by Amanda Rosinski, M.A.
Although I will be working at the Albert Ellis Institute for two and a half more weeks, tomorrow I also start my new training experience. I will spend the next year working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As I began to mentally prepare for the new experience, I found myself feeling a bit stuck. Although it is understandable to feel a healthy level of concern for a new position, I found myself feeling an unhealthy level of anxiety that resulted in this feeling of “stuckness.” Knowing that this unhealthy anxiety is a result of my unhelpful thinking, I started to dig deeper into my thoughts. Having to deal with the start of a new experience, including new trainings and meeting new people and learning new procedures, seemed like too much to handle. I wanted these new beginnings to be easy. But it was more than a want, it was a demand.
Clearly, when I explored my thinking and identified my beliefs, I found I was experiencing some frustration intolerance and demandingness. As I began to challenge those beliefs, I realized that they weren’t helpful at all. And beyond that, I have dealt with many new experiences before and survived those, so I don’t have much reason to believe that I won’t survive this new experience. It may be uncomfortable or require extra effort, but it’s not too much in the sense that I won’t be able to handle it. And even though I wanted these new beginnings to be easy, there was no rule book for me to consult stating that “New experiences must always be easy.” I can prefer to have an easy transition, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. As I worked through challenging those unhelpful beliefs, I replaced them with rational ones. Although having to deal with the start of a new experience may be uncomfortable at times, I will survive the experience. Although I prefer these new beginnings to be easy, they don’t necessarily have to be easy. These rational beliefs diminished my unhealthy anxiety and feeling of “stuckness.” I’m now feeling healthy concern about these new beginnings. And also thankful for an amazing year at the Albert Ellis Institute!