. Just don't be attached to it.
A new you
When you engage in abundant thinking, focus on creativity and practice emotional nonattachment, you actually change your perception of your massage career, of the job market and of yourself. As a result, you gain the confidence needed to make a major change in your professional life. In fact, the more you apply these three mindset principles, the more successful you'll be in all areas of life.