Write down the strengths that others see in you. You know how people compliment on certain qualities that you often ignored or do not think you have. People often tell me that I am a hard worker. Sometimes I do not believe I am putting out my best work or working hard. Imposter syndrome can show up on me sometimes.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Myisha Jackson.
Myisha Jackson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of Healing Journey Counseling Center. Myisha primarily work with millennial women that are struggling to adjust to life transitions, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Outside of being a therapist, Myisha enjoys spending time with her family, shopping at Target, and drinking coffee at Starbucks.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Yes, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. My career journey started when I was working at the local district attorney office as a clerk in the domestic violence department. I met with victims during challenging times for them when they could not even recognize their strengths. I knew then that I wanted to do something more. At first, the plan was to become an attorney which is why I ended up at the district attorney. I realized after working hands on with victims that I should do more. That is when I researched and realized counseling was more aligned to my vision.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The most interesting story from my career is patience. This sounds so cliché but it is so true. I have learned to set boundaries and not do more work than my clients. I had to learn early on that the change will not occur when I want to but more so when the client is ready. When I have clients that struggles with hope or not ready, I often reflect on their strengths. I reflect on prior issues that they have been able to overcome to give them so motivation that they can get over their current issue.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company stands out because I do not use a certain technique in therapy. In school, we were taught cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, person centered therapy, reality therapy and host of others. We were taught to choose one and stick with it; it sounds logically but we must be realistic. People are different so we must approach each situation differently. I also tell clients that they are the expert of their life. I am not here to tell them what to do but instead challenge their current thoughts and point out possible issues.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have been gracious to have multiple people. I do not want to single out a person because throughout my journey there have been several people that helped me get to this point. I can say that those previous supervisors who were so difficult and heavily critiqued me in a negative way paid a big role.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I define resilience as the courage to get pass difficult situations. I do not like to use the word “strong” so I will not say that is a characteristic of a resilient person. I would say that person is open minded. You must be open to more ideas and be able to think further than your current problem. It also requires to you be solution-focused. Yes, your current problem is important but how can we solve the problem or make it better for you.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
I agree that courage is like resilience. You must be able to go through your situation without fear. Whenever you are using courage and resilience, you do not know what is next or what is going to happened but instead you are relying on your strengths to get you through your challenging times.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Will it be okay if I say myself? I am going to say that I come to my own mind. 2015 was the most challenging year of my life. I was in graduate school (my first year at that). I was having severe migraines, nausea, losing my vision, and much more. I went to see various of doctors but no one could tell me what was causing these health issues. To make a long story short, I ended up having to have brain surgery due to fluids building up around my brain caused by a cyst. I remember before the surgery I told my doctor to let me check my email to make sure my professor did not email me back. This was spur of the moment so I had to let my professors know because I was going to miss some exams. Once the procedure got started, the doctors realized that it was more to it. They told my parents that I was going to lose my memory and had to relearn things. False news! Surgery and recovery went well. I was able to utilize my strengths and remembered my “why” for going back to graduate school. Resilience is what allowed me to continue graduate school and graduate with honors. I always use this example to remind myself that I am able to do anything that I want.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
With my current therapy practice, I was told that it will not be possible for me to start a practice immediately after I was licensed. There are tons of therapist in my area and other private practices; however, I believed in myself and knew that I could stand out and set myself apart from other therapists. There were not any practices in my area that focused on millennial women and teen girls when I got started. That is my niche area so I made sure I marketed to that population. My practice has been full since I can remember, and I am now bringing on another therapist to assist me.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Well you can say the previous story of my brain surgery. You can also say that when I could not pass my licensing exam to become a licensed counselor. I took that test several times and thought I’d never passed. My supervisor was my biggest support during this time. She would encourage me to keep going and always pointed out how I was doing well in other areas.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I would not say I cultivated resilience throughout my life. It was something that life has taught me. I cannot always focus on the negative and everything going wrong in my life. Those negative thoughts will lead to negative feelings and behaviors. Instead I focused on what was in my control.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
Step one is to write down all your strengths. Make sure you right down the strengths that you believe you have.
Step two is to write down the strengths that others see in you. You know how people compliment on certain qualities that you often ignored or do not think you have. People often tell me that I am a hard worker. Sometimes I do not believe I am putting out my best work or working hard. Imposter syndrome can show up on me sometimes.
Step Three would be to write down challenging situation that you were able to overcome. It’s like the situation with struggling to pass my licensing exam or brain surgery.
Step Four is what I probably should have listed first because it is important is to challenge those negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are what keep you in that cycle of not believing in yourself. What are some of the things that you say to yourself? How can you challenge it to a positive statement?
Step Five is to write these things down. Keep in a safe space and reflect on the when you are facing a challenging time in your life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It would be a Believe in Yourself movement. Many people struggle with confidence and do not believe in themselves. They allow fear and lack of self-esteem deter them from doing what they would like to do. I have learned from being a therapist that many did not grow up in a positive and loving household so it will be hard for them to see the positive in themselves and their situation. I would teach them all of those strategies.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
It would be Taraji P. Henson! I love how she has opened up to the world about her mental health journey and is using her platform to bring awareness to mental health!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can follow me on Instagram. My name on there is @myishajacksonlpc. My website is www.myishajackson.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!