This article first appeared on The Online Citizen.
When I was in my third semester studying for my Doctorate in Human Sexuality, I went to the Florida Sex Therapy Institute to complete a Certificate in Sex Therapy. Dr Susan Lee, my teacher, introduced me to her clients I bumped into and her counterparts as ‘Dr Lee’.
My first reaction was “Wait a minute! I am not a Doctor yet!” I felt like a fraud.
I pondered about why Susan would choose to introduce me as a fellow Doctor. Whilst it was true that nobody in Florida knew me, she, of all people, would know the importance of using the correct terms of reference and titles, and not misrepresent.
I had an epiphany there and then. I was one trimester from getting my doctorate. I was there to learn more from her. What separated me from being a doctorate holder besides a piece of paper, which I would undoubtedly be receiving in a few more months? Yet, I did not feel any closer to owning my identity of being a clinical sexologist.
By referring to me as ‘Dr Lee’ and conferring with me on client cases as she would a fellow doctor, she was, in reality, proactively and directly putting me on a path to embrace and own my new role as a sexologist.
From that day onwards, instead of ‘trying’ to be or thinking ‘I will be’, I found myself reacting and asking questions as though ‘I already was’. The shift was tremendous. There was no more dogging. I was more present, sharper and asking better questions.
I shared this personal story because, periodically, during the course of our lives, we will find ourselves at a crossroads:
From being an intern to a qualified professional;
From being a student to being a teacher/ coach/ mentor;
From being single to being in love, or subsequently, engaged;
From being engaged to married;
From being with child to being parents.
In such situations, try it on for size. Do the shoes fit? Does it feel right to you? Can you see yourself going ahead, liking it, even excelling at it? Walk, breathe, live in those shoes and you will find the metamorphosis already happening.
Do not ‘try’. You will never get there because you are ‘trying’. Instead ‘Be’. Embrace your role, identity, portion in life.
I tell the singles, instead of waiting for Prince Charming or Princess Jasmine, already be this person deserving of love, happiness and joy. Behave as if you have found this love. When you radiate, you attract.
Now I casually but intentionally mention to couples who have sexual concerns and want kids, “When you becomes parents…”. Not ‘if’. When.
Somebody has to hold them in that space which they want to move into. It is much easier when there is somebody who believes and trusts that, whatever the process may be, it will be done. Get the support you need and ‘Be’.
Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.